While Mitt Romney was widely cited as the winner of the first 2012 presidential debate, the second one, a town-hall-style conversation at Hofstra University moderated by CNN’s Candy Crowley, is a much closer competition. The passive Barack Obama from the first debate didn’t show up — both men were in top form.
The conversation, filled with questions from undecided voters who comprised the audience, tackled topics such as the attack in Libya, unemployment, pay disparity for women, gun control and many more issues.
The last question, though, was quite telling. Both men were asked to clear up the biggest misconceptions about them and about their campaigns, and both men brought up percentages of the American people, a topic that’s come up quite a bit.
Says Romney, “I care about 100 percent of the American people. I want 100 percent of the American people to have a bright and prosperous future.”
Obama directly mentions Romney’s 47 percent comment, but also says, “I believe that the free enterprise system is the greatest engine of prosperity the world has ever known. I believe in self-reliance … but I also believe that everybody should have a fair shot, and everybody should pay their fair share, and everybody should play by the same rules.”
In the end, President Obama spoke for about three minutes longer than his challenger, and both men dueled head-to-head, frequently directly addressing each other. The entire debate went about ten minutes longer than scheduled.
What did you think of the debate? Did either man emerge the clear winner? Who do you think won the second presidential debate?