Press-Republican

October 5, 2012

Locals weigh in on debate

By ASHLEIGH LIVINGSTON
Press-Republican

---- — 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. 

Still, Mannix was pleased by the temperament shown by both candidates throughout the evening.

“Both parties were very civil,” he said. 

How the debate will affect the polls still remains to be seen, according to Schantz. 

“It really will take a couple of days to see what the impact is.” 

And, Schantz added, it’s important to remember that Wednesday’s presidential debate was only the first of three to occur before Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 6. 

“Anything can happen,” he said. 

Email Ashleigh Livingston: alivingston@pressrepublican.com

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FACEBOOK FEEDBACK

Here's some feedback from the Press-Republican Facebook page about the debate between President Obama and challenger Mitt Romney:

Chris Jones: "Decisive win for Romney on all levels. Say goodbye to Obama."

Meredith L. Jolly: "Romney allowed the American people to see that he IS Presidential material! Romney-Ryan all the way!"

Woody Woodard: "Obama for sure... Romney had no facts to back anything he suggested... Show me the facts."

Vince O'Driscoll: "When pressed for specifics, Romney had nothing. I didn't learn one thing about what his policies are other than the opposite of Obama. Romney/Ryan have alienated women, blacks, Hispanics and gays. All they have left are straight, white, Christian men."

Debbie Rogers: "Romney was great ! He had fact after fact to show Obama up!"

Sarah Harblin Doner: "Romney may have nailed this debate but my vote is still for Obama... I have faith in our president he'll come back swinging!"

Jackie Pangborn: "Romney won hands down. He was clear and concise and had great plans laid out. He showed that he can be a true leader for this country."

Khris Heffernan: "Romney sidestepped everything; where are the facts? If you have them, point them out."

Tina Graham: "Obama all the way held his temper very well."

Heather Sais: "Romney had all the specifics, Obama same old vague comments.:

Bill Bessette: "Even Obama fans in their heart of hearts realize that that was not a great performance on his part."

Katherine Wernier: "Romney won on performance but lost on substance... Unfortunately, media will focus on performance and at least initially ignore the blatant lies and substantive differences."

Bryan Bergeron: "Let's be honest, both of them did a lot of talking, but neither of them said anything at all..."