Second presidential debate sees both sides firing all cylinders

President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney both came out fighting in Tuesday night’s debate. Both sides are claiming victory. Here is a snapshot of reactions on Twitter.

President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney both came out fighting in Tuesday night’s debate from Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y.

Who won this round?Tell us in the comments below.

A town hall format saw both candidates without a podum or a desk, literally thinking on their feet as they answered questions from the audience screened by moderator Candy Crowley of CNN.

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There were no policy surprises from either candidate, though the exchanges at times became quite contentious. A number of segments either began or ended with quibbles over the clock or bickering about fine points.

Democrats can point to a president who showed more vigor and more willingness to attack his opponent than he did in the first debate two weeks ago. Republicans will say that, even if Obama improved his game, he did not make any significant gains on Mitt Romney. Both sides are claiming victory.

Here is a snapshot of reactions on Twitter.


[View the story “Second presidential debate, Oct. 16, 2012” on Storify]

Second presidential debate, Oct. 16, 2012

Storified by NewsWorks · Tue, Oct 16 2012 20:50:24

Romney stand and moves toward first questioner. Optics matter even more in this kind of townhall format. #debatesThe Fix#debates obama supporters like Eagles fans on Sunday – full of dread waiting to see how their team will blow the lead.chrissatulloPhilly gets a Mitt shoutout on the very first question. It’s about being underemployed, but we’ll take what we can get.chrissatulloRomney: we have to make it easier for kids to afford college and to ensure there’s jobs waiting for them when they’re done. #debatesCorey BolesRomney said half kids out of college can’t find jobs or a college-level job. True. #debatePolitiFact30 months of private sector job creation for 5 million jobs? Mostly True. #debatePolitiFactRomney: “I presume I’m gonna be president” in 2012 and will make sure young college grad gets a job. #debatesPOLITICOObama opens with a list; he learned something from getting schooled by Romney last time. Took 8 seconds to mention Detroit. #debateschrissatulloDid Romney say let Detroit go bankrupt? Only half the story there. Half True. #debate just said that we’ve seen 5 million new private sector jobs created. Here’s what he means: #debateFact CheckAre 85% of recent college grads moving back in with their parents? False reiterating his jobs talking points from first debate (why not?). Can Obama respond with a pulse and some fire?chrissatullo”You took General Motors bankrupt.” — Romney to Obama. #debatesThe Fix”What governor Romney said isn’t true.” — Obama, channeling Biden. #debatesThe FixThe first zinger of the night: “Gov. Romney doesn’t have a five-point plan; he has a one-point plan.” Well, Obama is awake. #debateschrissatulloObama: Romney doesn’t have a five-point plan, but a one-point plan for the rich and they play by a different set of rules. #debatePOLITICOCrowd watching debate at WHYY cheers moderator Candy Crowley for cutting off Mitt Romney when he tries to grab floor back. #debateschrissatulloAll our fact-checks on gas prices #debatePolitiFactObama says companies get a tax break for shipping U.S. jobs overseas. Yes, biz can deduct cost of moving a job overseas….Fact CheckObama: Gov. Romney doesn’t have a five-point plan. He has a one-point plan. @daveweigel: Obama trying to cop the Romney strategy of just saying stuff that sounds awesome whether or not he’s for it.SlateRomney keeps reminding audience that “we’ve had 4 years of his policies.” Obama defending those policies far more forcefully than before.Ari ShapiroRomney on gas prices and energy, says to pay attention to Obama’s policies and not his rhetoric. #debatesPOLITICORomney: “This has not been Mr. Oil or Mr. Gas or Mr. Coal.”Reid EpsteinObama gives Romney a blank, Vulcan stare as Romney raps his energy record. No looking down, but no chuckling and smirking, either.chrissatulloThe press filing center doesn’t have a split-screen. I wonder whether that distorts our perception of the #debate.Ari ShapiroOn energy resources, @MittRomney says: “What we don’t need is the President keeping us from taking advantage of oil, coal, gas” #debateRosemary ConnorsUndecided voters by definition are wary of the incumbent they’ve known for 4 years. Does that give Mitt an edge with all these stone faces?Dick PolmanUnder Obama, domestic oil production is at an eight-year high. Mostly True. #debatePolitiFactGuarantee you that in 2014 some journalist will find the kid who asked the first question and find out whether he has a good job.Ari ShapiroWATCH Romney correct himself: we’re not going to be energy independent after all. We’ll get it all from the Canucks!felix salmon”Very little of what Governor Romney said is true.” — Obama. #debatesThe FixRomney promises energy independence in 8 years: “Let’s take advantage of the energy resources we have.” #Debates: Street JournalObama on natrual gas drilling: “We’re encouraging it.” Pa. fracktivists get an attack of agita. (Nader boomlet, anyone?) #debateschrissatulloWant to see how the U.S. compares when it comes to oil production? #toughoil #debateMarketplace Romney’s mixed record on cap and trade energy policy #debate loves coal a lot. In part because southwestern Virginia is soft on coal. Mitt needs southern Va votes to offset O’s northern Va votes.Dick PolmanOn energy independence, @BarackObama tells crowd @HofstraU: “Oil imports are at lowest levels in 20 years”Rosemary ConnorsProduction’s down where Obama is in charge? Half True. #debatePolitiFactAgain, partisans will love all of what is happening from Obama and Romney right now. And undecideds will probably hate it. #debatesThe FixUh-oh – Mid-stage facedown over drilling in public lands. More drama than in the entire first debate. #debateschrissatullo”You’ll get your chance in a moment, I am still speaking.” — Romney to Obama. Yowza. #debatesThe FixOil production on federal lands decreased 14 percent. Half True. #debatePolitiFact”It is true.” “No, it’s not.” And, yes, presidential politics is not dissimilar to conversations I have with my 3 year old. #debatesThe FixIf Biden was impossibly rude, how do you rate Romney’s “I’m still speaking” smackdown of POTUS? #debatechrissatulloObama policies to blame for high gas prices at the pump? Mostly False. #debatePolitiFactNow Romney is telling Candy Crowley what the rules are?davidfrumRomney: I want to make sure we use our oil, our gas, our coal, our nuclear, our renewables thought people were overstating the whole Romney gets flustered and argues over rules thing. Nope.Ezra KleinRomney condemned coal-fired plants, saying they “kill people.” Mostly True. #debate”Middle income taxpayers have been buried over the last 4 years.” — Romney #debatesThe FixWho is winning this debate? The Twitter spin from the left and the Twitter spin from right tell you a lot: hall participant asks Romney if he will get rid of home mortgage interest deduction #debateRosemary ConnorsQuestion 3 is on taxes, Romney goes first.POLITICOIf everybody gets $25k of deductions and credits, it wouldn’t come anywhere near paying for Romney’s plan.Ezra KleinObama is clearly vastly different from 2 weeks ago. Is Romney? What do you think?Ari ShapiroCitizen questioner asks the ‘what deductions die?” question that even Martha Raddatz wasn’t able to get Rep. Ryan to answer. #DEBATEchrissatulloHey, middle classes, no taxes on dividends! Doesn’t that make you feel richer?felix salmonRomney says that under no circumstances will he decrease what upper income people are paying and he will not raise taxes on middle class.The FixRomney says middle-income Americans have seen their income go down by $4,300 in the last 4 years. It’s $3,290. #debateFact CheckGreat Obama rebuttal when Mitt did his deceptive bit about high gas prices: They were low 4 yrs ago because demand crashed in Bush recessionDick PolmanRomney describes “bucket of deductions”; . WHYY crowd hoots and boos as he says he won’t tax interest and dividends. #debatechrissatulloRomney: I’ll get us on track to a balanced budget #pbselectionNewsHourThat woman just forced Romney to specify his tax plan more than Obama did all last debate. Maybe because he can’t obfuscate as much w/ her?Alec MacGillisObama said he’s cut taxes for small business, middle class. Mostly True. Details: #debatePolitiFactTheir disagreements aren’t over what they want to do; it’s about who’s telling the truth when they promise to do it. (Tax cuts, energy, etc)Ari ShapiroRomney: I will reduce middle-class taxes and wont “under any circumstances” lower taxes for highest earners. #debate2Corey Dade“Audible gasp in the hall at Romney’s brush off of the president there.” Live blog: Washington WireRomney on taxes: “I want to simplify the tax code.” Street Journal”Governor Romney’s allies in Congress”….imperative that Obama tie Mitt to the unpopular Republican brand.Dick PolmanAll of Obama’s campaign promises on taxes #debate #obameterPolitiFactObama turns question back to Romney’s tax rate being lower than average middle class.POLITICOOn tax reform, @BarackObama tells town hall Republicans in Congress “have held 98% hostage b/c they want tax breaks for 2%” #debateRosemary ConnorsObama: “I want to give middle-class families some relief” #debatesPOLITICOI’m surprised it took half an hour for one of the candidates to mention women. (Romney citing # of women who’ve lost jobs.)Ari ShapiroObama says he’d return tax rate on high-income earners to level under Clinton, but they’d pay more because of new #HCR taxes. #debateFact CheckObama: I want to continue those tax cuts for middle class families and for small businesses #pbselectionNewsHourRomney stresses that wealthy will pay 60 percent of tab for government under his plan. But 60 percent of lower yield equals a cut. #debatechrissatulloRomney says Obama will add $4,000 tax burden on middle class. Really? CheckRomney wants to add $2T to the defense budget. True. #debatePolitiFactDear Mr. President — bringing up Big Bird again isn’t gonna do it.Kai RyssdalObama : Says Romney has no specifics excepting cutting funding for Big Bird and Planned Parenthood.lois romanoObama calls Romney tax plan a “sketchy deal”. “The math doesn’t add up.” #debatesThe FixWHYY crowd loves Obama’s “You wouldn’t have taken such a sketchy deal” line. Not much love for Big Bird, tho. :(chrissatulloInteresting tact by Obama: paint Romney as a dishonest salesman on taxes #debatesThe FixVery good answer here by Romney. VERY GOOD. #debatesThe FixMitt balanced the budget of the Olympics with federal moneyHoward FinemanRomney says: Of course the numbers add up. Big tell though: His campaign hasn’t actually released those numbers. Literally.Justin WolfersObama’s claim that Romney tax plan doesn’t add up got a Mostly True. #debatePolitiFactDems will love, GOP will hate Crowley telling Romney he can’t cite “studies” from captive sources as proof his tax plan adds up. #debatechrissatulloIn the first debate, Obama did describe Romney’s tax plan unfairly. In this debate, he described it totally accurately.Ezra KleinRT @mattyglesias: Romney’s rebuttal to observation that his tax math doesn’t add up. “Of course it adds up.” Great explanation.Slate”I know what it takes to balance budgets. I have done so my entire life.” — Romney #debatesThe FixCNN timer says Obama’s had about :45 seconds more time that Romney, 37 minutes in.Kai RyssdalRomney to Crowley on tax numbers: “Of course they add up” 4 hits on inequality in the workplace, specifically as it concerns women making less than men.POLITICONo doubt Republicans are just fine with Mitt’s incessant bullying/interrupting – the same behavior they denounced in Joe Biden.Dick PolmanAre there no black or Hispanic undecided voters? #debatechrissatulloRomney says Obama double deficits. He didn’t, although deficits have remained high. We wrote that up in last #debate: CheckObama makes it personal and brings up Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.#debatesPOLITICOObama on Romney’s tax plan: “You can’t buy this sales pitch.” #Debates coverage: Street JournalLOVE partisans on Twitter. EVERYTHING their guy says is right, EVERYTHING other guys says is bad/lie. #debatesThe FixRT @daveweigel: As firey as that last exchange was, it was basically just two guys huffing the bullet points from their new TV ads.SlateNot that it’s sexy, but the college loan reform Obama just stuttered thru is one of the main achievements of his first term. #debatechrissatulloA cap on deductions at $25k would raise about $730b. That’s less than a fifth what Romney’s cuts cost. KleinPool report: audience had “audible gasp” when Romney told Obama “you’ll get yr chance in a moment”David FolkenflikObama: Women are increasingly bread winners of the family.POLITICO77 percent pay gap figure is Mostly True. Details on how pay gap is measured and quantified: #debatePolitiFactThat’s pretty sharp work by Romney, a GOP candidate getting at least a tie on a question about opportunity for women. #debatechrissatulloRomney’s answer to women, students, etc the same: You need a strong economy/jobs. Obama has a much more tailored message to specific groups.Ari Shapiro450,000 more unemployed women under Obama? Half True. #debatePolitiFactTo be clear, I’m not saying one strategy is better than the other. The same is true in their ads though. Romney has one message, Obama many.Ari ShapiroLily Ledbetter’s 2008 DNC speech: difference in strategy is on full display in this exchange… Romney says women need jobs; Obama talks about women’s health care.Ari Shapiro”Binders full of women” already trending on Twitter. Daily Show writers busily working on an opening monologue on that one. #debatechrissatulloHalfway through, domestic policy dominates debate- especially jobs, energy growth, and tax reform- live with highlights @HofstraU @ 11PMRosemary ConnorsMitt’s response on women’s pay strongest when he mentions his old cabinet. But segue to economy seemed a bit desperate. SullivanObama: I want to make sure my daughters have the same opportunities that anyone’s sons have. #debatePOLITICOKind of shocking this question hasn’t been asked yet.Ezra KleinSusan Katz=best question of night. What is biggest difference between you and George W. Bush. #debatesThe FixRomney’s gotta stop whining about time. 1 minute’s difference over 46 minutes total.Kai RyssdalGreat question from Susan Katz – not happy with Obama, but I do remember W. How do you differentiate yourself from George W. Bush. #debatechrissatulloI can’t imagine that talking about whose turn it is, by anyone, goes over well It’s important but comes across as petty, doesn’t it?Ari ShapiroI think Romney is not smart to quibble about debate rules. #debatesThe FixQ from audience for Romney: How are you different from Bush? #debatePOLITICOSame thing in the last debate when Obama told Lehrer “I’d have another 5 seconds if you hadn’t interrupted me,” or words to that effect.Ari ShapiroOpen derision from WHYY crowd at Romney’s mention of his five-point plan.Romney throws W. under the bus on deficits. #debatechrissatullo”Our party has been focused on big business for too long.” — Romney. #debatesThe FixOn the whole, Romney has had the tougher questions to answer so far. #debatesThe FixBain Capital – just a little mom and pop at the corner of Main and Chestnut streets. They’ll leave the light on for ya. #debatechrissatulloSurprised Romney didn’t have a better answer to how he’s different than Bush.Ezra KleinRomney’s companies were ‘pioneers’ in outsourcing U.S. jobs to low-wage countries? Half True #debatePolitiFactRomney “would turn Medicare into a voucher program.” Mostly True. #debatePolitiFactObama’s answer on W. question shows that he’s decided to attack Romney as an extreme conservative, not a shape-shifter. #debatechrissatulloThis guy’s question in short: “Tell me why I am better off than four years ago”. Tough for Obama. #debatesThe FixQ from audience for Obama: Voted for you in 2008, what have you done to earn my vote in 2012?POLITICOObama on last 4 years: Times have been tough but I did what I said I would do. Does that sell? #debateThe FixWhat Romney said on self-deportation #debatePolitiFactObama: “Osama bin Laden is dead. Insurance companies can’t jerk you around, We saved an auto industry on brink of collapse.” #debatesRoger SimonObama’s campaign promises rated on our Obameter. Promise Kept, Promise Broken, etc. #debatePolitiFactObama is hitting Romney’s reputation for inconsistency; sometimes directly, sometimes obliquely: “Promises I’ve made, I’ve kept.”Ari ShapiroIf CNN’s count is right, obama has spoken five minutes longer than romney as of right now. (Romney starting his reply.)David FolkenflikObama: Commitments I’ve made, I’ve kept. And those that I haven’t been able to keep, it hasn’t been for lack of tryingNewsHourRomney’s and Obama’s messages both boil down to, “It can be better than it is now. But only if you pick me.”Ari Shapiro”This is a president who has not been able to do what he said he would do.” — Romney #debatesThe FixObama hasn’t detailed a Social Security plan. But health reform and his 2013 budget are a much more detailed Medicare plan than Romney hasEzra KleinRomney is winning on Mr. Jones’ question about why the last four years have been such a struggle for him. #debatechrissatulloRomney on Obama’s promises: “He said in his first year he would put out an immigration plan…hasn’t done it.”Puja MurgaiObama promised to introduce immigration bill but didn’t? True. #debatePolitiFactRomney knows that to win, he needs Obama voters from 2008. That’s where “This president wants to do well, I understand” comes from.Ari ShapiroLiberals say they think Obama is winning. Conservatives say they think Romney is winning: unexpected, but Romney very strong on the “are you better off” question. #debatesThe FixThat was definitely Romney’s best answer of the night.Ezra KleinQuestion from audience for Romney: Immigration reform and policy.POLITICORomney on Obama if re-elected: “You’re going to get a repeat of the last four years.” Street JournalOK, I’m relieved, a question from an African American and one from a Latina. #debatechrissatulloAll our fact-checks on immigration #debatePolitiFactRomney: You shouldn’t have to hire a lawyer to figure out how to get into this country legally #pbselectionNewsHourRomney: “We welcome legal immigrants to this country…We’re going to have to stop illegal immigration.” #debatePOLITICORomney smart to play offense against Obama on immigration. Force Obama to explain, cut time Obama can lace into him. #debatesThe FixObama: “We are a nation of immigrants.” Same opening line to Q as Romney.POLITICOOne case of Obama taking credit for someting caused by bad economy – slower flow of undocumented workers across border. #debatechrissatulloIn the primaries, Romney said he would veto the DREAM Act. True. #debatePolitiFactI’ve wondered whether people know what “self-deportation” means. Obama calls it “Making lives so miserable on folks that they’ll leave.”Ari ShapiroWhen Romney said “self deportation” during one of the GOP primary debates, you knew this moment was coming. #debatesThe Fix”Must be said—however—that Obama has ratcheted up deportations and INS a whole ton.” — @RichardKimNYC at our live-chat NationDid Romney say Arizona immigration law should be “model for the nation”? No, he did not. False. #debatePolitiFact”Self deportation means let people make there own choice” — that’s one way to put itSam SteinCrowley asked Romney about his proposal on illegal immigration for “self-deportation.” Romney: Let’s talk about what Obama just said.David FolkenflikMitt the wooden bumbler has returned, while on uncomfortable ground on immigration. #debatechrissatulloRT @davidplotz: Obama should not interrupt Romney. He’s not good at it. He loses each time he tries. He should just be dignified.SlateI hate the complaining about the rules. It is SO dumb. And small. By both candidates. #debatesThe Fix”I don’t look at my pension, it’s not as big as yours” got the first really big, audible reaction in the press room.Ari Shapiro@Ari_Shapiro This American Life podcast #456 — BEST way to learn about self-deportation.Afternoon NapperPart of Romney’s fortune invested in China? Mostly True. #debatePolitiFactRomney’s line about “You also have investments in Chinese companies” is a variation on a line he deployed lethally against Gingrich in FL.Ari ShapiroWHYY crowd loved Obama’s crack about the size of Romney’s pension. Crowley narrowly hangs onto control of debate at this point. #debatechrissatullo”Self deportation is ‘let people make their own choice.'” There’s Mitt’s definition of Freedom.Dick PolmanObama correct that immigration issues used to be bipartisan. #debatePolitiFactSo cynical and dishonest how Romney blames Obama for not passing bill his entire party would’ve opposed.Ben AdlerQuestions tonight have been OUTSTANDING. #debatesThe FixProps to voter who asks tough question on Libya consulate attack. #debatechrissatulloQ from audience: Moving onto Benghazi and security at the embassy.POLITICO”When folks mess with Americans, we go after them.” — Obama. #debatesThe FixObama: “You don’t turn security into a political issue” like Romney did.POLITICOThat leadership thing again. Obama: “That’s not how a commander in chief operates.” “When it comes to national security, I mean what I say.”Ari ShapiroObama with a strong response on an issue where his administration performed very badly, in the runup and in its wake. #debatechrissatulloRomney hammers away at Obama…saying he flew to Vegas to raise money day after Libya attacks. Gut punch. #debatesThe FixRomney: This was an attack lead by terrorists and calls into question Obama’s foreign policies. #debatePOLITICO”President’s policies to the Middle East began with an apology tour.” — Romney. Also, “leading from behind”. #debatesThe FixObama on Benghazi attack: HClinton has done an extraordinary job, but she works for me. I’m ultimately responsible.David FolkenflikObama: “I’m the President, I am always responsible.”POLITICORomney said Obama began his presidency “with an apology tour.” Pants on Fire! #debatePolitiFactObama: “The suggestion that anybody on my team would play politics or mislead (on Libya) when we lost 4 of our own is offensive.” #debatesRoger SimonDoes taking responsibility earn him blame or strip Romney of issue?David FolkenflikObama looks as if he is truly angry at Romney. Crowd here at WHYY applauds. Crowley corrects Romney, throws him off balance. #debatechrissatulloCrowley suddenly acting as that first line of accountability – corrects Romney that Obama did say attack was act of terror (cont)David FolkenflikBut Crowley did say it took time for admin to back off initial reports that protests initially stirred attack on consulate.David FolkenflikMitt, yet again, resurrects his lie about an Obama “apology tour.” Denounced by fact-checkers over & over. Not that Team Mitt cares.Dick PolmanNext Q is about gun control.POLITICOQuestion on gun policy. All our fact-checks on guns #debatePolitiFactObama: “I believe in the second amendment” but there have been too many instances where he was to comfort victims of gun violence.POLITICORomney said Obama’s policy began with “apology tour.” But that claim doesn’t hold up. #debateFact CheckRomney and Obama basically agree on gun legislation – enforce existing laws, new ones aren’t necessary.Ari ShapiroRT @feministing: These voters are asking way better questions than Lehrer did.The NationMitt uses gun control to pivot to two-parent homes – makes it about culture.jmartpoliticoRomney and Obama actually pretty much agree on something – they each really disliked answrig a question about guns. #debatechrissatulloWHYY crowd groans as Romney ticks item off his to-do list: Mention the Fast and Furious snafu. #debatechrissatulloRomney officially got the NRA’s endorsement the day after the first presidential debate 2 weeks ago.Ari ShapiroRomney’s shift on gun control: Only a Half Flip on our Flip-O-Meter #debatePolitiFactCandy volunteers info that Mitt as guv signed assault weapons ban: “Why is it that you changed your mind?” Cue right-wing attacks on Candy.Dick PolmanJohn Kerry winces somewhere as Obama references his worst moment – for it before he was against it – in weak jab at Romney. @debatechrissatulloRomney says cutting tax rate, cutting regulations will keep jobs in US. #debatePOLITICORomney just referred to a “level playing field” about China, which is a line Obama uses in every stump speech to talk about domestic policy.Ari ShapiroYou’re right, Barry, it is a good question. #debatechrissatulloObama says Romney’s corp tax plan would create 800,000 jobs overseas. But that study says foreign jobs could grow without costing U.S. jobs.Fact CheckHere’s what we wrote regarding the study of Romney’s corporate tax plan: #debateFact CheckRomney recovers from really bad half hour by hitting this last question over the right field fence. Check’s in the mail, Barry. #debatechrissatulloObama: I’m a most unusual Kenyan socialist from Indonesia. I love me some free enterprise. #debatechrissatulloCNN clock: Obama: 44:04. Romney 40:50.Fact CheckWHYY crowd looooooooved Obama’s Clintonesque final riff. Big cheers. #debatechrissatulloFor those who were wondering where it was for the last 90 minutes, Obama waited to drop the 47% when Romney has no time left to respond.Ari ShapiroObama drops 47% reference in the last question. #deabtePOLITICOFull context of Romney’s remarks on 47 percent #debatePolitiFactIn #debate, Romney said “oil production is down 14 percent this year on federal land.” Half True: like Obama named winner by CBS, Google and PPP snap polls. No word from CNN poll yet.Nate SilverObama said Romney stood in front of a coal plant and said ‘this plant kills.’ True. #debatePolitiFactTranscript: Obama-Romney 2nd Presidential Debate News

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