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Feature Stories

Donkeys, Elephants Stampede The Jungle Of Spin Alley

Obama, Romney supporters spin their candidate’s performance after raucous presidential debate

After the heavyweight prizefight of the second of three presidential debates, supporters on both sides of the aisle were out in full force in Spin Alley on Tuesday, Oct. 16 at Hofstra University. Unsurprisingly, Democrats commended President Barack Obama for coming out strong during the second go-around with challenger Mitt Romney, while Republicans lauded the former Massachusetts governor for what most right-wingers called a formidable performance in the left-leaning state of New York.

What at times mimicked a fight over a turn on the playground slide amongst school children, the two debaters were on the offensive from the get go. This may have been due to their ability to essentially roam freely on the debate hall platform.

Former New York State Governor George Pataki said Romney’s performance was, “what I believe will be the American people’s perception of the next president. President Obama had no answers to the promises he made in the last campaign and when he took office that he hasn’t fulfilled them.” Pataki went on to say the president has “no plan to fix a broken economy.”

A CNN-released poll minutes after the debate leaned in favor of the former Illinois governor. Forty-six percent of voters polled felt Obama won, while 39 percent were pro-Romney. This is after the president turned in a somewhat listless, reserved showing at the first debate in Denver, CO. on Oct. 3.

“[The president] tonight showed the inconsistencies of Mitt Romney, for women,” John Kerry (D-Massachusetts) said. “I wish there had been more questions and I wish the debate could have gone on longer. The simple answer is, the voters will have to decide.”

Kerry acknowledged Obama’s soft performance in the first debate, but stated the president, “engaged Mitt Romney tonight. He stood up, he stood right at him and he told him exactly where [Romney] is wrong. Now he didn’t do that efficiently in the first debate and [Obama] knows that. He exposed Mitt Romney tonight for the complete lack of substance in his tax plan.”

While Obama supporters were hammering home the president’s straight-out-of-the-gate showing in Hempstead, former assemblyman Rick Lazio saw it a different way.

“I think voters are going to see Governor Romney as an effective leader who’s going to address unemployment issues,” Lazio stated. “He pointed out, very effectively that under President Obama with a Democratic controlled Congress in the first two years, he didn’t fulfill his promises on immigration reform. He didn’t cut the deficit, in fact he’s doubled the deficit.”

Officials close to the Obama campaign, including David Axelrod, said the president was “frustrated with himself” that he didn’t press Romney harder in Denver, and in the second debate, was “determined to do that” and during the Hofstra debate, Governor Romney was seen “backpedaling all night. You saw him defensive…in some cases stammering, trying to explain his plans.”