President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney met for round two of the 2012 presidential debates Tuesday night at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y.
Candy Crowley, CNN’s Chief Political Correspondent, moderated the town-hall style debate, fielding the discussion ignited by the questions of about 80 uncommitted voters on foreign and domestic issues.
Crowley hinted that she would take initiative if the response from the candidate did not directly answer the question.
But Crowley was not the concern when it came to interjections.
Both Romney and Obama fell victim to small temper-tantrums, arguing with the moderator almost as often as they argued with each other. Romney spouted off facts from “Robert’s Rules of Order” while Obama obeyed Crowley like a Shih-Tzu at the Mayflower Dog Show.
While verbal-exchanges carried on, citizens waited in the wings eager to have their questions answered.
Many questions were aimed at domestic policy rather than foreign policy. Citizens wanted to know more about the direct effects of each candidate’s platform rather than the effect they plan on having on an international scale. And, because of the fragility of our current economy, the focus came for good reason.
Citizen Michael Jones expressed expense concerns and asked why everyday living items are so costly. His question allowed a segue to discuss a topic commonly misunderstood in this year’s election: unemployment rates.
“Five million jobs doesn’t even keep up with our population growth,” Romney replied. ” And the only reason the unemployment rate seems a little lower today is because of all the people that have dropped out of the workforce.”
It is commonly prescribed that the core solution to aiding our economy is employment and reducing the nation’s debt. The notion serves as a common point of contention between the candidates.
Obama questioned Romney’s plan for deficit reduction, citing a lack of specifics and quipping “beyond Big Bird and eliminating funding for Planned Parenthood.”
Romney’s response was as detailed as two minutes allow, meaning that much of the substance failed to reach the forefront of the dialogue.
The Governor’s “Benghazi Moment” did cause a mild uproar in the debate; Romney accusing Obama of failing to call the attack on the Libyan Embassy an “act of terror” until roughly two weeks after Sept. 11. Obama negated the statement, firing back that Romney submitted a press-release within 48 hours of the incident and being more focused on “playing the political game.” Crowley also retorted in support of the president’s claim.
From college grants, to renewable energy and gas prices; from equal pay for women to the deficit; from gun control to healthcare; from immigration to foreign diplomacy, the debate covered a great deal of territory, but was it enough to quell the questions of the undecideds?
The Final Debate: Available on all major local and cable news networks
WHEN: Oct. 22 at 9 p.m.
TOPIC: Foreign policy
LOCATION: Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla.
Moderator: Bob Schieffer, host of “Face the Nation” on CBS