PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Millions of Americans flocked to their television screens and to the web to watch the first national debate between democratic President Barack Obama and republican challenger Mitt Romney, Wednesday night.
NBC analysts say Romney was energetic and on the offensive, whereas President Obama was somewhat subdued and appeared to be playing defense. The candidates sparred on key issues this election: Taxes, job growth and Medicare.
Regent University professor Dr. Charles Dunn is a student of the presidency and has written several books on the commander in chief.
Dunn believes Romney controlled the debate from start to finish, including this exchange showing Romney confronting the President, "Virtually everything you said about my tax plan is inaccurate. I'm not looking for a five trillion dollar tax cut," Romney said. President Obama never followed up to challenge Romney's statement.
"Obama was ill-prepared, over confident, out of shape. Romney was serious but humorous,
knowledgeable but humble, aggressive but pleasant," summed up Dr. Dunn.
Norfolk State Professor Dr. Carol Pretlow teaches modern political theory and watched the debate with her students, "Do I think he succeeded at selling what he's done the last four years? No, I don't think he did it. It was
like one run-on paragraph," expressed Pretlow.
Pretlow knew early on it would be a tough night for the President when Romney was asked to question Obama about what he had said, and Romney did not question him, but rather used the time to clear up his points. President Obama never followed up that exchange either.
Dunn says the President is soft, and disengaged. Mr. Obama could be seen shaking his head in approval of what Mr. Romney was saying, and had his head down writing notes, instead of looking up and looking interested.
Dunn said, "In his closing if you counted the umms, the silence, it was extraordinary and he never mentioned the 47 percent, which was Obama's big issue," Dunn said. 47 percent refers to Romney's statement that he can't care about the 47 percent because they are with President Obama and will never be with him, "So I can't worry about them," Romney said. That issue never came up in the debate.
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