Round One Review
President Barack Obama and Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, had 50 debates’ worth of experience between the two of them heading into last night’s showdown … but never against each other.
How’d the first of the three presidential debates between them go?
Many people thought Mitt Romney did very well.
Most reviews concede Mr. Romney was more “energetic”, “aggressive”, and had a more effective “style” than Mr. Obama last night. Some media outlets outright declared, “Round One: Romney”.
The election race has been close with the perception that President Obama was pulling ahead of Mr. Romney in recent weeks. Because of that, many people were treating last night’s debate as a kind of “make or break” event for Mr. Romney. Many believe that his strong showing may re-energize his campaign in the homestretch. There are only 32 days left before the election.
Many thought President Obama would talk more about what went well in his first four years as president, and what his plan for the next four years would be, if re-elected. Some are saying he could have done that better.
From Mr. Romney, many viewers were looking forward to hearing specific details to back up his vision for a better America, if elected president. His critics are still waiting for those answers.
In the 90 minute debate, Mr. Romney accused President Obama of not doing a good enough job to lead the U.S. out of a bad economy fast enough during his term as president. Mr. Obama inherited the economic downturn from the previous Republican administration.
The debate centered on middle class families, as well. They’re considered the average Americans — neither the richest nor the poorest. What’s the best way to make sure they have jobs? Take care of their health? Get a good education? Afford their homes? And save some money?
President Obama and Governor Romney deeply disagreed on how to achieve this.
President Obama said that the government plays an important role to help all Americans. “If all Americans are getting opportunity, we’re all going to be better off. That doesn’t restrict people’s freedom. That enhances it,” the President said last night.
But some of what President Obama calls enhancements to freedom, Governor Romney considers constraints. Government programs often involve regulations and are often paid for through taxes that citizens pay. Governor Romney believes that “government should get out of the way of businesses that know best how to create jobs,” as The New York Times put it. Critics of that model worry it would create a system where the rich will become richer and the poor become poorer.
The Vice Presidential candidates debate next on October 11. President Obama’s Vice President, Joe Biden, will debate Mr. Romney’s Vice Presidential candidate, Congressman Paul Ryan. Then Mr. Romney and Mr. Obama go for round two — town hall style — on October 16 in New York.
To watch ABC News’ recap, click here .
To watch the entire debate on YouTube, click here .
To read a transcript of last night’s debate, click here .
To read HTE’s previous story on the debates, click here .