Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Obama and Romney turn up the temperature in their second debate

 Second presidential debate: full Video: The second presidential debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney were in a town hall format at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y.

President Obama and Mitt Romney engaged Tuesday in one of the most intensive clashes in a televised presidential election debate with the tension between them growing into the disruption, personal air disaster and accusations of lying as they parried over the last four years under Mr. Obama and what the next four would look like under a President Romney.

Follow with this interactive replay of the second debate, fact-checking, and graphics to take a closer look at attacks and allegations that President Obama and Mitt Romney.

Hour Cast | Presidential debate analysisa one-stop destination for the latest political news — from The Times and other top sources. Plus opinion polls, campaign data and video.

President Obama and Mitt Romney, his Republican challenger, answered questions from the audience in town hall-style debate mode generated by Candy Crowley, right, of CNN. More photos»

Compete for a shrinking sliver of the uncertain voters, many of them women, their engagements, at times borders against physical as they circle each other or bounded from their seats, while the other talked, sometimes more intention to argue than to deal with the issues of jobs, taxes, energy, immigration and a host of other issues.

Mr. Obama, criticised by his own party for a lackluster debate performance two weeks ago, this time pushing an attack that allowed him to often dictate the terms of the debate. But an unbowed Mr. Romney was there to meet him each time, and seemed enthusiastic about the opportunity to challenge a sitting President.

Mr. Obama assertive posture may well have stopped the clamor of concern from supporters, who had weighed on his campaign of three weeks and one more debate to go before the elections.

The President's broadsides started with a criticism of Mr. Romney for his opposition to his administration in its first reply automobile bailout — "Governor Romney said, let us go bankrupt Detroit" — and ended more than 90 minutes later with an attack on Mr. Romney taped secretly comments on "47 percent" of Americans who he said do not take responsibility for their own lives.

"When he said behind closed doors that 47 percent of the country consider themselves victims who refuses personal responsibility — think about who he was talking about," said the President at the end of the debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y.

It was as if another highly charged President had taken the scene rather than the reticent, seeming disconnected candidate who turned out to meet Mr. Romney in their first debate two weeks ago.

Mr. Romney remained acutely focused on Mr. Obamas record of it all, said that the President had failed to deliver what he promised in his 2008 campaign and arguing repeatedly and vigorously, "we just can't afford four more years like the last four years."

He credited Mr. Obama for being "high as a speaker." and describes his vision But then he brought down the ultimate hammer in a challenge to an incumbent: "it is wonderful, unless we have a record to look at. And that record shows he just could not cut the deficit, putting in place reforms of Medicare and Social Security to maintain them, to get us the rising income we need. "

Two took pains to fashion their arguments against female voters, with the debate seems at times directed completely on them. Mr. Obama cited Mr. Romney pledge to cut government funding for planned parenthood at least four times Mr. Romney repeatedly mentioned, under Mr. Obama: "there are three and a half million more women living in poverty today than when the President took office. We need to live that way. "

And Mr. Romney tried to broaden its appeal to women, to soften its tone on reproductive issues, says: "every woman in the United States should have access to contraception."

Stressing his record of diversity as Governor based on his own recruitment, he said, "I brought us across the binders full of women."

It is a bit of conventional wisdom that uncertain voters seeking comity in their leaders. There was none of this Tuesday.

At times back and was personal in small ways. The effective tax rate to 14 percent, to Mr. Romney paid personally have already invoked Mr. Obama said Mr. Romney investments in Chinese companies. Then asked Mr. Romney, if Mr. Obama had looked at its own pension for its investments.

"I don't look at my pension," said Mr. Obama. "It is not as big as yours."

But at other times, the verbal sparring took on a deeper, emotional resonance, as when Mr. Romney suggested that the Administration was deliberately misleading in his changing explanations for the attack on the u.s. mission in Benghazi, Libya, which resulted in the American Ambassador, j. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans who died.

"The suggestion that anyone in my team, about the secretary of state, our UN Ambassador, would someone on my team play politics or mislead when we lost four of our own, Governor, is offensive," Mr. Obama said, standing and looking intently at his opponent. "It is not what we do. It is not what I am doing as President. "

Mr. Obama noted that he had gone to the Rose Garden on the day after the attack saying, "it was an act of terrorism".

Mr. Romney argued that Mr. Obama had not said that until 14 days later to ask the moderator, Candy Crowley of CNN, to interject, "he did actually, sir." Mr. Obama interjected with a hint of anger, "you can say that a little louder, Candy?" (She said Mr. Romney broader point about changing explanations were "right.")

Vitriol that moment through the campaign for months, in tv ads and dueling speeches played on exceptionally close area for much of the 90-minute debate.

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