Presidential Debate Winner: Why it Was Obama

UPDATE 10:39  Debate over. Obama decisively outperforms Romney in this debate.

10:35 Romney, "Government does not create jobs." And yet he has a five point plan to create jobs if elected...

10:32  I regret that I missed the vast majority of the last twenty minutes because we were buying "bindersfullofwomen.com." 

10:29  Romney touts his ability to expand free markets but promises to enact tariffs? 

10:18   "Weapons that were designed for soldiers don't belong on our streets." --President Obama

10:16 Romney just got fact-checked by the moderator. Awkward.

10:14 Someone tracked down the binders full of women...

Source: http://bindersfullofwomen.tumblr.com/

10:11  Obama finally addresses the question of the security vulnerability in Libya, taking responsibility. 

10:08 Obama is asked directly about who denied enhanced security in Libya. Obama responds by reiterating his concern, but he dodges question about preventative security. He talks about his reaction, which resulted in beefing up security. Not a strong response.   

10:05 GANGNAM STYLE TIME OUT


10:01  Obama is a historic president for many reasons. Now he gets the distinction of being the first president to invoke "gangbangers" in the middle of a debate.

10:00 Romney would staple a green card to the diplomas of foreign science and math grads. He suggests a pathway to provide citizenship for the children of immigrants: serve in the military. I don't even know where to start...

9:57  Romney talks about the increasing number of people on food stamps as evidence of the Obama administration's economic mismanagement. I'm pretty confident that less people will be on food stamps under a Romney administration, but it will be because he cuts the food stamp budget, not because people will be better off. 

9:52 Obama draws distinctions between Romney and Bush. He says George W. didn't advise immigrants to self-deport. I've never heard a Democrat make Bush look so good.

9:47 An undecided voter asks about the differences between G. W. Bush and Romney. Romney responds by touting his five-point plan. He will expand trade, increase energy dependence, balance budgets, and will champion small businesses. I count four points. And he was just defending his math ten minutes ago...

9:45  Obama argues that women's health issues are tied to economic issues. He defends Planned Parenthood and attacks Romney for pledging to cut funding. He wants to make sure his daughters have the same opportunities as sons. I'm pretty confident Sasha and Malia will be Ok.

9:43  Most dubious claim of the night, Romney makes dinner for his kids. #factcheck

9:42 Romney talks about finding binders full of women to serve on his staff. I guess he didn't know any ahead of time?

9:40  Obama paints women's issues as a family issue and middle-class issue. He recognizes that women are more integral than ever to the economic well-being of their families. 

9:37  The two most awkward men in America about to talk about women...cue stories about their moms and wives.

9:35 Romney, "We're on the road to Greece," because of Obama. 

9:33 Obama vigorously defends Big Bird. He also calls Romney's plan sketchy. #panderingtomillennials

9:31  Romney continues to be cagey about his tax plan and repeatedly refers ot the wealthy paying 60% of taxes. He's making it sound like the tax rate rather than the tax share. 

9:30 Finn's analysis of trickle-down economics: If it worked, I would stand outside a wealthy person's house and ask them to pee on me.

9:29  Obama elevates the deficit discussion to a moral plane, adopting a traditional Republican talking point with a twist: the rich should have to pay more.

9:25  Romney is asked directly about maintaining deductions for the middle class. He wants to cut taxes across the board and simplify the tax code. He said the top 5% of the taxpayers will pay 60% of the share of income tax that they continue to pay. It's still not proportionate to their share of the wealth. He fails to mention his Swedish bank account. 

9:22 Candy Crowley, Candidate Wrangler.

9:21 Tina's advice for U.S. energy policy? Put Adderall in the water.

9:19 Romney uses classic progressive tactic of using anecdotes in place of statistics. Coal production is going down because he visited a factory that closed. What? This guy worked at BCG?

9:18  Obama gets testy. Romney accuses him of cutting oil permits. Romney makes the tactical error of inviting Obama to defend himself during his time. 

9:16   Both candidates are vying to be the worst environmentalists. Romney loves coal and the Keystone Pipeline. Obama says we're drilling more than ever. 

9:14  Conclusion: Both candidates really care about the welfare of Jeremy the College Kid. Kid's got game.

9:12  President Obama avoids talking about climate change and focuses instead on the benefits of renewable energy for the U.S. economy. 

9:12  Obama comes out swinging. He attacks Romney's tax plan, economic policies, and private equity deals. Boom. 

9:11  The worst: two Harvard law grads arguing about the details of auto bailout and the definition of bankruptcy.

9:10  Romney's five point plan in five seconds: tax have in the Bahamas.

9:07 Obama starts answering a question about jobs and student loans and starts talking about dependence on foreign oil?

9:06 It took Obama exactly 30 seconds to mention Detroit.

9:05  Romney says we need to make college more affordable and employment more plentiful for young graduates. His promise, less debt and more jobs.

8:57 Predictions from Cambridge: Obama's tie will be better.

8:56 The real question: Will the debate be better than the Tigers game?

5:59 PM It's all about the undecided voters.


The pressure's on President Obama leading up to Tuesday's second presidential debate. Joe Biden jumpstarted Democratic momentum with his spirited defense of the Obama administration's policies at Thursday's debate, neutralizing and deflecting Ryan on issues of foreign policy and economics. 

Tuesday's debate should be more passionate than the wonky, numbers-driven debate a few weeks ago. Instead of speaking from the podium, candidates will debate in an intimate town hall format. Following advisors advice, Obama will be more aggressive. It will be interesting to see how an aggressive performance will impact the polls, which have largely been favoring Romney after Obama's lackluster debate performance.

The debate: 

Topic: Town meeting format including foreign and domestic policy
Air Time: 9:00-10:30 p.m. Eastern Time
Location: Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York (Tickets)
Sponsor: Commission on Presidential Debates
Participants: President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney
Moderator: Candy Crowley (CNN Chief Political Correspondent)

The second presidential debate will take the form of a town meeting, in which citizens will ask questions of the candidates on foreign and domestic issues. Candidates each will have 2 minutes to respond, and an additional minute for the moderator to facilitate a discussion. The town meeting participants will be undecided voters selected by the Gallup Organization.

PolicyMic will be covering the presidential debate live. For live updates, bookmark and refresh this page.

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Jillian McLaughlin

As a current student at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, I study public policy, take advantage of student discounts, and spend way too much time playing Settlers of Catan.

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