Quips, Criticisms: Readers Weigh in on Debate

See what voters across the Hudson Valley wrote live during Tuesday's second Presidential Debate.


[Updated, 3 p.m. Oct. 17] Jobs, Libya and the Middle Class were the cardinal subjects, with a generous dosage of anxious pacing and thinly-veiled indignation blended in, too.

President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney squared off Tuesday night at Hofstra University for their second debate of the election season, this time housed in a town hall format.

A panel of undecided voters asked questions that addressed energy, gun control and education.

Readers from Westchester, Putnam and Rockland sounded off live on Patch as Obama and Romney sparred—residents shared their opinions, and relevant personal stories.

Patch readers from Long Island and New York City were able to jump in, as well, along with Twitter users from across the country.

For a glance at the night's top contributions, browse the above gallery. And if you have something to add—be it on ambassador Chris Stevens, the 47-percent or moderator Candy Crowley—leave a comment below.


Local opinions

Patch touched base with several local folks and asked this question: "Who won? Which response by that person gave him the edge? And which of the other candidate's responses played into his loss?" 

Here's what they said ():

  • "Of course I'm biased, but I was glad to see the president display his strength, knowledge, and compassion. Had he done so in the first debate things would be a lot different. Gov. Romney's reference to 'binders of women' sounded dehumanizing, his Libya attack backfired, and he left himself open at the end to the attack on the '47 percent,'" — Victor Grossman, Putnam County Democratic Committee chairman


  • "The challenger, Mitt Romney, clearly was the victor tonight. The president improved his game, however, his poor performance the last four years will make it difficult for voters to trust him to drag our nation out of some of the worst economic times we have ever endured.A significant turning point in the debate was when Romney forced the president to be truthful about opportunities for drilling on federal land to being reduced increasing our dependency on foreign oil.
    The president said our oil imports are lower today then when he took office. When the price of fuel skyrockets from less then $2.00 per gallon to over $4 per gallon people's cars gave a tendency to stay in the garage," — Jim DiBella, Putnam County Republican chairman


  • "While Obama needed to and did come out much stronger than the last debate, I think Romney clearly won. Romney's strongest moment was when he laid out of all of Obama's promises and how he failed to accomplish them. Throughout the debate, Romney clearly stated his plans and Obama simply restated the same anti-Romney talking points that were already proven to be untrue after the fact-checking of the last debate. Obama had almost 10 percent more talk time than Romney, yet he complained many times about not having enough time. I found him very pushy and the facts weren't on his side. His refusal to answer direct questions from Romney, specifically about drilling permits and Benghazi I felt were very telling. I also think the moderator should have kept her opinions to herself," Eric Cyprus, Putnam County Republican vice chair


Further reading

WATCH: Police Usher Green Candidate Jill Stein From Debate Site

Open Post: Live Chat the VP Debate

Patch Is Collecting Questions for Obama and Romney During the Next Presidential Debate

Live Blog Recap: Presidential Debate Insider Chat

Debate Divides New City Bar

FLASH POLL: Who Won? Insiders Pick Romney

Editor's note: Some minor grammatical and style changes have been made to comments. No content was changed.

Ken Harper October 17, 2012 at 12:07 PM
Let's assume Romney has actually made an adjustment to his policies and that this more centrist Mitt is who he really is and what he really believes. My question - if I had the opportunity to ask one - would be, "How are you going to deal with the more radical members of your party when it comes to selling your agenda when it seems pretty clear that you had to veer hard right in order to win their support during the primary?"
Kevin Zawacki October 17, 2012 at 12:51 PM
Lilian -- wouldn't it be nice if candidates on both sides of the aisle were docked speaking time every time they failed to directly answer a question? It'd make for more informative debates.
Ashley Tarr October 17, 2012 at 06:35 PM
That's a good question, Ken. I wonder if someone waiting for a chance to speak last night was planning to broach the same subject. Anyone out there looking for specifics answers from Obama?
Ashley Tarr October 17, 2012 at 07:07 PM
A few other folks with ties to local politics have yet to respond. Here's what Bob Cullen, a member of the Southeast Republican Committee, said: "I think the president did a lot better than his last debate. I would say it was a tie. The president was hurt by the Libya incident, and Gov. Romney talking about his trip to a Las Vegas fundraising event the next day, and blaming the attack on a YouTube video, instead of it being an organized attack ... which it was. The president made points talking about the 47 percent who don't pay federal taxes, and who these people really were, retired military, seniors, who don't have to pay because they don't make enough after they pay local taxes. Both strayed off point and I wish more questions would have been asked, with shorter more direct responses by both candidates."
Michael October 17, 2012 at 09:21 PM
Did anyone hear Romney say that part of his tax plan was to give everyone 25,000 in deductions to use any way they want on their return? This seems like another tax increase on the middle class. I may be mistaken but a family of four with a mortgage, property taxes, medical payments,dependent deductions and sales tax deductions,in NY, comes to more than 25,000 and that is without college tuition and charitable donations, and an IRA if you could afford it. Have a look at old 1040's


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