Obama, Romney Reprise Their Greatest Debate Hits On Campaign Trail

Oct 17, 2012
Originally published on October 17, 2012 5:02 pm

A day after their second presidential debate, President Obama and GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney were in different swing states, reprising some of their greatest hits from Tuesday night.

And "hits" is the exactly the right word because each man energetically repeated attacks he made on his rival.

At a campaign stop in Mount Vernon, Iowa, Obama, clearly buoyed by the widespread perception that he won the second debate after badly losing the first, happily exploited a debate gaffe by Romney. It was Romney's "binders full of women" comment that went viral on the Internet even before Tuesday's debate was over.

Romney uttered that awkward combination of words as he explained how he, as Massachusetts governor, found women candidates for posts in his Cabinet.

After saying that he, unlike Romney, believes more teachers, not fewer, are needed if Americans are to succeed in the new global economy, Obama told the crowd:

"I've got to tell you, we don't have to collect a bunch of binders to find qualified, talented (crowd cheers) driven young women (more cheers) ready to learn and teach in these fields right now." (Applause.)

Obama also tried to get more mileage out of a line of attack he used at Tuesday's debate to highlight the vagueness of Romney's fiscal proposals. Romney has said he would cut tax rates across the board by 20 percent, but has been unclear on how he would pay for it. There was this call-and-response with the audience:

OBAMA: "So Iowa, you know, everybody here has heard of the New Deal."

CROWD: "Yeah!"

OBAMA: "You've heard of the Fair Deal."

CROWD: "Yeah!"

OBAMA: "You've heard of the Square Deal."

CROWD: "Yeah!"

OBAMA: "Mitt Romney's trying to sell you a sketchy deal." (The crowd applauded and laughed.)

Meanwhile, campaigning in Chesapeake, Va., Romney reminded supporters at a campaign rally of debate moments he considered highlights for his effort to defeat the president.

ROMNEY: "I mean, he's spent most of his time trying to talk about how my plan won't work. Well, what about his plan? (Cheers.) We know his plan has not worked. And last night there were a lot of people asking questions, and I — I think they deserve some answers on a number of fronts.

"... I think it was Jeremy who — who asked a question about how am I going to get a job when I get out of college? Half of the kids in this country not able to get work or college-level work that are coming out of college? I mean, that's a question that needs to be answered.

"And then you heard Lorraine saying, when you promised, Mr. President, to put in place an immigration reform bill in your first term — oh, I guess it was me that asked this question, but it was her idea. (Laughter.) She brought up immigration. You promised to put out in your first term, your highest priority, you'd put out a bill in your first year, but you didn't even file bills. She deserves an answer."

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