Like a boxer who is roughed up by the underdog in the first round and comes out swinging in the second and third round, President Obama hit back in both the second and third debates
Like a boxer who is roughed up by the underdog in the first round and comes out swinging in the second and third round, President Obama hit back in both the second and third debates. The second debate was moderated by Candy Crowley of CNN and the third debate was moderated by Bob Schieffer of CBC.
Luckily for President Obama he got on assist at the beginning of the second debate when Candy Crowley made a fact check in favour of President Obama on whether he had talked about the attack in Benghazi being caused by terrorists in his speech in the Rose Garden the day after the attack after consulting her computer. Candy Crowley said yes that President Obama had indeed said it when Governor Romney challenged the assertion. This was actually quite surprising as the initial reaction of the Obama administration was to blame the violence stemming from the anti-Mohammed film for the attack. Further Candy Crowley’s call was also surprising because as she said later she was present at the Rose Garden ceremony where the President made those comments. She later tried to defend herself by saying that Romney used the wrong word—Candy Crowley should have known better.
This gave a wind to President Obama on which he sailed for the next two debates. Candy Crowley’s call was doubtful at best and was taken out of context. Had she corrected President Obama about his statement in the Rose Garden at that early stage, it is quite possible that the course of the debate could have changed. It is also quite possible that President Obama may have regained his footing .That is now histories call but I am sure that 50% of Americans think it was the wrong call.
But President Obama was thereafter quite comfortable in the town hall format and made an effort to court the women’s vote which was found to be slipping away after the first debate. He pointed out that he was instrumental in the equal pay act for the sexes and that is where the Governor is trying to burnish his credentials with women got caught in a verbal faux pas. He said that when he was the Governor of Massachusetts he had asked the women’s groups for names of women and had gotten binders full of women and that had helped him to choose candidates for positions in his administration .This comment immediately went viral to show somehow that Romney does not respect women but in this political season Romney just can’t get the words right. There was also plenty of aggression in display as President Obama seemed to over compensate for sleepwalking through the first debate. But the Governor held his own and the debate was widely perceived to be a narrow victory for Obama.
The third debate was on foreign policy and President Obama really came out swinging as he accused the Governor of changing his position all the time. He sought to teach a lesson to Mitt Romney when the latter complained that there were less ships than at any time after 1916. Obama said, “Yes and there are less horses and less bayonets and also Governor there are quite different type of ships, there are aircraft carriers and there are nuclear submarines.”That was really a put down.
Similarly he came back when the Governor accused the President of visiting several countries in the Middle East in his first trip but not Israel and the President said, “I went to Israel when I was a candidate but did not go there with a fundraiser”.
In an interesting reversal of roles the Governor talked almost passionately about nation building abroad (he does not want to do it in America) and drew a titter from the crowd when he said that his deficit-cutting plan was on the website. President Obama also provided that America’s military spending was more than the next ten nations combined. Both candidates tried to bring in domestic policy as often as possible. But the Governor tried to tone down the rhetoric. Even on Libya the Governor did not push this case too hard.
It seemed that both sides would be satisfied with a draw and that is what it turned out to be with 62% saying in a CNN poll that Obama would be a strong leader and 60% saying that about Mitt Romney.
But the polls are getting closer by the day and in the swing states like Florida and Ohio the race is tightening and getting within the Governor’s reach.
Were the ninety minutes of the first Presidential debate ninety minutes that will change America?
(Harsh Desai has done his BA in Political Science from St Xavier's College & Elphinstone College, Bombay and has done his Master's in Law from Columbia University in the city of New York. He is a practicing advocate at the Bombay High Court.)
Globalisation today is limited to economic activity and multinational corporations, their top officials and stock market gamblers have gained the maximum from it. Current policies are tutored by economists, business school faculties and Western thinkers, a significant number amongst them non-resident Chinese and Indians!
Obama, who drew flak from his own party for a lacklustre performance in round one two weeks ago, this time often dictated the terms of the debate questioning Romney's approaches towards China, immigration, taxes, unemployment, gun laws and other domestic and foreign
Hempstead (New York): A combative Barack Obama has hit back at Mitt Romney, retrieving lost ground in the second of the three high-stake presidential debates, saying his Republican rival's plans on outsourcing will only result in more jobs in China and India, reports PTI.
Obama, who drew flak from his own party for a lacklustre performance in round one two weeks ago, this time often dictated the terms of the debate questioning Romney's approaches towards China, immigration, taxes, unemployment, gun laws and other domestic and foreign issues.
During the 90-minute face-off at the Hofstra University in Hempstead for a town hall style debate, Romney retorted claiming US has been losing manufacturing jobs to China as enterprises feel it is "more attractive" to go offshore than to stay here.
A snap CNN/ORC International poll showed 46% of respondents thought 51-year-old Obama won, compared to 39% for 65-year-old Romney. The result was within the survey's margin of error.
Both Obama and Romney fielded questions also on topics like gas prices and Libya from members of the audience, a group of 82 undecided voters from New York's Nassau County.
The question on outsourcing of American jobs overseas came at the fag end of the debate, which saw an aggressive and assertive Obama take on Romney as he tried to improve on his performance at the first debate in Denver where the Republican leader came out as the surprise winner.
"One of his (Romney's) big ideas when it comes to corporate tax reform would be to say, if you invest overseas, you make profits overseas, you don't have to pay US taxes.
"But, of course, if you're a small business or a mom-and- pop business or a big business starting up here, you've got to pay even the reduced rate that Governor Romney's talking about. And it's estimated that that will create 800,000 new jobs. The problem is they'll be in China. Or India. Or Germany," Obama said.
"That's not the way we're going to create jobs here. The way we're going to create jobs here is not just to change our tax code, but also to double our exports," the president said.
Responding to the question on what plans they each had to keep jobs in the US, Obama said while Romney and he agreed that the corporate tax rate should be lowered, there is a difference on the way they both would approach the issue.
"I want to close loopholes that allow companies to deduct expenses when they move to China; that allow them to profit offshore and not have to get taxed, so they have tax advantages offshore. All those changes in our tax code would make a difference," Obama said, slamming Romney for wanting to expand the tax breaks.
Romney shot back that "if you elect President Obama, you know what you're going to get -- you're going to get a repeat of the last four years."
Responding to the question, Romney blamed Obama for not labelling China as a currency manipulator, promising to put the label on Beijing on day one of his presidency.
"We are going to have to make sure that as we trade with other nations that they play by the rules. And China hasn't. One of the reasons -- or one of the ways they don't play by the rules is artificially holding down the value of their currency. Because if they put their currency down low, that means their prices on their goods are low. And that makes them advantageous in the marketplace."
"We lose sales. And manufacturers here in the US making the same products can't compete. China has been a currency manipulator for years and years and years. And the president has a regular opportunity to label them as a currency manipulator, but refuses to do so," Romney said.
Romney repeatedly took on Obama, blaming his rival's policies for rising federal deficits and debts, leaving more than 20 million people jobless.
"We don't have to settle for what we're going through," Romney said at one point. "We don't have to settle for unemployment at a chronically high level. We don't have to settle for 47 million people on food stamps. We don't have to settle for 50% of kids coming out of college not able to get work. We don't have to settle for 23 million people struggling to find a good job."