An aggressive President Obama clashes with Romney in second Presidential debate
A fired-up Barack Obama attacked challenger Mitt Romney in a critical second Presidential debate on Tuesday night, a striking contrast from his performance two weeks ago which was seen to have damaged his re-election prospects.
The debate helped Obama regain the momentum he lost after his poor performance in the first debate, which helped create a rise in the opinion polls by Romney. Obama has said his first debate performance was “too polite,” and he decided to come in strong against Romney.
As in the first debate, Romney appeared confident and comfortable as he returned Obama’s fire.
With three weeks to go before Election Day, the race is in a deadlock and many are already casting ballots in states that allow early voting.
The debate’s open-stage format placed Obama and Romney directly face-to-face. It took place before an audience of 80 uncommitted voters, selected by the Gallup Organisation, who posed questions to the candidates. Moderator Candy Crowley chose speakers after reviewing their questions to avoid repeats.
Romney said the middle class “has been crushed over the last four years,” and that 23 million Americans are struggling to find work.
Obama appeared angry when Romney, the Republican nominee, criticised his response to the deadly attack that killed the US Ambassador to Libya in Benghazi last month. He pointedly told Romney that any suggestion that his administration “would play politics or mislead when we’ve lost four of our own, governor, is offensive. That’s not what we do”.
Romney described the deadly Libya attack as part of an unravelling of the Administration’s foreign policy. He said it took Obama a long time to admit the episode had been a terrorist attack, but Obama said he had said so the day after the attack in an appearance at the White House.
When Crowley, from CNN, said the President had in fact done so, Obama said, “Say that a little louder, Candy.”
Both interrupted one another often, speaking over each other to the point that neither could be understood.
“You’ll get your chance in a moment. I’m still speaking,” Mr Romney said as he tried to cut off Obama at one point.
Romney continued to interrupt the President, just as he did two weeks ago, “Mr President, have you looked at your pension?”
“You know, I don’t look at my pension. It’s not as big as yours,” shot back Obama.
Next Monday will hold the final debate, focusing on foreign policy, before the Presidential Election on 6th November.