By ANTHONY SMITH
The first of three Presidential debates, between Democratic President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney tackled jobs, defense cuts, taxes, healthcare, and the nation’s debt. And viewers had mixed reaction about the candidates’ answers and demeanor.
The Oct.3 debate took place at the University of Denver in Denver, Colo.,moderated by journalist Jim Lehrer. The first face to face between Obama and Romney saw the candidates present two distinct views on the economy and domestic issues. Some analysts said Romney was the winner displaying an aggressive approach, while Obama was more reserved. Some criticized Obama for being too passive to Romney’s jabs.
Regardless of who won the debate, many college students saw very different views in both of the candidates that may influence their vote in the Nov. 6 election.
“I think Obama did not refute any of Romney’s proposals in an effective way,” said Jenny Campanelli, student at Bergen Community College, adding “Romney altered his whole platform and I am not sure we can trust his numbers because of prior instances where he has lied. Obama didn’t really detail his plans and Romney failed to detail anything Obama asked for.”
If anyone hasn’t paid attention to the election process and tuned in for the first time last night, Campanelli thought there was a clear front-runner.
“I think anyone tuning in just yesterday will now vote for Romney because Obama had his foot in his mouth,” Campanelli said.
For a brief moment during the debate, the candidates touched on college tuition. Ryan Stanek, a New Jersey native studying at Castleton State College in Vermont, thought that Romney is bound to let students down should he be elected.
“College kids will be [in trouble] if he’s elected cause he wants to cut student loans,” Stanek said.
Based on what Romney said last night, Stanek thought that “people won’t afford college unless you’re a millionaire, we won’t get any good jobs cause we won’t have a college degree, with paying taxes, and everything, college will be impossible.”
Stanek also thought Romney was unprofessional in the way he interacted with the moderator, at times interrupted him.
“[Romney] interrupted Obama, called him bro, interrupted the person who asked questions,” Stanek said. “We can’t have a president who doesn’t listen to what someone has to say.”
Rider University student Michael Arias thought Obama was the one who backpeddled at times.
“Obama stuttered and Mitt [exhausted Obama]. [Romney] was just on point with his ideals,” Arias said.
College students will have another opportunity to weigh the candidates’ positions at the next debate scheduled for October 16 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y.