Obama-Romney Presidential Debate: Who Won?

The town hall-style debate gave voice to questions from uncommitted voters. Who handled the issues best?

President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney were in Long Island, N.Y. Tuesday night, answering questions from voters who said they were still undecided. The debaters also found ample time to go at each other.

The questions covered topics that included energy costs, unemployment, immigration, tax codes and more. 

Wednesday morning, Patch will have flash survey results from Massachusetts political activists and leaders, both Republican and Democratic.

But right now, what about you: what do you think? Who would you say 'won' this second presidential debate? Tell us in the comments sections below. 


[Editor's note: This item is posted to all Boston Patch sites.]

Tony October 17, 2012 at 12:46 PM
President Obama prevailed. Mitt Romney was finally, but not sufficiently, challenged to answer in detail not in general statements as to what he will do. Romney does not have the answers because he has no program but to cut taxes for the wealthy.
Dave Hinchen October 17, 2012 at 12:56 PM
Obama answered most of the questions. Mitt avoided most. Mitt still has no counter argument to Obama's charge that his numbers on cutting the deficit don't add up. "Pick a number" was his suggestion as to a cap on deductions in his tax plan. And, he was very rude to the moderator whenever she suggested that his time was up. Obama clearly won this debate.
Charlestown joe October 17, 2012 at 01:30 PM
Don't believe Obama answered all questions, Especially the one that related to our embassy that was attacked and, why he didn't react to a call for additional defense.
Steve Kavanagh October 17, 2012 at 01:33 PM
Romney won again.
Dan Bellack October 17, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Obama came across as substantive and thoughtful. None of us know what issues presidents have to deal with on a daily basis. Romney camne across like a bully asking the same question over and over (e.g., "What's in your pension?") like a third grader who has more toys than all his friends. How many things will Romney do on that first day in office? Add calling China a cheater to that list: Repealing Obamacare, killing Big Bird, de-funding planned parenthood, and cutting the deficit! Busy day, Mitt!
Robert Orthman October 17, 2012 at 02:11 PM
In the grand scheme, who won the debate as if this were a high school debate team is not that important. What's more important is who better articulated his vision and came across better since the end goal is convincing voters. In that sense, I think both candidates did pretty well. I would give the edge to Obama for being sharper and crisper in his answers. Also, Romney really stepped in it with his silly attempt to "gotcha" the president on Libya that blew up in his face. Obama had the last word and really hammered Romney with it too.
Joseph October 17, 2012 at 02:34 PM
Dan - Obviously, you didn't understand the pension comment, nor understand what a Blind Trust is. Obama was attempting to paint Romney as an investor in China, and is the one making those China investment decisions. The beneficiary of a blind trust doesn't make investment decisions, nor do they have the ability to influence those investment decisions. Romney simply countered that Obama's pension is heavily invested in China as well. Obama refused to acknowledge the truth behind Romney's point. Whether you like it or not, we're all invested in China. Who do you think owns all our government debt? How about the investments in some of our biggest banks and law firms? China. Obama definitely came out swinging and more aggressive, but substantive and thoughtful? He still refuses to answer questions directly. How many times did Romney ask the Obama to just answer the question? How many times did the Obama skirt around his answers, change subjects and refused to answer the question being asked? Obama was and is all about campaign punch lines catered to the less informed. It's a shame that so many people buy into Obama's empty promises.
Patfan#1 October 17, 2012 at 03:25 PM
Obama won! When is the public going to see that Romney's payment for his "tax cut" is TRUST ME. Right that goes right up there with "the check is in the mail" Remember MA he didn't raise taxes just every fee he could find, and whom did it hurt but "the middle class". He doesn't have one position that he sticks to for 12 months - so how can we "TRUST HIM"
M. Jensen October 17, 2012 at 03:56 PM
Yes, check the tapes Kasey on 2008, Obama said he was going to fix all economic problems in the world in four years.....(insert sarcasm here) Disastrous was the economy in 2008, check your local rents and real estate sales...they are much better then 2008. I know I am doing better. Yes I would love to be doing a lot better, but it is baby steps. Especially when Europe is sucking down the global economy, how is Romney going to solve all debt issues in the world?
ctownBOS October 17, 2012 at 04:32 PM
I voted for Obama in 2008 and wanted to believe in him. Things keep getting worse. My employer couldnt afford health insurance and had to have huge layoffs so I lost my job along with 73 other people. Obama care will do the same thing. If Obama helped the economy and things improved, maybe things would be different. But its been the opposite. He doesnt seem to know what he is doing. I really think I want to vote for Romney. He comes across as someone that knows what he is doing and has the track record to back it up. Seems like the President just kept saying the same generalities and dismissed anything Romney said or just said it was a lie. I will wait until Monday;s debate to make my final decision but I really cant see myself voting for the incumbent. The last four years have been devastating. How much longer can you blame Bush? I did the first two years but come one, you need to show some kind of progress. well, back to my job board search....
Kelly Flynn October 17, 2012 at 04:43 PM
Vote Libertarian, vote for Gary Johnson...
Kelly Flynn October 17, 2012 at 04:44 PM
Look into the libertarian party. Gary Johnson has some great ideas on small government.
Matt October 17, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Obama lost! All because of this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHroL5RwbuU, real F'n classy!
Jay K. October 17, 2012 at 06:58 PM
Joseph, you obviously didn't take the time to understand Dan's point. He made no comment on the validity of the attack - that was your assumption. He only commented on Romney's bullying nature during that repeated questioning. But while we're at it, you're point is valid, if not condescending: "The beneficiary of a blind trust doesn't make investment decisions, nor do they have the ability to influence those investment decisions." So that excuses Obama entirely and all of Romney's investments in China that are made through a blind trust. It just doesn't help his case when he was CEO of Bain: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/romneys-bain-capital-invested-in-companies-that-moved-jobs-overseas/2012/06/21/gJQAsD9ptV_story.html Please spare me a lesson on how investment firms work. It's every bit as valid an attack in political theater as Romney's attacks on Obama's immigration policy record.
Jay K. October 17, 2012 at 07:06 PM
Look at the unemployment rate since Obama took office (8.3% in February 2009): http://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?ds=z1ebjpgk2654c1_&met_y=unemployment_rate&idim=country:US&fdim_y=seasonality:S&dl=en&hl=en&q=unemployment+rate#!ctype=l&strail=false&bcs=d&nselm=h&met_y=unemployment_rate&fdim_y=seasonality:S&scale_y=lin&ind_y=false&rdim=country&idim=country:US&ifdim=country&tstart=1166331600000&tend=1347854400000&hl=en_US&dl=en&ind=false Look at the Dow over the last 5 years: http://finance.yahoo.com/echarts?s=%5EDJI+Interactive#symbol=%5Edji;range=5y;compare=;indicator=volume;charttype=area;crosshair=on;ohlcvalues=0;logscale=off;source=undefined; Things have improved. It takes time.
Jay K. October 17, 2012 at 07:27 PM
In case anyone wants details on Romney's tax plan: http://www.romneytaxplan.com/
Joseph October 17, 2012 at 07:39 PM
Jay - You say bullying nature, I say trying to get a straight answer. Obama has yet to give a straight answer. All he does is is repeat campaign slogans. Couldn't do it in 4 years, won't have the chance to do it in the future. Thank God. Spare you? Please Jay. What I see is Romney being incorrectly called out on various stances that are not true. He counters with his correct stance and leaves Obama looking like a deer in headlights. Even Obama knows he's full of $hit! Please leave that leftist Washington Post rag out of this. It's like me presenting FoxNews links to prove a point. "What's in your pension?" That was Dan's statement, followed by "...like a third grader who has more toys than all his friends." The point about what was in Obama's pension had nothing to do with the networth of his pension, but the fact that he had investments in China. Again, Romney showing that Obama is nothing put buzzwords and punchlines. And it's not working!! G'day
Mary Doherty October 17, 2012 at 07:58 PM
When Romney was Governor and the New England Patriots were vying for a championship, a huge banner was hung from the golden dome of the State Capitol Building in Boston. On the banner was a message wishing the Patriots good luck, with the name CLEAR CHANNEL in enormous blue letters. I found out today Clear Channel is owned by none other that Bain Capital.
Joseph October 17, 2012 at 08:09 PM
Taking oneself out of the labor market doesn't count Jay. Part-time employment doesn't count Jay. All factors when looking at the real unemployment rate. Politicians will always leave that important factor out. http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/rick-newman/2012/10/09/the-real-unemployment-rate-is-still-really-lousy http://www.foxbusiness.com/government/2012/10/05/real-unemployment-rate/
Jay K. October 17, 2012 at 08:18 PM
Well actually I only said that Dan was commenting on Romney's bullying nature. But as for what I thought - I just thought Romney was just being true to his usual hyper-agressive, confrontational, small nature. So sure, I'd call him bullying. I'm not bothering with the rest of your points. Neither of us is going to learn anything. Especially not when you equate the Washington Post with Fox News in its extent of bias.
Joseph October 17, 2012 at 08:21 PM
Speaking of bullying Jay - http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2012/10/17/Crowley-interrupts-28-times-Romney Seriously, I'm done for today. It's too easy. Mary - most billboards and electronic ad displays are owned by Clear Channel. What exactly is your point?
Jay K. October 17, 2012 at 08:29 PM
I provided real data, Joseph. You provide a blog and a Fox News article to support your point. As you like to say - G'day.
Mary Doherty October 17, 2012 at 08:41 PM
The point is---since when is a government building an acceptable place for an advertisement?
Mary Doherty October 17, 2012 at 08:42 PM
DId Clear Channel pay to use the STATE HOUSE for an ad???
Joseph October 17, 2012 at 08:54 PM
Provide real data?? That's exactly why I posted those links Jay. It's not real data!! Here's a thought Jay - Those links I post are a discussion of your Google Charts, explaining the discrepancy between what the public is told are "real" numbers, and a further clarification of what the true unemployment figure actually is. Fox Business is NOT Fox News. If you don't want to expand your mind and look at the truth of our economy, I feel for you. We're Greece, it's just a matter of time. If you listen to business news all day, like I do, you'll have a better understanding of the differences. I'm not an expert, but I do get a great dose of reality when I listen to dozens of interviews, from all sides, day in, day out. Check out CNBC and the guests they bring on. Check out BloombergTV (it's free online) and listen to their guests. Even FoxBiz - their guests are from all sides and not as biased as FoxNews (I know, sounds crazy, but until you watch, you'll just have to believe me). Pick up a copy of The Economist Jay. You'll learn even more. G'day
Matt October 17, 2012 at 09:08 PM
NO, but us tax payers didn’t half to pay to have the sign built! Mary i bet you have no problem with the Mayor putting his name on EVERY piece of city property! Think about it, it similar to a marketing campaign for product/ brand recognition. It’s also in a way allowing to mayor to legally use tax payer fund to campaign. But its ok “he’s a Dem”.
Donald Keating October 17, 2012 at 09:53 PM
BLIND TRUST, just a cover code for a politician, Do you really believe Romney or any of his kind is going to let someone else invest their money without there input. Buch of BS
Tom Phinney October 17, 2012 at 10:02 PM
"Things have improved. It takes time." = Obama blowing smoke up your azz. The real unemployment rate is 15% when one adds in those who have stopped looking and their 99 weeks ran out. As a recruiter with 30 years experience, I see the real unemployed, underemployed and part timers. As for the stock market over the past 4 years, google quantitative easing to see why the stock market is running on false inflation. The Fed is just printing money with no revenue coming in or Gold to back it up. Since January of this year alone, the dollar has dropped to 70 cents. Need proof? look at what you paid for food and fuel a year ago and what you are paying now. That is reality-no smoke and mirrors. Is it better to start paying down the debt now at $16T plus or wait until it reaches $20T in a couple of years and go sudden death drop like Greece today?
Luis Fernando October 18, 2012 at 01:31 AM
Romney won again! Obama did not respond many questions and diverted himself away from real answers. His logic on some of the comments about Romney was totally twisted...repeating again the same statements he made in the first debate...
Robert Yarbrough October 18, 2012 at 02:15 AM
Hi Kelly, I definitely agree. As mentioned in my post on the VP "debate", these debates are controlled by the "Commission on Presidential Debates", and they will never allow true debates or new ideas to surface. To explain, the CPD was setup by the Democratic and Republican parties in the 1980s - effectively shutting out the League of Women Voters, who previously organized debates, from the process. Imagine if Coke and Pepsi started a magazine called "Consumer Choice" and submitted their products to it for review. Laughable, yes, but this is exactly what has happened to the debates! If people are frustrated with the Democrats and Republicans (which seems to be true judging by comments here), I'd invite them to take this small quiz to see if they might be a Libertarian and just not realize it: www.theadvocates.org/quiz. I'd argue that Libertarians have better fiscal policies than the Republicans, and offer better civil liberty protection than Democrats - check them out: www.lp.org or www.garyjohnson2012.com


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