The Obama swagger is back – and not a moment too soon.

A feisty President Barack Obama seized control of a critical debate with Mitt Romney Tuesday, showing voters the grit, passion and leadership necessary to guide the nation through an unsteady economic recovery.

In an overall contentious debate, Romney interrupted Obama on at least two occasions while Obama called out Romney for misleading voters and manipulating the facts.

And Obama, through his body language, also showed some annoyance toward Romney – even some anger at times. The president clearly came ready to mix it up.

“Governor that’s not true,” Obama said several times during the presidential debate at Hofstra University on Long Island, New York. "…You can't buy this sales pitch."

Obama was much sharper on Tuesday; he was more focused, often combative, and he hammered Romney on Romney’s plan to cut funding to “Big Bird” and Seseme Street and Planned Parenthood.

In fact, in the words of James Brown: “Papa don’t take no mess.”

Both candidates became testy and Obama, in particular, looked particularly irritated when Romney spoke of his “5-point plan” to get the economy back on track.

"Gov. Romney says he's got a five point plan? Gov. Romney doesn't have a five-point plan, he's got a one-point plan," the president said. "To make sure that the folks at the top play by a separate set of rules."

Romney appeared to cross the line on one occasion and, in fact, Romney seemed rude and disrespectful to the president. At one point, as Obama stood up, Romney reprimanded him: “You'll get your chance in a moment, I'm still speaking.”

Obama used his second debate with Romney to tout his accomplishments since he took office and outline his vision for the next four years if he’s re-elected to the White House in 20 days. The president was also more assertive in Tuesday’s debate, holding Romney accountable for his dishonesty.

“You can make a lot of money and pay lower tax rates than somebody who makes a lot less,” Obama said. “You can ship jobs overseas and get tax breaks for it. You can invest in a company, bankrupt it, lay off the workers, strip away their pensions, and you still make money.”

“That's exactly the philosophy that we've seen in place for the last decade,” the president added. “That's what's been squeezing middle class families.”

For Romney’s part, the Republican billionaire rarely flinched. He pounded the president on the economy, saying Obama’s policies are flawed and will prevent the economy from growing. More Americans under an Obama administration, Romney said, will remain unemployed.

“Well what you're seeing in this country is 23 million people struggling to find a job. And a lot of them, as you say, Candy, have been out of work for a long, long, long time,” Romney said. “ The president's policies have been exercised over the last four years and they haven't put Americans back to work.”

Obama needed a good night – and the stakes couldn’t be higher.

The president entered Tuesday’s debate playing catch up to Romney who enjoyed a bounce in the polls following last week’s first presidential debate. While most national polls show the race neck-in-neck, many surveys are also showing that Romney is slowly beginning to chip away at Obama’s lead in crucial swing states.

The president’s poor performance in the first debate clearly allowed Romney to climb back into the race. Romney’s aides say campaign contributions have increased significantly and crowds are swelling at Romney’s campaign rallies.

Tuesday’s debate also comes as a Washington-Post/ABC News poll shows that likely voters are split  — 49 percent for Obama to 46 percent for Romney. The poll shows that traditional groups that backed Obama in 2008  — including Democrats, non-whites and younger voters — are far less interested in the campaign this year.

But a new USA Today/Gallup poll on Tuesday has Romney leading Obama by 4 percentage points among likely voters in 12 battleground states – a survey that has some Democrats deeply concerned.

The poll finds Romney leading Obama 51 percent to 46 percent among likely voters. Among registered voters, Obama maintains a slight lead — edging Romney 49 percent to 47 percent.

The survey also shows that Romney has also made huge gains with female voters. Romney and Obama are now tied at 48 percent a piece among likely female voters. Among likely male voters, Romney leads by 12 points — 54 percent to 42 percent.

Obama, however, is wasting no time taking his message directly to voters. On Wednesday, the president will travel to Iowa and Ohio – a critical battleground state where Obama holds a slight edge.

The president’s campaign strategists insist that Obama is on track for victory.

“We’ve invested for years, and we invested early, in the battleground states,” Jeremy Bird, the Obama campaign’s national field director, told reporters.

Bird said all across the country Democrats lead Republicans in registration in nearly every battleground state. He added that Latino voter registration has greatly exceeded registration for non-Latino whites. And Latino registration preference has increasingly favored Democrats since the election in 2008.

“Perhaps most strikingly,” Bird said, “most new registrants are younger than 30 and, in fact, more than four in five new registrants in these battleground states are women, young people and minorities.”

Twenty days until Election Day – and counting.


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12 thoughts on “ANALYSIS: The Obama Swagger is Back

  1. africanwarrior on said:

    Obama failed to define Romney the first time around , and succeeded second time . However, remember that usually if you fail to define your opponent the first time , it becomes almost impossible the second time around . President Obama can only hope that he stopped the bleeding from the first encounter with Romney.

  2. gwanedm on said:

    Mitt Romney DESTROYED Obama once again using factually based arguments. Obama’s response was the usual “attack using emotional, factless points” technique that he has perfected throughout the years.. How anyone can see Obama as the victor, is beyond me!

  3. I sensed Romney was the scum of the earth.. and he proved me right last night!!! The bully was disrespectful to the moderator, and he showed just how lowly he would run this country if given the chance. He would not follow rules, throw the rules out.. it would be back to the crooked days of old. It was scary too cause he looked like a life sized rat who had been in the gutter so long that if he had a diplomatic bone in his body, last night it would have left the building. That snake couldn’t tell the truth to save his life! OBAMA 2012!!!!!

  4. Charlotte101112 on said:

    WM Romeny gives new meaning to “bulley” (based on his demeanor). The new code term for racism(placism) is “….wait your term; I am not finish”. I hope those who still believe in the President’s message (I do) will NOT WAIT nor allow bulley’s to intimidate and VOTE. Everything that the other side is purposing is the current Admenistration’s goals and achieements…”white-washed”

  5. Listening Viewer on said:

    I didn’t watch the debate as it was happening but right after the debate a hotel guest where I was staying informed me that the debate ended in a tie and I replied “So, in other words Obama won but you just can’t say it.” What he called a “tie” I called a “lie” without batting an eyelash ,which is more than I can say for him or Romney.

  6. FTSMITH on said:

    Mitt wants to give the country, back to the 1%, which means that manipulation will be back in play. I, for one, do not want that.
    OBAMA 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. delores3 on said:

    Really appreciated President Obama’s stellar presentation in the second debate. He far outshined Romney and he was more assertive. Thanks President Obama for making a comback. I can sleep better because I know that the best man won tonight.

  8. Big Chief looked every bit presidential & ruled the day. But Romney didn’t flinch while he told his lies with a straight face. Romney would be a heck of a used car salesman.

  9. Lliissaa1234 on said:

    I have a nonrelated question if you will allow me. I like to ask legally what can we do about management practices. They are straight from the book Willie Lynch. Do we have any recourse.

  10. cindycruz on said:

    To me it looked pretty even.
    Two things stood out the most:
    1. President Obama never articulated how he was going to fix the economy… sorry but his only idea to fix the economy was raising taxes on people making above $200,000… THAT IS NOT GOING TO CUT IT
    2. romney never told us how would specifically pay for the across the board tax cut and what deductions would be on the table. THAT IS NOT GOING TO CUT IT

    Lastly, overall romney seems to have a much better handle on how to fix things… perhaps that is why romney has surged ahead of our President

  11. Francesca on said:

    The President did a terrific job in the debate last night. Our President is a man who cares deeply about the people of this country. He is savy, and extremely intelligent. On the other hand Mitt Romney, will say anything to get elected and he wouldn’t know the truth if it walked up to him and slapped him. He has no interigity. He has already admitted that he cares nothing about the 47%. I hope everyone saw last night the reason we can’t allow him to get the presidency. I emplore everyone reading these post to vote, vote early. And remember we might be born with that right today, but that was not always the case. People were beaten and died so that other generations of African Americans could be born with the right to vote. Please don’t let their efforts have been invain. We OWE it to the people who fought that fight for us to vote, whether we want to or not. Let’s help give our President the chance to finish what he has started. Go Barack!!!

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