Foreign Policy Debate

10.16.12

8 Best Moments from the Second Presidential Debate

President Obama and Mitt Romney duked it out on the economy, energy, equal pay, and more in Tuesday’s town-hall showdown at Hofstra University—and pundits are handing the victory to the incumbent. Watch the debate's most memorable moments.

Romney’s One-Point Plan?

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Let the games begin! Throughout his campaign, Mitt Romney has been promoting a five-point economic plan that includes developing energy independence and slashing government spending. But to President Obama, Romney’s plan only has one point: ‘to make sure that folks at the top play by a different set up rules.’

Romney: ‘You’ll Get Your Chance In a Moment’

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In a flashback to Al Gore’s famous confrontation with George W. Bush, Obama stood up to challenge Romney’s claim that his administration doesn’t support increased oil production in America. But Romney ultimately got in the last word, talking over Obama and telling the president: ‘You’ll get your chance in a moment—I’m still speaking.’

Obama: ‘I’m Used to Being Interrupted’

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In a subtle jab at Romney’s relentless interrupting, President Obama (ironically!) interrupted Candy Crowley to let America know that, at this point, he’s not fazed by being talked over: ‘I’m used to being interrupted.’

Romney’s Got ‘Binders Full of Women’!

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In an attempt to communicate his support for women, Romney recalled the time he put together his cabinet in Massachusetts. He was confronted by a host of male candidates, he said, so he sought the help of women’s groups to find female candidates. ‘They brought us whole binders full of women!’ he said gleefully.

Obama: Your Pension Is Bigger Than Mine

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As the debate moved on to immigration, Romney tried to respond to an earlier point: his investments in China (thus breaking the bipartisan agreement that prevents each candidate from asking the other direct questions). ‘Have you looked at your pension?’ the GOP candidate asked the president, pointing out that pensions invest in Chinese companies. ‘I don’t look at my pension,’ Obama snapped back. ‘It’s not as big as yours.’

Romney More Extreme Than Dubya?

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After Romney tried to differentiate himself from President George W. Bush, Obama also assured the crowd that there are key differences between the two Republicans—but not in terms of economics. ‘In some ways, he’s gone to a more extreme place when it comes to social policy,’ said the incumbent, arguing that Bush ‘didn’t call for self-deportation’ and ‘never suggested we eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood.’

Crowley Crushes Romney on Libya

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Moderator Candy Crowley spent all evening trying to avoid getting ‘Lehrer-ed,’ but her shining moment came when she shut down Romney on Libya. After the GOP candidate claimed Obama didn’t initially call the attack on the American consulate in Libya ‘an act of terror,’ Crowley corrected him. ‘He did in fact, sir,’ she said. ‘Can you say that a little louder?’ added Obama. UPDATE: while the president did, indeed, refer to ‘acts of terror’ in the immediate aftermath of the attacks, some are disputing the context in which he uttered the phrase.

Obama Finally Mentions ‘The 47 Percent’

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After failing to mention Romney’s notorious statements in the first debate, Obama made a point of defending America’s ‘47 percent’ in his closing remarks. Who are the ‘47 percent,’ according to the president? ‘People who are working hard everyday,’ Obama argued, including soldiers, students, veterans, and ‘folks on social security who've worked all their lives.’