October 16th Second Presidential Debate Liveblog – RantAWeek

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October 16th Second Presidential Debate Liveblog

21.47 Tyler Miksanek

And that appears to wrap things up for the night. We will post an analysis of this debate tomorrow. After all, with only three weeks to go until the election, each passing event becomes much more crucial to the final outcome. That being said, tonight’s debate was rather unexciting. SNL has a tough job ahead in making this one funny. Still, I had a lot of fun with our liveblog panel and I thank all the contributors and readers. Goodnight!

21.45 Matthew Dudak

Also, this is rather funny. That’ll stick with Romney.

21.43 Tyler Miksanek

My closing comments… This debate is unlikely to be as influential as the last one. Both candidates gave mediocre performances. Even though Obama was more aggressive than he was last time, both candidates failed to bring anything new or exciting to the table. A wash on this debate only allows a continuation of the status quo, which is Obama holding a small advantage electorally due to his stronger positions in swing states.

21.42 Sam Niiro

You know what we need after an uninspiring performance like this? To remember better politicians of days past.

21.42 Matthew Dudak

This debate was certainly a draw. I don’t think this will change a thing for anyone. Both candidates came off as fairly unlikeable and all around bland, each for different reasons and on different issues. Obama came off as very aggressive, expecting Romney to be aggressive as well, yet this time Romney came off as just tired. By the end of it, Romney just seemed flat out tired. In all, neither of them really looked that great.

The real winner here is certainly Candy Crowley though who did a stellar job moderating. I want her back for every other debate ever.

21.41 Bradley Disbrow

This debate was indeed a draw. I didn’t like either candidate in this one – as Wolf Blitzer’s shiningly perspicacious analysis informs us, “they both had strong moments and weak moments.”

21.40 Emily Perlstein

A rather underwhelming debate. Candy was the true star. That being said, Obama came off significantly stronger than he did at the last debate. In terms of energy, Obama is the winner. Romney, however, did not have any significant gaffes that could harm him.

21.40 Julia Nusgart

Honestly, there is no winner here. Just a bunch of losers. This is kind of sad.

Fashion wise, Obama’s tie was immaculate although the color was a little off for this season and his suit definitly fit better than Romney’s. Romney’s tie was nice but distracting and it was CROOKED. Which bothered me alot.

21.38 Sam Niiro

I would label this debate a draw. Romney came off poorly on Libya and women, while Obama seemed unnecessarily aggressive at points.

21.38 Bradley Disbrow

That is true, Sam, but it’s still nice to see him recognizing and responding to it than ignoring it awkwardly.

21.38 Matthew Dudak

And Obama brings up the 47%. There it is. I am guessing that since it worked for Biden, Obama thought he would try it too.

21.37 Tyler Miksanek

This debate is all but over… Closing comments, everyone?

21.37 Bradley Disbrow

That was a good way for Romney to close the debate – he was generally very down-to-earth.

21.37 Sam Niiro

I think the danger in his 100% comments is that every time he mentions it, it reminds the listener of the 47% comments. Which is dangerous.

21.37 Matthew Dudak

Also, anyone notice that while Obama does the famed “Presidential point” with his knuckle, Romney points with a thumbs up? He must be very positive!

21.36 Julia Nusgart

Just realized Harry Potter was on.. should have watched that instead.

21.36 Bradley Disbrow

Romney getting human. These are the soundbytes he needs, especially the 100% comments. The religion is nice, without being overbearing.

21.35 Sam Niiro

When Romney said “I care about 100% of the American people”, the 20 or so college students with me erupted in laughter. His reference to God inspired the same response.

21.35 Matthew Dudak

“Government does not create jobs, government does not create jobs.” A new Romney chant? I feel like the campaign is not very good at coming up with these. Even “we built that” is more chant-able.

21.34 Sam Niiro

This is an incredible question. I can’t believe it was actually allowed.

21.34 Tyler Miksanek

“I think this is a tough question.” – Thanks Barry, random question asker.

21.34 Bradley Disbrow

Obama just insulted America’s working class by saying we don’t want low-wage low-skill jobs. They’re still jobs.

21.33 Tyler Miksanek

“There’s some jobs that are not going to come back.” A bit of honesty in a debate of blah?

21.33 Emily Perlstein

Obama is dropping a truth bomb on this debate. I feel he’s coming out pretty strong here at the end, while Romney seems run down.

21.33 Matthew Dudak

Mr. Miksanek, they just want to leave as much as the rest of us.

21.33 Sam Niiro

Romney didn’t go straight to “lower the corporate tax rate”, and I have no idea why.

21.32 Tyler Miksanek

Both of the candidates slowly walk towards the camera at the same time. I am scared.

21.32 Matthew Dudak

“We have a really short time for this last question here.” No Candy, we are overtime.

21.32 Bradley Disbrow

True. I just lifted myself out of political apathy enough to post that comment, Sam.

21.31 Matthew Dudak

As we are (hopefully) nearing the end of the debate, please we ask all of our panelists to stick around for a bit after the debate and choose a winner and make any closing comments.

21.31 Bradley Disbrow

Also, do speaking time deficits roll over? Because Romney gets at least a 7 minute head start in the next one.

21.31 Sam Niiro

Gotten, Bradley? You’ve just gotten to where I’ve been since 9:30 ET.

21.31 Matthew Dudak

I feel like neither candidate should even bother talking about taxes. The system is too complicated for most people. Say if you are going to raise taxes or lower them. Leave it at that.

21.31 Tyler Miksanek

It’s 10:30 Eastern already. This debate is going into overtime!

21.30 Bradley Disbrow

This debate has gotten to the point where I’m hearing “blah blah blah JOBS blah blah CHINA blah blah TAXES.” This is bad.

21.30 Tyler Miksanek

Every side is Romney’s good side.

21.29 Matthew Dudak

The CSPAN cameraman got tired of actually showing Romney’s face and has instead resorted to just his one side. But is it his good side?

21.29 Tyler Miksanek

Matt, the WTO can step in then. Oh, wait, the WTO really doesn’t do anything.

21.28 Matthew Dudak

I don’t think Romney realizes that labeling them as a currency manipulator doesn’t actually do anything.

21.28 Bradley Disbrow

Romney, you already are making America the most attractive place in the world with your hair. Touch of gray, people. Touch of gray.

21.27 Sam Niiro

Outsourcing! Who can use more dog-whistle xenophobia and racism? Who knows!

21.26 Matthew Dudak

Mr. Disbrow, I think this debate will have very little impact. Primarily because I think most people’s eyes, including mine, glazed over and their ears closed during most of it.

21.26 Tyler Miksanek

Obama now at 4 minutes more speaking time than Romney is. Crowley shouldn’t have let him continue.

21.26 Bradley Disbrow

Tyler- it’s a complicated chain, but education generally improves everything in the end.

21.25 Sam Niiro

Isn’t this question about guns…?

21.25 Matthew Dudak

We also saw an Obama smile during Romney’s statement. Now here is the real question: where is Ryan’s smile? He should feel left out.

21.25 Bradley Disbrow

I don’t know if it’s just me, but I don’t think this debate will have quite the impact on the populace that the last one did.

21.25 Tyler Miksanek

Education and gun control are not as easily connected as Obama wants them to be.

21.24 Matthew Dudak

Obama brings up Romney’s seeking of the NRA endorsement.

21.24 Sam Niiro

Romney smile! It’s no Biden smile, but I like it.

21.24 Julia Nusgart

Speaking from the view point of an average American: What!?

21.23 Bradley Disbrow

Romney making another appeal to bipartisanship. Great stuff!

21.23 Tyler Miksanek

If Romney is correct, a whole lot of bipartisanship goes on in Massachusetts.

21.23 Matthew Dudak

Romney jumps from guns to marriage to Mexican drug cartels. Huh?

21.23 Julia Nusgart

You tell him Candy!!

21.22 Tyler Miksanek

Romney brings up the Fast and Furious scandal. Vin Diesel sits up in his chair, somewhere.

21.22 Claire Bratzel

I feel like Romney is lecturing me and trying to be my life coach. No me gusta.

21.22 Bradley Disbrow

Romney’s trying to change culture. That’s really difficult.

21.21 Sam Niiro

Mitt Romney turning a question about gun control into one about marriage. What is going on?

21.21 Tyler Miksanek

There are many good reasons to run scared from the NRA. Namely, they have guns!

21.19 Sam Niiro

This is a topic where neither candidate will win points with those in favor of gun control, because they’re too busy running scared from the NRA.

21.19 Matthew Dudak

“Weapons that were designed for soldiers in war theaters don’t belong on our streets.” -Obama

21.18 Matthew Dudak

“There have been too many instances in my Presidency that I have had to comfort the families who have lost someone, most recently in Aurora.” Powerful statement by Obama.

21.18 Tyler Miksanek

It’s a good topic. If an uncomfortable one to end on.

21.18 Julia Nusgart

The audience looks extremly bored.

21.18 Sam Niiro

Gun control. I believe that’s the first time anyone’s mentioned this topic in the course of all of these debates.

21.17 Tyler Miksanek

“Am I incorrect in that regard?” Romney, you are running to be the president. You should know the answer.

21.17 Sam Niiro

Romney also corrected by the moderator about Obama’s “act of terror” comment.

21.17 Matthew Dudak

Candy effectively clears up and makes sure that issues are being debated, not facts. I really like her as a moderator.

21.16 Sam Niiro

Clapping from the audience? Surprising.

21.15 Claire Bratzel

Things got awkwardly silent in the room.

21.15 Sam Niiro

Obama calling Romney out on his attempt to insinuate that the administration was concealing details of the attack.

21.15 Tyler Miksanek

Obama finally sounds angry.

21.15 Matthew Dudak

Obama takes full credit for the attack, explicitly voiding Clinton’s comment. Romney can no longer say that Clinton’s comment was a political move. Smooth.

21.14 Sam Niiro

Obama is making the correct response to Candy’s question, as well.

21.14 Julia Nusgart

Candy Crowley should not be wearing a two button suit, one button would make her look so much better.

21.14 Tyler Miksanek

Crowley brings up the Hilary Clinton statement… Obama explains it well.

21.14 Matthew Dudak

And Candy brings in Hil-dawg’s question. Good job by Candy.

21.14 Sam Niiro

That “unraveling” line must have tested very well in focus groups, because this is the fourth time I’ve heard it from Romney or Ryan.

21.13 Tyler Miksanek

Romney’s answer on the Libya issue was both rambling and boring.

21.13 Bradley Disbrow

Romney’s painting Obama like he doesn’t care about the assassination – it’s effective, but what was Romney’s alibi?

21.11 Sam Niiro

Indeed, Obama’s avoiding this question, but he’s cloaking it in so much “I MAKE THE TOUGH DECISIONS THAT NEED TO BE MADE” rhetoric that he comes off as presidential.

21.11 Bradley Disbrow

Well said from Obama, “you don’t turn national security into a political issue.” Well said.

21.11 Tyler Miksanek

I would like to point out that Obama’s speaking time is once again well above Romney’s.

21.10 Matthew Dudak

Ms. Bratzel I think he kind of side-stepped that point. He only talked about what happens after the embassy was overrun.

21.10 Emily Perlstein

Neither candidate is coming off as interesting/especially likeable. Time for them to start fist fighting.

21.09 Claire Bratzel

Did Obama just contradict Hillary Clinton when she took responsibility for Benghazi?

21.09 Julia Nusgart

I have to admit, I am almost embarrassed that the people who want to be the leader of our country cannot stop arguing like a bunch of kids. Really if they have to argue put it into a passionate debate, not a seven year old like whine!

21.09 Matthew Dudak

Ooh, this is relevant.Especially since Hil-dawg just said that the request stopped at the State Department.

21.09 Bradley Disbrow

Oh, just the arguing on TV. That’s the emotion I felt when watching this debate, and I think that really sums up my feelings about this debate.

21.09 Matthew Dudak

I think Obama actually called this Kerry questioner Kara. Awkward.

21.08 Tyler Miksanek

Barack Obama: “I’m here.” But he sure wasn’t last time.

21.07 Matthew Dudak

Yes, Mr. Disbrow?

21.07 Bradley Disbrow


21.07 Sam Niiro


21.07 Tyler Miksanek

Sam- The Klaxons. But back to the debate…

21.07 Sam Niiro


21.06 Matthew Dudak

Obama, Romney and Candy all just make “uhhh uhhh uhhh” sounds over each other. Fruitful debate.

21.06 Bradley Disbrow

Illegal immigrants would never deport themselves. This should not even be something they talk about because it would never happen.

21.06 Sam Niiro

…when did I bring up indie rock?

21.05 Tyler Miksanek

Sam, don’t bring indie rock into this. The Animals: “Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”. It’s the only way.

21.04 Sam Niiro

“Let’s speak to the idea of self-deportation.” Romney would rather not, so he’s just going to ignore your question.

21.04 Matthew Dudak

Or, alternately, vuvuzellas.

21.04 Bradley Disbrow

It is terribly unfortunate that Romney is flip-flopping as much as he is…I like his positions on things now, where he’s actually trying to appeal to non-Tea Party voters.

21.04 Sam Niiro

They need klaxons to go off whenever time is exceeded. It’s the only way.

21.03 Tyler Miksanek

Obama is well over his allotted time here.

21.03 Matthew Dudak

Romney seems to be looking longingly at Obama speaking. It is inevitable.

21.02 Sam Niiro

It’s also the position Obama holds.

21.02 Bradley Disbrow

I think Romney did pretty well on that question – bringing up DREAM Act while declining amnesty, which I think is a position most reasonable voters hold.

21.01 Julia Nusgart

Tyler, this whole debate is awkward.

21.01 Matthew Dudak

Can I just say that so far I am very impressed with Candy? She is the only good part of this debate so far.

21.01 Tyler Miksanek

Obama gets the name of the question asker wrong… awkward.

21.00 Tyler Miksanek

I disagree, Mr. Dudak. He’s actually handling the issue very well, and in a centrist manner.

21.00 Claire Bratzel

That sounded like part of the DREAM Act, Mr. Romney…

21.00 Matthew Dudak

Immigration, a topic where Romney looses any hope of minority votes.

20.59 Julia Nusgart

Matthew why does everything seem to come back to Presidental PDA?

20.59 Sam Niiro

Mr. Romney currently making a VERY good case for President Obama’s immigration plan.

20.59 Sam Niiro

Oh snap, good wording Mr. Disbrow. And that’s silly because Presidents have more control of foreign policy! Oh, America.

20.59 Matthew Dudak

Maybe Biden comes out and kisses Romney instead?

20.58 Tyler Miksanek

It’s true Mr. Dudak. You need 150,000 jobs created per month to begin to combat unemployment.

20.58 Bradley Disbrow

I’m not saying the debate is about domestic policy. I’m saying the election is about domestic policy, as Governor Romney just said.

20.58 Claire Bratzel

I would prefer Joe Biden singing and dancing around the stage, personally.

20.57 Matthew Dudak

Romney brings up the relationship between unemployment and population growth. Good point Mr. Governor.

20.57 Tyler Miksanek

I want Joe Biden to step out from the back corner of the room, laugh, and then interrupt Romney. That would liven things up a bit.

20.57 Matthew Dudak


20.56 Tyler Miksanek

“If Obamacare is passed…” Mr. Romney, it is no longer 2010.

20.56 Sam Niiro

Actually, Mr. Disbrow, I don’t believe this debate is explicitly about domestic policy. It’s simply that most questioners are not worried about Iran or China, but about jobs and healthcare.

20.55 Julia Nusgart

On CURRENT they show live “tweets” from people watching at home. News these days.

20.55 Matthew Dudak

Romney seems rather worn out by now. He seems and looks really tired.

20.55 Tyler Miksanek

Romney knocks the unemployment numbers critique out of the park.

20.54 Bradley Disbrow

Unfortunately, this election is about domestic policy. Also, Candy’s actually standing up to them. Well done to her!

20.54 Matthew Dudak

Mr. Niiro, I feel like Candy is trying to get them to really debate each other though and they aren’t listening.

20.54 Sam Niiro

That’s the whole point of a town hall, Ms. Nusgart and Mr. Dudak.

20.53 Tyler Miksanek

Bradley, I agree. Obama’s foreign policy record is stronger than his domestic policy record.

20.53 Matthew Dudak

Excellent point, Ms. Nusgart.

20.52 Tyler Miksanek

That being said, Obama is doing a very good job defending his record.

20.52 Julia Nusgart

This debate is rather boring. Neither candidate is really debating with each other, rather just making statements to the audience. The best they do is argue about who is lying.

20.52 Bradley Disbrow

“Why should I vote for you again?” And Obama goes to foreign policy as the knee-jerk reaction. That’s kind of telling.

20.52 Tyler Miksanek

Question asker just misstated his question- saying 2012 instead of 2008. HE HAD ONE JOB!

20.52 Matthew Dudak

This is probably the question that everyone is asking right now.

20.51 Sam Niiro

Oh, this question is CRUCIAL for Obama.

20.51 Bradley Disbrow

Wow. Obama just totally trashed Romney by saying he’s more extreme than Bush. That’s rough.

20.51 Emily Perlstein

Wait Obama just made Bush sound better than Romney? What?!

20.51 Tyler Miksanek

Obama just stumbled, confusing the words countries and companies. Now corporations aren’t just people, they’re entire countries?

20.50 Sam Niiro

Oh, Obama is slamming Romney on this Bush thing. This is rough.

20.50 Matthew Dudak

Obama is fairly effectively tearing down Romney’s interest in small business by saying the companies he has invested in have outsourced.

20.50 Sam Niiro

Obama saying Romney can’t be trusted to get tough on China. I’ve landed in Bizarro-land again.

20.50 Tyler Miksanek

Romney did a good job of explaining conservative ideology there, in a way that will appeal to swing voters as well. However, Obama had a ready comeback.

20.49 Bradley Disbrow

Matt, to answer your question, yes. I think that Republicans now find it, if hard to swallow, politically savvy to decry Bush. Poor guy.

20.49 Sam Niiro

Most Republicans are certainly of the consensus that distancing themselves from Bush is critical, Mr. Dudak, if that’s what you mean.

20.48 Bradley Disbrow

Balanced budget is where Romney should try to differentiate himself, as well as advocacy for small businesses. I’m glad he’s at least trying to get away from the big-business country-club image of the Republican Party.

20.48 Matthew Dudak

“My priority is jobs.” How many times has Romney said this on the election trail?

20.48 Matthew Dudak

Are most Republicans of the consensus that the Bush administration was a bit of a disgrace? Because that is how Romney sounds right now.

20.47 Julia Nusgart

HIS (Romney’s) TIE IS CROOKED YET AGIAN!! Now I am upset.

20.47 Tyler Miksanek

Finally, he gets back to the question.

20.47 Emily Perlstein

With the Planned Parenthood, as a woman, I feel he was pandering far too much. Instead of coming off as treating women equally, it seemed as if he viewed those as the only issues that women will care about.

20.47 Tyler Miksanek

This question about Bush is crucial to the campaign. Romney ignores it and changes the subject.

20.47 Bradley Disbrow

Good question to ask Romney how to differentiate himself from President Bush, and I think Romney is REALLY appealing to the center on the whole women should have contraceptive access thing.

20.47 Sam Niiro

“Without having to go to the Arabs.” Uh…

20.46 Claire Bratzel

Paul Ryan disagrees with what Romney just said about employers and contraception…

20.46 Matthew Dudak

Ooh, forcing Romney to differentiate himself from Bush. I am interested to see his response.

20.45 Claire Bratzel

Ooh, great question! Come on Romney, don’t screw this up!

20.45 Julia Nusgart

Just realized, not a big fan of Candy’s suit. Those colors don’t do anything for her.

20.45 Tyler Miksanek

Obama brings Planned Parenthood into the discussion… he’s not helping himself with the base nearly enough to offset the risk this poses with swing voters.

20.44 Matthew Dudak

I have no problem with him bringing up Planned Parenthood. I think most people realize that Planned Parenthood does lots of good like breast cancer checks and such.

20.44 Sam Niiro

Clarification: Planned Parenthood may be divisive, but Obama needs to mobilize his base. Defending Planned Parenthood is a key way of doing that.

20.44 Sam Niiro

…why not?

20.44 Emily Perlstein

Okay Obama, maybe don’t bring up Planned Parenthood.

20.43 Sam Niiro

He also answered in a way that implied that women have to take care of their families, too (because that’s a job for women and not men, of course), and thus must be given more flexibility. Nothing about increasing flexibility for families in general, but because women have to be mothers to be valid.

20.43 Matthew Dudak

Ensure in quotation marks by the way.

20.42 Matthew Dudak

Romney is coming off as sexist by going too far to ensure equality. To the point that it is unequal.

20.42 Claire Bratzel

I think Romney is not doing very well, although he thinks he is. The focus on recruiting women makes it sound like there were none that immediately came to mind or were around him, and that he just did it because he knew one day he’d have to answer this question.

20.42 Sam Niiro

Romney’s answer…has nothing to do with women.

20.42 Bradley Disbrow

EPerlz, it’s because it’s where he shines. His record in Massachusetts was excellent, and if he keeps bringing it up it will stick.

20.41 Tyler Miksanek

After story time with Obama we get story time with Romney. Actual responses remain to be found.

20.41 Sam Niiro

Romney is enforcing old-school gender stereotypes in how he talks about women in the workplace. Phenomenal.

20.41 Emily Perlstein

How many times is Romney going to mention that he was the governor of massachusetts? I think we’re all pretty informed. Also did Romney just admit that the only reason these women got hired was because he needed diversity? That does not sit well with me.

20.41 Bradley Disbrow

USA Today, of course, but it was probably a reputable poll.

20.40 Matthew Dudak

Also, since our colleague Mr. Baird is not present, I will say this for him: ROMNEY STRAIGHTEN YOUR TIE.

20.40 Sam Niiro

And he is not answering anything about the gender pay gap.

20.40 Tyler Miksanek

Romney does have the gender gap to deal with, so his response to the women’s issues question is more important than Obama’s.

20.40 Matthew Dudak

Romney goes back to talking about his fantastic cabinet in Massachusetts.

20.40 Bradley Disbrow

Nusgart – his lead is not so solid among women anymore. I think it is 49-48 in swing states.

20.39 Bradley Disbrow

Obama should hit this one out of the park.

20.39 Matthew Dudak

“This is not just a women’s issue, this is a family issue, this is a middle class issue.” Great statement by Obama.

20.38 Sam Niiro

Obama ought to be able to win when it comes to the gender pay gap.

20.38 Emily Perlstein

This question is great for Obama. He has consistently campaigned for workplace equality. It’ll be interesting to see how Romney responds, especially since Obama has constantly accused him of being an enemy of women.

20.38 Julia Nusgart


20.38 Bradley Disbrow

I feel so sorry for the people who have to watch this in person and actually ask questions. Also, it’s storytime.

20.37 Matthew Dudak

This is pretty much what needs to happen. If Obama can kiss Chavez, he can kiss Romney.

20.37 Sam Niiro

Moderator says she will get “run out of town” if she doesn’t control the debate. Probably true.

20.36 Emily Perlstein

I feel like Julia and I need to have our own analysis of the candidates’ fashion choices. Also I love this new moderator.

20.36 Bradley Disbrow

Romney does best when he talks about what he did in Massachusetts – everyone likes Governor Romney even if they don’t like Presidential Nominee Romney.

20.36 Tyler Miksanek

Romney on numbers – “of course they add up.”

20.35 Sam Niiro

Romney refuses to admit the possibility of any inaccuracies or inconsistencies in his math.

20.35 Matthew Dudak

Candy stopping the candidates from arguing about math. Thank god. Somebody had to.

20.35 Tyler Miksanek

It’s the ‘Deal’ evolution Sam. We went from Square Deal to New Deal to Fair Deal to Sketchy Deal.

20.35 Sam Niiro

TODAY ON RANTAWEEK: Steamy presidential makeouts.

20.35 Bradley Disbrow

Obama just delivered an excellent line about Romney’s investing background – that hit him hard, in my opinion.

20.34 Julia Nusgart

Matthew, the true winner is clearly my amazing analysis of the candidate’s fashion choices.

20.34 Matthew Dudak

I feel like them wearing the same tie would probably entice them to look into each others eyes and end in a steamy kiss more than they already are enticed to do it.

20.34 Claire Bratzel

I hope not, Tyler. I hope they never speak to one another, just maintain a stony silence.

20.34 Tyler Miksanek

Obama brings up Romney’s tax rate. Why didn’t this happen in the first debate?

20.34 Sam Niiro

Obama calling Romney’s plan a “sketchy deal”.

20.33 Tyler Miksanek

Just thinking… do the campaigns discuss tie choices before hand so that both candidates don’t wear the same tie? That would be awkward for everyone.

20.33 Claire Bratzel

Very pessimistic, Sam. Very diplomatic, Matthew. Thanks for actually answering, Bradley.

20.33 Emily Perlstein

Obama once again brings up the 5 trillion increase in the deficit from the last debate

20.32 Matthew Dudak

The true winner here is RantAWeek for our awesome panel.

20.32 Bradley Disbrow

Romney seems to do better behind a podium, talking to President Obama, rather than trying to relate to the people.

20.32 Matthew Dudak

Honestly, no one. Both are looking pretty bad right now.

20.32 Tyler Miksanek

Obama actually showed up this time. But both aren’t appearing all that likable.

20.32 Sam Niiro

We are all losing, Claire.

20.31 Sam Niiro

Romney brought up women, which seems…unwise.

20.31 Claire Bratzel

Okay: 1/3 of the way through review (it rhymes!): who is winning thus far?

20.31 Emily Perlstein

This may be because I’m convinced he’s a robot, but Romney seems somewhat stiff tonight.

20.31 Sam Niiro

Another reminder: both sides define middle-class as extending up to a household income of 250,000.

20.30 Matthew Dudak

Niiro, I did. Also, CSPAN is showing split screen with one side of Obama and his front. It is a bit confusing.

20.30 Bradley Disbrow

There goes Obama, hitting Romney at his weakest points, aka everything he said before this debate began.

20.30 Tyler Miksanek

Yes, Sam. It’s nothing new.

20.29 Sam Niiro

Confession time: did anyone else mostly tune out when the tax conversation started?

20.29 Matthew Dudak

I am leaning toward extremely steamy kiss. I think that would boost their ratings among most people.

20.29 Bradley Disbrow

Stunning analysis, Sam.

20.29 Emily Perlstein

Good reference on Obama’s part to Clinton-era taxes

20.28 Sam Niiro

Because they both know eye contact would result in a violent fistfight or an incredibly steamy kiss. Something has to break the tension.

20.27 Robert Lampros

They don’t even look near each other when they pass by. This is so awkward…

20.27 Sam Niiro

I doubt anyone except us and pundits makes the connection to Biden.

20.27 Claire Bratzel

“A recent study is shown” should be banned from the debate. That shows and demonstrates NOTHING.

20.27 Emily Perlstein

That it does Sam. Obama needs this type of set up to make up for his passive performance last time. Also, we all know this is more entertaining.

20.27 Matthew Dudak

Romney is continually saying the middle class has been “buried” using Biden’s gaffe for his own gain.

20.27 Julia Nusgart


20.26 Sam Niiro

Does “actually debating” mean “on the verge of a fistfight”? Because yeah, it does feel like that.

20.26 Bradley Disbrow

Is what Romney is saying true? I think this represents a break from his previous policy, which is not hard to believe.


20.25 Emily Perlstein

EPerlz is here! I like this set up, it feels much more like they are actually debating each other.


20.25 Sam Niiro

She’s talking to the President, cut her some slack. She’s doing a better job than PHIL did.

20.24 Robert Lampros

If education credits were so important why did you forget about them ‘uncommitted voter’? ANSWER ME THAT!

20.24 Tyler Miksanek

Interrupting worked for Biden and Ryan, but it’s not working here.

20.24 Matthew Dudak

The questioner forgot her third credit. Is she related to Rick Perry? I guarantee you this time it isn’t the EPA.

20.24 Claire Bratzel

I think having podiums is a good idea, because them just standing so close to each other is just weird.

20.24 Robert Lampros

I’m not sure if that was supposed to be a joke from Obama about being interrupted?

20.23 Bradley Disbrow

Romney, stop arguing with the moderator. Dear God, this is way worse than last time.

20.23 Matthew Dudak


20.23 Tyler Miksanek

Crowley holds the line against Romney once again.

20.23 Robert Lampros

Romney fighting for time again

20.22 Sam Niiro

On another note: Keystone XL will not create jobs (Keystone XL is an awful lie being pushed by Canadian corporations that want their work done with American gas dollars. Educate yo’self).

20.22 Matthew Dudak

I am not so sure I am liking either of the candidates right now. Both seem too nasty.

20.22 Robert Lampros

I think that the Obama campaign may be too focused this week on attacking Romney rather than supporting themselves. Obama could and should be talking about how they do not set gas prices but instead hes using his time to show Americans that he is the strong guy who can attack Romney when he ‘lies’ (according to Obama)

20.22 Julia Nusgart

Another nonverbal commuincation note (not that they need any over their shouting, really do they realize they have microphones?) Romney’s suit does not fit him very well. Not very presidental.

20.21 Sam Niiro

OH SNAP. Obama just accused Romney’s policies of leading us to another depression.

20.21 Tyler Miksanek

Neither appears very likable I’ll give you that, Mr. Disbrow.

20.21 Matthew Dudak

Ms. Bratzel, I agree. They don’t want a possible repeat of the Nader drain from Gore.

20.21 Bradley Disbrow

Both of their approval ratings are tanking right now. Let’s talk about how much this conflict is dragging both of them down.

20.20 Tyler Miksanek

“You’ll get your chance in a moment; I’m still speaking.” -Mitt Romney just scolded the President.

20.20 Sam Niiro

Why does Obama not mention that he does not have direct control over gas prices? Does he really believe Americans can’t understand that basic fact?

20.20 Claire Bratzel

They’re hippies, but they aren’t dumb. I think they’d rather have Obama than Romney because they know a vote for Jill Stein will not do anything except hurt Obama.

20.20 Sam Niiro


20.19 Robert Lampros

The Big Bird campaign was not a good decision in my opinion. It was way overused and even Sesame Street didn’t want it to be going on.

20.19 Matthew Dudak

Ms. Bratzel, perhaps they will just vote for Jill Stein?

20.19 Claire Bratzel

Watching this is making me feel awkward.

20.19 Tyler Miksanek

Are they both allowed to stand up and yell at each other at the same time? Because that’s what is happening.

20.19 Bradley Disbrow

Damn, this is getting nasty. Candy, Candy, help me out here.

20.19 Sam Niiro

This suddenly became a very aggressive town hall. Oh my.

20.19 Julia Nusgart

I am watching PBS to support Big Bird, but I will probably change the channel.

20.19 Claire Bratzel

Dudak: Nah, he may have angered them, but he definitely didn’t move them to vote for Romney.

20.18 Bradley Disbrow

Amen, Claire. Amen.

20.18 Sam Niiro

Tally: |||

20.18 Claire Bratzel

I think Obama and Romney could go back and forth with anecdotes about how the other flip flopped long ago, but it really gets them nowhere.

20.18 Sam Niiro

Here’s an explanation of why Keystone XL won’t help. Short version: it moves oil across the USA for export, not for selling it here.

20.18 Matthew Dudak

“We are drilling more on public lands than ever before.” -Obama. Did he just lose some environmentalists?

20.17 Robert Lampros

But who is right!

20.17 Tyler Miksanek

It’s when you take coal and then pour water over it. Green energy!

20.17 Sam Niiro

Tally: ||

20.17 Matthew Dudak

Mr. Niiro, I agree. I don’t think there is such a thing as “clean coal.”

20.16 Robert Lampros

Sam I agree. The concept of ‘clean coal’ doesn’t make any sense.

20.16 Sam Niiro

Keystone XL will not make the energy situation better in the United States.


20.16 Bradley Disbrow

You’re right Sam, no such thing.

20.16 Bradley Disbrow

After the debate, of course. Also, good job to Romney on tying energy back to jobs.


20.16 Sam Niiro

Can I just say I hate “clean coal”? I hate “clean coal”. Just had to get that off my chest.

20.15 Sam Niiro

This is a very aggressive town hall.

20.15 Tyler Miksanek

“Let’s look at the president’s policies, not his rhetoric.” Good line, Mr. Romney.

20.14 Julia Nusgart


Number 1: Obama’s tie is a nice color. A little wintry for my taste but still very classy and a nice color for his skin tone.

Number 2: Romney’s tie is okay. It looks nice but the stripes are distracting.

Number 3: Yes their ties matter because appearance is an important form of nonverbal communication and is the first thing many are judged on and lets face it they want to be the president. A job scrutinized almost as heavily as being a Hollywood celebrity.

20.14 Tyler Miksanek

Obama is really hammering in the position of Romney as an elitist only looking out for the upper class. I’m not sure how well it’s working.

20.14 Matthew Dudak

Niiro, clearly CSPAN is the superior way to watch it.

20.14 Bradley Disbrow

Fair enough. If anything I do enjoy CNN’s graphics, but their analysis is horrible.

20.13 Matthew Dudak

Obama fields an energy question by talking about natural gas and environmentally friendly energy.

20.13 Sam Niiro

I don’t trust the undecided voters poll, Bradley, but that’s because I refuse to give any business to schlocky news sources like CNN. I only watch debates on C-SPAN. Mm, yes, quite.

20.12 Sam Niiro

Oh, gas price question. Will Obama successfully answer it? (Answer: no, for some reason he doesn’t mention that his administration doesn’t set gas prices, which is the obvious answer)

20.12 Matthew Dudak

Candy Crowley is much more aggressive than Lehrer as well. I think she went to Raddatz’ moderation class.

20.12 Bradley Disbrow

Don’t know how much we’re relying on the little undecided voters’ tally on the bottom of CNN’s screen, but they reacted very poorly to the President’s attacks on Mr. Romney. Also, Romney makes the first interruption of the night. Off to a great start, people.

20.12 Tyler Miksanek


20.11 Sam Niiro

I don’t think Obama’s ever successfully sounded angry.

20.11 Tyler Miksanek

Obama’s words are more aggressive this week, but he still doesn’t sell it with tone.

20.11 Sam Niiro

“Romney doesn’t have a five-point plan, he has a one-point plan. And that plan is to make sure people at the top don’t have to play by the same rules.” Obama doubling down on some populist rhetoric.

20.11 Matthew Dudak

Obama comes out much more aggressive in this debate. It seems he learned from last time.

20.10 Sam Niiro

And Obama accuses Romney of lying. Let’s keep a tally: |.

20.10 Sam Niiro

Wait, did anyone understand Romney’s wording on taking auto companies bankrupt?

20.10 Matthew Dudak

Companies come out stronger after bankruptcy according to Romney.

20.09 Tyler Miksanek

Newsletter to both candidates: You don’t create jobs just by saying you’re going to create new jobs. You actually need a plan.

20.09 Bradley Disbrow

Romney brings in the first numbers of the night…and relates it a little more closely to Jeremy!

20.09 Sam Niiro

Romney promises 12 million more jobs and a rise in pay again. Again, he offers no specifics. Do I detect a unified theme for the night?

20.09 Matthew Dudak

Candy asks Romney for a more specific answer. She saw right through that. Can’t fool Candy.

20.08 Sam Niiro

Is this lighting doing bad things for Romney’s complexion, or is it just my TV at work?

20.08 Sam Niiro

Obama is doing very little (read: nothing) to directly answer Jeremy’s question.

20.08 Tyler Miksanek

Obama actually has a list of things to do this time. That’s an improvement.

20.07 Bradley Disbrow

Obama also dodges the question of employment specifically…instead talking about business policy in general and educational grants and energy. Can either of you just answer the question?

20.06 Sam Niiro

Obama says he wants to build more manufacturing jobs. Not sure what value that has to college students.

20.06 Bradley Disbrow

Romney spent a lot of time on vagueness and education…this answer wasn’t really filled with statistics like his last debate performance. Is he trying to be less assertive and more relatable?

20.06 Matthew Dudak

Romney leaves out specifics. Just after we thought numbers and science were making a revival in American politics.

20.05 Sam Niiro

He will change the employment situation. Outside of suggesting higher grants and more loans, it is unclear how.

20.05 Matthew Dudak

Romney wants to raise grants and loans for students.

20.04 Tyler Miksanek

Mitt Romney appreciates Jeremy’s question. And then doesn’t answer it.

20.04 Matthew Dudak

There was echo echo echo for a second.

20.03 Sam Niiro

Romney fields an employment question from a college student.

20.03 Matthew Dudak

Will we see the return of a strange, white-haired man wandering around behind the camera? Oh wait, that was McCain.

20.03 Bradley Disbrow

Guys, they switched tie colors. This is significant.

20.02 Matthew Dudak

The candidates enter the town hall.

20.02 Bradley Disbrow

CNN says that (apparently) Obama’s poor debate performance last time caused voters to give Romney a second look. I suppose we’ll see how Obama and Romney both respond tonight. Moderated by the lovely Candy Crowley, of course.

20.01 Sam Niiro

We begin.

20.00 Bradley Disbrow

Hello all! Thanks again to Rantaweek for having us – should be an interesting debate!

20.00 Matthew Dudak

Its almost go time.

19.57 Sam Niiro

And for those of you who’ve missed all the debate coverage, an award-winning newsmagazine from a college that will remain unnamed has you covered.

19.55 Tyler Miksanek

To add to Sam’s ‘stuff to read before the debate’ pile. The Economist had an interesting metaphor breakdown of the first debate.

19.53 Sam Niiro

Good evening, everyone. At the moment, opening statements you don’t care about are happening. On a more interesting note for those of you who aren’t tapped into the news cycle, a document was recently leaked revealing that these debates are intentionally boring.

19.12 Tyler Miksanek

Welcome to the 2nd Presidential Debate Liveblog. We enter this debate with the national polls practically tied, although Obama still seems to hold some advantages when the state-by-state electoral math is factored in. However, Obama’s rocky debate performance two weeks ago puts him under the most pressure tonight. More positive momentum given to the Republicans by a second debate victory could erase Obama’s tenuous lead. Stay tuned, because it should be an interesting show!


  • On October 16, 2012 at 8:00 pm Peter Lindquist said

    I like the website/blog, good idea. but what would be your quick sum-up of how you predict the debate to go?


  • On October 16, 2012 at 8:23 pm Peter Lindquist said

    I think obamas smart for trying to “attack” or rather make sure he tells Romney what he’s saying is a lie at least once every few sentences.


  • On October 16, 2012 at 8:29 pm Peter Lindquist said

    They both want a good fist fight right now, and they both know it.


    • On October 16, 2012 at 9:59 pm Tyler Miksanek said

      That would make much better television than what we just saw.


  • On October 16, 2012 at 8:30 pm Peter Lindquist said

    i dont think mormons would support a “steamy kiss”


  • On October 16, 2012 at 8:37 pm Peter Lindquist said

    why does she even try? i wouldnt.


  • On October 16, 2012 at 8:49 pm Smith Mitchell said

    Romney is too focused on his “five points”. If he could focus more on the question, he would be much more influential. (in many cases not just this)


  • On October 16, 2012 at 8:51 pm Smith Mitchell said

    AANNDD back to planned parenthood


  • On October 16, 2012 at 9:03 pm Smith Mitchell said

    “Pathway to citizenship” used by both candidates…


  • On October 16, 2012 at 9:05 pm Smith Mitchell said

    Romney can put forth his opinions on the previous question, but needs to respond to candy’s prompt.


    • On August 14, 2014 at 1:23 pm Lina said

      I told my grmehaotdnr how you helped. She said, “bake them a cake!”


  • On October 16, 2012 at 9:09 pm Smith Mitchell said

    kind of a localized question here isn’t it?


  • On October 16, 2012 at 9:13 pm Smith Mitchell said

    President Obama continues to say that “He said and he did” which can be a very solid point. Unfortunately, his current objectives are the same as those he had in 2008 that he did NOT achieve.


    • On October 16, 2012 at 9:59 pm Tyler Miksanek said

      True, one of Obama’s biggest problems in this election.


  • On October 16, 2012 at 9:21 pm Smith Mitchell said

    Good pull on family argument by Romney.


  • On October 16, 2012 at 9:22 pm Smith Mitchell said

    Operation Fast and Furious is HUGE. One of the least talked about crises for Obama.


    • On October 16, 2012 at 10:00 pm Tyler Miksanek said

      I’m surprised Romney/Ryan hasn’t focused more on it. Maybe because few people know about it?


  • On October 16, 2012 at 9:25 pm Smith Mitchell said

    Obama ignores Fast and Furious?


  • On October 16, 2012 at 9:28 pm Smith Mitchell said

    Hmmm… Floating China’s currency?


  • On October 16, 2012 at 9:36 pm Smith Mitchell said

    Tyler, football is always better than politics.


  • On October 16, 2012 at 9:39 pm Smith Mitchell said

    I think the 100% sort of helped Romney recover.


  • On October 16, 2012 at 9:57 pm Angela said

    Great liveblog!! I especially enjoyed Julia Nusgart’s closing comment./ Looking forward to tomorrow’s analysis article!


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