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Debate Debacle: Who is a Collegiette to Trust?

Collegiettes from every corner of the country sat wide-eyed and anxious while they listened to the first of three scheduled presidential debates. The candidates covered their glaring differences on important domestic issues such as taxes, job creation and the reduction of the national debt. 

Romney stressed the message that Obama increased the national debt and failed to create jobs.

Politico.com quoted Romney as saying, “Going forward with the status quo is not going to cut it for the American people who are struggling today.” He also said Obama was an advocate of “trickle-down government,” telling the president directly that he raised taxes and killed jobs.

President Obama’s approach was to convince voters that although Romney’s ideas may sound good in theory, they would not work in practice. He helped to emphasize this claim by joining Romney’s economic policies with those of former President George W. Bush. Obama also promised to continue his fight for the improvement of the middle class.

Politico.com quoted Obama as saying, “Are we going to double down on the top-down economic policies that helped to get us into this mess, or do we embrace a new economic patriotism that says America does best when the middle class does best?”

Most news sources chastised Obama for seeming aloof and at moments appearing like he did not want to be there. This was due to his use of the “keep-it-cool” approach that most incumbents employ in their second go at the presidential debates – mostly to avoid sounding overly aggressive.

While Romney was dubbed the “winner” of the debate by many news organizations for his performance, he was criticized for continually cutting off Jim Lehrer, the former PBS NewsHour anchor and moderator of the debate. His overall message to the audience of 40 million about decreasing taxes for the middle class was also questioned by many sources, claiming that his words went against previous statements made in other campaign events.

Both Mitt Romney and President Obama went back and forth, arguing about each other’s claims and approaches to government, but was anything new really said? Some may argue yes, some no. With so many ideas thrown around and the mass media taking strides to call out the candidates on lie after lie, who is a collegiette to trust?

The best way to answer this question is to turn to a fact-checking website, and to steer clear of the spin and media bias that will be provided by many of the popular broadcast news stations for the next few weeks.

FactCheck.org, a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center, offers non-partisan fact checking of campaigns to hold politicians accountable for the things they say.

According to FactCheck, both candidates were guilty of exaggerating and making false claims during the debate. However, they did say that Romney “sometimes came off as a serial exaggerator,” amplifying many of the figures that he used as evidence for voting against the President.

So, what can collegiettes expect from the next debate? Obama will come back stronger, better prepared, and more forceful. Romney was praised for his emotional and sometimes funny responses, so we will definitely see more of that as well. The next presidential debate will be on October 16th and will focus on foreign and domestic policy. Candy Crowley, ABC News Chief Foreign Correspondent, will moderate this debate.

“The feisty Obama Returns in Denver” – Glenn Thrush and Jennifer Epstein
“The Mitt Romney we’ve been waiting for” – Rich Lowry
“How President Obama’s debate strategy bombed” – Alexander Burns, Glenn Thrush, and Maggie Haberman
“Presidential Debate: Obama, Romney harden partisan lines” – Alexander Burns
“Romney Vow to Lower Middle-Class Taxes at Odds with Cap” – David J. Lynch and Margaret Collins
“No More Excuses” – Bob Herbert
“Video – Obama stump speech lines don’t pack same punch in debate” – Ali Weinberg
“First Thoughts: Romney helps himself” – Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, Dominico Montanaro, and Brooke Brower
“Dubious Denver Debate Declarations” – Brooks Jackson


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