Press-Republican

Politics and Elections

October 5, 2012

Locals weigh in on debate

PLATTSBURGH — Local political officials agree that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney had a good showing at Wednesday night’s debate. 

“As a former debater myself, I would have given Gov. Romney high points for the energy he brought to the debate,” said Clinton County Democratic Party Chairman Martin Mannix.

President Obama, on the other hand, was somewhat lacking in energy, Mannix said. 

“I thought that the president was not as energetic in his presentation, and I think that didn’t serve him well.” 

DEBATE EXPERIENCE

As the two candidates took turns discussing the issues facing the country, the president appeared less prepared to argue the points than his opponent, according to Harvey Schantz, chair of the Political Science Department at SUNY Plattsburgh. 

Romney, he said, has obviously benefited from the many Republican Party debates he’s participated in over the past year, as he proved capable of going toe to toe with the commander in chief. 

“I think Romney has gained from the debate because Romney looks presidential,” Schantz said. 

For Franklin County Republican Party Chairman Jim Ellis, Romney’s debate performance was further affirmation that the Republican Party chose the right man as its presidential nominee. 

“I have to be as happy as can be,” he said. “I thought it was very well done.”

ACCURACY

Mannix, however, feels some of Romney’s statements during the debate won’t hold up well during fact checking.

For example, he said, Romney’s comment that Obama cut $716 million from Medicare for current beneficiaries has been proven to be inaccurate. 

The president, he said, was more accurate in the arguments he presented Wednesday night. 

In addition, Essex County Democratic Party Chair Bethany Kosmider thought Obama put forth a more impressive vision for the future of the country. 

“The president laid out a very specific plan to go forward, while Romney, he played defense and doubled down on some of the top-down policies that created this mess,” she said. 

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