Wednesday, October 17, 2012

ELECTION 2012: More assertive Obama trades barbs with Romney, targets wealth issues

Obama and Romney, talking over each other. (John Moore/Getty Images)
A much more aggressive President Barack Obama showed up to the second presidential debate Tuesday, which at times devolved into angry crosstalk with Republican rival Mitt Romney.
President Obama was under pressure to perform dramatically better at this debate—held at Hofstra University in Long Island, N.Y.—than the one held two weeks ago. Gov. Romney's energetic performance at that first debate quickly boosted him in the polls, with some recent measures showing he and the president in a virtual tie among likely voters.
Romney kept up his Denver demeanor, attacking Obama on his jobs record, failure to pass immigration reform, policies in the Middle East, and other issues. But this time, instead of simply repeating portions of his stump speech, Obama was ready with specific retorts and counter-attacks. The president frequently accused Romney of twisting facts, occasionally interrupting him as he spoke.
At one point, the debate almost became a shouting match over whether President Obama had cut back oil extraction from public lands. Obama repeatedly said Romney was lying about his claim that oil production was down, pointedly saying, "Not true, Governor Romney." (Politifact ranked a similar claim by a conservative super PAC "half true.") Feeling the heat, moderator Candy Crowley took the candidates to another topic.

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