After Romney’s outstanding performance throughout the first debate, it was pretty obvious that Obama had some ground to make up for in order to get his bid for reelection back on track. Predictions claiming that Obama would provide a fiery comeback at the second presidential debate, given the town-hall format of the debate, proved true Tuesday night at Hofstra University in New York.
It is safe to say that there was a clear “winner” of the second presidential debate — President Obama. Although Romney did have his strong moments, the president ultimately had the better performance.
President Obama delivers a campaign speech to an estimated crowd of 13,000 Sept. 2 on Norlin Quad. (CU Independent File/James Bradbury)
As predicted, Obama brought his game to this debate, taking his level of aggression a step further than he did in Denver. He kept Romney on the defense the entire night, which was the opposite of the first debate.
On the other hand, Romney seemed to effectively continue with his campaign strategy of posing the question, “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?”
The governor also used the fact that the system he created in Massachusetts is working well and that he “knows what a working economy looks like.”
He then went on to describe that if he were elected President, he would shape America’s economy and government after that of his policy successes in Massachusetts.
But that was the extent of his notable portions of the debate.
Obama utilized his advantage as the incumbent particularly well Tuesday night. He was able to highlight the certain things he has done within the past four years that he promised at the beginning of his term he would accomplish. His argument about national security stood out in particular when he proved that he did in fact do what he said he would.
“I said I’d end the war in in Iraq, and I did,” Obama said in the debate. “I said that we’d go after al-Qaeda and Bin Laden, we have. I said we’d transition out of Afghanistan, and start making sure that Afghans are responsible for their own security, that’s what I’m doing.”
He continued to strengthen his performance by pushing that he needs another term in order to keep us on the right track and continue with the policies that he has already implemented—as it is extremely difficult to fix an economy as messed up as ours within a short amount of time.
Additionally, President Obama did a phenomenal job of keeping the upper hand throughout the debate. For one, when Romney brought up his five-point plan to back up many of his points last night, Obama immediately knocked him down, calling his plan a “one-point plan” that would essentially bring us back to the state the economy was in four years ago.
At the end, one of the audience members, Barry Green, gave both candidates a chance to voice what is most misunderstood about them. Romney brought up that he does indeed “care about 100 percent of the American people.” Obama took this as a chance to exemplify that Romney had said his comment about the 47 percent behind closed doors and directed voters to look closer at what he was talking about and what he really believes in.
Romney tried and failed to shake Obama multiple times.
“It took the President 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror,” Romney said.
Immediately, Candy Crowley, the moderator, argued back that, “he did in fact… call it an act of terror… but it did take two weeks or so for the whole idea to come out.” This demonstration hurt Romney’s credibility and made Obama’s performance appear even stronger.
“This was the iciest town meeting debate of all six,” Michael Beschloss said on PBS following the debate. “I used to think that 2000 between George W. Bush and Al Gore was an uncomfortable evening. Compared to this one, that was Valentine’s Day.”
Obama and Romney were certainly comfortable being aggressive with one another, and Obama was definitely not characterized as passive this time around.
President Obama clearly proved himself to be the winner in the second presidential debate by out-performing Gov. Romney.
With the election so close, and Obama possibly proving himself a better candidate in his performance against Romney last night, it will be interesting to see who actually wins in November.
Contact Staff Writer Haley James at Haley.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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