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The second presidential debate between GOP presidential challenger Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama was quite different from the first due to the town hall format and due to the fact that President Obama showed up more prepared this time. Yet, even though Obama was more prepared, Romney was obviously ready for a more-prepared opponent.
Rather than questions being asked by a high-profile moderator, the questions came from various undecided voters from a group of 82 voters. While it was thought the format would limit confrontational exchanges between Obama and Romney, it did not. Both candidates were feisty and took every opportunity to discredit the other. Romney continued to remind the audience of the many promises Obama made and failed to keep over the past four years as well as why the continuation of Obama’s policies for four more years will only make America’s matters worse. By contrast, Obama continually scraped up all he could to discredit Romney based on his past comments and actions.
The two men were relentless in their continual attacks of one another. While both were strong, it is difficult to argue with hard facts that Romney gave as to what Obama promised he would do four years ago as compared to what he has done. Not having a federal record to defend, Romney had the opportunity to be less defensive but chose not to be. He articulately fought Obama’s negative assertions at every turn. As expected, Romney came statistically and data-memory prepared once again.
As predicted, Romney won the debate because President Obama simply has too many un-kept promises and an incredibly indefensible record to defend. Though Obama took the occasional opportunities to speak of successes such as ending the life of Osama bin Laden, there were so many points thrown out by Romney that Obama could not honestly excuse – though he desperately tried. When Romney said that Obama had four years to do something and didn’t, it resonated well for Romney.
It is incredibly irritating to hear Obama say what he promises again he will accomplish in the next four years when he has already had four years and hasn’t even addressed the problems yet. For example, the immigration concern which Romney asserted several times. Obama promised to address the problem in his first year in office but still hasn’t.
One of the most severe clashes was over oil. Though Obama fought hard to defend his position and slammed Romney regarding his coal production comments of the past, the fact remains that gas prices have doubled in the past four years, and in part due to the Canadian gas line that was never built.
Romney clearly pointed out that the strong support of women throughout the elective process is unfounded as women – overall, by statistics – are doing much worse than they were doing four years ago in terms of jobs and the economy.
Additionally, Romney was very articulate in defending his outsourcing and China criticisms while Obama’s response to Romney’s Libya attack was obviously over-rehearsed and under-impressive to anyone who has kept up with the international story.
Quite appropriately, Romney left few stones unturned when he rattled off a laundry list of items the president hasn’t accomplished as he promised in the past four years: immigration, Social Security and Medicare reform, unemployment rate of 5.4%, improved federal budget with has grown $5 trillion, costs to the current middle class including health care costs and more. Astounding!
It was also beneficial that Romney could finally clear up his solid reasons for not over-taxing small businesses so that they can take their money and create more jobs. This is a message that has constantly been distorted by President Obama. Romney is right in saying the current U.S. tax rate compared to other countries has American business owners scrambling to find a new home – as he said, in Canada where the tax rate is so much lower.
While Obama strongly attempts to come across as being a caring candidate to the middle class, Romney definitely comes across as the one who can do the best job with the all-important economy and job market that Americans find themselves currently victimized by.
While performance says a lot about a candidate – whether good or bad – the candidate’s message outweighs that performance many times over. Mitt Romney has the message that America responded to extremely positively in the first debate and is now responding to after the second debate.
As to who won, the debate results are much less lopsided than the first debate, but Obama’s failed promises of the past four years which were clearly expressed by Romney dictate that Obama couldn’t win the debate. Romney won again.
About Scott Paulson
Scott Paulson writes political commentary for Examiner.com and teaches English at a community college in the Chicago area. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.