As families across the United States gathered to watch the second presidential debate Tuesday night, Patch editors met for viewing parties and listened in to Facebook and Twitter to hear what local people had to say.
Who won? President Barack Obama garnered an overwhelming amount of support on local Patch Facebook pages, but threads were punctuated with support for Romney, mostly focusing on Obama’s “failed record.”
On the Farmington Facebook page, Heather Adam Bigler said, “I'd say the President came out with both guns blazing! Way to kick butt Mr. Obama.”
Joan Wright Lee, on The Granbys page agreed: “Mr. Obama ran down the list of things he has accomplished and a measured, steady picture of a specific plan for the good of the middle class...Romney doesn't have a real plan. His numbers don't add up, and he's been called out on the lack of (true) facts he's presented in the first debate and during his campaign. The President will get my vote. I can trust him. I can't trust the man who says he won't let jobs get sent overseas, when HE was a key player in sending jobs overseas!”
But Shannon Hayes, also in The Granbys – possibly referring to the president’s time advantage – said, “Hard to win a rigged debate. I focus on results. So far, Obama has failed overall.”
Avon’s Stephen Del Gallo echoed the sentiment.
“Obama did nothing but bash the Romney campaign and deflect questions about his own FAILED policies,” Del Gallo wrote.
Avon Democrat and Town Council member David Pena, who was in attendance at Lime Bar, said that he wouldn’t call a clear win, but that Obama had the advantage.
“I would give the edge to Obama …He wasn’t aggressive but he made his points and he wasn’t on defense – he was always on the offense. I was very happy with his results in that aspect and I think it caught Romney off guard a little,” Pena said.
And while the victor was less obvious than after the president’s lackluster performance at the first debate, everyone agreed that it was a markedly different Obama that greeted Romney at Hofstra University.
“The president was decidedly more energized tonight that last time,” said Daryl Worobow, Avon Democratic Town Committee chairman, at Lime Bar. “Where Mr. Romney tried to put him down, he came back and had a response in almost all cases.”
But Tom Paydos of Simsbury said Obama refused to stay on topic, bringing up things he said were irrelevant, like President George W. Bush.
Paydos said he was “tired of being told I’m the 1 percent,” since he’s a middle of the road guy who “works hard for his family.” He was encouraged by Romney’s promise of tax cuts for the middle class.
Canton resident Jess Tole, a waitress at Lime Bar, said, “They didn’t talk too much about what I really cared about. I was waiting for more discussion on women’s rights.”
Romney, however, drew quite a bit of fire on Twitter for somehow tying family values to assault weapons.
An FHS student tweeted “I seriously can't believe that Romney just said that single moms and dads CAUSE GUN VIOLENCE. He's a disgrace."
Avon RTC disagreed, calling Romney “a gentleman” in comparison to Obama’s aggressive approach.
Others, however, felt that Obama performed well overall, particularly in light of his last debate performance.
“I do think [Obama] made gains,” Pena said.