Who Won the Debate: Obama Makes a Comeback With a Vengence


On Tuesday evening, President Barack Obama and former Governor Mitt Romney will meet for the second time in a town hall style debate to discuss domestic and foreign policy with undecided voters. On the heels of a dominant first debate, Romney will look to increase the momentum his otherwise stagnant campaign has finally gained.

Obama on the other hand has pledged to improve on his lackluster performance, hopefully by criticizing policies other than Romney's plan to cut funding for Big Bird and the rest of PBS.

The format of the debate will be slightly unconventional in that preselected audience members will be called on to ask questions on basically any topic they choose. Unlike the previous two debates, the topics will likely be significantly more diverse, and slightly more unpredictable.

Additionally, this debate features the first female moderator, Candy Crowley, of a presidential debate in twenty years, and only the third since televised debates began in 1960. Crowley has recently created some controversy by saying she would consider asking follow up questions if she thought the candidates' answers were not satisfactory. In a rare moment of bipartisanship, both campaigns have made moves to forbid this. Regardless of what she does, Crowley is certain to get better reviews than Jim Lehrer did during the first debate, in which he was widely accused of allowing the candidates to walk over him.

Look for Obama to be considerably more aggressive this time around to hold Romney to his inconsistencies, while Romney will likely stick to his tactics of assertively challenging the president on his controversial policies.

Policy Mic will be covering the presidential debate live. For live updates, bookmark and refresh this page.

10:42 pm - Final thoughts: This was the most combative debate I have seen in a long time. Much more entertaining than the first debate. Nothing too terribly new added to either candidate's policies, but Obama was the clear winner.

10:39 pm - Slamdunk Obama. Ends the debate by attacking Romney about the 47% comments.

10:36 pm - Obama: I don't believe that government creates jobs. I believe in the free market, but that everyone deserves a free shot and should be on a level playing field. As the last remarks of the entire debate, Obama finally brings up the 47% comments by Romney. Romney will not have an opportunity to respond.

10:35 pm - Romney: "I care about 100% of the people of this country. ... My passion comes from the fact that I believe in God."

10:34 pm - Last question: What is the biggest misperception the American people have of you as a candidate.

10:32 pm - Candy Crowley asks how to bring manufacturing jobs to America like in China. Romney talks about building small businesses, Obama says some jobs (low wage low skill) won't come back to America. Wants "high wage, high skill" jobs.

From bindersfullofwomen.tumblr.com:

10:28 pm - Romney on how to stop outsourcing jobs: "I will label China a currency manipulator the first day of my presidency." #brokenrecord

10:27 pm - Romney: "Trickle down government has never worked here."

10:24 pm - My undecided roommate: Obama won on foreign policy and social issues, Romney won on economics and jobs. But Romney's social policies will kill him.

10:22 pm - ABC "unscientific" poll says about 2/3 of viewers think Obama won the debate.

10:20 pm - Romney: I don't want new legislation on guns. Agrees with Obama on gun control legislation. But also says preserving traditional marriage will help with mitigating gun violence.

10:16 pm - Candy Crowley just called Romney out for lying about when Obama called the Benghazi attack terrorism; applause from audience. Romney is incredibly flustered.

10:10 pm - Obama isn't answering question about why diplomatic security in Libya was lessened in months before the attack in Benghazi.

10:07 pm - Candy Crowley just asked Romney to sit down. #timeout

10:06 pm - Romney: "Obama, have you looked at your pension?" Obama: "No I haven't looked at my pension, it's not as big as yours."

10:04 pm - Reaction: "Candy is totally on Obama's side."

10:03 pm - First talk about immigration between the two candidates since Romney was nominated.

9:54 pm - Romney: If Obama is reelected, you will get four more years of the same. Obama is great at a speaker, but his record is a failure.

9:50 pm - Obama: George W. Bush was better than what Romney will be as president.

9:47 pm - Romney: "Our party has been focused on big business too long."

9:45 pm - Great question on how Romney will differentiate himself from Bush.

9:42 pm - Romney and Obama talking about women in the work place. Romney: Women down net over 500,000 jobs since Obama took office. Obama: Brought up Lily Ledbetter bill and support women's health.

9:36 pm - Romney avoids Obama's question as to how he will pay for his 8 trillion dollars worth of spending. Mentioned his business acumen.

9:35 pm - Reactions: Obama sounds like he's always on the defense and speaks in high pitch. Romney talks with a smoother cadence.

9:32 pm - Despite the campaigns' trepidations, Candy Crowley is definitely putting in her two cents.

9:30 pm - Obama: Romney's top down tax plan is exactly what this country does not need.

9:26 pm - Romney will reduce corporate tax rate to 26% but will not raise taxes on any middle class households. Obama's plan will cause taxes to raise across the board.

9:22 pm - Score for Obama: Romney will bring our economy back to what it was in 2009. Crowley is definitely being more forceful than Lehrer. Romney: "Obama got the first statement, so I get the last." Crowley: "Actually it doesn't work like that."

9:19 pm - Romney and Obama seriously going at it over oil. Straight up accusing each other of lying about oil, coal and gas production in the US.

Update 9:16 pm - Both candidates, especially Obama, are noticeably more forceful. Obama has already accused Romney twice of saying things that are not true.

Update 9:05 pm - The debate has started. Watch it live here:


12:09 p.m. Oct. 16 Debate Schedule: 

Topic: Town meeting format including foreign and domestic policy

The second presidential debate will take the form of a town meeting, in which citizens will ask questions of the candidates on foreign and domestic issues. Candidates each will have 2 minutes to respond, and an additional minute for the moderator to facilitate a discussion. The town meeting participants will be undecided voters selected by the Gallup Organization.