KCRW and To the Point hosted a live chat during last night’s presidential debate and, as has been widely reported, our guests pretty much agreed that it was Mitt Romney’s night.
Writer and comedian Rachel Hastings put it this way, “LOOK ALIVE, OBAMA!”
The debate began with banter about the Obama’s wedding anniversary. In our live chat, comedian W. Kamau Bell took note, “And within seconds President Obama reminds the American public that his wife is awesome.” RedState.com’s Joshua Treviño added, “Look, when you’re married long enough, sometimes you have anniversaries like this.”
Then things got wonky. The debate format was set up so each topic would consist of 15 minutes of debate. But things quickly got a little out of control and moderator Jim Lehrer didn’t do the best job of reigning things in, as journalist Farai Chideya noted, “Jim Lehrer is trying so hard to rein the pols in, and they are so hotfooting it around his instructions.”
Speaking of Lehrer PBS and the like, KCRW listeners did not like it when Mitt Romney said he’d cut subsidies to PBS, didn’t like it at all.
Carolyn Denise Gayle @cdenisegayle tweeted: Ah damn! Not Big Bird, Mitt better watch his back on YouTube - you know the Muppets don’t play #debates #KCRW
And a Big Bird meme was born…
The debate lacked the fireworks we were hoping for, and more importantly, it was short on facts. The Washington Post has a good rundown of how the candidates fudged the truth to appeal to voters on everything from tax cuts to Medicaid to job creation. Check that out here.
Our commentators were surprised that Obama didn’t mention Mitt Romney’s 47% comment, were you?
And Variety’s Ted Johnson wrapped things up, saying:
The verdict: This was Romney’s debate. Obama was off his mark, even more so than in the three debates he had with John McCain. The first debate favors the challenger, but this definitely gave Romney an opening and he took it. Obama seemed unrehearsed, tentative and sometimes just not clear. Romney seemed more in command of the facts, and for a campaign that has been criticized for not having details, he came across as having them, even if that meant sacrificing Big Bird.
Thanks for following our chat last night! Want more? You can read the whole thing RIGHT HERE.
-Caitlin Shamberg, producer, “To the Point”
“The United States condemns in the strongest terms this outrageous and shocking attack. We’re working with the government of Libya to secure our diplomats. I’ve also directed my administration to increase our security at diplomatic posts around the world. And make no mistake; we will work with the Libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people.”
— President Obama
“When our grounds are being attacked and being breached, that the first response of the United States must be outrage at the breach of the sovereignty of our nation.An apology for America’s values is never the right course.”
— Mitt Romney
“How could this happen in a country we helped liberate in a city we helped save from destruction? This question reflects just how complicated and at times how confounding the world can be. But we must be clear-eyed even in our grief. This was an attack by a small and savage group, not the people or government of Libya.”
— Hilary Clinton
On the bill to speak at tonight’s convention: Texas Senate candidate Ted Cruz, who is Latino, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, who is of Indian descent, and Utah Congressional candidate Mia Love, who is black. It’s a far more mixed group than the mostly-white audience. The party’s “Future Majority Project” aims to double the number of Hispanic elected officials this year.
But LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, chair of the Democratic National Convention, and in town as the voice of the opposition party, says he’s not impressed with their efforts. “If I had an Anglo speaker, am I going to get the Anglo vote? Of course not. They’re going to want to know where you are on a broad panoply of issues. Why would Latinos be any different?”
Introducing GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Thursday will be Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who attended a fundraiser last night for the American Conservative Union, and addressed the crowd in both English and Spanish.
- Avishay Artsy, reporting from Tampa