Second Presidential Debate; Obama Showed Up and Romney Held His Own (Complete Video & Transcript)

See the complete video of the debate at the bottom of this post and for a complete transcript of the debate click here

   Bookmark and Share  The second presidential debate was marked by a generally sharp and in-your-face diplomatic dialogue that brought the two candidates to their feet and at one point, almost nose to nose.   While it was not the one-sided match up that we saw Mitt Romney mop the floor with Barack Obama in the first debate, Romney was still confident, statesman-like, hard hitting and in command.  This time though, President Obama actually showed up to the debate and was willing to try to defend his record and doing his best distort Mitt Romney’s policy proposals.  For that alone one should anticipate the mainstream media narrative to run deep with claims that the President won this second debate.  But as usual, that liberal bias would not be inaacurate.  While President Obama did finally show a fire in his belly and some passion for his positions, he failed to land any punches that convinced anyone that his positions will produce better results than they have in the last four years.

For his part Mitt Romney did successfully land verbal punches on with several devastating indictments of the President’s economic, energy, and foreign policies.

President Obama did win some points during the debate but they were largely points scored with only his base.  The President’s attempts to consistently claim that Mitt Romney was not telling the truth failed to ring true.  Especially when the President tried to deny Romney’s claim that under Obama gas and oil production on federal lands decreased by as much as 14%.   Here Mitt Romney made a valid point about the President’s failed energy policy but Obama’s unwillingness to acknowledge the fact that in his drive to invest billions in failed alternative energy companies, he also reduced the number of permits that allowed domestic drilling on federal lands.   The President was so adamant in his denial that he ended up making it a bigger deal of the point than even Mitt Romney did.

But as the President tried to paint Romney as the liar in the debate, Mitt Romney was the one who actually proved Barack Obama to be the liar.

When the issue of Benghazi came up, President Obama tried to deny that he refused to call the attacks that killed our Ambassador and the members of his detail, a terrorist attack.  President Obama tried to claim that he called them terrorist attacks during a statement in the Rose Garden on the morning following the tragic event.  Romney doubled-down on the fact that President did not call them terrorist attacks and that he spent two weeks trying to claim the act of terrorism was the result of a spontaneous riot inspired by a video.  Making matters worse, moderator Candy Crowley aided President Obama by saying he did call the tragedy a terrorist attack that morning in the Rose Garden.  Some time after the debate,Crowley admitted she was wrong but President Obama has still failed to fess up to his lie.

All in all, the debate was an interesting verbal ballet which allowed each candidate to use dialogue that danced around the issues.  Mitt Romney offered only the minimal of details regarding his own economic plans and President Obama offered the same balme-it-on-Bush inspired excuses for the failures of his own Administration.  But Romney did do something which the President did not do.  He created more doubt about the President’s plans for the future of the nation than the President did about Mitt Romney’s plans for our nation’s future.  And Mitt Romney did something else too.  He kept the President on the defensive and at times, particularly when the issue of gun control came up.  On this, Romney left President Obama noticeably unsettled as he interjected Fast & Furious into the debate.   Romney stated;

The — the greatest failure we’ve had with regards to — to gun violence in some respects is what — what is known as Fast and Furious. Which was a program under this administration, and how it worked exactly I think we don’t know precisely, where thousands of automatic, and AK-47 type weapons were — were given to people that ultimately gave them to — to drug lords.

They used those weapons against — against their own citizens and killed Americans with them. And this was a — this was a program of the government. For what purpose it was put in place, I can’t imagine. But it’s one of the great tragedies related to violence in our society which has occurred during this administration. Which I think the American people would like to understand fully, it’s been investigated to a degree, but — but the administration has carried out executive privilege to prevent all of the information from coming out.

I’d like to understand who it was that did this, what the idea was behind it, why it led to the violence, thousands of guns going to Mexican drug lords.

The point came up after President Obama used the question as an opportunity to lecture voters on an assault weapons ban and while Mitt Romney deftly responded by finding a way to interject the Fast & Furious scandal in to his own answer, it would have been much more effective if he came out and said… “Mr. President, you are the very last person in the nation who should be trying to lecture us on assault weapons.  Not after your Administration gave Mexican drug cartels assault weapons that they used to kill our border agents with”.  But despite not putting it that way, Mitt still successfully weighed the President with the Fast & Furious scandal.

By the time the sun comes up though, the mainstream media will be writing stories about a much different debate.  They will probably be printing and posting headlines like “Barack is Back” or “Prez Rips Romney Apart”.  However; the truth is this.  Typically a tie in a presidential debate is a win for the challenger and in truth Romney at least did well enough to make the debate a tie.  So by any honest assessment, Romney should be declared the winner of this second debate.  But regardless of which narrative about who won is printed more times than the other, the bottom line is this… President Obama will not get the same type of pronounced bounce from this debate that Mitt Romney got from the first one.  In fact, I predict that he gets no bounce and furthermore, from my vantage point, I believe Mitt Romney swayed more independent and undecided voters his way last night than did the president.  And that in the final analysis is the true determining factor here.

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Watch the Second Presidential Live Here on White House 2012

   Bookmark and Share  View tonight’s second presidential debate online here at White House 2012 and join our live Twitter conversation with your comments directed to @WhiteHouse12  or use the hashtag #wh12.

This Youtube feed offers a pre-debate program schedule that inlcudes the following:

8:00 PM ET :

  • ABC News Debate Pre-Show

8:30 PM ET :

  • Al Jazeera Debate Pre-Show
  • Wall Street Journal Debate Pre-Show
  • Univision Google Hangout
  • New York Times Debate Pre-Show


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Candy Crowley Needs To Keep Her Mouth Shut During Second Presidential Debate

   Bookmark and Share   Tuesday night’s second presidential debate is proving to be one of the most anticipated in decades.  After Mitt Romney’s stellar performance and President Obama’s disastrous performance in the first one, tensions are high as Obama supporters wait with bated breath to see their hope for a big Obama comeback come to fruition, while Romney supporters are praying for their guys ability to repeat his domination of the debate.  Meanwhile those independent and undecided voters who are not in one camp or the other are looking forward to seeing how both men do so that they can make an informed decision regarding  which of the two candidates they believe deserves to be President for the next years.

Left to their own devices, both President Obama and Governor Romney should be able to make their cases and the voters paying attention to the debate should be able to determine who made the best case.  But as the second debate approaches, its moderator, CNN correspondent Candy Crowley informs us that she intends to take the town hall style debate in the direction she wants it to go in.

According to Crowley;

“Once the table is kind of set by the town-hall questioner, there is then time for me to say, ‘Hey, wait a second, what about X, Y, Z?’”

Well I am glad to know that Crowley thinks she knows her A,B,C’s but FYI Candy… you’re not on the ballot, so we don’t care what you know, what you think you know, or what your alleged unbiased opinion is!

A good journalist is said to be one who never makes themselves a part of the news and when it comes to moderators, a good one does not become too big a part of the debate, they merely ensure that the debate keeps flowing.  Well as an anchor on CNN , Candy Crowley hardly ever reports a political story without interjecting her own mainstream media, liberal biases in to them.  Now she makes a statement that indicates to me that she will interject her liberal biases in to the presidential debate.

Crowley’s remark may initially sound innocent to some.  For some it may even sound responsible and sensible.  It suggests that she intends to hold the candidates accountable for their answers without allowing them to avoid full explanations.  But those who see it this way are missing the point of what a moderators job is and the purpose of a debate.

Part of any good debaters job is to hold the person they are facing off with accountable for their answers.  It is up to President Obama and Governor Romney to deftly find a way to say to each other,  ‘Hey, wait a second, what about X, Y, Z?”.   Not Crowley.

In most debates there is a moderator and either several prepared questions or a group of panelists who ask the questions.  The moderator simply manages time and enforces any of the rules agreed to by the debate’s participants.  In this second presidential debate, we have a town hall style forum where voters in the audience are suppose to ask the questions.  So the way I see it, as the moderator, Candy Crowley should not be asking anything.  And for good reason.

None of us have any reason to hear Crowley or any talking head interject their political biases in to any debate.  That means I do not need for her to try to press Mitt Romney to give additional details in a particular answer that she disagrees with, but not press President Obama for further details on an answer he gives and which she agrees with.

Part of the success of the first 2012 presidential debate was due to the fact that its moderator, Jim Lehrer,  for the most part, allowed the candidates to be the ones to ask each other  “Hey, wait a second, what about X, Y, Z?”    The fact that Lehrer did not interjecthis own judgment calls into the first debate allowed it to be defined by the two candidates for President, not the moderator who is not on the ballot.  Candy Crowley would be wise to follow Leher’s example and for the first time in her career, try to be a good journalist by interjecting herself into the story as little as possible, and by being a good moderator that is seen but not often heard.

In other words, Candy… shut your trap and let the audience ask the questions and allow the candidates to answer them and hold each other accountable to their answers.

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It’s Not Wise To Fool Mother Nature, Or Conservative Bloggers Either

Bookmark and Share I know that White House 2012 is not exactly as big a deal as Politico or National Review. I get it. But White House 2012 does have a minimum, thats a minimum, of 500 readers a day.A slow day. And those readers are not the type who accidentally stumble upon White House 2012 as theysearch hard for every morsel of news they can getregarding the latestgoings on in Snookys life or how far off the deep end Charlie Sheen went today. The average White House 2012 reader is amtivated conservative ranging from the age of 22 to 68 and looking to hang their hat on a candidate who stands for conservative valuesfiscal and moral, and who can beat President Obama in 2012. The average reader of White House 2012 is looking for information and news on the potential candidates running for the Republican presidential nomination and they want to find reasons to vote for one of them.

Readers of White House 2012 are your motivated activists who bend the ear of neighbors, friends, and colleagues as they try to convince them that socialism is not working for America and that unless we do something, this country is headed for trouble unlike any it has seen before. They are the type of people presidential candidates, and people who care about the issues, want to get their message out to. And both I and White House 2012 are here to do that. Yet it appears that people like Sarah Palin, Haley Barbour, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Herman Cain, Gary Johnson,and others, are too good for White House 2012. I know, I know. Youre thinking “yes they are.” Maybe so. But it is the job of a good campaign and candidate to make you at least feel special even if you are not. Yet, I can only assume that they dont care. Despiteendless calls, emails, and letters to these campaigns, they dont even bother replying. They dont even take a moment to say, ‘Hey, you know, White House 2012 is not really big enough for us to devote the candidate’s time to. We hope you understand and heres a bumper sticker for ya. Thanks for asking.

As I indicated, I know I am not Carl Cameron, Candy Crowley, Charles Krauthammer, George Will or even the intern for the local Penny Saver, but I am a fellow fighter in the conservative cause that the contenders for President supposedly share with us. That is why to not even get a quote,an acknowledgement of a request for information, or an interview, is disappointing.

Maybe I am sensitive to this because as a former chief of staff and campaign manager to state legislators in New York and New Jersey, I know the value of constituent services and communications. I know how people look forward to a response to their inquiries or suggestions. I also know that the elected officials I served, served the people, and if they did not serve them right, they were out of a job. It was their job to answer every phone call and letter. It was their job to respond to every suggestion, comment, and wish that someone went out of their way to send to them. Of course the actual elected official could not respond to every communication himself, but that was what his staff was for. A good staff did not let any communication go unrecorded and without a response.

But apparently, those folks who are planning on, or have already begun to run for President, do not have good staffs in place.

There are exceptions of course.

When White House 2012 sponsored a presidential straw poll of New Jersey Republicans at a gathering of GOP activists, Rick Santorum responded to our request for either a message or material to be given to the straw poll voters before they cast their ballots. Hat tip to Matt Benyon at Rick Santorums campaign. Rick stayed on top of the request and delivered a great letter from Senator Santorum.

Another example is Fred Karger. Fred Karger is the first candidate to have made his run for President, official. Now I know he is not necessarily the most well known candidate, but he is working at it and he does have a busy and tight schedule. Yet in between his interviews with MSNBC and his campaign stops in New Hampshire and Iowa, he took the time to sit down with White House 2012 and tell us about himself and where he stood on the issues.

Now I dont expect Sarah Palin to pull up to my door and sit on the patio with me for an interview. But I do expect to get a response from her organization even if just through a fellow flunky like me.

Recently I contacted the Political Action Committee of Judge Roy Moore, the judge who was kicked off the bench because he refused to remove a statue of the Bible from his courthouse. Surprisingly, I received an immediate reply. Some unnamed respondent asked me several questions in two separate emails. After answering their inquiries, they wrote back Great Ill see what we can set up. That was three weeks ago. I guess Roy Moore is in far greater demand than I thought.

Whether that is true or not, I really cant say. But I can say this. With the exception of Rick Santorum and Fred Karger, these peoples organizations are not impressing me and the next time one of their campaigns calls my home asking me for money or with polling questions, perhaps I should respond the same way that they respond to me? Yeah that’s it. That’s what I’ll do. That sounds good but it means nothing and gets neither me nor their campaigns anywhere.

However what will get us somewhere is if Republicans learn how to maximize theblogosphere to their advantage. Just as President Obama did in 2008, you know, when he ran a campaign that crushed the G.O.P..

Repubican candidates would be wise to get on board with a plan that incorporates blogs like White House 2012 into their campaign plans and communications directories. There will come a time when they have a message or an issue that the lamestream media wont want to give much airtime, cyberspace, or ink to. And when that time comes, alternative conservative media sources like White House 2012 will come in handy. Maybe not just White House 2012 alone, but certainly the full force of a few hundred blogs like White House 2012. The question though is, will blogs like us respond to them when that time does come?

We most likely will. After all bloggers—–I mean beggers, cant be choosers. But it would still behoove the Republican contenders for President to make sure that their campaign’s find a proper role for theblogosphere to play in their efforts. It is better to have a few thousands alternative blogs pushing their messages than ignoringthem, or worse, pushing against them.

That is why I have sent a proposal to all the contenders for the Republican presidential nomination. It is a proposal that finds a constructive place for theblogosphere in their campaigns. Unfortunately though, I fear it will receive the same kind of attention that my previous contacts to them did. C’est la vie, I guess. I’ll still be here. Waiting.

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