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KFDM 6 :: News - Top Stories - Analyzing the debate
Wednesday, October 17 2012, 11:51 AM CDT
Analyzing the debate

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (AP) - Two alphas in the fight of their lives, President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney sparred with passion and grit in a debate that previewed the closing arguments of a campaign that keeps circling back to bedrock questions about which candidate can do more to strengthen the fragile economy.


Fresh off their latest encounter and with just three weeks left in the race, the candidates fan out in all directions Wednesday to pitch their tuned-up messages directly to voters on some of the campaign's most treasured turf: Romney in Virginia, Obama in Iowa. Vice President Joe Biden is westward bound for Colorado and Nevada; GOP running mate Paul Ryan returns to all-important Ohio.


It was a re-energized Obama who showed up for Tuesday's debate at Hofstra University, lifting the spirits of Democrats who felt let down by the president's limp performance in the candidates' first encounter two weeks ago.


But Romney knew what was coming and didn't give an inch, pressing his case even when the arguments deteriorated into did-not, did-too rejoinders that couldn't have done much to clarify the choice for undecided voters.


Tuesday's debate was the third installment in what amounts to a four-week-long reality TV series for Campaign 2012. Romney was the clear victor in the series debut, Biden aggressively counterpunched in the next-up vice presidential debate, and the latest faceoff featured two competitors determined to give no quarter. 


It was a pushy, interruption-filled encounter filled with charges and countercharges that the other guy wasn't telling the truth. The two candidates were both verbally and physically at odds in the town hall-style format, at one point circling each other center stage like boxers in a prize fight.


"I thought it was a real moment," Biden told NBC's "Today" show in an interview that aired Wednesday morning. "When they were kind of circling each other, it was like, 'Hey, come on man, let's level with each other here.'"


One of the debate's tensest moments was when Romney suggested Obama's administration may have misled Americans over what caused the attack at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, last month that killed four Americans. The issue is sure to continue to be debated next week, with the third and closing debate focused on foreign policy scheduled Monday at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla. "As the facts come out about the Benghazi attack we learn more troubling facts by the day," Ryan told "This Morning" on CBS. "So that's why need to get to the bottom of this to get answers so that we can prevent something like this from ever happening again."


Romney, brimming with confidence, distilled the essence of his campaign message early in Tuesday's 90-minute debate and repeated it often.


"I know what it takes to get this economy going," he said over and over. And this: "We can do better." And this: "We don't have to settle for what we're going through."


Obama, with both the benefit and the burden of a record to run on, had a more nuanced message.


"The commitments I've made, I've kept," he said. "And those that I haven't been able to keep, it's not for lack of trying and we're going to get it done in a second term."


Obama also was relentless in dismissing the merits of Romney's policies and rejecting his characterizations of the president's record. 


"Governor Romney doesn't have a five-point plan," the president argued. "He has a one-point plan. And that plan is to make sure that folks at the top play by a different set of rules."


The candidates were in each other's faces - sometimes literally - before an audience of 82 uncommitted voters from New York. It's a state that's already a sure bet for Obama, but the voters there stood as proxy for millions of Americans across the nation still settling on a candidate.


"They spent a lot of time cutting down the other person," said 22-year-old Joe Blizzard, who watched with a crowd of 500 students at the University of Cincinnati. "As someone who is undecided, it was a little disappointing."


Fellow student Karim Aladmi, 21, was more forgiving. "It goes without saying that the knives were out," he said. "I thought Obama had a strong performance, but Romney made him work for it. I was actually impressed by both sides."


With just 20 days left until the election, polls show an extremely tight race nationally. While Republicans have made clear gains in recent days, the president leads in several polls of Wisconsin and Ohio. No Republican has won the White House without winning Ohio.


In the sprint to Election Day, every aspect of the campaign seems to be taking on a fresh sense of urgency - the ads, the fundraising, the grass-roots mobilizing, the outreach to key voting blocs, particularly women.


Both sides are pouring millions upon millions into TV ads in the battleground states, and independent groups are adding buckets more.


The debate didn't break a lot of new ground, although Romney signaled a shift in his stance on immigration.


The GOP nominee previously had said he would veto legislation to provide a path to legalization for young illegal immigrants brought to the United States as children. But Tuesday night, he said such young people "should have a pathway to become a permanent resident of the United States." 


As the debates unfold, early voting is already under way in many states, and the push to bank as many early ballots as possible is in overdrive.


Democrats cheered when the Supreme Court on Tuesday cleared the way for Ohio voters to cast ballots on the three days before Election Day, rejecting a request by the state's Republican elections chief and attorney general to get involved in a rancorous battle over early voting. Obama's campaign and Ohio Democrats had sued state officials over changes in state law that took away the three days of voting for most people. 


All of the political maneuvering was little more than noise for more than 1.3 million Americans: They've already voted.


___


JULIE PACE Associated Press


Benac reported from Washington.


AP writers Nedra Pickler and Alicia Caldwell in Washington, James Fitzgerald and Steve Peoples in Hempstead, N.Y., and Dan Sewell in Cincinnati, Ohio, contributed to this report.


___


Follow Nancy Benac on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/nbenac


Follow Julie Pace on Twitter at


http://twitter.com/jpaceDC


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Analyzing the debate

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Abortion providers say more than a dozen abortion clinics may close at end of month

Rotary Club encouraging children to read and to play

Beaumont Fire Department works three structure fires

KFDM/KBTV remodeling project begins

Sales Tax Weekend Holiday starts Friday

James Brady, former White House press aide shot in 1981 assassination attempt, dies

Our temps around 90; Bertha becomes hurricane, no threat to U.S.

Special State Senate election Tuesday

Sales tax weekend approaching

Body recovered of woman who jumped from bridge

Report: Social Security, Medicare need solutions to survive

Port Arthur Police investigate burglary and attempted robbery

Vidor family loses everything in fire

Bikers hold fundraiser for fellow rider and family

Mitchell Road reopens, gas leak contained

Gas leak prompts road closure in Lumberton

Beaumont firefighters working house fire

Deputies: Liberty County drug bust, also turns up tens of thousands of dollars

Fire in Vidor destroys home, displaces family

Community members react to Newton County Sheriff indictment

Lumberton Dome almost finished

Lake Charles man charged with raping woman

Local student competing in Junior Olympics cup-staking contest in Iowa

Why Orange County fire was difficult to extinguish

Demolition starts on vacant Castle Motel

Driver and teen on bike collide

Going on vacation? How to keep your home safe

Fire burning home in Orange County

Newton County Sheriff released on bond following threat indictment

Some receive minimal rain, others 6 inches

Arrest warrant issued for Newton County sheriff

Community reacts to more than 100 BISD job cuts

Family turns to community in wake of tragedy

Researchers at UTMB Galveston work to develop Ebola vaccine

BISD notifies employees of layoffs

Udate on child who's father and stepmother were gunned down outside Tyler County church

Bridge City ISD could possibly hold bond election

Jazz on the Lake kicks off, more to come

BISD's "Top 10 in the Nation" sign removed

Preventing a heatstroke

Attorney for Newton County Sheriff reacts to Eddie Shannon indictment

KFDM travels to Galveston to learn about Ebola vaccine research

Average gasoline price in Beaumont second lowest in state

Investigators: Someone deliberately set a Beaumont home on fire, displacing family of seven

Beaumont man's transformation after losing 440 lbs

New way of buying produce becoming popular in SETX

BISD's new way of doing business with vendors

Want to save money and help the environment? Learn about TxDOT's app

Search for source of parasite outbreak infecting Texans

Investigating changes in BISD vendor system

Another Jasper school vandalized

Drug arrests in Jasper

Southeast Texas man found guilty of carrying 20 pounds of marijuana through Beaumont

Forecast calls for dramatic changes

Murder suspect on Top 10 Fugitive list returned to Lake Charles

Houston man pleads guilty to Beaumont bank robbery

Two educators from same district named Region 5 teachers of the year

A former BISD employee who helped to oversee the district's finances is returning

KFDM reporter questions Calvin Walker after his release from jail; what he had to say

Hotel Beaumont has a new owner

Beaumont City Council delayed a vote that would give a cemetery more land

Polk County marijuana bust setting record in Texas

Missed our 6 p.m. broadcast? See live team coverage of indictment against Calvin Walker

Crimestoppers searching for woman burglar caught on surveillance video

Defense attorney Dick DeGuerin, who represented Calvin Walker in federal case, talks with KFDM News about Jefferson County grand jury indictment of Walker

Click here to read indictment against Calvin Walker

Jefferson County jury set to sentence man to 12 years for assaulting teenaged girl

Man steals deputy's car ends up back in jail within an hour

Warrant roundup targets drivers with unpaid traffic citations

Calvin Walker released from jail after posting bond

BISD statement on Calvin Walker indictment

Calvin Walker in custody at Jefferson County Jail

Special Grand Jury indicts BISD electrical contractor Calvin Walker on six felony charges

PAISD teachers attend workshop to prepare for new school year

BPD: Auto burglary suspects crash into police car; officers suffer injuries

Deputy fires shots to stop released prisoner who stole truck at jail

Man just released from jail accused of stealing deputy's truck from correctional center and leading officers on chase

Man sentenced to 12 years for sexually assaulting child

Polk County marijuana operation could yield 100,000 plants

Two hurt in accident on Old Voth Road

BISD Board Meeting Recap

Where did the $46 million general fund go in BISD?

BISD board seeks ways to cut spending during budget workshop

SPECIAL REPORT PART 2: A journey of hope from Honduras to the U.S.

Hardin County residents to vote on whether liquor can be sold

Assistant Jefferson County district attorney stepping down

Local vigil for immigrant children crossing border

Large marijuana-growing operation seized in Polk County

Girl Scouts deliver food for Meals on Wheels

Watching for possible tropical development in central Atlantic

Deputies say mother left children in car where temperature rose to 130

What happened to the millions of dollars in the BISD General Fund?

Click here for live stream of BISD meeting beginning at 6pm

BISD Board of Managers to consider more terminations, separation agreement with Dr. Chargois

Early voting begins for State Senate election

Lightning strike kills one, injures more than a dozen at Venice Beach in Southern California

Heat Index could reach 106; relief on the way

Smoke detector helps family escape fire

Painting for a cause

Fighting a giant at age 8

Local man shot lands in jail

Port Arthur robbery suspect stabbed

Investigators: Beaumont home set on fire

Blood drive helps boost low blood supply

"Cops Helping Kids" fishing tournament fundraiser

City of Beaumont presents concert and other fun in park

Wife of "Pistol Packing Pastor" speaks out

Pinehurst doctor released from jail

Mother of baby Faith denied motion for change of venue

LifeShare in need of blood donations

Local volunteer recognized for her work helping senior citizens

Jefferson Co. warrant roundup has started

Two-year-old girl drowns after her father dies of a heart attack

Local cities discuss ways to boost Texas' Windstorm Insurance Fund

Traffic stop leads to meth discovery in woman's car

Pistol Packing Pastor speaks out on arrests

SPECIAL REPORT Part 1: An immigrant's treacherous journey from Central America to Beaumont

New BISD board to discuss important issues Monday

Do you have an unpaid ticket? Warrant roundup coming

Three PAISD schools may be getting new look if bond passes

One person detained following Orange County shooting

Wanted fugitive located

Salvation Army Store works to attract more customers

Lamar University admin building and honors college construction underway

Investigators: Electrical problem may have sparked Silsbee fire

DEA and other agencies executing search warrant at doctor's office in Pinehurst

Click here to read PC for arrest of doctor on family violence charge

Video from scene of accident that injured trooper

DPS investigating accident that injured female trooper; released from hospital Thursday morning

DPS to close part of I-10 East Thursday for accident reconstruction

Search warrant yields meth, firearms, arrests

Air Algerie plane disappears over Africa

DPS trooper hit by car, discharged from hospital

BPD: 19-year-old shot following argument, shooter on the run

Two Port Arthur schools to see major changes in the fall

Salvation Army store in Beaumont will close temporarily

BPD: No more crime despite high-profile cases

Nederland Senior Citizens Center closes because of water damage

Four men charged in connection with Buna robbery conspiracy that led to shooting

Lifeshare Blood Centers in need of blood donations

Jefferson Co. DA expects new indictments at BISD

Community including board of managers help raise money for teachers

BISD "recognized" signs removed

Jefferson County Crime Lab needs new equipment to keep up with synthetic drug market

Arrest made in connection with June fire in Port Arthur

Jury convicts Beaumont man; judge sentences him to 50 years for sexually assaulting child

Recognized sign taken down from in front of Carrol A. "Butch" Thomas Educational Support Center

DA expects grand jury to return indictments in BISD investigation

Musical based on film The Producers runs for two more weeks

ATPE applaudes Commissioner's decision to seek extension of NCLB waiver and evaluation pilot

Plane crash kills dozens in Taiwan

Interim BISD superintendent outlines belief system

D.A. explains several commissioners invited Bob Wortham to be at budget hearing; welcomes Wortham's support in budget process

Political fireworks at today's Commissioners Court budget hearing

Ruling could affect future of Affordable Care Act

Vidor cemetery stands by rules

Man arrested in connection with vehicle, church burglaries

Crime Stoppers looking for information about women accused of using stolen credit cards

Brazoria County man sentenced in connection with drug trafficking

Two vehicle accident occurs in Chambers County

Tracking tropical depression moving west

Court deals blow to Obamacare

BISD tears down Recognized sign in front of administration building

New ownership for soccer team at Ford Park

8 foot gator caught between Jasper daycare and elementary school

"It's a great day in Beaumont"

BISD Board of Managers approves proposed termination of Dr. Chargois; delays action on RIF

Beaumont homeowner shoots suspected burglar in driveway

TEA Commissioner Michael Williams answers questions on Live At Five

Seaweed still invading the Gulf

Jefferson County takes another step toward constructing Ford Park water park

Homeowner shoots man trying to break into car; police searching for gunshot victim

DA asking for community show of support at budget hearing

Transient arrested trying to break into vehicles

BISD board of managers to meet Monday

Investigators identify drowning victim

Signs your vehicle could have water damage

Family brings out canoe after flooding

Irving Avenue underwater at MLK overpass

Flooding strands Beaumont drivers

Heavy rain floods parts of Port Arthur

Sentence announced in Arceneaux trial

LIVE: Southeast Texas impacted by heavy rain

Raw video of MLK near Lavava cars submerged

Raw video of Beaumont street flooding

WHAT'S COMING UP AT 6 PM

WHAT'S COMING UP AT 10PM

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Business News

Asian stocks mostly down after Fed meeting

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- Asian stock markets mostly fell today after the U.S. Federal Reserve increased its estimate for the level of the central bank's benchmark interest rate by the end of 2015, surprising investors who expected a slower pace of rate hikes.

Consumer News

   WEST PALM BEACH, FL -- (Marketwired) -- 03/21/14 --
 Companies that pride themselves on being eco-friendly may have conflicted
 ideas between marketing with ad specialties and maintaining their green
 reputation. ...

Entertainment News

BEN McKENZIE-GOTHAM

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Ben McKenzie says his run-in with a concrete post won't keep him from trying to do his own stunts.

Get This

CANDY MAKER-UNIVERSITY FUNDING

DAVIS, Calif. (AP) -- It's a sweet deal.

Science/Tech News

IN THE NEWS: CHINA HACKED COMPANIES LINKED TO PENTAGON

WASHINGTON (AP) -- There's word of an effort by China's military to hack into computer networks of civilian transportation companies hired by the Pentagon.


 

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KFDM 6 NEWS AT 6
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WHEEL OF FORTUNE
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BIG BANG THEORY
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The Millers
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Two and a Half Men
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Elementary
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