Town hall debates are supposed to be a bit less combative than other formats. Because candidates address their answers to real human beings instead of journalists, candidates usually dial back the attacks.
That did not happen on Tuesday. Instead, President Barack Obama, who had been criticized for not challenging Mitt Romney in the first debate, unloaded on the GOP nominee, taking direct aim at Mitt’s claims about a Romney administration. Moreover, he did so not just by attacking, but by sometimes giving Romney enough rope to hang himself. Here are the top five shots landed by Obama during the second debate.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, think about what the governor ó think about what the governor just said. He said when I took office, the price of gasoline was 1.80 (dollars), 1.86 (dollars). Why is that? Because the economy was on the verge of collapse; because we were about to go through the worst recession since the Great Depression as a consequence of some of the same policies that Governor Romney is now promoting. So it’s conceivable that Governor Romney could bring down gas prices, because with his policies we might be back in that same mess.
President Obama got in a few early shots, describing Romney’s five-point-plan as really a one-point-plan — tax cuts for the rich. But it was during a discussion about energy prices that Obama first began to do serious damage to Romney.
Romney was pushing Obama hard on oil production, arguing essentially that gas prices are high now because we’re not drilling enough, baby. Obama nicely threw the challenge back in Romney’s face, reminding voters that before the collapse of the banking industry, gas prices in the U.S. were routinely over $4.00 a gallon, higher than they are now.
Gas prices fell because the economy fell apart; they’ve risen because the economy is improving, and so demand for energy is higher. With this short exchange, Obama reminded voters that oil production is not the only thing that affects gas prices. More than that, he served notice that this time, he was not going to play around with Romney; he was going to bring the attack to his challenger.
Image Credit: Donkey Hotey
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