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Presidential Debate: Readers React to Obama, Romney

New Jersey Patch sites wrangled political opinions from our readers as we live blogged the first debate.

The first 2012 Presidential Debate may have started light, with President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney sharing a firm handshake and a few jokes. However, the candidates wasted no time focusing on the economic challenges facing Americans, with each contrasting his own vision for the country with his opponent's.

During our live coverage, Patch asked residents around the country to join in the debate through emailing us questions, joining our live blog and tweeting their thoughts with #PatchPolitics. 

Residents around New Jersey joined the lively discussion, as the president and presidential hopeful had at each other in a face-to-face battle of words.

"[Romney] should ask what Obama has done for us in the last 4 years. (sound of crickets)," said Patch reader 'John B'.

Just as the Obama and Romney disagree, our readers were not seeing eye-to- eye on our live blog.

"Romney is gonna set up trade with Latin America because he has sent so many jobs over there with the busineses he owns but yet he doesn't support the immigration laws that Obama has tried to pass...hmmmm??," one reader said.

Many on Twitter pointed to the tone of the debate. While Obama technically held the floor longer, readers pointed out the strength in Romney's voice and the fact that the candidate didn't seem to pull any punches.

"Romney comes across strong and in control," Patch reader 'John B' said in our live blog. "Obama is pandering to the young vote," he later added.

While both candidates frequently ran over their allotted time for question and answer segments, giving moderator Jim Lehrer a difficult job, some readers said Romney's strong voice in the debate was not enough.

"Romney refuses to give details on any plan on any subject," Patch reader 'Tonto' said.

But with the groans and moans from both sides of the aisles heard in our live blog as opponents laid out plans, one Patch reader named Kelly ended our live blogging by saying what many may have been thinking:

"Thank goodness that's over."

Spooner October 09, 2012 at 04:10 PM
Concerned: just what is the truth about Romney!
Jerseyshoregirl2 October 09, 2012 at 04:10 PM
I just hope that everybody on this site that wants to elect Romney/Ryan are over 55 (if not, social security as you know it will not exist), doesn't want to claim mortgage interest or child care on your taxes (because under their tax reduction plan they will go away). Don't fact check their claims...Oh that's right, they R/R campaign has stated that factor checkers are not going to run their campaign (wouldn't want to confuse them with the truth). As Ryan said, there are just too many details to give so he doesn't give any at all. Oh and seniors, military, disabled folks? Better get off those entitlement rolls (that you paid into). Be careful what you wish for, you just may get it.
Spooner October 09, 2012 at 04:11 PM
...that's true about Ryan... http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/08/paul-ryan-interview-abruptly-ends_n_1949721.html
Jerseyshoregirl2 October 09, 2012 at 04:23 PM
Couldn't agree more! I just hope that everybody on this site that wants to elect Romney/Ryan are over 55 (if not, social security as you know it will not exist), doesn't want to claim mortgage interest or child care on your taxes (because under their tax reduction plan they will go away). Don't fact check their claims...Oh that's right, the R/R campaign has stated that fact checkers are not going to run their campaign (wouldn't want to confuse them with the truth). As Ryan said, there are just too many details to give so he doesn't give any at all. Oh and seniors, military, disabled folks? Better get off those entitlement rolls (that you paid into). Be careful what you wish for, you just may get it.
Spooner October 09, 2012 at 04:30 PM
...gee: wasn't it the Republicans who were telling us how skewed all those polls were, when they showed Obama talking a commanding lead in swing states. . .So whatever happened to that story 'kemosabe'?
Keith Best October 09, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Spooner-- the only poll that counts is on Nov. 6th and I am confident that the American people have learned what an empty suit (empty chair, thanks Clint Eastwood) Obama really is.
Spooner October 09, 2012 at 04:36 PM
The question to ask. . .is why Alinsky became a political force in this country. You see John would like everyone to ignore poverty and injustices in America. . .like what existed on Chicago's South side. . .Your not going to pull the wool over them John. . .part of American history. . .
Spooner October 09, 2012 at 04:40 PM
Keith- I find it hard to believe that one presidential debate can have a shift in polling so dramatic. . .and your right that's the only poll that counts.
kemosabe October 09, 2012 at 04:48 PM
These are the same skewed polls showing us how disenfranchised Democrats are. Even they know Obama is a loser and fraud. The media is powerless to protect him now. His lies, bad policies and lack of experience are all center stage.
Jerseyshoregirl2 October 09, 2012 at 04:49 PM
I thought Romney looked rather frantic.
kemosabe October 09, 2012 at 04:50 PM
Alinsky and Obama pray on people's fears. They promise to help but in the end they just wanted power. Obama hasn't helped anyone in NJ. Obama hasn't helped anyone in Chicago or LA or Detroit. What has Obama done to improve Camden or newark? What has he done to improve NJ failing schools and corruption?
Jerseyshoregirl2 October 09, 2012 at 04:51 PM
In 2004 the Bush administration ordered the closure of NASA in 2010. it was extended to 2011. Please check your facts Kathy.
kemosabe October 09, 2012 at 04:55 PM
I think you make fair points. There are no guarantees. I will give the successful businessman a try over the failed community organizer who never had a real job. Obama proved he is not up to the task on any level. Hillary said so. Bill warned us. Joe Biden knew it yet the people chose him. He failed. Hope became misery. Change became failure. Time to move on.
Donna Griffin October 09, 2012 at 04:55 PM
Spooner - I don't know of many reasonable people who would suggest "ignoring" poverty and injustices in America or anywhere else for that matter. What we don't do effectively is get to the root causes of multi-generational welfare dependence. I pose to you that our social service programs do far more to enslave people and dissolve the human desire for personal responsibility. A generation of immigrants made it to this country with little help or expectation of hand outs. American-born citizens offered free housing, free education, free food stamps, free cell phones and free healthcare have continued down the entitlement path to the point we find ourselves now. We continue to feed this ever hungry monster of dependence with little or no expectations that people will eventually fend for themselves. I think the reason we do so is far more diabolical and deliberate...Democrats are harvesting voters among this dependent population. I can think of no humane reason to keep people in poverty. The single best social service program is a job.
kemosabe October 09, 2012 at 05:04 PM
There they are all of the liberal talking points in one paragraph. Why is John Jay not intelligent. Obama is clearly not intelligent. He only lies. Look at the choice of words "hate gays" "control women" "keep middle class down"......it's what liberals do when they have no facts. Did you forget to cry racism too?? They seek to attack their opponent "John Jay is not smart" and invoke emotion around small issues. No one on here is talking about gays, mexicans, controlling women, etc We are talking about jobs, deficits and the economy Maybe you can tell us how does voting for the great fraud Obama help the middle class? How is it helping the residents of Detroit or Camden? And free phones doesn't count. Tell us why does the Government spend more on Medicare than the revenues collected? This UNPAID program is growing the deficit.
Donna Griffin October 09, 2012 at 05:07 PM
Regarding the LifeLine free cell phone program: "TracFone Wireless CEO F.J. Pollak “has donated at least $156,500 to Democratic candidates and committees this cycle, including at least $50,000 to the Obama campaign,” while his wife Abigail has bundled over $632,000 in Obama donations during this campaign cycle. They hosted a $40,000-per-plate fundraiser for Obama in Miami Beach this year, and they’ve made seven White House Visits. Abigail received an appointment to the presidential “Commission to Study the Potential Creation of a National Museum of the American Latino.” Humanevents.com & Tampa Bay Times
kemosabe October 09, 2012 at 05:16 PM
The Obama clown car has driven into a ditch. Airbags delployed and police are on the scene. Sesame Street" posted a statement demanding Obama take the ad down: Sesame Workshop is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization and we do not endorse candidates or participate in political campaigns. We have approved no campaign ads, and as is our general practice, have requested that the ad be taken down. Can we talk about the economy now? Gas prices? Four American assassinated by al-Qaeda? The collapse of middle class incomes? The rise in gas prices?
John Jay October 09, 2012 at 05:17 PM
Jeff -- Your comments are very nasty. Romney hates Mexican people? You are rediculous. Do you even know his family history? Regarding my intelligence: I guess I am not very smart because I cannot figure out how to make people like you see the light. I guess my Sunday school teacher was right: "...a people without understanding will come to ruin!" Have fun talking to the wall, Jeff. I am through with you too. RE: "jeff 12:55 pm on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 John Jay: do you work? we know you aren't an intelligent person"
Spooner October 09, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Donna- I or we were talking about Saul Alinsky and I guess Frank Marshall Davis. I was in South Chicago in the early 70's. It wasn't a pretty site. In my opinion worst than Newark or East York in Brooklyn...maybe on par with the South Bronx(Fort Apache movie depicts) Now you can argue all your post Alinsky. . .but it wasn't the case back then? And I don't want to get into comparing African Americans with a generation of immigrants. . .there way two different animals! PS: "The single best social service program is a job". . .so where's the jobs!
Spooner October 09, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Donna- I or we were talking about Saul Alinsky and I guess Frank Marshall Davis. I was in South Chicago in the early 70's. It wasn't a pretty site. In my opinion worst than Newark or East New York in Brooklyn...maybe on par with the South Bronx(Fort Apache movie depicts) Now you can argue all your post Alinsky. . .but it wasn't the case back then? And I don't want to get into comparing African Americans with a generation of immigrants. . .there way two different animals! PS: "The single best social service program is a job". . .so where's the jobs!
Spooner October 09, 2012 at 05:27 PM
Donna- there people with names attached to their donations, contributions fund raising, the blogger points out anonymous donors?
kemosabe October 09, 2012 at 05:30 PM
"different animals" watch out that sounds racist. Good question - where are the jobs? Do tax increases create jobs? Does spending $1.5 trillion a year more than you have create jobs? I'd have to say these 2 things don't help create jobs. As for Obama and Alinsky. They are tied at the hip. http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/294454/still-alinsky-playbook-john-fund?pg=1 Alinsky’s tactics of intimidation are a case in point. His most oft-quoted rule is “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. . . . One acts decisively only in the conviction that all the angels are on one side and all the devils on the other.” Obama’s White House has honed that tactic to perfection. In 2009, then– communications director Anita Dunn sneered that Fox News “really is not a news network at this point.” President Obama himself has, in the spirit of Alinsky, gone out of his way to lambaste “fat-cat bankers” and greedy health insurers. “[The administration has] shown they’ll go after anybody or any organization that they think is standing in their way,” Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell said in a February speech. “You know the drill. Expose these folks to public view, release the liberal thugs on them, and then hope the public pressure or the unwanted attention scares them from supporting similar causes down the road.”
jerseyswamps October 09, 2012 at 06:21 PM
Donna, you are so right about our social service programs enslaving people. These programs have kept many on urban plantations for generations. I my work I've had 3 generations on welfare programs. Grandma "teaching" her children and grandchildren all the in and outs of the programs. The goal being to get a section 8 voucher for housing in addition to all the usual programs. It's all they know. So sad.
Cardinal October 09, 2012 at 06:39 PM
Rep. VP Ryan, if he doesn't like Reporters quests. he walks off, he needs to grow up.
Spooner October 09, 2012 at 07:00 PM
kemosabe- yous people go off on tangents...like John Jay's Acorn story about New Orleans in1999, and now it's back to Alinsky(1909-1972) again. . .My calender tells me today is October 9, 2012. . .so again I implore you to answer. . .where are the jobs that are going to solve the poverty problems. . .and don't give me...the $1.5T line... PS:comparing the 200-300 years of African American history with a "generation of immigrants". . .Please!. . .I could just see the black Professor Melissa Harris Perry(MSNBC) flames coming from her nostrils, ready to explode) So anytime you and Donna want to go there and make the comparisons. . .
Donna Griffin October 09, 2012 at 07:05 PM
Spooner - The jobs are exactly where the elite leftists want them....in government. I never specified that I was speaking about "African Americans" either, but it's interesting that when "poverty" is mentioned your thoughts went in that direction. I, however, do agree that the poverty experienced by incoming immigrants in the 50's and 60's was different than that of Americans who found themselves poor at the same time. Those immigrants did not speak the language so they had an additional cross to bear. Lastly, it is human nature to surround oneself with like-minded people. We do it in our social lives all the time. Obama surrounded himself with interesting "birds of a feather," e.g. Edward Said, Palestinian radical, Roberto Mangabeira Unger, who has called for an alliance among Russia, China, India & Brazil to knock the US down a peg, Bill Ayers and Rev. Wright. I think to disavow himself from these relationships leads me to think Obama views Americans as fools.
Stinki Garbaage October 09, 2012 at 07:35 PM
John Jay, I agree Obama is weakening America on purpose. What I meant was the electorate (at least those that voted for Obama) were experimenting with an unknown Community Organizer/Obscure State Senator/US Senator/Savior/President/Tyrant
John Jay October 09, 2012 at 07:41 PM
I wonder how many millions of voters will send Obama packing?
John Jay October 09, 2012 at 08:12 PM
Obama will be defeated. The real battle will involve removing the cancerous radicals Obama has infected the government with over the past four years.
Berkeley Lifer October 09, 2012 at 08:14 PM
http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/taxes-going-pay-pay-obamacare-145413745.html

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