US Viewers Say Romney Won Debate

    Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney (L) shakes hands with President Barack Obama following the first presidential debate at the University of Denver, October 3, 2012, in Denver.
    Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney (L) shakes hands with President Barack Obama following the first presidential debate at the University of Denver, October 3, 2012, in Denver.
    VOA News
    Voters think former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney was the winner in Wednesday's U.S. presidential debate, according to two overnight polls.

    A CNN poll of 430 registered voters said 67 percent of respondents believe Romney won the debate, compared to only 25 percent who said President Barack Obama, a Democrat, came out on top.

    A CBS poll of more than 500 undecided voters showed 46 percent believe Romney won the debate, 22 percent believe Obama won, and 32 percent say they tied.
    The First 2012 Presidential Debate

    Topics:

    • The Economy
    • Health Care
    • The Role of Government
    • Governing

    Format:

    • Six, 15-minute segments
    • Each segment opens with a question by the moderator
    • Candidates have two minutes each to respond, rest of segment used for discussion
    Source: Commission on Presidential Debates

    Campaign trail

    With the first debate behind them, the president and Romney headed back to their cross-country travels, seeking voters' support for next month's election.

    Romney is holding a rally in the southeastern state of Virginia with his running mate, Congressman Paul Ryan. Obama began his day in Denver, Colorado, the site of Wednesday night's debate, and he will travel later to Wisconsin, which is Ryan's home state.

    Economy

    During the debate Romney said Obama's policies have weakened the American economy and increased the national debt. He contended the president, if re-elected, would increase taxes and raise government spending to worsen the federal deficit.

    "So how do we deal with it [the deficit]? Well, mathematically, there are three ways that you can cut a deficit," said Romney. "One, of course, is to raise taxes; number two is to cut spending, and number three is to grow the economy, because if more people work in a growing economy, they are paying taxes and you can get the job done that way. The president would prefer raising taxes, I understand.  The problem with raising taxes is that it slows down the rate of growth and you can never quite get the job done."

    Taxes

    Romney said middle-income Americans have been "buried" or "crushed" under high taxes. He contends tax rates on both corporations and individuals must be reduced.

    Obama countered that Romney's tax plan would favor wealthy Americans and force severe cutbacks in important domestic programs.

    "This is where budgets matter, because budgets reflect choices," said Obama. "So when Governor Romney indicates that he wants to cut taxes, and potentially benefit [high-income] folks like me and him, and to pay for it we're having to initiate significant cuts in federal support for education, that makes a difference."

    The president said the first role of the federal government is to "keep the people safe," but it also should create "frameworks" in which people can succeed. He noted that, in the past, the government has helped create railroads, research institutions and educational institutions.

    Health care

    The two men also sparred about the health care reform law that Obama pushed through Congress. Romney once again pledged that he would repeal the law, commonly known as "Obamacare," if he were elected. He criticized the president for focusing on health care rather than the economy during Obama's first years in office.

    "There was a survey done of small businesses across the country that [asked], 'What has been the effect of Obamacare on your hiring plans?' And three-quarters of them said it makes us less likely to hire people," said Romney. "I just don't know how the president could have come into office [in January of 2009] facing 23 million people out of work, rising unemployment, an economic crisis at the kitchen table, and spent his energy and passion for two years fighting for Obamacare instead of fighting for jobs for the American people."

    Obama said the need to reform the U.S. health care system was and is a key issue for all Americans - business owners and individuals.

    "Well, four years ago when I was running for office I was traveling around and having those same conversations that Governor Romney talks about," said Obama. "And it was not just that small businesses were seeing costs skyrocket, and they could not get affordable coverage even if they wanted to provide it to their employees. It was not just that this was the biggest driver of our federal deficit, our overall health care costs. But it was families who were worried about going bankrupt if they got sick."

    Accomplishments

    In his closing statement, the president said he wants to expand the accomplishments of his first four years in the White House. He said he will work for change just as hard in a second term as he did in his first.

    Romney, who had the last word in the nationally televised debate, said re-electing the president would mean more hardship for the American middle class.
     
    The two candidates will meet for another debate on October 16 - a town hall-style session in which they will take questions from audience members.

    Photo Gallery

    • Kim Li, a junior at Denver University, watches the first 2012 U.S. presidential debate between President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on an outdoor screen at Denver University in Denver, Colorado, October 3, 2012.
    • Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, left, listens to President Barack Obama during the first presidential debate at the University of Denver.
    • President Barack Obama smiles at moderator Jim Lehrer during the first presidential debate with Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney at the University of Denver.
    • Moderator Jim Lehrer speaks to the audience at the start of the first presidential debate between President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in Denver.
    • Mitt Romney smiles at President Barack Obama during the first presidential debate.
    • President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney participate in the first presidential debate at the University of Denver in Denver.
    • Jessica Johnston (holding sign) watches the first 2012 presidential debate on an outdoor screen at Denver University in Denver, Colorado.
    • Dawn, left, and Randy Cornell, watch the presidential debate at the United Steelworkers Local 4856 Union Hall in Henderson, Nevada.
    • With a broadcast of the presidential debate reflected in a mirror above the bar, customers at the Havana Social Club in Seattle watch President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney debate.
    • Harriet Garrett reacts while watching the first Presidential debate between Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and President Barack Obama at a restaurant in the West Oak Lane section of Philadelphia.
    • President Barack Obama (R) listens as Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney speaks during the debate in Denver.
    • Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama shake hands after the first presidential debate at the University of Denver.
    • Mitt Romney and his wife Ann wave to the crowd following the debate.

    VOA News Storify: Who Won The First Presidential Debate
    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Cranksy from: USA
    October 04, 2012 1:14 PM
    In the following quote Romney contradicts himself. First, he says raising taxes is a way to cut a deficit; then he says in the last sentence that it doesn't work: "So how do we deal with it [the deficit]? Well, mathematically, there are three ways that you can cut a deficit," said Romney. "One, of course, is to raise taxes; number two is to cut spending, and number three is to grow the economy, because if more people work in a growing economy, they are paying taxes and you can get the job done that way. The president would prefer raising taxes, I understand. The problem with raising taxes is that it slows down the rate of growth and you can never quite get the job done."


    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    October 04, 2012 12:45 PM
    Thanks to God for this vivid victory. The more open the electorate and the press present these matter, the better for all of us. 67% to 25%, as also 46% to 22% is a good number margin. It's time Americans told themselves the truth - Deficit fiscal measures is not a way to run a government and give the people job, never. A God-fearing president is what you need not one who rejects God. Please tell yourselves the truth even in an election year. God bless America.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora