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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Round One to Romney: Presidential hopeful Mitt hammers lacklustre Obama in first live TV debate

By TOBY HARNDEN IN DENVER and HUGO GYE

Feeling good: A confident Mitt Romney pictured with his wife, son and grandson after the debate

Mitt Romney went for the jugular in the first presidential debate last night, overwhelming a lacklustre President Barack Obama with a relentlessly forceful performance that could give a significant boost to his White House hopes.
Trailing by several points in the polls, the Republican challenger needed to put in a strong performance in the first presidential debate in Denver. He more than rose to the occasion with even some of Obama’s most dedicated supporters declaring him the clear winner.

Consolation: The Obamas embrace at the end of the evening at Wednesday's debate in Denver

Despite the debate results, however, Mr Obama carries a slender margin in the latest Reuters poll - showing him haning on with 46 per cent of the vote, ahead of Mr Romney on 41 per cent.
From the outset, Mr Romney chided Mr Obama for promising to halve America’s annual deficit but instead doubling it and even compared him to a little boy who can’t tell the truth.
‘Look, I’ve got five boys,' he said. 'I’m used to people saying something that’s not always true, but just keep on repeating it and ultimately hoping I’ll believe it.’
Hitting Mr Obama with a blizzard of statistics, Mr Romney also hit back hard at what he saw as the President mischaracterising his plans: ‘Virtually everything he just said about my tax plan is inaccurate.'

Mr Romney was at the top of his game from the outset, coming across as pithier and punchier than Mr Obama, who seemed taken aback by being confronted so relentlessly and struggled to speak concisely.
The challenger's dominance came despite his having four minutes less talking time than the incumbent - Mr Romney spoke for 38 minutes and 32 seconds, while Mr Obama held the spotlight for 42 minutes and 50 seconds.
A CNN poll of registered voters who watched the debate reflected Mr Romney's perceived victory, as 67 per cent of respondents regarded him as the night's winner compared to just 25 per cent for Mr Obama.
Additionally, 58 per cent thought that the Republican came across as a stronger leader than the Democrat, while twice as many said the evening had made them more likely to vote for Mr Romney as said they were swayed towards the President.

Slender lead: The latest Reuters poll shows Mr Obama hanging on to a 46 per cent to 41 per cent lead over Mr Romney. But last night's debate, watched by U.S. voters - including people at Galapagos Art Space in Brooklyn - may be enough to change things in the popularity stakes

At the start, Mr Obama tried to make the debate about the next four years rather than his four years in office, saying: ‘The question here tonight is not where we've been but where we're going.’
But Mr Romney pummelled him repeatedly on the state of the economy. ‘The people who are having the hard time right now are middle-income Americans. Under the president’s policies, middle-income Americans have been buried,’ he said.
‘They’re just being crushed. Middle-income Americans have seen their income come down by $4,300. This is a tax in and of itself. I’ll call it the economy tax. It’s been crushing.
‘At the same time, gasoline prices have doubled under the president. Electric rates are up. Food prices are up. Health care costs have gone up by $2,500 a family. Middle-income families are being crushed.’

Take a bow: A final wave to the audience from President Obama as he and wife Michelle leave the stage

He added: ‘The President said that he’d cut the deficit in half. Unfortunately, he doubled it.'
Mr Obama spent much of the debate looking down at his notes and pursing his lips as Mr Romney spoke. He also appeared hesitant at time and his occasional attempts at humour fell flat.
While Mr Romney maintained his aggressive stance throughout, Mr Obama was surprisingly gentle on his opponent, failing to mention common attack lines on subjects such as Bain Capital outsourcing, the notorious '47 per cent' video and the supposed Republican ‘war on women’.
But Mr Romney declared: 'This is bigger than an election about the two of us as individuals. It’s bigger than our respective parties. It’s an election about the course of America.'

source: dailymail



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