The Democratic debates are in full swing and it looks so folks need to sharpen their debating skills or get out of the race. Let’s hope they are doing their research, especially on how President Barack Obama handled Mitt Romney.
It all went down in October of 2012 at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida. For much of the pivotal foreign policy face-off, Obama looked his opponent square in the eye, appearing dominant but never condescending, and especially never rude. He boldly branded the former governor’s policies as “wrong and reckless,” while unapologetically exposing his recurring bouts of “romnesia.”
Conversely, Romney looked shaky and uncertain, often looking away from the president while making his hesitant counter-points. Only when Romney felt he had enough ammunition to challenge Obama did he look toward him. And as has been the case since the debates began, Romney attempted to bully moderator Bob Schieffer, but fell short of his goal against the savvy CBS News veteran.
Curiously, the former Massachusetts governor shied away from some of his hard positions on foreign policy, specifically America’s standing with Israel, and often agreed with a number Obama’s talking points. In an especially telling moment, the president gave Romney a lesson on military leadership when speaking on the size of the Navy and its request for more ships, “Well, governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets,” Obama said, seeming to mock Romney’s outdated comprehension of what constitutes military might. “We have these things called ‘aircraft carriers,’ and planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines. And so, the question is not a game of Battleship, where we’re counting ships; it’s, ‘What are our capabilities?’”
Laughter famously erupted throughout the venue.
There were several other zingers during the debate, perhaps the most-damaging came when Obama checked Romney on his opposing views on the auto industry bailout. “Governor, you keep on trying to airbrush history,” Obama cooly said. “You were very clear that you would not provide government assistance to the U.S. auto companies even if they went to bankruptcy.”
If Mitt Romney got any credit, it was his propensity to stick to his rigid delivery and never seeming terribly rattled no matter how hard he stumbled. He did, however, make gaffes in bringing up previously fact-checked points, which Obama swatted away with much ease.
Romney’s words rang as hollow as his elusive, shape-shifting policies. His phantom plans for moving the country forward came from his perspective as a CEO, not as a president and commander-in-chief. Obama looked to be not only in touch with his current role, he looked prepared to lead the country for a second term.
From pundits and commentators on television, it was clear that Obama was the winner. This is the type of debate skills Democrats want to see, especially to beat Trump in 2020.
See the Obama dragging Romney below: