Presidential Debate: Obama More Combative, No Gaffes, No "Winner"

By:  Thomas R. Eddlem
10/17/2012
       
Presidential Debate: Obama More Combative, No Gaffes, No "Winner"

Both Democrat and Republican spin-meisters are claiming victory for their candidate in the October 16 Presidential town hall-format debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, a contest noted for its lack of gaffes by President Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

Both Democrat and Republican spin-meisters are claiming victory for their candidate in the October 16 presidential town hall-format debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, a contest noted for its lack of gaffes by President Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

The candidates argued — and interrupted each other — over disputed factual allegations on the issue of jobs, gasoline prices, Libyan embassy security, and tax policy numbers. “I know what it takes to bring good jobs back,” Romney charged early in the debate, stressing his private sector experience. President Obama countered with the claim that he had set the economy back on course for economic growth. “What I want to do is to build on the five million jobs that we've created over the last 30 months in the private sector alone.”

But Obama's bizarre claim of responsibility for job creation numbers in the rather anemic economic recovery was tame compared with the ridiculous claims made later in the debate by both candidates. Mitt Romney claimed that Obama's policy on domestic oil drilling was one of the prime causes for soaring oil prices on the global market from $1.86 per gallon when he took office to nearly $4 per gallon today. Obama countered with an equally outlandish and unrealistic claim:

Think about what the governor just said. He said that when I took office, the price of gasoline was $1.86. Why is that? Because the economy was on the verge of collapse. Because we were about to go through the worst recession since the Great Depression, as a consequence of some of the same policies that Governor Romney is now promoting. So, it's conceivable that Governor Romney could bring down gas prices. Because with his policies we might be back in that same mess.

The irony is that the United States likely does face another economic recession in the next year because of rising national debt and low national savings rates, and neither Obama nor Romney has introduced any policy proposals designed to reverse either metric.

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Photo: President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney participate in the second presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., Oct. 16, 2012: AP Images

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