Who Won the Presidential Debate 2012: Both Candidates Lost on Gun Control

This debate was alright. Obama listened to the press and was more aggressive this time round. We saw Romney criticize bits of Bush administration policy and Obama do a bit of the opposite, which was a little weird. A pretty unsubstantive foreign policy discussion from both as, could be expected. Obama lied about the Iraq withdrawal again (he tried to extend the occupation with a renegotiated status of forces agreement) and Romney defended big oil.

The worst part of the debate was the discussion on gun control. This tweet summed up the worst bit:


In fact, both candidates'  grotesquely suggested that extremely high rates of gun violence can, in large part, be attributed to American parents. Just awful.

Update 10:38 PM

Obama drops the longawaited 47% bomb.

Update 10:34 PM

Vaguest question of the night everyone.

Update 10:32 PM

Obama: Some jobs won't come back manufacturing jobs won't come back.

Update 10:27 PM

Romney explaining the structural trade imbalance with China.

Update 10:24 PM

Romney and Obama: American parents, gun violence is your fault!

Gross answers right here.

Update 10:18 PM


Good gun control question from audience.

Update 10:14 PM

Romney: Arab Spring was a mistake graaah! We apologize too much graaaah! I don't have specific policy recommendations!

Update 10:11 PM So many things to comment on:

To paraphrase Obama: National security isn't a political issue. Big Hmm.

Obama keeps lying about Iraq withdrawal. He tried to extend the length of the occupation with a status of forces agreement.

The Bin Laden card gets played a second time!

Update 10:06 PM

Romney to Obama: Have you looked at your pension?

Obama to Romney: I'm not as rich as you.

A bitter, bitter debate.

Update 9:52 PM 52 minutes into the debate and Obama mentions Bin Laden.

Update 9:47 PM Romney hates the Bush created deficits too? I mean, it's hard to believe given a lot of the positions he advocates and he sort of tries to justify Bush's idiocy by saying "it was a different time," but still amusing.

Update 9:45 PM Wow great question from an undecided voter. How is Romney different from Bush?

Update 9:31 PM Romney wants to open up more trade, particularly in Latin America... What does Latin America want? What does Romney plan to do about states that disagree? Hmm.

Update 9:23 PM To everyone who thinks we can somehow circumvent dealing with the Middle East in bringing down the price of petroleum.


Update 9:15 PM Don't you just love Romney when he argues on behalf of 'victimized' oil companies.

Update 9:12 PM Little foreign policy discourse so far, but Obama seemed to suggest that we should reroute some of our future military spending towards the rest of our problems.

On Tuesday October 16, at 9:00 PM, Mitt Romney and Barack Obama will go head to head in a town hall-style debate in Denver on foreign and domestic policy. 

Unlike in the last debate, foreign policy differences will actually be discussed at greater lengths this time round.

Many cynical foreign policy analysts have argued that there is more consensus than differentiation between the two candidates in this area. The distinction, these analysts argue, boils down to an unsubstantive difference in rhetoric.

I hope, but doubt, that many major distinctions in actual policy will be teased out during this debate. The focus, until next debate, will likely continue to be the economy. 

PolicyMic will be live blogging the presidential debate. For real-time updates, refresh this page and see the updates below.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Michael Youhana

Writer interested in US foreign policy whose articles have been featured in various outlets including The Nation and The Jerusalem Report magazines, and, of course, on PolicyMic

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