“Good evening from the Magness Arena at the University of Denver in Denver, Colorado. I’m Jim Lehrer of the PBS News Hour, and I welcome you to the first of the 2012 presidential debates between President Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee, and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee.”
These words from moderator Jim Lehrer began the presidential debate on Oct. 3: one that ended in a decisive victory for Governor Mitt Romney.
The debate was broken up into six 15-minute segments whose topics covered domestic issues such as job creation, the federal deficit, taxes and healthcare.
President Obama’s arguments focused mainly on education, and emphasized his Race to the Top program, which has raised educational standards and changed the way the teachers are trained in schools across the nation.
Romney championed small business, pointing out the fact that under the current administration, new business start-ups are at a 30-year low point. His debate tactics included appealing to the viewers’ emotions; for example, he mentioned many middle-class individuals he met while campaigning across the nation.
Overall, Romney’s attacks on President Obama were strong. The president did draw attention to a weakness of Romney’s—his many policy changes over the last few months—when he said, “Five weeks before the election, his big bold idea is ‘never mind.’” However, he did not do enough to counter Romney’s aggressive attitude. For instance, Obama did not take time to talk about Romney’s “47 percent” gaffe, in which the governor claimed that it is not his job to take care of those citizens “who believe that they are victims.”
According to the Washington Post, the Democrats were slightly ahead in the race before the debate: 49 percent of voters favored President Obama, while 47 percent supported Governor Romney. However, with Romney’s recent success, the already close election may soon become even more so.
Photo Credit:Getty Images, CBS News