Who Won The Second Presidential Debate? Mitt Romney

When I sat down to write my impressions of the debate, I had President Obama clearly ahead.  Then I went back and watched it in segments, question by question and I realized that the reason the President appeared to win, was because he was back to being the great communicator.  As expected,  the President came out much more aggressively and willing to mix it up with Mitt Romney.  He made his points clearly and directly and called out Romney on several occasions.  Romney, for his part, attempted to keep the President on his heels, and  made many cogent points.  In the end, who won the debate really depends on which candidate you support.  The so-called political experts all agreed that Obama was his old self and most agreed he won the debate.  The truth is, the debate was very close in terms of delivery of the message, but not on substance.  Both men wanted to demonstrate their toughness and had their moments and both men also had moments where they fell short.  President Obama clearly defended his record on Iraq, the Taliban and killing Bin Laden, all great accomplishment for him and the country.  The President came down on Romney a number of times.  Mitt Romney on the topic of healthcare, for example, has clearly flip-flopped; it can not be denied.  But I suggest the most important thing one can do when judging a man’s character is examining his actions.  Don’t just listen to his words.  One doesn’t need to be a so-called political expert to understand that Romney has said what he needs to, in order to solidify his conservative base.  However, if you look at how he ran the state of Massachusetts, it tells a very different story.  Romney was an excellent Governor.  He did reform healthcare, he balanced the budget, his administration came up with innovative ideas in education, offering bonuses of up to $15,000 for best performing teachers.  The President never answered the question of the botched gun deal south of the border.  He avoided the topic like the plague as it was a very poor miscalculation on the part of his administration.  Obama did not do a good job of defending his fourth trillion-dollar deficit in a row, blaming his predecessor and tough circumstances.  He is on the record claiming he would halve the deficit by the end of his first term.  Clearly that hasn’t happened.  His worst moment was his answer on Benghazi.  The administration was caught of guard and because of it, four embassy personnel lost their lives. It’s admirable that he took responsibility and has promised to expose what happened, which is fine but too little too late.  Instead, he attacked Romney for being insensitive and “offensive”.  The economic recovery is lackluster at best and Romney was successful at exposing that and explaining why he is better equipped to fix the economy.  When Obama was on the offensive, he hammered at the fact Romney sent jobs to China. How could Romney claim he would now be tough on China?  Romney didn’t shy away on that.  He was clear that we live in a global economy and that he would stop the Chinese from devaluing their currency which kills competitiveness.  Romney jumped on Obama about his failed promise to introduce immigration legislation in his first year in office even as Obama was attacking Romney on his immigration plan.   The weakest attack on Romney by the President was his dig about Romney’s wealth.  Clearly Romney was making a legitimate point about the President’s pension, which includes investments over seas.  All the President had as a retort, was “clearly your pension is larger than mine”.  Most political analysts thought this was a stellar moment for the President but clearly they didn’t get it.  What this debate came down to, was the President’s vulnerability on his record, not the delivery of his message.  Which man would I prefer to have lunch with, President Obama no doubt.  To be fair, it’s more difficult to be the man in charge defending your record when you hold the most difficult position in the world.  However, Romney did do an excellent job of exposing all of the President’s weaknesses and therefore, won the debate.

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