In the second 2012 Presidential Debate on Tuesday, Romney came away only slightly worse than President Obama, although distinctions between the two were not well made.
There were no huge gaffe’s by either of the candidates, that was reserved for the moderator – CNN’s Candy Crowley who roused the crowd to cheers when she backed the President’s claim that he immediately called the Benghazi attack an act of terror. Directly after the debate, Crowley admitted that Romney had been correct and Obama had been incorrect. Romney missed the chance to bring up U.N. Ambassador Rice’s Sunday show comments about the video and protests which left the President to claim a false victory on Benghazi.
Throughout the debate the two candidates spent their time trying to one-up each other instead of distinguishing themselves.
Romney said that he felt that government subsidization of education was the cure for high tuition and Obama doubled-down saying how he had increased Pell grants. Unfortunately, it is precisely these programs that gives post-secondary education no reason to find ways to deliver quality education at affordable prices. As long as the government pumps money into Colleges, tuition inflation will continue.
When asked about gas prices, both candidates explained that they had “all of the above” plans that included oil, gas and renewables. It was impossible to tell the two apart.
On the issue of equal pay for women in the workplace, Obama talked about giving a suit to a woman interviewing for a job saying that programs like that were how we equalize pay. Romney created a new twitter tag with his “binder full of women.” In reality, Obama has a poor record on equal pay when considering the area over which he has the most control – White House staff. His administration pays its women staffers much less than men doing similar jobs. Maybe he should have bought them suits too.
The only topic on which the candidates were obviously different was the economy. Obama expressed his view that companies had to be punished into staying here while Romney stated that we had to create a more “attractive” business climate in the U.S. so that it would make financial sense for companies to grow in America. Obama made a small mis-step when he stated his view on job creation which Romney was quick to pounce on saying “the government does not create jobs.”
The President was given almost four minutes longer than Romney to speak during the debate. Probably because of his constant background whining “but Candy, Candy.. now Candy” several times during the debate when Romney was speaking. At one point, the President was even able to get Candy Crowley to switch topics at his request.
Obama was much stronger in this debate than he was in the last and it helped him take a slight overall win. Unfortunately, on the topic that most undecided voters will likely make their decision upon, the economy, he floundered badly. A CNN poll of registered voters gave a slight edge to Obama, but on the subject of the economy Romney beat the President by almost 20 points.