Online Staff Report
According to various pundits — liberal, conservative and independent — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney appeared to be the winner of the first presidential debate (click here for transcript of debate) of the season Wednesday, Oct. 3.
Entering the debate trailing President Barack Obama in the polls and seemingly losing ground to Obama in the battle over the economy, Romney appeared poised and confident in the debate, moderated by PBS’s Jim Lehrer at the University of Denver.
As detailed by Zap2it blogger Andrea Reiher: “We saw people commenting on Twitter that Romney seemed more well-rehearsed and that President Obama seemed to be thinking too much about his answers. NBC’s Chuck Todd says that Obama ‘wasn’t crisp, seemed to lose his train of thought.’ And Meet the Press moderator David Gregory says that Obama was ‘decidedly unfeisty.’”
A CNN/Opinion Research poll following the debate showed 67 percent believed Romney won the debate while 25 percent believed Obama won the debate. A CBS poll of undecided voters showed 46 percent said Romney won the debate while 22 percent said Obama won the debate.
Washington Post reporter Aaron Blake said Romney won the debate for the following six reasons:
“1. He controlled the format …;
“2. Obama seemed frazzled …;
“3. The politics of preemption: Romney knew going into the debate that he was going to be attacked for raising taxes on the middle class (according to an oft-cited study) and favoring the wealthy, so what he did was preemptively assure that he would not raise taxes on the middle class, repeating that over and over again and suggesting that it’s Obama who would raise taxes on the middle class.
“4. Obama didn’t get his big talking points in …;
“5. The expectations were low …;
“6. Romney avoided a stumble. …”
Liberal comedian Bill Maher tweeted that “Romney won the debate.”
“Obama made a lot of great points tonight,” Maher added. “Unfortunately, most of them were for Romney.
“I can’t believe I’m saying this,” Maher tweeted, “but Obama looks like he DOES need a teleprompter.
“Romney looks more confident and energetic. He’s about a minute away from holding Obama down and cutting his hair,” Maher joked in another tweet.
Maher wasn’t the only one in the country sharing his views of the debate on Twitter. The 90-minute debate generated a record 10.3 million tweets.
According to the Washington Post’s Karen Tumulty, “Mitt Romney finally found his voice Wednesday night.
“After many months of awkward moments and shifting campaign messages, he forcefully and confidently stood alongside President Obama and offered an alternative economic vision to what he called Obama’s ‘trickle-down government approach,’” Tumulty wrote.
An Oct. 4 Rasmussen Tracking poll showed Obama edging Romney 49-47 percent nationally, although time will tell whether the first debate had any impact on the polls.
Other scheduled debates include the following:
• Thursday, Oct. 11, 8-9:30 p.m. (Central), vice presidential debate between U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Vice President Joe Biden at Centre College, Danville, Ky. Moderator will be Martha Raddatz, ABC news chief and foreign correspondent. Topic will be foreign and domestic policy.
• Tuesday, Oct. 16, 8-9:30 p.m. (Central), presidential debate at Hofstra University, Hempstead, N.Y. Moderator will be Candy Crowley, CNN chief political correspondent. Debate will be a town meeting format including foreign and domestic policy.
• Monday, Oct. 22, 8-9:30 p.m. (Central), presidential debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla. Moderator will be Bob Schieffer, host of CBS’s Face the Nation. Topic will be foreign policy.
Posted Oct. 4, 2012