Words and sparks fly at the second US presidential debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney
Following a first presidential debate characterized by a fiery performance – Big Bird or no Big Bird – by Republican nominee, Governor Mitt Romney, and a lacklustre presentation by Democratic President Barack Obama, this week’s follow-up was not without expectations on the part of either party.
Republicans, dejected by the outcome of the vice-presidential debate last week, sought a comeback to match Romney’s first performance. Democrats were crying for blood in their desperation to see their nominee regain his footing.
Conducted in town-hall style, with CNN’s Candy Crawley at the moderator’s helm, both speakers were equally on the offensive this time round. President Obama proved himself back in the game, disarming his opponent more than once. Governor Romney was not without his acid comebacks either.
Here we present some of the best quotes from the engaging evening.
President Barack Obama
“A lot of this campaign has been devoted to this notion that I think government creates jobs. That’s not what I believe. I believe the free enterprise system is the greatest engine of prosperity the world has ever known.”
“These are not just women’s issues. These are family issues. These are economic issues… That’s been one of the hallmarks of my administration. I’m going to continue to push on this issue for the next four years.”
Romney: “Mr. President, have you looked at your pension?”
Obama: “I don’t look at my pension, it’s not as big as yours so it doesn’t take as long.”
”When I hear Governor Romney say he’s a big coal guy, and keep in mind when, Governor, when you were governor of Massachusetts, you stood in front of a coal plant and pointed at it and said, ‘This plant kills,’ and took great pride in shutting it down. And now suddenly you’re a big champion of coal.”
“When he talks about getting tough on China, keep in mind that Governor Romney invested in companies that were pioneers of outsourcing to China… Governor, you’re the last person to get tough on China.”
“We are a nation of immigrants. I mean we’re just a few miles away from Ellis Island. We all understand what this country has become because talent from all around the world wants to come here.”
“Governor Romney says he’s got a five-point plan. Governor Romney doesn’t have a five-point plan, he has a one-point plan. And that plan is to make sure that folks at the top play by a different set of rules. “
Governor Mitt Romney
“All the applicants seemed to be men. And I went to my staff and said, ‘How come all the people for these jobs are all men?’ And, they said, ‘Well, these are the people that have the qualifications.’ And I said, ‘Well, gosh, can’t we find some women that are also qualified?’… I went to a number of women’s groups and said, ‘Can you help us find folks,’ and they brought us whole binders full of women.”
”Let’s look at the President’s policies, all right, as opposed to the rhetoric, because we’ve had four years of policies being played out.”
“The President’s policies throughout the Middle East began with an apology tour, and he pursued a strategy of leading from behind, and this strategy is unraveling before our very eyes.”
“I want to make sure we use our oil, our coal, our gas, our nuclear, our renewables… But what we don’t need is to have the President keeping us from taking advantage of oil, coal and gas. This has not been Mr Oil, or Mr Gas, or Mr Coal.”
“President Bush and I are different people and these are different times.”
“The top 5 percent will continue to pay 60 percent, as they do today. I’m not looking to cut taxes for wealthy people. I am looking to cut taxes for middle-income people.”
“The President’s campaign tried to characterize me as someone that is very different than who I am. I care about 100 percent of the American people. I care about our kids.”
“We’ve gone from $10 trillion of national debt to $16 trillion of national debt. If the President were re-elected, we’d go to almost $20 trillion of national debt. This puts us on a road to Greece.”
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