Barack Obama was back on fighting form for the second US presidential debate. Republican challenger Mitt Romney achieved a bounce in the polls after the first one, but round two was more evenly matched.
Obama reminded voters that his opponent has criticised almost half of them.
“I believe Governor Romney is a good man, loves his family cares about his faith, but I also believe when he said behind closed doors that 47 percent of the country considered themselves victims, who refused personal responsibility, think about who he was talking about!”
But Romney said his taxation plans are fair.
“Why am I lowering taxes on the middle class? Because under the last four years, they’ve been buried, and I want to help people in the middle class. And I will not, I will not under any circumstances reduce the share that is being paid by the highest-income taxpayers, and I will not under any circumstances increase taxes on the middle class.”
On foreign policy, Obama delivered a resounding smackdown near the end of their exchange. He led Romney into making an error over the government’s handling of an attack on US diplomats in Libya.
Obama: “I am the President. And I’m always responsible. And that is why nobody is more interested in finding out exactly what happened than I did. The day after the attack, Governor, I stood in the Rose Garden, and I told the American people and the world that we are going to find out exactly what happened, that this was an act of terror. And I also said that we are going to hunt down those who committed this crime.”
Romney: “You said in the Rose Garden the day after the attack it was an act of terror. It was not a spontaneous demonstration?”
Obama: “Please proceed.”
Romney: “Is that what you are saying?”
Obama: “Please proceed, Governor.”
Romney: “I want to make sure we get that for the record, because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror?”
Obama: “Get the transcript.”
Candy Crowley, CNN (moderator): “It is, he did in fact, sir. So let me, let me call it an act of terrorism.”
Obama: “Can you say that a little louder, Candy?”
Candy Crowley, CNN (moderator): “He did call it an act of terror.”
A CNN poll after the debate found Obama the overall winner, although Romney came out on top on several issues including the economy.
Round 2 by Etienne Barthomeuf ©