President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney will rematch tomorrow at 9:00 p.m. (ET) from Hofstra University in New York at the CNN-sponsored second presidential debate of 2012.
The stakes are high for Romney who will try to keep the slow but steady momentum that has permitted him to close the gap with the president both at the national level and in swing states. Obama, on the other hand, will try to stop the former governor of Massachusetts' surge in the polls after a poor showing during the October 3 forum on domestic policy. That's why both campaigns are preemptively crying foul over tomorrow's moderator Candy Crowley's promise of having "a more active role" during the debate.
Tomorrow's debate format, a town hall-style forum where a live audience -- as opposed to the moderator -- will ask questions directly to the candidates, has been traditionally moderated with little or not intervention between voters and the candidates. However, Crowley has vowed to have a stronger presence and press the candidates if she thinks they're trying to avoid answering exactly what they're asked or providing their plan's specifics.
Romney will likely be pressed on the specifics of his tax plan that he says will lower rates across the board and won't add to the deficit because he will "get rid of loopholes and exemptions." Meanwhile, the president will likely be questioned over the role the 9/11 Libya attacks where an American ambassador was killed, and whether the administration misled the American public about it.
Debate moderators had taken center stage during this election season, as PBS' Jim Lehrer was criticized for failing to moderate during the October 3 first debate in Denver and ABC's Martha Raddatz was praised for keeping Joe Biden and Paul Ryan in line during last week's vice presidential debate. And Candy Crowley will be no exemption, as she will try to be tough with both candidates as she usually does during her talk CNN show every Sunday.