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News Analysis: Obama outperforms Romney in high-stake 2nd debate

English.news.cn   2012-10-17 15:05:48            
 • Obama outperformed Romney Tuesday evening at their second debate.
 • Obama and Romney traded assaults when answering questions from undecided voters.
 • Romney made a visible gaffe during a confrontation with Obama.


U.S. President Barrack Obama attends the second presidential debate with Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York state, the United States, Oct. 16, 2012. (Xinhua/Wang Lei)

HEMPSTEAD, United States, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama outperformed his Republican challenger Mitt Romney Tuesday evening at their second debate, pulling almost even their support in the last stretch of this election cycle.

The debate, a town-hall style face-off between the two candidates, saw a more aggressive and animated Obama, whose lackluster performance in the first debate on Oct. 3 prompted the question: does he want the job or not?

But he was met with an evenly invigorated Romney, whose commanding performance last time shifted the election's momentum to his side.

The more lively performances from both candidates all but ensured that the debate was full of confrontations and sparks, as candidates trade barbs when answering questions from undecided voters.

Such questions covered topics ranging from economy and jobs to foreign policy and women's rights.

Although commentators warned beforehand that failing to preserve grace and humor could be fatal, as style is considered at least as important as substance in a town-hall style debate, both candidates frequently flouted debate rules, and at times, physically circled and pressed each other on issues.

Mark Salter, former chief of staff for Republican Sen. John McCain and senior adviser to the McCain for President campaign, opined in a recent piece that "gaffes in presidential town-hall debates, even an unthinking glance at your watch, can be fatal with just a few weeks left in the campaign."

Romney made a visible gaffe during a confrontation with Obama. He insisted Obama didn't call the attack on U.S. ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens an act of terror the second day, which he did. Moderator Candy Crowley pointed that out on the spot, blunting Romney's attack.

It was not immediately clear how much damage the gaffe could inflict on the Romney campaign, but Republicans have already begun crying foul, arguing it was not appropriate for Crowley to step in like that.

Besides that blunder, Romney also appeared, at times, rude and arrogant towards the president, interrupting him and at one time prevented Obama from interjecting, saying "you'll get your chance in a moment," drawing gasps from the audience.

Besides the heated exchanges, both Obama and Romney seemed genuinely engaged with the audience, and made visible efforts to connect with them during the debate, looking voters in the eyes when answering their questions, and leaning in when listening.

According to an instant poll by CNN and ORC International, 46 percent of debate watchers said Obama won the debate, while 39 percent said Romney did.

As is custom after each debate, both campaigns rushed to the media center afterwards to declare themselves the winner.

Sen. John Kerry, who helped Obama prepare for the debate, said the president "has done a terrific job," and the night marked the start of the "unraveling" of Romney's campaign.

Ed Giellespie, a senior adviser to Romney, said "the president can change the plan, change the tactics, but he can't change four years of failed economic policy."

The Obama campaign is trying to stop Romney's surge, but how much headway the president has made in the direction with his commanding performance Tuesday night remains unclear.

A multitude of polls have shown Romney has momentum behind his back. A Gallup poll released Tuesday showed that Romney is leading Obama 50 percent to 46 percent in 12 crucial swing states, as Obama's previous lead among women voters has sharply declined to a virtual tie of 49 percent to 48 percent.

If they battled to a 1:1 draw in the first two debates, they will fight it out in the third and last debate next Monday.


Obama, Romney spar over economic issues in 2nd debate

HEMPSTEAD, United States, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney fired up over economic issues Tuesday in the second presidential debate, which was held just three weeks before the November election.

Stakes were high for both candidates as Obama tried hard to put his re-election bid back on track after a subdued performance in the first debate and Romney strived to keep the Republican momentum rolling.

As most of the time in the campaign trail, economic issues including jobs, oil prices and taxes dominated the debate. Full story

Obama says he is "ultimately responsible" for attacks on Benghazi consulate

HEMPSTEAD, United States, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama said in the second presidential debate on Tuesday that he is "ultimately responsible" for what happened in the attacks on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya last month.

"I'm the president and I'm always responsible," Obama said in the high-stake debate with his Republican rival Mitt Romney.Full story

News Analysis: Tuesday's presidential debate all about style, giving Obama advantage

WASHINGTON, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- Both U.S. presidential candidates' ability to connect with viewers will be the most important aspect of Tuesday night's presidential debate, which could give President Barack Obama an advantage over his Republican challenger Mitt Romney, experts said.

Indeed, the debate's town-hall forum is all about being folksy and portraying oneself as attuned to the needs of the average Americans, rather than paying attention to the finer points of policy.Full story

Romney widens lead over Obama in swing states due to surge in women support: poll

WASHINGTON, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney leads President Barack Obama by four percentage points among likely voters in top swing states, thanks to a surge in support by women voters, finds a latest poll on Tuesday.Full story

The Obamas vote early in election

WASHINGTON, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle are voting early in this year's presidential election, casting their ballots before the November 6 polling day to encourage the early voting drive of the president's reelection campaign.Full Story

Romney raises 170 million in September

WASHINGTON, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has raised over 170.4 million dollars in September, according to his campaign on Monday.Full story


Editor: Wang Yuanyuan
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