See the complete video of the debate at the bottom of this post and for a complete transcript of the debate click here
The second presidential debate was marked by a generally sharp and in-your-face diplomatic dialogue that brought the two candidates to their feet and at one point, almost nose to nose. While it was not the one-sided match up that we saw Mitt Romney mop the floor with Barack Obama in the first debate, Romney was still confident, statesman-like, hard hitting and in command. This time though, President Obama actually showed up to the debate and was willing to try to defend his record and doing his best distort Mitt Romney’s policy proposals. For that alone one should anticipate the mainstream media narrative to run deep with claims that the President won this second debate. But as usual, that liberal bias would not be inaacurate. While President Obama did finally show a fire in his belly and some passion for his positions, he failed to land any punches that convinced anyone that his positions will produce better results than they have in the last four years.
For his part Mitt Romney did successfully land verbal punches on with several devastating indictments of the President’s economic, energy, and foreign policies.
President Obama did win some points during the debate but they were largely points scored with only his base. The President’s attempts to consistently claim that Mitt Romney was not telling the truth failed to ring true. Especially when the President tried to deny Romney’s claim that under Obama gas and oil production on federal lands decreased by as much as 14%. Here Mitt Romney made a valid point about the President’s failed energy policy but Obama’s unwillingness to acknowledge the fact that in his drive to invest billions in failed alternative energy companies, he also reduced the number of permits that allowed domestic drilling on federal lands. The President was so adamant in his denial that he ended up making it a bigger deal of the point than even Mitt Romney did.
But as the President tried to paint Romney as the liar in the debate, Mitt Romney was the one who actually proved Barack Obama to be the liar.
When the issue of Benghazi came up, President Obama tried to deny that he refused to call the attacks that killed our Ambassador and the members of his detail, a terrorist attack. President Obama tried to claim that he called them terrorist attacks during a statement in the Rose Garden on the morning following the tragic event. Romney doubled-down on the fact that President did not call them terrorist attacks and that he spent two weeks trying to claim the act of terrorism was the result of a spontaneous riot inspired by a video. Making matters worse, moderator Candy Crowley aided President Obama by saying he did call the tragedy a terrorist attack that morning in the Rose Garden. Some time after the debate,Crowley admitted she was wrong but President Obama has still failed to fess up to his lie.
All in all, the debate was an interesting verbal ballet which allowed each candidate to use dialogue that danced around the issues. Mitt Romney offered only the minimal of details regarding his own economic plans and President Obama offered the same balme-it-on-Bush inspired excuses for the failures of his own Administration. But Romney did do something which the President did not do. He created more doubt about the President’s plans for the future of the nation than the President did about Mitt Romney’s plans for our nation’s future. And Mitt Romney did something else too. He kept the President on the defensive and at times, particularly when the issue of gun control came up. On this, Romney left President Obama noticeably unsettled as he interjected Fast & Furious into the debate. Romney stated;
The — the greatest failure we’ve had with regards to — to gun violence in some respects is what — what is known as Fast and Furious. Which was a program under this administration, and how it worked exactly I think we don’t know precisely, where thousands of automatic, and AK-47 type weapons were — were given to people that ultimately gave them to — to drug lords.
They used those weapons against — against their own citizens and killed Americans with them. And this was a — this was a program of the government. For what purpose it was put in place, I can’t imagine. But it’s one of the great tragedies related to violence in our society which has occurred during this administration. Which I think the American people would like to understand fully, it’s been investigated to a degree, but — but the administration has carried out executive privilege to prevent all of the information from coming out.
I’d like to understand who it was that did this, what the idea was behind it, why it led to the violence, thousands of guns going to Mexican drug lords.
The point came up after President Obama used the question as an opportunity to lecture voters on an assault weapons ban and while Mitt Romney deftly responded by finding a way to interject the Fast & Furious scandal in to his own answer, it would have been much more effective if he came out and said… “Mr. President, you are the very last person in the nation who should be trying to lecture us on assault weapons. Not after your Administration gave Mexican drug cartels assault weapons that they used to kill our border agents with”. But despite not putting it that way, Mitt still successfully weighed the President with the Fast & Furious scandal.
By the time the sun comes up though, the mainstream media will be writing stories about a much different debate. They will probably be printing and posting headlines like “Barack is Back” or “Prez Rips Romney Apart”. However; the truth is this. Typically a tie in a presidential debate is a win for the challenger and in truth Romney at least did well enough to make the debate a tie. So by any honest assessment, Romney should be declared the winner of this second debate. But regardless of which narrative about who won is printed more times than the other, the bottom line is this… President Obama will not get the same type of pronounced bounce from this debate that Mitt Romney got from the first one. In fact, I predict that he gets no bounce and furthermore, from my vantage point, I believe Mitt Romney swayed more independent and undecided voters his way last night than did the president. And that in the final analysis is the true determining factor here.
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