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The second debate: a toss-up in town hall

By Amber Qalagari Columnist

Biden, move over; Crowley is running for Vice President 2012. It seemed Romney had two opponents in Tuesday night’s debate at Hofstra University: President Obama and moderator Candy Crowley. CNN should have added a talking timer for Crowley as she certainly did her fair share of debating. She might have well worn an Obama-Biden shirt under that blazer because her bias for the President was made evident in her quick defense of his unsubstantiated claims. The most apparent example was Crowley’s response to Obama’s inaccurate remark on the attacks in Libya. Obama claimed to have identified the attack that resulted in the death of the U.S Ambassador and three Navy S.E.A.L.S as an act of terror when he spoke in the Rose Garden on Sept. 12. Romney called out Obama’s skewed claim, noting that it took 14 days for the administration to fully declare the events as a terrorist attack. This recounted U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s initial claim, that the attacks were a spontaneous response to an anti-Muslim YouTube video. The Candy-Barrack tag team; Candy interrupts Romney’s argument and Obama steps in to gloat with a snide remark, “Can you say that a little louder, Candy?” I keep re-watching the clip to see if they high-five each other. Where was Crowley’s interruption to Obama’s false information? The transcript from that speech recalls Obama’s sole reference to terrorism as a generalized statement: “No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this nation.” If you want to play the fact-checker, Crowley, make sure you do that consistently.

In a CNN post-debate interview on Wednesday, Crowley admitted to Soledad O’Brien that Romney was “perfectly right that it took weeks for them to get past the tape.”

I guess Crowley decided Obama needed all the help he could get considering his weak response to Romney’s attack on his poor economic policies. “That’s not true” seemed to be Obama’s catchphrase any time Romney released an unfavorable number about the past four years. Sorry Obama, but a 7.8 percent unemployment rate and a $16 trillion deficit are facts you can’t write off. Crowley’s follow-up questions also had a taste of partiality to the Democratic side. She asked what Romney would do about his five-point tax plan if the “numbers didn’t add up.” This has been the same unfounded critique given by the Obama campaign this entire election season. Romney explained, “I was someone who ran businesses for 25 years, and balanced the budget. I ran the Olympics and balanced the budget. I ran the state of Massachusetts as a governor… and balanced the budget all four years… We have a president talking about someone’s plan in a way that’s completely foreign to what my real plan is.” If you feel like there are a million variations of that quote this election season you are absolutely right. Half the political fighting would cease if the Democrats would just open their ears to Romney’s explanation. It is expected that economics be explained to the administration considering their projected deficit resolution contains using borrowed military spending to pay for education. Nothing like the good old Obama logic of spending money we don’t actually own.

Despite her bias, it is hard to disagree that Candy Crowley did a better job than the last moderator, Jim Lehrer. It’s a tough job to keep two powerful political figures with differing ideologies on topic and on time. Obama’s performance also drastically improved from the first debate- at least this time he was awake. While Romney did not win by a landslide like in the last debate, I think he handled himself well considering he was outnumbered two to one.

Hofstra Democrats

2012 VP debate, Democrat Students