There is a consensus agreement no matter who you ask about the aftermath of the second presidential debate, President Barack Obama came out ready to throw punches. As opposed to the first debate where Obama was accused of being too passive, constantly on the defense or disinterested, Obama was strikingly more animated and energized this time around. The result was a performance that very well could have curbed the momentum that Governor Romney had been building into this debate. With the town hall format, which allowed for audience members to pose questions directly to each candidate, the debate addressed many different issues. Most of the questions revolved around questions of the economy, which has been a familiar theme. But the most interesting exchanges came out of the attacks on Libya, how each candidate would handle pay equity for women, and also speaking of the auto industry in the United States. For example, Governor Romney criticized the President for not labeling the attacks as an act of terror, and hinting that Obama was also fundraising in the days afterward instead of helping the country deal with this tragedy. Obama not only took responsibility for the events, but also took offense to the notion that he was anything but concerned for the lives that were lost. Also, the moderator did aid President Obama by declaring that the President did say that no terrorist action would go unchecked, just a day after the Libyan attacks on the US embassy.
Onto the issue of women’s pay equity, is where Romney possibly made his
biggest blunder, if you have not caught onto the story by now. When asked what
he would do about women’s pay equity, Governor Romney spoke about when he was
attempting to fill out his cabinet, he asked for women’s groups to find him
qualified female candidates which resulted in him in having “binders full of
women”. Obama not only took the opportunity to mention how Romney has never spoken about whether he would have supported the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (first bill Obama signed into law), but also turned the debate to speak about how Romney would slash funds for planned parenthood and limit women’s freedom of choice.
The last issue was concerning the auto industry where Governor
Romney relitigated the auto bailout. His point was that he would have allowed
the auto industry go bankrupt, with the intention that it would come out
stronger such as 7-Eleven and Continental Airlines have. However, the reminder
that he would have offered no assistance to this industry is not a point that
will help him in the battle ground state of Ohio, which overwhelmingly approved
the auto bailout. Let me remind you that in modern election times, no Republican candidate has won the presidency without winning Ohio so that blunder could possibly end up hurting him down the road.
But in any case, we are faced with one last debate coming up next Monday October 22. The topic of this debate will largely revolve around foreign policy so expect Governor Romney to attack the perceived opening that Libya has allowed his campaign. But also expect Obama to reference the attack that brought about bin Laden’s death. If this debate was any indication, neither candidate will yield much ground. We hope you are able to join us in the BSU at this last debate before the election.
Don S. Polite Jr Political Education Coordinator ’13