Chad’s Morning Brief: Taking a Look Back on Tuesday Night’s Presidential Debate
Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of October 17, 2012. Give us your feedback below and tune in to The Chad Hasty Show for these and many more topics from 8:30 to 11 am.
1. Debate Thoughts
As predicted, members of the media have proclaimed President Obama the winner of last night’s debate. Obama did come out swinging and did do much better than in the first debate, but that wasn’t hard to do. Focus groups differ on who won the overall debate but one thing is clear, Mitt Romney is winning when it comes to the economy.
Most of the reports from focus groups last night, even those that said Obama won the debate, said that when it comes to the economy Mitt Romney wins. That’s huge.
Last night’s debate was certainly good for the President, but I think Romney will benefit as well. Romney didn’t collapse and though I wish he would have given a stronger answer to Libya, he came off Presidential and as a strong leader. The President was ready for a fight and possibly stopped his slide in the polls, but the next debate is on Monday which doesn’t leave much time for the polls to shift.
Overall, I’d say last night’s debate was a draw. Both candidates did well and both Republican and Democratic spin teams will claim victory.
2. Benghazi, Terror, and Candy Crowley (link)
Candy Crowley from CNN was the moderator last night, and in my opinion she was terrible. I felt as though she would help out the President and sure enough, she did.
In one heated part of the debate Mitt Romney said that President Obama took 14 days to call the attack in Benghazi a terrorist attack. Crowley interrupted and said that Romney was wrong. However, after the debate on CNN Crowley admitted that Mitt Romney was right. According to the Free Beacon:
ROMNEY: I want to make sure we get that for the record because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.
OBAMA: Get the transcript.
CROWLEY: It — it — it — he did in fact, sir. So let me — let me call it an act of terror…
OBAMA: Can you say that a little louder, Candy?
CROWLEY: He — he did call it an act of terror. It did as well take — it did as well take two weeks or so for the whole idea there being a riot out there about this tape to come out. You are correct about that.
In a statement given in the Rose Garden on Sept. 12, Obama emphasized an anti-Islam video, before saying that “no acts of terror would shake the resolve of this great nation.”
The administration’s narrative on the attack over the next two weeks was muddled.
On Sept. 16, U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice attributed the attack on the U.S. Consulate to violent protests stemming from a “heinous and offensive” video.
On Sept. 25, the president himself declined to call the attack an act of terrorism during an interview with “The View,” saying that an investigation was still ongoing.
You can view the video of Crowley walking back her comments above.
So the President said “acts of terror”, isn’t that calling the attack a terror attack? Nope. According to Commentary Magazine:
Obama said during the speech that “No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation” — but at no point was it clear that he was using that term to describe the attack in Benghazi. He’d also spent the previous two paragraphs discussing the 9/11 attacks and the aftermath. “Acts of terror” could have just as easily been a reference to that. Or maybe it wasn’t a direct reference to anything, just a generic, reassuring line he’d added into a speech which did take place, after all, the day after the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
If Obama wanted to call the Benghazi assault a terrorist attack in that speech, he had plenty of opportunities to do so. Instead, he described it as a “terrible act,” a “brutal” act, “senseless violence,” and called the attackers “killers,” not terrorists. It’s also important to consider the context. For a week after this speech, the White House would not call it a terrorist attack. The official position was that Libya was a spontaneous response to an anti-Islam film, not a premeditated or preplanned act.
This will continue to be a topic of debate and hopefully will be brought up in Monday’s debate.
3. Reporters Applaud Obama’s Slam on Romney’s Wealth (link)
Amazing. Reporters must hate the wealthy just as much as President Obama.
The room set aside for reporters to watch Tuesday night’s debate erupted into applause after President Obama ridiculed the size of Mitt Romney’s personal wealth.
Mr. Romney was trying to make the point that both his and Mr. Obama’s investment funds probably include investments in China — something the president has attacked Mr. Romney for.
“Mr. President, have you looked at your pension?” Mr. Romney said.
“You know, I don’t look at my pension. It’s not as big as yours, so it — it doesn’t take as long,” Mr. Obama retorted. His reply prompted laughter in the debate hall where the two men were squaring off — but across the way in the separate room where the press was stationed, a brief round of applause broke out.
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