Obama Wins Testy Second Debate
October 17, 2012
By John Zogby
Let me begin by stating what has become obvious: these two guys do not like each other at all. The second obvious point is that this is a very clear choice between two very different men and governing philosophies. With that said, both men came out to cause some bleeding and both were quite good. But this round goes to the President.
Governor Romney lacked details and simply got caught in representing some ideas that were very different from the Mitt Romney who debated 19 times with his GOP opponents. Make no mistake, Romney did land some punches. I think that the murders of four Americans in Libya are a real problem for the President. Why didn’t we know that it was a terror attack until 14 days later? Why did the President campaign in Nevada and Colorado the next day after the attack? Why was intelligence so bad?
Romney scored again by suggesting that under President Obama we are “on the road to Greece and cannot afford it.” And he was solid in reminding the audience that the President did not uphold his promises to submit an immigration reform bill, to reduce unemployment to 5.4%, to reform Medicare and Medicaid, and to cut the deficit. He also explained how he appointed women to his Cabinet and to other senior positions in his Massachusetts administration.
But Obama was on fire. When asked what he has done in his first term that argued for a second term, this time Obama was prepared. “I did what I said I would do.” He cited health care reform, ending American military activity in Iraq, an exit strategy for Afghanistan, 5 million jobs when he inherited an economy that was losing 800,000 jobs per month, reined in Wall Street excesses, saved the auto industry, and cut taxes on the middle class and small businesses. He followed by saying that Americans should listen to Romney’s commitments because he will also deliver: a tax pledge that will mean insufficient revenues to grow the economy, cuts to Planned Parenthood, and a repeal of Obamacare. In response to Romney’s Five Point Plan for growth, Obama said the Governor had only a “One Point Plan”: “the rich will be allowed to play by their own rules”.
But Obama particularly crushed Romney on immigration. He did correctly point out that his GOP opponent said several different things about the Arizona immigration law and “self-deportation” than he is saying now.
Both candidates were forceful but the Governor had a skilled and confident opponent . The President might get a little bump from tonight. But what is clear is that these are two men who may be comfortable in their own shoes but are not very comfortable with each other. They just don’t like each other and were not particularly likable this evening.