It was a close, entertaining debate
BY World's Editorials Writers
Thursday, October 18, 2012
10/18/12 at 3:31 AM
The questions before Tuesday night's second presidential debate were: Will President Obama bounce back after a lackluster performance in the first debate? Will he show up for this one? The short answers are, yes and yes.
After his dismal showing in the first debate he had nowhere to go but up.
This time, the president brought his A game, but so did Republican candidate Mitt Romney.
To the surprise of some, Romney has proven to be a formidable debate opponent for Obama. In both debates, Romney was confident and forceful. He seemed to enjoy being in the ring with the president.
In this debate, Obama challenged Romney on his facts. He criticized the former Massachusetts governor for, among other things, his opposition to the automobile bailout, his shifting immigration stand and his changing views on women's rights.
He chided Romney over his tax returns, offshore accounts, his shipping of jobs overseas and, of course, the "47 percent" remark.
Romney, however, didn't back down and gave as good as he got. He chided the president for falling short of promises made in 2008. He reminded voters that Obama promised immigration reform and failed and that he promised to cut the deficit and failed. He reminded voters that millions of Americans remain without work and many without the hope of getting a job.
Neither candidate is telling the American people what they plan to do in the next four years to fix our problems. Romney is making Obama's record his target, but that record is not as bad as it is being painted.
The stock market is healthy and remains above 13,000. Jobs have been added for 30 straight months. Housing starts are rebounding and sales of homes are gaining strength.
Romney desperately needs to tell the voters his plan and he needs to be specific and detailed. If voters can see a clear path, one that adds up, then Romney might pull the upset.
There is one more debate set for Monday. The setting is likely to be more formal than the town hall format Tuesday.
No matter who you were rooting for, it was an entertaining match. For both it was punch, counter-punch. They stalked each other like fighters in a ring, often coming close enough to literally get in a jab or two.
The real Obama showed up and found a tough opponent waiting.
Original Print Headline: Round 2