Archive for Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Experts at KU say Obama bests Romney in second presidential debate

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama exchange views during the second presidential debate Tuesday at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y.

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama exchange views during the second presidential debate Tuesday at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y.

October 16, 2012


The coach and one of the students responsible for Kansas University’s 2009 national debate championship both said Barack Obama rebounded with a victory in Tuesday’s presidential debate, but both candidates have shown off strong argumentative chops so far.

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Scott Harris, the KU debate coach, and Brett Bricker, part of KU’s two-person national championship team in 2009, both shared their thoughts on Tuesday’s debate with the Journal-World. And both gave Obama the edge.

Bricker, who is now a doctoral student in communications studies at KU and aims to be a debate coach in the future, said Obama put on a much better performance than he did during the first presidential debate earlier this month, displaying broader preparation and a willingness to take some jabs at Republican candidate Mitt Romney.

“It was in many ways a very different Obama,” Bricker said.

Harris, too, said Obama turned things around Tuesday. But he said it was more of a slight edge, compared with Romney’s more decisive victory in the first debate.

“I think it’s a fairly close debate, and I think they both do a fairly good job of getting the points that they want to across on their main issues,” Harris said.

Both said that Obama shined during a discussion on the attacks in Benghazi, Libya, last month. His serious tone and personal response to Romney’s suggestion that the administration may have misled the public about the attacks made for a strong moment, Harris said.

“I thought he had an aura of being presidential when he took the attitude of, ‘How dare you suggest that I didn’t value this?’” Harris said.

Both also gave Obama points for his criticism of Romney’s tax plan.

But they also said Romney was no slouch, and in a commanding performance earlier this month he had proven himself a skilled debater.

“Romney sounded like he could be a commander-in-chief,” Bricker said.

Harris said that the presidential debates had taken on a different character this year — one that he welcomed. This year’s events have more truly resembled debates, with back-and-forth exchanges and clear differences between the candidates. Past years’ debates, he said, have been closer to “joint press conferences.”

That tone may have been set by Romney in the first debate, he said. For that contest, he said, Obama showed up with prepared talking points, and Romney showed up ready to fight.

“One person was debating, and the other one was giving speeches,” Harris said.

But this time, Harris said, Obama appeared ready to go. And he may have been better suited to this debate’s town hall format, he said, which involved walking across the stage and interacting with questioners.

On Tuesday, Harris and Bricker both said they thought Romney performed stronger on the issue of energy.

Bricker said Obama talked around a question asking if his administration aimed to reduce gas prices.

“His approach to that question probably left a lot of voters wondering why they’re paying more at the pump,” Bricker said.

Bricker said he welcomed the increased back-and-forth seen so far at this year’s debates, as the candidates have accused each other of lying and defended their ground. That’s an improvement on the more passive nature of past debates, he said.

“I think it’s become clear that they don’t like each other very much,” Bricker said.

Harris also said the debates have proved themselves more relevant this year. And he complemented moderator Candy Crowley and the audience participants who asked questions at Hofstra University in New York on Tuesday.

Both Harris and Bricker, though, said that Obama and Romney might both benefit from following some of the rules that a collegiate debater would never violate: staying within their allotted time, and avoiding interruptions of each other or the moderator.

Doing such things likely doesn’t look good to undecided voters likely to base their choice on their general impressions of the candidates as people, Bricker said.

“I think they have a substantial effect on the way the average voter perceives a potential commander-in-chief,” Bricker said.

The candidates, he said, should focus less on having the last word, and more on simply giving the best answer.


David Holroyd 5 years, 4 months ago

Hardly experts if they believe what they saw was a debate. There was no debate. It was Q & A session with no questions answered. KU is turning out pathetically poor students if the two dudes think there was a debate.

question4u 5 years, 4 months ago

"KU is turning out pathetically poor students"

Umm...One of these was a KU student who won a 2009 national debate championship. Nevertheless, he is "pathetically poor." That makes perfect sense, because this is Brownbackistan backwards land, where experts are fools.

Trumbull 5 years, 4 months ago

Most others outside of this forum, even a 2009 national debate champion, is "pathetically poor". It is called downgrading others to boost ones own ego.

ksjayhawk74 5 years, 4 months ago

Wilbur obviously knows more than a KU grad that is a 2009 debate champion. KU should give Wilbur an honorary degree.

gccs14r 5 years, 4 months ago

That you can even think what you wrote is the truth is a far better indicator of the depth of the problems in this country than are the qualifications of either candidate.

beatrice 5 years, 4 months ago

If you are going to criticize others for needing to learn to spell, then you should know that our president spells his name OBAMA. Anything else is childish and stupid.

Topple 5 years, 4 months ago

If you expect people to take anything you say seriously, you should probably stop acting like a 9-year old.

SnakeFist 5 years, 4 months ago

I thought you conservatives had labeled Carter the worst president in history. Then it was Clinton, and now its Obama. You can't have three worst presidents. Or maybe you just think every democratic president is the worst because you're a close-minded ideologue.

Scott Tichenor 5 years, 4 months ago

The worst president in history is George W. Bush, the guy that will never be invited to speak at a Republican convention again. Ever. Period. A politician so toxic that an overwhelming majority of U.S. citizens from all parties agree he is responsible for the mess the country is in. Also the guy that was off guard so that 9/11 happened. This is facts, not Faux News.

ksjayhawk74 5 years, 4 months ago

Great counter point. You win the debate.

beatrice 5 years, 4 months ago

Romney believes he could have prevented the attack on our embassy in Libya, so why shouldn't Gore think he could have prevented the attack on 9/11.

One thing is likely: had Gore been president, we probably wouldn't have invaded Iraq over WMDs that didn't exist.

geekin_topekan 5 years, 4 months ago

I have no doubt that Romney is the better businessman. Businessmen do not give a hoot about the general laborer, unless they are making money for him--not for each other, not for their descendants, but for the businessman only.

Paul Wilson 5 years, 4 months ago

"I have no doubt that Romney is the better businessman." You've seen the light. Businessmen create jobs. They hire. They want growth and know how to create and sustain it. With the labor laws that are in doesn't matter if they "give a hoot" for you or not. You and all the other takers in this country will be much better off when you finally decide to rely on business owners to create you jobs and not your president. He simply steals from one group and gives to another.

SnakeFist 5 years, 4 months ago

"With the labor laws that are in place..."

How long will they last with a fox in charge of the chicken coop? Do you really think a rabidly pro-business president will keep protective regulations in place? And yes, Romney has created lots of jobs - all in foreign countries and all at the expense of American jobs.

I'd rather have someone who takes from the rich and gives to the poor, than someone who takes from the poor and keeps for himself.

Gregory Newman 5 years, 4 months ago

Well said SnakeFist and If Romney wins he gets to jump start that EB-5 Visa which I deem is much more dangerous than NAFTA/GATT. Read it on the web site just google EB-5 visa it will freak you out.

Dan Eyler 5 years, 4 months ago

Our president is lost. Not a single proposal for jobs, lied about Libya, no plan for jobs, no plan to reduce spending, no plan to cut spending, no plan to create jobs, highest number of people on foodstamps ever, because there are no jobs, highest number of women living in poverty in our nation's history. Incredible that that some want to continue this hopelessness. We need opportunity because hope isn't working.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 4 months ago

Biggest bunch of twaddle I have ever seen on this board.
Republicans in Congress filibustered and blocked jobs bills 63...SIXTY THREE...times. More bills were filibustered in Congress in the three and a half years since Obama took office then all other filibusters COMBINED since the founding of this country!
As for food stamps, Walmart, which is the largest private employer in this country, has two thirds...again, TWO THIRDS...of it's employees on food stamps. In fact, Walmart has "employee assistance" staff that will walk their employees through the process of applying for government benefits. More working poor get food stamps than unemployed poor that are not disabled and capable of working.
I agree. We need opportunity. But that isn't going to come until we change CONGRESS not the presidency.

Paul Wilson 5 years, 4 months ago

So what is your excuse for the first two years of the Obama administration? He had a super majority. We need to keep a Congress in there that will stop giving to takers like yourself. There are thousands of manufacturing jobs out there that are not being filled because lazy a$$es are comfy on long term unemployment. A "jobs bill" that simply steals from the rich and gives to the poor or 'creates' temporary project jobs is a waste. Obama had a super majority and he rammed Obamacare down our throats....he will lose the White House because of it.

MarcoPogo 5 years, 4 months ago

"Biggest bunch of twaddle I have ever seen on this board. "

There is no way that statement is true.

Trumbull 5 years, 4 months ago

Lied about Libya? That is not what the transcript said. I believe no matter what happened, the R's would use Libya to score political points. There were several variables moving at the same time. Libya was a terrorist strike, but there were simultaneous potests and riots centered on the the video. Takes time to gather information.

Trumbull 5 years, 4 months ago

Jonas, that is correct. I think the movie protests took place in other countries Egypt and Afghanistan. But it was simultaneous or within a very close time frame.

chocolateplease 5 years, 4 months ago

Repeating the jobs issue over and over doesn't make your point stronger, I think we can all read here.

People seem to so easily forget what a horrible disaster the Bush administration left us, putting the country on the brink of bankruptcy, crushing everything we've all worked for. This president faced so many giant problems upon stepping into office (bank failures, mortgage crisis, world-wide credit crisis, auto industry failure, unresolved wars...) And on top of the giant problems he faced, he had a congress controlled by republicans who were determined to stop him from accomplishing anything, willing to block him even when they agreed with what he was asking for! They would easily sacrifice a functioning government if it means getting Obama out of office; that's how much they care about you.

So really, lets remember what he started with. By that measure, I'd say Obama did a great job in the first four years.

shadowlady 5 years, 4 months ago

Our government problem goes way back long before Bush, and one thing about Bush he started this thing going about getting rid of Osama Bin Laden, with the CIA, then the BO took over and he is the one that takes the credit, even away from the service people that did the job. There are an awful bunch of people out there that seem to be blind and deaf to what is really going on. And by the way I don't care much for the BO NOR Romney.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 4 months ago

I think both Pork_Ribs and JonasGrumby need to do a little research. Obama only had a "super majority" (i.e. filibuster proof) Congress for 23 days. Then it was back to filibuster after filibuster.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 4 months ago

Face it neither WOMEN nor Republicans nor Democrats nor the Middle class can afford the Republican Party!

--- Women will be getting more republican big government in there lives? It is on the way!

Killing Planned Parenthood is NOT an option!

--- Public Education is a strong player in new Economic Growth yet republicans starve the system of funding which starves our teachers of resources. Which starves the desired level of education = stealing from our children’s future.

--- "Rebuilding America's Defences," openly advocates for total global military domination” (Very dangerous position which threatens OUR freedoms and the nations security)

--- The repub party declared the day Obama was elected their primary function would be to make Obama a one term president. Consequently their millions of NO votes became the disastrous campaign against women,The USA and jobs for Americans.

--- Republicans want to kill PBS and NPR - NO I want my tax dollars to support PBS and NPR

--- Publicopoly Exposed frankly is a threat to Democracy - ALEC

--- Killing Social Security Insurance Is Not An Option.

--- Killing Medicare Insurance is simply not an option.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 4 months ago

Results may vary: "...Despite Obama’s slight edge overall, Romney was seen as better able to handle most issues. The trend was most notable in the CNN poll: he had an 18-point edge among registered voters on the economy (58 percent to Obama's 40 percent ); a 3-point edge on health care (49 percent to 46 percent); a 7-point edge on taxes (51 percent to 44 percent); and, largest of all, a 23-point edge on the deficit (59 percent to 36 percent)..."

gerald_bostock 5 years, 4 months ago

uhh, you really think Barack Obama is in charge of his Tumblr?

eljakeo 5 years, 4 months ago

I disagree. I think they both turned out a strong performance, but Obama's uncertainty over his statements following the Benghazi attack (until Candy Crowley started to back him up) was, in my opinion, the only serious mistake that either candidate made. So, I give the (slight) victory to Romney.

question4u 5 years, 4 months ago

Then Timmy said that Obama was a double dumb head, and we all went to ride our bikes.

Lisa Medsker 5 years, 4 months ago

Bush was a whiskey-swilling, cowboy cokehead, but it's perfectly okay since he has the correct political affiliation.

Lisa Medsker 5 years, 4 months ago

Nothing other than his own admission... First, he said he had not used it since 1992, then changed that to 1978.

Pastor_Bedtime 5 years, 4 months ago

Someone who may have smoked pot is far likely more in tune with the majority of this nation than a guy who has never even had a beer or cup of coffee or soda with caffeine, unless your America features Ward Cleaver as the model citizen (wait, Hugh Beaumont was a drunk, so never mind)..

kujayhawk7476 5 years, 4 months ago

The bottom line is "winning" a debate does not equate to being the better candidate for president; neither does "losing" a debate equate to being the lesser candidate. It was one event somewhat controlled (if you can call it that) by a biased moderator.

Steve Miller 5 years, 4 months ago

Then what is the purpose of a debate if not to reveal a winner ?

Steve Miller 5 years, 4 months ago

Isn't the motive to declare a winner and sway the popular vote ??

jhawkinsf 5 years, 4 months ago

I'd add that being the better candidate for president doesn't necessarily mean you'll be the better president either.

SnakeFist 5 years, 4 months ago

How can Obama be inexperienced after being president for four years? He has more experience at being president than "Etch-A-Sketch" Romney does.

We saw what we had with republicans under Bush - its what got us into this mess in the first place. Going back to failed republican policies is no answer.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 4 months ago

The biggest, fattest, most absolute "pants on fire" lie of the night? This by Romney.
"I just know that I don't think bureaucrats in Washington should tell someone whether they can use contraceptives or not, and I don't believe employers should tell someone whether they have contraceptive care or not."
"Every woman in America should have access to contraceptives and the president's statement on my policy is completely and totally wrong."
Cross posted from the other debate thread.

bad_dog 5 years, 4 months ago

You are already paying with your own money via premiums, deductibles and co-pays. The cost associated with contraceptives adds pennies at most to the monthly premiums paid by all policy holders.

beatrice 5 years, 4 months ago

No one is keeping contraceptives from women...yet.

Actually, yes, they are. Every time the Republicans try to close a Planned Parenthood or allow a pharmacy to deny selling medications based on religious beliefs, it is keeping contraceptives from women.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 4 months ago

Keep swilling the Kool Aid. Some PP clinics DO provide mammograms at their clinics. Those that don't have the equipment outsource to a contracted provider and pay for them. Less than 2% of PP's business is abortions (something that you don't have a right to interfere with and I bet just chaps your cheeks). And why should Obama mention it? What business it of his, or yours for that matter?

rtwngr 5 years, 4 months ago

No, it was strangling regulations and additional tax burdens brought on by the Dems and their attack dog, the EPA. Not all rich people are greedy just like any ethnic stereotype that could be cited here.

deec 5 years, 4 months ago

Lack of worker protection laws, safety and environmental regulations in other nations are one reason greedy companies have outsourced jobs. Low wages are also a factor. The average wage in 2011 was $730/month.

Trumbull 5 years, 4 months ago

No, it is cheaper labor in other countries and their lower standard of living.

MarcoPogo 5 years, 4 months ago

"learn to spell" - SageonPage 10/17/2012

"murmer murmer" - SageonPage 10/17/2012

bad_dog 5 years, 4 months ago

FWIW, he also failed to capitalize the first word in the sentence ;-)

Pastor_Bedtime 5 years, 4 months ago

Thanks for the reminder that your primary objection to our President is his race. You just swayed a few more votes away from RMoney.

irvan moore 5 years, 4 months ago

the disrespect romney showed to the president and to the woman moderator was the most telling part of the debate for me.

Trumbull 5 years, 4 months ago

Romney was not specific about what tax deductions he would eliminate. In fact, all he did in his own words "was throw a number out there", saying that everyone will be allowed 25k in deductions. No way could this pay for the 5 trillion cost of the tax cuts. How many of us approach $25,000 in tax deductions each year? This is becoming a common phrase, but the numbers do not add up.

Seems like R's talk about and wish to balance the budget, but tax cuts trump this notion for them most all the time.

Paul Wilson 5 years, 4 months ago

There simply aren't enough rich to pay for everything you want them to pay for.
Many of us actually have $25K+ in deductions. It does matter. Clinton and Congress balanced the budget with tax cuts....not spending. Common sense.

bad_dog 5 years, 4 months ago

If you do have > 25K in deductions, how will you like being limited to that amount?

patkindle 5 years, 4 months ago

more than the usual amount of hate here today

Paul Wilson 5 years, 4 months ago

"Hate(r)" goes into the same category as Bigot and Racist. It is simply the overused response of Liberals who have lost an argument with a Conservative.

jonas_opines 5 years, 4 months ago

"This debate really showed me how I could never vote for that guy."

"Was there a point you ever considered voting for that guy?"

"HELL no!"

situveux1 5 years, 4 months ago

Shocking. If anybody knows anything about college debate, it's that it's participants and coaches are about as extreme left as they come.

jayhawk81181 5 years, 4 months ago

I have seen very little in JonasGrumby or situveux1's comments that actually substantiate the personal attacks on Scott Harris and Brett Bricker. They are two of the most intelligent people one could ever encounter and their commentary about this debate well-reasoned. JonasGrumby and situveux1, however, engage in at least 3 fallacies: ad hominem attacks, the fallacy of composition, and post hoc. If you don't know what those are, Jonas and situ, look them up; you might just learn something.

Kate Rogge 5 years, 4 months ago

"Bricker said Obama talked around a question asking if his administration aimed to reduce gas prices. 'His approach to that question probably left a lot of voters wondering why they’re paying more at the pump,' Bricker said."

How does the President set gasoline prices? Aren't prices a function of the quantity of refined fuel available to the market, global market price, and state fuel taxes?

Paul Wilson 5 years, 4 months ago

It is very ignorant for anyone to blame a U.S. President for gas prices. So what does that say of President Obama for blaming gas prices on Bush in his campaign of '07? Ignorance.

Pastor_Bedtime 5 years, 4 months ago

I'd say that Obama did 100% better this time. Romney ~ about 47% worse.

Centerville 5 years, 4 months ago

A huge setback for women. Yesterday the news was full of kvetching about how women only get the puff debates, and never get assigned to the serious presidential debates. Candy Crowley has just shown us precisely why this is true.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 5 years, 4 months ago

Wow, this has been entertaining, enlightening and educational. No wonder Kansas is such a Brownbackwards-Kobach-Koch reservation. The tea bag soaked kooks and bigots seem to thrive here. So much for "Fly over Kansas"

I think the president did a slam dunk (to use a locally understandable metaphor) on Romney's bony butt, and came through with highly credible plans for the move forward of the country. The haters, "conservatives", and other facists will think differently, but I am very impressed and proud of our President and fervently believe he will win out over the flop flipp, lying and facetous challenger.

Satirical 5 years, 4 months ago

Even if Obama had a slight advantage in this battle (he had to do better than last time), here is why Romney is the real winner...

(1) Romney won on the only issues that really matter in this election - Jobs, Economy, Taxes, Deficit (see CNN poll).

(2) Obama did a better job attacking Romney than in the last debate, but a lousy job laying out his vision for the future, other than "more of the same."

(3) Romney was very effective at framing this election as a referendum on the last 4 years.

(4) Obama wants to make this election as negative as possible and portray Romney as the devil, but Romney again succeeded at showing Americans that he is Presidential, and a person they could be comfortable with in their living room.

Satirical 5 years, 4 months ago

Did anyone else notice that Candy Crowley let President Obama have the last word for 4 of the first 5 questions?

However, in picking the questions, I thought they were much more favorable to Romney. I could nitpick further, but overall I thought she did a decent job.

QuinnSutore 5 years, 4 months ago

I think they should make these forums open to more interesting issues, like when are we going to update our national anthem or make a new flag for the 21st century. I think Toby Keith is patriotic enough to pen a good new song.

Trumbull 5 years, 4 months ago

It was interesting watching Fox news after the debate last night. I now think that many of there commentators don't even believe much of what they say. I suppose if you are a television journalist, you take the job.....just like a lot of other workers find themselves in a poor economy.

beatrice 5 years, 4 months ago

You thought they believed what they said prior to last night? Now that I find surprising.

Bob Forer 5 years, 4 months ago

"Binders full of women" - another lie, of course.

What actually happened was that in 2002—prior to the election, not even knowing yet whether it would be a Republican or Democratic administration—a bipartisan group of women in Massachusetts formed MassGAP to address the problem of few women in senior leadership positions in state government. There were more than 40 organizations involved with the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus (also bipartisan) as the lead sponsor.

They did the research and put together the binder full of women qualified for all the different cabinet positions, agency heads, and authorities and commissions. They presented this binder to Governor Romney when he was elected.

Romney’s claim last night, that he asked for such a study, is false.

Oh, and once he had those binders? He hired women for agencies he then cut the funding for.

There were actually fewer women in executive positions when Romney left office than there were when he started.

That scant man can't tell the truth about anything.

Bob Forer 5 years, 4 months ago

Photobucket A mean-spirited, spoiled, petulant and whupped Mittens walks away mad. If it had been a game, Mitt would have taken his ball and went home

beatrice 5 years, 4 months ago

I think their mikes should be cut off if they go more than 15 seconds over their alloted time when responding to a question. I also think their mikes should be cut off if they start giving answers that don't relate to the questions asked.

beatrice 5 years, 4 months ago

Are you blaming someone else for Romney's performance? Why do you have a victim's mentality?

jafs 5 years, 4 months ago

Good ideas.

Of course, the mikes would be cut off most of the time that way :-)

beatrice 5 years, 4 months ago

Not sure which is funnier -- the three faces of Mitt, or imagining Mitt walking into a bar.

lunacydetector 5 years, 4 months ago

there were too many undecideds before the debates began for obama to win in the end. the last election, there wasn't an incumbent, so the undecideds could go either way. this time it's not the case. the first debate sealed the deal for romney no matter how much the press tries to influence the election for their man obama. it's a lost cause for the democrats.

if you are for obama, you need to realize he won't win.

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