Reporting Jack Fink
FORT WORTH (CBS 11 NEWS) - Talk about tension. The second presidential debate was a feisty face off filled with interruptions. The stakes were high, and they tangled like we have not seen before in a presidential debate.
President Barack Obama’s campaign said that he would be more energized — and he certainly was.
It was a very spirited and heated debate at Hofstra University on New York’s Long Island, at times. Some debate experts predicted that the candidates couldn’t and shouldn’t throw some punches in front of undecided voters — because they usually don’t like negative attacks. But the gloves certainly came off, not just over policies, but over who could answer the questions.
Both President Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney argued over whether Obama oversaw a cut or increase in energy production in the U.S. Romney told the President, “In the last four years, you’ve cut permits and licenses on federal lands and federal waters in half.”
President Obama responded, “Not true, Governor Romney.”
Mr. Romney then fired back, “So how much did you cut them by?”
President Obama: “Not true.”
Mr. Romney: “By how much did you cut them by?”
President Obama: “Governor, we’ve actually produced more oil.”
Mr. Romney: “How much did you cut licenses on federal lands and federal waters?”
President Obama: “Governor Romney, here’s what we did. There were a whole bunch of oil companies.”
Mr. Romney: “I had a question, and the question was how much did you cut them by? How much did you cut them by?”
President Obama: “I’m happy to answer that question.”
The two also butted heads over foreign policy. According to the rules, this was the first time it could be brought up during the presidential debates.
They argued over the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, where U.S. ambassador Christopher Stevens was among four Americans killed. At issue, was this a terrorist attack as Republicans believed from the start or a spontaneous incident sparked by an anti-Islamic video as stated by United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice?
Romney and Republicans have criticized the President for playing politics. The President said, “The suggestion that anyone on my team, the Secretary of State, our U.N. Ambassador or anyone on my team would play politics or mislead the American people, we’ve lost four of our own, Governor, is offensive. That’s not what we do. That’s not what I do as President. That’s not what I do as Commander in Chief.”
Romney challenged the President, asking him, “It was not a spontaneous demonstration? Is that what you’re saying?”
The President interrupted, “Proceed, Governor.”
Mr. Romney said, “I want to make sure we get that for the record. It took the President 14 days before he called the attack in Bengazi an act of terror.”
At that point, the debate moderator, Candy Crowley of CNN, said the day after the attack, President Obama called it an act of terror. But Romney then said, “The administration indicated that this was a reaction to a video that was a spontaneous reaction. It took them a long time to say this was a terrorist act by a terrorist group.”
Even before an hour into the debate, there were three and a half million tweets — that’s more than the entire vice presidential debate.
Superjohn tweeted CBS 11 News during the debate saying, “Obama is schooling Romney. He is wining because he is explaining what and how he will do things, something Romney isn’t doing.”
Susan Manning also tweeted CBS 11 News, saying, “Romney is giving clear answers, Obama is playing the blame game, pointing fingers and not answering questions.”
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