Not good for either candidate to speak over each other and over the moderator.
Nonetheless, the facts are the facts. The Kennedy tax cuts stimulated the economy and it grew. And the first priority should be economic growth, not filling the federal coffers to the point where the spending appetites of politicians in both parties are sated.
I agree with Boris--too much bickering. Looks rude!
Peter, if you'd like to go back to the Kennedy tax rates or even the Clinton tax rates then we might find some common ground.
About halfway in--President Obama is better prepared and more energetic, yet at times not presidential when he gets overly combative. Governor Romney is not backing down and doing a good job relating to the voters, also he has a great command of numbers and his background.
I on the other hand wish there was some way I could type over Boris and Mary Kate. Maybe four years from now... (But seriously, I think they're more right than wrong--a bit of clash peps things up but they need to be careful not to piss off voters already tired of partisan bickering.)
Women have lost 580,000 jobs. That's not helpful to Obama's bid for a second term. On the other hand, Romney is not really answering the question--which, to be fair, was a special interest softball to the president.
Obama's healthcare reform is all about the government making healthcare choices for people. The president's answer is being disingenuous here.
Mitt is rambling Mitt....of course, he is trying to talk about rights for women.....a loser since he is on the wrong side of all the major issues affecting women. He should have just zipped it.
Mammograms? It was the Obama administration that came out with the recommendation that women should have fewer mammograms and start them later in life--which has a direct effect on whether or not insurance companies will pay for them.
Obama bringing contraception into pay equity question feels like pandering. No surprise he's doing this given the numbers that came out today showing Romney's closing the gender gap. That's got to be scaring the daylights out of Obama.
Oooh, the "How are you different than Bush?" question.
Here's one thing that really doesn't look good: When one or the other candidate complains that they were supposed to get one more shot at a question, etc.
I agree with Robert, Governor Romney should have just moved on there instead of going back to the previous question.
Barack Obama gets to talk about how Mitt Romney is different than George W. Bush? Hardly seems fair.
Halfway through, I'd say it's a draw. Obama had to improve and he has; Romney had to show that his performance in the first debate was not a fluke. People see that Romney's not the villainous man the Obama campaign had made him out to be, and that he's a viable alternative to Obama.
In general I agree with not complaining about finishing the previous question, until I see on CNN that Obama once again is getting a lot more time to speak than Romney is.
Mary Kate has it right ... It's a draw. No one has scored a knock out punch. Obama's combativeness is working for him for the most part but Romney hasn't made any major mistakes.
MKC--I agree on the need for balance in time; but I think on balance the optics hit isn't worth it to spend time complaining about the rules.
MKC and Peter R. and Boris are right--we have bipartisan consensus--regarding an even debate style-wise. The critical question remains whose substance independents like more.
Obama did a good job with the "why should I vote for you again" question--and then deftly pivoted to an attack on Romney which has the bonus of tying him to a wildly unpopular GOP congress.
Can we have a question on how Obama differs from Jimmy Carter?
The president used the question about the last four years to attack Governor Romney, not to make a case for himself to be re-elected. Governor Romney is taking him to task, all President Obama can do is smile.
The question Romney needs to raise is not, "Are you better off now than you were four years ago?" but, "In four years will you be better off than you are now?" Force the choice.
Romney lands a good one with the figure that the difference between where we are and 5.4 percent is nine million Americans. (Who knows whether the figure is accurate.)
Obama is really taking it to Romney and drawing the contrasts. Romney can not explain how he won't go back to the Bush policies---in fact he wants to double down on them. Romney is bordering on "whining." Obama needs to get in the 47 percent pretty quick! That makes his point.
Thanks, Boris--the Maddow was the first one that I could find. Apparently the Google knows my partisan proclivities.
The data points all work better for Romney than Obama: food stamps, people living in poverty, unemployment, household income. The president refuses to address those points.
By the way, I think Candy Crowley is doing very well moderating, though I hope, per MKC, she manages to even out the time more or less.
Was not correcting you at all Robert, I am much nicer than that, was correcting Ms. Maddow herself: She said, "I put together this new chart," while cutting out the rest of the picture.
Important news break: My Yankees losing 2 - 0 and Hughes knocked out. President Obama, discuss!
The immigration question is a minefield that Romney is navigating very well. He's coming at from a pro-immigrant position, which is a winner politically.
Boris--I knew you weren't correcting me; I was sincerely thanking you.
And Boris remember: Being a Yankees fan means never having to give up hope.
What the president fails to mention is that the number of illegals crossing the border is down because the economy is so poor. They come here for jobs but there are no jobs to be found.
Once again, Obama distorts what the Arizona law does. He forgot to mention the key words: probable cause.
Peter Roff---do you really believe that Romney is advocating a pro-immigration policy? Did you watch the Republican debates as he wanted to force self-deportation and pushed the Arizona law? Is this another example of Romney being a windmill in a hurricane?
OK, want to make sure it is like the Monocle restaurant in the 1980s here in our U.S. News group: Friendly!
Peter Fenn--Yes I do. He is advocating a pro legal-immigration policy. Beyond that you are putting words in his mouth.
Romney scores a very good point on where Obama's pension funds are invested. It makes the point that Obama is guilty of the same things he accuses Romney of.
One thing is clear: Obama is better at interrupting than Romney is.
Peter, the point is well scored by Romney, but it did not look good as the two of them again started talking over each other.