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October 5, 2012 | By Meredith Blake
President Obama took a beating on late-night television Thursday, a day after delivering a sluggish debate performance against his rival, Mitt Romney. On “The Daily Show,” Jon Stewart joked that Obama's debate loss represented a rare moment of bipartisan accord: Pundits on both the left and the right agreed that he choked. “There is no red America, there is no blue America, there is only the America that can't believe how bad this guy did in the debate,” he said, paraphrasing Obama's career-making speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.
September 23, 2011 | By Mark Z. Barabak
In the aftermath, reviews of the Texas governor's debate performances were devastating: Canned responses. Stilted talking points. Dan Quayle-like in his opacity and twisty-turny answers. Still, George W. Bush survived the rough patch to not just claim the White House in 2000 but also prevail over then-Vice President and supposed debate master Al Gore in two out of three (depending who's doing the judging) debates in the general election. Coming off his choppy and widely panned debate performance Thursday night in Orlando, Texas Gov. Rick Perry may take heart in the rocky start of his predecessor.
December 2, 2011 | By Michael A. Memoli
There will be no boardroom, and no one will get fired. But those who say the Republican primary race has been something of a reality show have new evidence in the announcement that Donald Trump has signed up to host a debate planned in Iowa, just a week before the leadoff caucuses. The forum is being organized by Newsmax, the conservative media group. It's unclear yet whether any candidates have agreed to participate. According to the New York Times , which first reported on the event, Newsmax has partnered with the obscure Ion Television network to broadcast it. Candidates were formally invited on Friday.
December 16, 2011 | By James Oliphant
Michele Bachmann remains irked by Newt Gingrich's treatment of her during Thursday's debate in Sioux City, Iowa -- conduct that has led some to accuse the former House speaker of sexism. "Well, frankly, I thought that it was outrageous and insulting, the way that he seemed to treat me like I was a student, and I'm not. I'm a serious candidate for president of the United States and I had my facts right and he has said this repeatedly and he's just not true," Bachmann said Friday on CNN's "The Situation Room".
February 23, 2012 | By Seema Mehta
Mitt Romney hit rival Rick Santorum on Thursday for his debate performance the prior night, saying his explanations for why he voted in opposition to his principles showed he was a creature of Washington who sided with special interests rather than the American people. "We saw in this case Sen. Santorum explain most of the night why he did or voted for things he disagreed with, and he talked about this as being taking one for the team. I wonder which team he was taking it for," Romney said, speaking to a trade group of builders and contractors.
January 26, 2012 | By Paul West
The stakes couldn't be much higher for Mitt Romney in Thursday night's televised debate (CNN, 8 p.m. Eastern). It's the final debate ahead of the pivotal Florida primary, and perhaps the last, best chance for the former Massachusetts governor to head off what is shaping up to be a prolonged, and debilitating, race for the nomination. Polls show Romney in a virtual dead heat for the lead in Florida, the biggest primary test yet of 2012.  Those numbers represent an uptick over his standing in recent opinion surveys, but he's hardly home free.  Romney still has some distance to go in reestablishing his primacy in Florida, and in the GOP contest.
November 17, 2011 | By James Oliphant
Even Nancy Pelosi is kicking poor Rick Perry when he's down. The Texas governor and GOP presidential hopeful had sent a letter to Pelosi, the House's top Democrat, challenging her to a debate next week over his “Overhaul Washington” plan that calls for a part-time Congress of citizen-legislators. For Perry, the move was straight out of the conservative playbook. Down in the polls, mocked by late-night comedians, his contributions drying up, he picked a fight with Pelosi, the bete noire of the American Right.
January 27, 2012 | By Lisa Mascaro
President Obama said Friday that one of the biggest fights he will wage on the campaign trail is the GOP criticism that his tax proposals amount to "class warfare. " Nothing against the wealthy, Obama said, "everybody wants to be rich. " The question is, he said, whether the nation is offering opportunity to all. "We're going to have a robust debate about whose vision is more promising [for] moving this country forward," Obama said. The president was speaking to House Democrats at their annual retreat here, and drew standing ovations.
April 18, 2008
Re "Debate dwells on Obama's past," April 17 Once again, it appears that the news media control the debate. For at least 50 minutes, both Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton were quizzed on some of their silly misstatements that have already been analyzed ad nauseam. Finally, I thought, we'd get a chance to hear their views on the issues most of us care about. Wrong again -- but this time I don't think we can blame the candidates. They had to go to war with the questions they were given.
January 26, 2012 | By Paul West
Mitt Romney encouraged his supporters to get loud and even storm the gates at Thursday's debate in Florida, the last nationally televised encounter ahead of a potentially pivotal primary Tuesday. Enthusiastic crowd reactions for Newt Gingrich, including standing ovations at a pair of South Carolina debates last week, helped propel the former House speaker to a huge victory in that state's primary. By contrast, a debate in Florida on Monday was a far more sedate affair. Audience members were asked by NBC to refrain from cheers and applause, and to a large extent they complied.
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