Round 2: Obama-Romney Debate Town Hall Style


On October 16, 2012, debate number two took place in New York at Hofstra University. President Obama and Governor Romney were welcomed by Moderator Candy Crowley into a town hall style debate. This debate was structured to have questions from the audience of 82 undecided voters directed towards one candidate, allowing the other candidate to rebuttal after the first candidate responded to the audience. Structured this way, without podiums, the candidates were allowed to interact with each other much more creating a lot of heat between the two. They asked each other questions during their responses which provided an interesting insight as to how these candidates feel about each other’s positions, while being able to call each other out on their lies. Many new topics were covered in more detail within this debate rather than the first including education, woman’s equality, and a deeper view into each candidate’s energy policy.

For the point of this report, the candidates energy policies will be the focus. Energy came up in response to the first question, but the candidates kept coming back to this topic throughout the debate.

Below are quotes from both candidates on their energy position that they spoke about at the debate on the 16th:

ObamaObama’s view on Energy

“We’ve got to control our own energy. Now, now only oil and natural gas, which we’ve been investing in, but also, we’ve got to make sure we’re building the energy source of the future, not just about next year, but ten years from now, 20 years from now. That’s why we’ve invested in solar and wind and biofuels, energy efficient cars.”

“The most important thing we can do is make sure we control our energy. So here’s what I’ve done since I’ve been president. We have increased oil production to the highest levels in 16 years. Natural gas production is the highest it’s been in decades. We have seen increases in coal production and coal employment. But what i’ve also said is we can’t just produce traditional sources of energy. We’ve also got to look to the future. That’s why we doubled fuel efficiency standards on cars. That means that in the middle of the next decade, any car you buy, you’re going to end up going twice as far on a gallon of gas. That’s why we doubled clean -clean energy production like wind and solar and biofuels. And all these things have contributed to us lowering our oil imports to the lowest levels in 16 years. Now, I want to build on that. And that means, yes, we still continue to open up new areas for drilling. We continue to make it a priority for us to go after natural gas. We’ve got potentially 600,000 jobs and 100 years worth of energy right beneath our feet with natural gas. And we can do it in an environmentally sound way. But we’ve also got to continue to figure out how we have efficient energy, because ultimately that’s how we’re going to reduce demand and that’s what’s going to keep gas prices lower.”

“With respect to something like coal, we made the largest investment in clean coal technology, to make sure that even as we’re producing more coal, we’re producing it cleaner and smarter. Same thing with oil, same thing with natural gas.”

“I’m all for pipelines. I’m all for oil production. What i’m not for is us ignoring the other half of the equation. So, for example, on wind energy, when Governor Romney says ‘these are imaginary jobs.’ When you’v got thousands of people right now in Iowa, right now in Colorado, who are working, creating wind power and good-paying manufacturing jobs, and the Republican senator in Iowa is all for it, providing tax breaks to help this work and Governor Romney says I’m opposed. I’d get rid of it. That’s not an energy strategy for the future. And we need to win that future. and I intend to win it as President of the Unites States.”

RomneyRomney’s Energy View

“Look, I want to make sure we use our oil, our coal, our gas, our nuclear, our renewables. I believe very much in our renewable capabilities; ethanol, wind, solar will be an important part of our energy mix. But what we don’t need is to have the president keeping us from taking advantage of oil, coal, and gas. […]I’ll get American and North America energy independent. I’ll do it by more drilling, more permits and licenses. We’re going to bring that pipeline in from Canada. ”

“I will fight for oil, coal and natural gas[…] I will fight to create more energy in this country, to get America energy secure. And part of that is bringing in a pipeline of oil from Canada, taking advantage of the oil and coal we have here, drilling offshore in Alaska, drilling offshore in Virginia where the people want it. Those things will get us the energy we need.”

Highlight Quote from the Night

This is the closest either of the two candidates came to discussing climate change, and as you can see, it barely touches on the issue.

“And when I hear Governor Romney say he’s a big coal guy, I mean, keep in mind, when Governor, When you were governor of Massachusetts, you stood in front of a coal plant and pointed and it and said, ‘This plant kills,’ and took great pride in shutting it down. And now suddenly you’re a big champion of coal.” – President Obama

It’s up to each voter to pick which candidate they think will help protect and grow our country, but if clean energy is a forefront issue to you, it seem like President Obama is on the right track in terms of his policies on wind and solar and energy efficiency.

Transcript from October 16, 2012 Debate

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