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.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora