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Presidential Debate

October 5, 2012
Re "Romney gains momentum with smooth shift to center," News Analysis, Oct. 4 Mitt Romney came well prepared to the first debate and President Obama seemed to be dealing with a curious attack of "sea legs," although there's been much chatter about Big Bird. (Is that what Americans took away from the debate, Big Bird?) Romney and Obama are both well-educated, very bright professionals. Both have well-thought-out political philosophies. I could live with either as president, since I find neither phenomenal nor unacceptable.
July 11, 2013 | By Ramin Mostaghim and Alexandra Sandels
TEHRAN -- In these first days of Ramadan, many Iranians hoped to hear a familiar and beloved voice as they tuned into state radio or switched on TV just before iftar, the evening meal that signals the end of the dawn-to-dusk fast. They were looking forward to the soothing melodies of Mohammad Reza Shajarian, among the most acclaimed vocalists of traditional Persian songs, reciting his celebrated version of  the “Rabbana” (Our Lord) Islamic prayer, a longtime tradition that came to an abrupt halt four years ago.  [ A version has been posted on YouTube]
October 4, 2012 | By Jon Healey
Weary of contradicting President Obama's repeated attacks on his tax plan, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney offered a homespun version of a truism often ascribed to Soviet strongman Vladimir Lenin . "Look, I've got five boys," Romney said. "I'm used to people saying something that's not always true but just keep on repeating it and ultimately hoping I'll believe it. But that is not the case, all right?  I will not reduce the taxes paid by high-income Americans. " Yet both candidates played the repeat-it-often-enough-maybe-people-will-believe-it game on a big issue: for Obama, it was Romney's tax plan, and for Romney, it was how the 2010 healthcare law will affect Medicare and doctor-patient relationships.
June 1, 2013 | By Ramin Mostaghim and Alexandra Sandels
TEHRAN -- Two weeks ahead of Iran's presidential election, the eight officially sanctioned candidates faced off in a nationally televised TV debate which focused mainly on the nation's faltering economy, battered by U.S.-led sanctions tied to Tehran's controversial nuclear development program. The debate, the first of three prior to the June 14 vote, showed the candidates bitterly divided on how to reform the government's huge cash subsidy program for fuel and food. The subsidies have long been a major government expense, but plans to reduce them have met opposition from those concerned about adequate care for the needy.
June 13, 2011
  Join the Politics Now team at 5 p.m. PDT for live coverage of tonight's presidential debate in New Hampshire.        
October 16, 2012 | By Kathleen Hennessey
WILLIAMSBURG, Va. -- Hours before a crucial debate, President Obama tried to flash some confidence and calm for the cameras. "I feel fabulous. Look at this beautiful day,” Obama said as he strolled under blue skies at the Virginia resort where he has been preparing for his faceoff with Mitt Romney. The president has been largely out of sight since Saturday, when he arrived here for three days of intensive debate preparations. After a lackluster performance in the first debate two weeks ago, advisors say Obama needs a strong performance Tuesday night to block Romney's growing momentum.
October 17, 2012 | By Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON - Picking up where their running mates left off in Tuesday's presidential debate, Vice President Joe Biden joined President Obama's attack on the "sketchy" Republican budget plans while Rep. Paul D. Ryan defended Mitt Romney's answers on Libya and equal pay on the network morning shows Wednesday. Biden said Obama was "on top of his game" Tuesday after an admittedly weak performance in the first debate earlier this month. On NBC's "Today," Biden said he was "amazed" that Romney again failed to offer specifics on how he'd pay for what Democrats describe as a $5-trillion tax plan.
October 11, 2012 | By Seema Mehta
Sarah Palin hasn't taken part in a vice presidential debate in four years, but the fiery former GOP running mate remained a presence in Thursday's face-off between Vice President Joe Biden and GOP running mate Paul Ryan. During a discussion about Republican plans to reform Medicare, Ryan said they were not trying to create a voucher system but rather offering choice to younger Americans. “Choice and competition - we would rather have 50 million future seniors determine how their Medicare is delivered to them instead of 15 bureaucrats deciding what, if, where, when they get it,” Ryan said.
October 16, 2012 | By James Rainey
With the outcome of the presidential election still very much in doubt, Tuesday night's debate on New York's Long Island promises to be one of the most heavily watched and thoroughly scrutinized events of the long campaign. Robin Abcarian has logged thousands of miles and countless hours on the campaign trail for the Los Angeles Times. She joins me, Politics Now blog host Jim Rainey, at 1 p.m. PDT for a video discussion of the upcoming showdown between President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
October 4, 2012 | By Michael A. Memoli
HENNIKER, N.H. -- Ovide Lamontagne, the Republican nominee for governor in New Hampshire, had to be concerned with a poll released this week that showed his party's presidential nominee trailing by 15 points in the battleground state. Then came Wednesday's presidential debate, widely seen as a victory for Republican Mitt Romney. “I think I could still win even if the top of the ticket wasn't performing as well as we'd hope. But certainly last night gave everyone on my team, and myself included, a new sense of optimism and enthusiasm,” he said in an interview Thursday.
February 13, 2013 | By Jessica Guynn
#GOPResponse #SOTU #gop #tcot… - Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) February 13, 2013 SAN FRANCISCO -- Twitter runneth over with jokes at the expense of the parched Sen. Marco Rubio who awkwardly broke away to take a desperate sip of water toward the end of his Republican rebuttal to the president's State of the Union speech. Soon the topic was trending on Twitter and hashtags #waterbreak and #watergate threatened to eclipse the "binders full of women" remark from Mitt Romney that lit up Twitter after his presidential debate (and, ahem, water down any serious discussion of the GOP vision to help the middle class that Rubio was trying to outline at the time)
December 28, 2012 | By David Horsey
Seated inside a cavernous auditorium in Charleston, S.C., just days before that state's presidential primary in January, I was feeling downright gleeful. Spread out before me was a vast, gaudy, multi-screen, red-white-and-blue stage set worthy of “American Idol.” A CNN producer was warming up a big crowd of well-dressed Republicans, coaching them about when to cheer, when to laugh and when to shut up as if they were rubes in a “Tonight Show” studio audience. Within moments, the candidates for the Republican nomination would be trooped out, one by one - each introduced as if he were in the starting lineup of the Lakers.
October 25, 2012 | By Michael McGough
Elizabeth Emken, Sen. Dianne Feinstein's underdog Republican opponent, has gone CGI on us in her latest attempt to shame Feinstein into debating her. With a nod to "Forrest Gump," in which the Tom Hanks character was digitally inserted into scenes with famous people, Emken has posted a YouTube video in which an inert-looking Feinstein seems to be sitting across from Emken at a debate. Feinstein doesn't speak, but she does sip from a cup of coffee. Emken lays into Feinstein about Obamacare, the national debt and California's economic ills, and there's also a dig at Feinstein's age. (Maybe, Emken wonders, Feinstein lacks the "energy" to debate?
October 25, 2012 | By Michael Kinsley
My favorite moment of the 2012 presidential debates came at the beginning of the final confrontation Monday night. The moderator, Bob Schieffer, invited both candidates to "give your thoughts" on the Middle East. Republican nominee Mitt Romney went first and began with a typical stumbling attempt to be charming, almost successful in its very failure: Something about an earlier "humorous event" (it was the annual Al Smith dinner for the archdiocese of New York, at which politicians tell jokes)
October 25, 2012 | By Robert C. Bordone and Heather Scheiwe Kulp
Reading the newspapers recently, we've been struck by how similar the presidential debate commentary has been to commentary about "Monday Night Football. " After the matchups in this year's "debate season," political pundits criticized President Obama's "prevent defense" and "two-yard runs down the middle. " They talked about how Mitt Romney "spiked the football. " And football wasn't the only sports metaphor invoked in the coverage. On Tuesday, "CBS This Morning's" ticker about the previous night's debate read "Final Face-Off," while ABC's "Good Morning America" heralded the "Final Debate Duel.
October 25, 2012 | By Houston Mitchell
John Franklin Stephens, a Special Olympics athlete, penned an open letter to conservative political pundit Ann Coulter on Tuesday, asking her why she calls people "retarded. " The letter was prompted by a tweet Coulter sent out during the presidential debate on Monday, which said, "I highly approve of Romney's decision to be kind and gentle to the retard," in reference to Romney's strategy of not directly verbally attacking Obama during the debate. The tweet prompted the following letter from Stephens: "Come on Ms. Coulter, you aren't dumb and you aren't shallow.
October 24, 2012 | By Karin Klein
Discussions of Proposition 37, the initiative that would require labeling of many genetically engineered foods, tend to bring up two arguments that both seem true at first blush. Opponents claim it would raise the price of food; supporters say it would result in better-informed consumers. But both assertions are more dubious than they appear. The No-on-37 campaign bases most of its claims of higher food prices on a study that it paid for, so obviously the findings are hardly unimpeachable.
October 24, 2012 | By John Horn
Hollywood doesn't usually make sequels to flops, but Clint Eastwood doesn't typically follow convention. So less than two months after the actor-director's infamous “Empty Chair” speech at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Eastwood is back supporting Gov. Mitt Romney in a new advertisement backed by the "super PAC"  American Crossroads. The new commercial, called “At Stake,” is part of a new $12.6-million ad blitz backed by conservative consultant Karl Rove's political action committee.
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