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Barack Obama

How Obama Won the Second Debate

President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney
Max Morse/Getty Images, Justin Sullivan/

President Obama followed the model of his vice-president in his second debate with Mitt Romney, repeatedly accusing his opponent of giving misleading answers and forcefully rebutting Romney’s claims rather than explain his own policies.

Largely ignoring the crowd of 80 people at the town hall at Hofstra University in New York, Obama redirected nearly every question the audience asked at the town hall to a pointed attack on his opponent, much like Joe Biden did in his debate against Paul Ryan.

The most memorable moment came near the debate’s end, when Romney and Obama were asked about the killing of four Americans including the ambassador, in Libya last month.

“The suggestion that anybody in my team, whether the Secretary of State, our U.N. Ambassador, anybody on my team would play politics or mislead when we’ve lost four of our own, governor, is offensive. That’s not what we do. That’s not what I do as president, that’s not what I do as Commander in Chief,” Obama declared.

And when Romney suggested that Obama had not described the embassy killings as an act of  terror initially, the moderator, CNN’s Candy Crowley, softly interjected that the president had in fact used the phrase “acts of terror.” And Obama didn’t miss that moment.

“Can you say that a little louder, Candy?” Obama declared, elevating the mistake by Romney.

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