Reaction to Last Night’s Third and Final Presidential Debate

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


President Obama and Mitt Romney Spare at Third and Final Debate

Reaction to last night’s third and final presidential debate uniformly favored Obama.

Here’s a sample of instant poll responses. CBS News poll strongly favored Obama, 53% to 23%. A Public Policy Polling survey of swing state voters also came out in favor of the president, 53% to 42%.

Clearly, this was President Obama’s night.

Marc Ambinder: “Romney was betting that he did not need to take risks, and stands a better shot at winning the election the more people associate him with the economy. Deciding to let Obama once again be the aggressor carries real risks, because of the large audience, and because the contrasts in tone between the two candidates could be large enough that some voters who initially thought Romney crossed the credibility threshold might have second thoughts.”

Greg Sargent: “Tonight, America was introduced to Peacenik Mitt — and watched him take a pummeling. I don’t know how much this will impact the overall dynamic of the race — it may not matter much at all — but it’s hard to see this as a good night for Romney.”

Josh Marshall: “The first half hour was a draw, though President Obama scored by default when Romney either didn’t or couldn’t attack on Libya. After that though Romney began to falter as Obama became more direct, organized and declarative. Romney seemed increasingly lost. Obama seemed comfortable, happy. The visuals told the story.”

Chris Cillizza: “Obama controlled the third presidential debate in a way not all that dissimilar from the way Romney controlled the first one. Obama clearly came loaded for bear, attacking Romney from the jump for a lack of clarity when it came to his vision (or lack thereof) on foreign policy.”

Joe Klein: “President Obama won the foreign policy debate, cleanly and decisively, on both style and substance. It was as clear a victory as Mitt Romney’s in the first debate. And Romney lost in similar fashion: he seemed nervous, scattered, unconvincing — and he practiced unilateral disarmament, agreeing with Obama hither and yon … on Iraq (as opposed to two weeks ago), on Afghanistan (as opposed to interviews he’s given this fall), on Libya and Syria and Iran. He didn’t have a single creative or elegantly stated foreign policy thought and, indeed, seemed foolish at times.”

E.J. Dionne: “The cost of creating this reassuring presence, however, was that doing so reinforced Obama’s attack line on Romney as an unprincipled politician. Romney’s stands on issues seem related almost entirely to the political calendar: Veer as far right as necessary in the primaries, then slam on the breaks, turn right around, and head in an entirely new direction – all in pursuit of those moderate suburban moms whom strategists on both sides see as central to the election’s outcome.”

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18 Responses to Reaction to Last Night’s Third and Final Presidential Debate

  1. feminazi says:

    President Obama was in command of the issues and commanding. He seems comfortable toggling the many, and complex issues that make up foreign policy. Mr. Obama was definitely a leader while poor Mitt Romney cam across as a gnat.

  2. Marcus Ybanez says:

    There were many funny take aways last night. Here’s one of my favorites.

    Mitt Romney: “America must not let a religious fanatic gain access to nuclear weapons…”, (as he wipes sweat from upper lip unless it’s me.)

  3. Brigadoon says:

    Yet, 4% to 5% of voters are still undecided? Maybe you ought to lose the right to vote at all then?

  4. Rendaculous says:

    Undecided voters are proof that in America, we treat everyone — even the lame, fairly.

  5. Stephen Iversonn says:

    Since last night’s debate was foreign policy, this poll intrigues me.

    According to a BBC World Service poll of 21 countries, France, Australia, Kenya, Nigeria, Canada, Panama, UK, Brazil, Germany, Indonesia, South Korea, Spain, Mexico, Peru, India, Poland, Turkey, Japan, China, Malaysia, approval ratings for President Obama over Mitt Romney, 50% to 9%.

    Only Pakistan’s respondents said they would prefer to see Romney win November’s election. This is probably due to President Obama ordering the US Navy SEAL Team to drop into Pakistan and kill Osama bin Laden.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-20008687

  6. ChiTOM says:

    Brigadoon – I have to respectfully disagree with you. I don’t think 4% to 5% of voters are undecided. I mean unless you’re not paying attention or you are truly apolitical, no one can be undecided two weeks before the election. The choice in 2012 is clear.

  7. Frank in Castaic says:

    The most bizarre thing Romney said last night is, “Syria is Iran’s stepping stone to the sea.” I know Romney isn’t the sharpest nail in the box but he’s running for President of the United States. He should know Iran has a largest, developed, industrialized coastline on the Gulf of Oman. Iran does not need Syria as a port of entry to the sea. If I were a Republican I would be very embarrassed by the depth of Romney’s ignorance.

  8. Rachel says:

    I didn’t watch the debate. My bad. But I am so weary of the political season and plan to cast my vote for President Obama no matter what happens in these debates. I am not surprised to read Frank in Castaic’s post about Romney’s geography fail. Romney is an idiot. Can I get an Amen on that?

  9. Harry says:

    I watched the debate and Romney looked sweaty and acted jittery. Like he was on speed.

  10. Frank in Castaic,

    I think this is one of the most startling take aways from the third and final presidential debate.

    Romney’s moronic comment vis a vis Syria being Iran’s gateway to the sea smacks of an utter lack of geopolitical knowledge. It also gets the question, did Romney get an “F” in college geography?

  11. Matteo says:

    Is everyone sitting down? I’ve got a real pip for you. After Romney said he would deny gay partners hospital visitation rights, guess who came out today and said they endorse Romney?

    The Log Cabin Republicans. That’s who. Are these queens for real?

    http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/log-cabin-republicans-endorse-romney-after-he-says-he-will-deny-gay-couples-hospital-visitation/politics/2012/10/23/51883

  12. ajihani says:

    If this debate — the third and final, didn’t help the hapless undecideds make up their minds to vote to reelect President Obama then there is no hope for them.

  13. Mets Fan says:

    What I find annoying about these debates is Romney’s ability to walk all over the moderators.

    If he’s not going to follow the rules, then the debate committee should rig the microphones so the moderator can shut them off when a candidate won’t shut the hell up.

  14. okjimm says:

    Romney is starting to appear as a ‘pull sting’ audio toy…..no matter what he is asked the answer is…” I will create more jobs and that is all we nedd blah blah blah. there never seems to be solid, concrete proposals…….Did that other fucker go to college and get a degree in “Job Creation”? WWhat the fuck is with that guy…”On Day One I will create jobs”……..but but what will God-Romney do on the next six is what I wqant to kno! oh shit…. I gotta run to the store for more maalox

  15. Seabec says:

    I am not a doctor but I long since came to the conclusion Mitt Romney is a pathological liar. He is incapable of telling the truth. He can’t — period. Ask him how many sons he has and on Monday he will say three. Ask him Friday and he will say six. He lies on demand. He’s biologically incapable of telling the truth.

  16. TOM339 says:

    If Mitt Romney wins the election the USA will join Israel and begin a war against Iran.

    Should this unfurl, Russia and China will stand by Iran and we will likely see WWIII. A superpower conflict that will no doubt involve nuclear weapons on both sides.

    The question then becomes, will humanity survive? Or will half the population of earth be killed?

  17. Randy Arroyo says:

    I can’t add much other than to say if we reelect President Obama it will mean we’re a nation at peace and not still dragging our heels and spending billion in Middle East nations. We will have a president who believes in equality and says his administration will push through a repeal of DOMA. By contrast, electing Mitt Romney is a promise of a return to the 1950s. Discrimination will be allowed and even encouraged. I don’t want to live in Mitt Romney’s America.

  18. Fran says:

    Obama really made Romnay look like an out of touch *old man*….

    remarks such as :

    OBAMA: Governor Romney, I’m glad that you recognize that Al Qaida is a threat, because a few months ago when you were asked what’s the biggest geopolitical threat facing America, you said Russia, not Al Qaida; you said Russia, in the 1980s, they’re now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because, you know, the Cold War’s been over for 20 years.
    But Governor, when it comes to our foreign policy, you seem to want to import the foreign policies of the 1980s, just like the social policies of the 1950s and the economic policies of the 1920s.

    ROMNEY: Our Navy is old — excuse me, our Navy is smaller now than at any time since 1917. The Navy said they needed 313 ships to carry out their mission. We’re now at under 285. We’re headed down to the low 200s if we go through a sequestration. That’s unacceptable to me.

    OBAMA: But I think Governor Romney maybe hasn’t spent enough time looking at how our military works.
    You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military’s changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines.
    OBAMA: And so the question is not a game of Battleship, where we’re counting slips. It’s what are our capabilities. And so when I sit down with the Secretary of the Navy and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, we determine how are we going to be best able to meet all of our defense needs in a way that also keeps faith with our troops, that also makes sure that our veterans have the kind of support that they need when they come home.
    OBAMA: And that is not reflected in the kind of budget that you’re putting forward because it just doesn’t work.
    SCHIEFFER: All right.
    OBAMA: And, you know, we visited the website quite a bit and it still doesn’t work.

    SNAP! Obama really called out Romney.

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