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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 30, 2008
Re "Too close to call," editorial, Sept. 27 Your editorial concluded that Friday's debate "showed that John McCain is clear-eyed about the threats to America." You were apparently watching a different debate than I was. As Barack Obama correctly pointed out, McCain was wrong about the need to invade Iraq, wrong that U.S. troops would be greeted as liberators, wrong about the ease with which that invasion would be concluded and wrong about weapons of mass destruction. In what way, then, is McCain "clear-eyed" about the security threats this country faces?
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".
October 11, 2000 | Steve Chawkins
Why do people come unglued when a political candidate refuses to debate? There are some excellent reasons that candidates should avoid debates. The most compelling is death. A candidate who has died could turn off undecided voters by showing up at civic forums as a veil of ectoplasm, hammering home each of his points with a shriek and a creaking-door groan. Likewise, candidates behind bars may be forgiven for skipping debates.
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.
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