It’s so cool that they started with a college student’s question. I doubt Romney’s claim that he will make college more affordable, since he previously said that he would cut funding for Pell Grants by over half. Romney agreed with the kid that there was a problem (“too much debt, not enough jobs”), and kept saying, “I’m going to fix that.” But how? What is his plan? I liked Barack’s sly dig, “We need to build jobs in THIS COUNTRY.” I won’t be too partisan, but Barack actually laid out a concrete plan, so I respect that. -Ashley Spinks 9:08 p.m. Once again Romney is repeatedly citing his plan to create “12 million new jobs”. I wish he would give more details. I can’t even pass judgement on his policies because he seems to have none. I missed the first presidential debate, but Obama sure seems to have come out swinging tonight. Another dig at Romney’s privilege with, “He wants to make sure that the people at the top play by a different set of rules.” -Ashley Spinks 9:12 p.m. The President is clearly awake for this round, but I think the energy debate, as it pertains to job growth and energy independence is not a good talking point for him. All this growth in coal and natural gas has happened in spite of the President’s policies. And he says Romney won’t be supporting clean energy. But we’ll get the most cost-efficient, viable clean energy if it develops and competes in the private sector. On a side-note: Romney just officially lost all the Avian fanatics he managed to keep after his Big Bird remark. -Sam Novack 9:17 p.m. Obama and Romney walking in circles around questions -Aaron Eisen 9:18 p.m. Obama is right… If WE control the demand, we keep the prices under control. I’m glad Obama acknowleged his environmental protection perogative, although I don’t think he’s been as proactive in the last four years as he could’ve been. Romney is basically saying he wants to exploit the natural gas/coal market as much as possible, which is definitely going in the wrong direction. It’s irresponsible and unsustainable. He’s going to give more licenses for drilling and build a giant oil pipeline…it’s disgusting. Thank you, Obama, for calling Romney out on his constantly changing political positions. -Ashley Spinks 9:19 p.m. They’re both out of their seats…is there going to be a fight?! This is real television, haha. -Ashley Spinks 9:20 p.m. “Why was that? Because the economy was on the verge of collapse!” This is a relevant point. I’m really trying not to be one-sided with my commentary, but Obama is just making more honest, more pointed, and more reliable statements. -Ashley Spinks 9:23 p.m. This poor moderator! Neither of them is showing her much respect, and she’s seriously concerned with making sure the audience gets to speak. That’s the important part, addressing the public! -Ashley Spinks 9:24 p.m. Kudos to all these people for asking really good questions. It’s a shame that the candidates aren’t doing a great job of addressing them. -Katherine Ripley 9:28 p.m. Perhaps I’m wrong, but from what I know of Romney’s tax policy, everything he’s saying right now is untrue. He’s not going to keep tax rates the same for the highest tax bracket, and he’s not going to be looking out for the middle class. He never has. Also, I’m wondering how Romney’s plan to lower tax rates across the board is going to be sustainable. -Ashley Spinks 9:28 p.m. I respect Obama for giving specific figures for his tax policy. The first $250,000 that you make will be taxed at the same rate. Ninety-eight percent of the population, and ninety-seven percent of small businesses will be unaffected. Also, I question STRONGLY this statistic of Romney’s that the top 5% pay 60% in taxes. What about all the loopholes in the tax code? Romney shouldn’t even insult our intelligence by pretending he cares about women. -Ashley Spinks 9:33 p.m. AND Kudos to the moderator for posing a very good question to Governor Romney. So good that Romney has apparently decided not to answer it, but rather to insist that his math, which he has yet to explain, does in fact add up, and talk some more about the deficit. Governor, do you have anything new to say? -Katherine Ripley 9:37 p.m. Obama just addressed the unsustainable nature of Romney’s tax plan…it would be SO expensive to do everything Romney allegedly wants to do, and he’s offering no clear suggestion for how to pay for it. I’m glad that’s been explicity addressed now, and I’m sure Romney will have a response! -Ashley Spinks 9:35 p.m. Obama’s expansion of Pell grants is fantastic policy (as is the Lily Ledbetter Act). I know that on a personal note, they were vital for me to afford college. -Ashley Spinks 9:41 p.m. Romney is trying to make every question about his background in business and the economy. Pay equity for women…“I know how to make the economy work.” Well sure, Governor. That makes me feel a lot better about the pay gap… -Katherine Ripley 9:43 p.m. The fact that Romney PERSONALLY ensured jobs for a few women is irrelevant. The fact that he accomodated one working mom is also irrelevant. What is he going to do on a national scale? Tell me. -Ashley Spinks 9:42 p.m. The President is presenting his ideology on these issues, but Romney actually has credentials. He CAN balance budgets and he DOES employ women. And here comes the contraception debate. “Contraceptive care” says Obama? This isn’t care, it’s a check on a group of people on the assumption that they CANNOT CHOOSE whether or not to have sex. This is a personal responsibility issue as much as it is a religious liberty/women’s rights issue. -Sam Novack 9:45 p.m. Romney needs to stop citing his ability to run a business as if it’s a qualification to be leader of the free world. It may be a single factor, but it certainly doesn’t qualify him for the whole job. I’ve basically given up on trying to be objective, because I can’t support what Romney is saying. Thank you Obama for citing SPECIFIC policies that Romney has either passed or supported that have robbed women of their equal status in society, both in the sphere of healthcare and the workforce. -Ashley Spinks 9:47 p.m. “George Bush didn’t propose turning Medicare into a voucher…George Bush never suggested that we eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood.” Barack Obama is sassy, and I like it. -Ashley Spinks 9:52 p.m. This whole premise that if we re-elect Obama, we’re going to get “the same thing we’ve gotten for the last four years” is a logical fallacy at best. We won’t repeat the last four years, we will build upon them. We will progress, not regress. So yes, idealogically, the next four years will see similar policy. But that doesn’t mean stagnancy. -Ashley Spinks 9:58 p.m. Romney has a strong point – unemployment is the same rate, but this doesn’t count the people who’ve given up on looking for work. And now we have more people dependent on food stamps. What does that say about the kind of economy/society that Obama’s policies are encouraging? It’s not the kind I want to live in. -Sam Novack 9:59 p.m. You have a record too, Romney! And it shows that you used to be a liberal Republican. A compromiser. Records don’t always mean anything. -Ashley Spinks 9:59 p.m. Starting to get a headache from all the ruckus. -Katherine Ripley 10:07 p.m. “You know, I don’t look at my pension. It’s not as big as yours.” This is the best quote of the entire debate. -Ashley Spinks 10:08 p.m. Here comes foreign policy! Good question posed to open it up. Obama: “Our diplomats serve all around the world.” Okay…we understand that point. But why, if you care so much, did you only RETROACTIVELY provide security when such security had been called for in advance? Furthermore, on his point about Romney politicizing the attack, Romney was merely pointing out what had ACTUALLY occurred, rather than naively heaping the blame on a YouTube video. -Sam Novack 10:12 p.m. Yeah, Romney just should not have insinuated that Obama doesn’t understand the gravity of his position. It was a low blow, and completely disrespectful. You do not question someone’s patriotism or integrity. Whether you like Obama or not, he cares about people’s safety. I like that Candy and Obama are forming a bond over what a jerk Romney is being. -Ashley Spinks 10:18 p.m. Obama should NOT have just mentioned prayer/religion. That is dangerous, dangerous ground during a debate, and it was a blatant attempt to try to garner support from the devout voters. I’m not questioning Obama’s faith, it just shouldn’t have been mentioned at all. Just address the question, please. -Ashley Spinks 10:20 p.m. Kudos to the moderator for pointing out the fact that Romney was avoiding the question…again. -Katherine Ripley 10:23 p.m. Wait…did I just blackout? How in the world did we get on the topic of the nuclear family? Where was that segue? -Ashley Spinks 10:23 p.m. I’ve only been calling on Romney to make the points about parents since last debate! This is the truth. We can funnel as much money as we want into education, but if kids aren’t raised properly in the home, they aren’t going to go out and be productive members of society, no matter how great the schools. And is anyone surprised to hear the moderator steer the discussion AWAY from Fast and Furious? I’m certainly not. Just another left-leaning moderator trying to keep the tough questions from coming in. -Sam Novack 10:25 p.m. As an attempt to be nonpartisan, I will point out that Obama has now interrupted the moderator numerous times. Not cool. -Ashley Spinks 10:27 p.m. Ashley, if Obama truly cared about his peoples’ safety, he would have provided security to his people overseas who were requesting it. He called out Romney for politicizing the event, so it is more than acceptable that Romney call out Obama for going to interviews and campaigning while people he DID NOT PROTECT were killed in an attack he misrepresented. -Sam Novack 10:31 p.m. I like Romney’s tone in this final closing point. He WANTS everyone working again – in the past, he only indicated people are not. And what reason do they have to if the government and wealthier tax-payers will provide for them? “Self-reliance” is rich coming from the President. Further, I appreciate Romney mentioning his faith. This is a crucial part of a candidate’s character, and it certainly has a place. I won’t deny that Obama looked much better than he did in the previous debate, but I think he brought a lot of his old rhetoric and relied on several team-attacks on Romney with the left-leaning moderator. -Sam Novack 10:41 p.m. The issue of marriage equality was conspicuously absent in this debate. I’m sure that somebody in that audience of voters would have raised it, and maybe there would have been time had the candidates answered each question clearly and concisely, instead of sniping at each other and spouting the same generalizations over and over again. This debate was better than the last one, but still very disappointing. -Katherine Ripley 10:46 p.m.