Gov. Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama, took the stage in Denver, Colo. on Wednesday, Sept. 3, to participate in the presidential debate regarding economics and entitlement.
The debate was mediated by Jim Lehrer, a former news anchor for PBS. Lehrer wrote and posed the questions for the candidates. Time seemed to get away from Lehrer as the candidates ignored his interruptions.
Justin Vaughn, assistant professor of political science, stated that he was not thrilled by the debate and was disappointed in both the moderator and in President Obama.
“Mitt Romney came off far more engaged and more determined than the President,” said Vaughn. “Obama’s self conscious, slow and deliberative pace of speaking made him appear almost meek.”
Vaughn said he felt the moderator was not assertive enough for the job and the candidates used that to their advantage.
“The moderator, Jim Lehrer, disappointed me most. There were rules that were supposed to be enforced and he didn’t enforce them,” Vaughn said. “They clearly trampled on him, but their job is to win. If you see an advantage and you are in a competition, you need to press that advantage. Once Lehrer made it clear that he wasn’t going to be firm, the wise strategic thing to do was to press.”
Richard Kinney, a professor of political science, said he was unsure of how successful President Obama’s performance was.
“I got mixed impressions from President Obama,” Kinney said. “Some thought Obama was rusty because he hadn’t had to go through that kind of debate in four years. Or was his demeanor such that he was trying to be more Presidential?”
Kinney also said he would have like both candidates to have been more informative.
Lance Moore, 22-year-old communication major and president of college democrats, said he was not impressed by the organization of the debate.
“I was actually pretty disappointed with the debate,” Moore said. “There wasn’t a lot of organization when it came to moderation. It turned into a he said, he said situation rather than a debate.”
“It was quality debate that was handled poorly, and facts were not explained,” Moore said.
Moore also stated that facial expression was a large factor in the debate.
“Romney’s emotions were showing on his face repeatedly and that was unbecoming,” Moore said. “When they let their emotions get the best of them it reminds you that they are just men, we often put the presidents on a pedestal but they are still just men that feel.”
Samuel Wonacott, a 24-year-old economics major, reinforced the idea that the debate was not stellar.
“There really wasn’t anything about the debate that impressed me,” Wonacott said. “Neither candidate really had to hold their feet to the fire.”
However, Wonacott did say he was shocked by Gov. Romney.
“I think Romney’s performance was unexpected and aggressive,” Wonacott said.
Wonacott also said that he felt there were no real solutions to a lot of big issues presented. Romney possesses one of Wonacott’s biggest pet peeves: “Romney always has this passive-aggressive smirk on his face and it drives me nuts,” Wonacott said.
“I will not under any circumstances raise taxes on middle-income families,” Gov. Romney said.
“I will take ideas from anybody, Democrat or Republican, as long as they’re advancing the cause of making middle-class families stronger and giving ladders of opportunity to the middle class,” President Obama said.