Second Presidential Debate: Town Hall Edition

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Illustration by: Matthew Martin

Students again flocked to the Gooding Auditorium Oct. 16 for the second Presidential Debate between Governor Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama. While the policies and opinions of both debators stayed constant, this debate was fairly different from the first in terms of style. The debate was held ‘Town Hall’ style, where members of the audience not only sat on stage with the candidates but were also given the opportunity to ask questions directly to them. The questions ranged from job opportunities after college graduation to the President’s response after the Benghazi attacks, to summarizing the debate by having the candidates speak about their core differences.

Students generally felt that both Romney and Obama did a poor job in addressing the questions themselves and instead turned to smear tactics, resulting in the debate possibly being a tie.

“I thought it was a tie,” Heriverto Cruz said, a junior political science major. “It just seemed like they were more focused on attacking each other rather than the audience. You can even see it on TV that they were looking at each other; it’s a Town Hall Debate. They should be looking at the American people.”

This response seemed to be the general concensus of the students, all majorly stating that the candidates were so caught up in denoting the other that they forgot to address the questions being posed. However, students like Keith Taylor, a junior political science major, believed that Obama attacked the issues, not Romney.

“He showed Romney’s indecision on the course he wants to take America,” Taylor said.

Other students were impressed again with Romney’s performance.

“I think Romney did a great job yet again,” Christopher Bebout, president of College Republicans, said. “You clearly saw his professionalism. With how biased the venue and debate was this time, he answered the questions the best he could and after he answered, you could see he talked to the viewers. He put Obama on the hot seat and made Obama on the defense; he couldn’t even answer some of the questions Romney asked of him. Romney did a great job and it is clearly seen in the polls and throughout the nation.”

While some students’ opinions differ in terms of the performance of Governor Mitt Romney and President Obama, they do agree that this debate has been the most entertaining thus far.

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