Obama, Romney square off in first presidential debate | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

Obama, Romney square off in first presidential debate

Posted: October 4, 2012 - 4:28pm

Presidential candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney were controlled, cordial and offered their perspective during the first debate at the University of Denver on what America would look like if they win the election on Nov. 6.

Wednesday’s first presidential debate was exceptional. Both men greeted each other and their moderator, Jim Lehrer as gentlemen. Even during the debate, both men spoke respectfully in addressing one another. It was one of the most interesting and yet contrasting presidential debates I can recall.

It was interesting to hear what the pundits had to say the morning after the 90 minute debate. The following are a few that were exchanged by the networks and cable channel commentators:

Chris Matthews, MSNBC — In 2008, Chris Matthews often lauded then-candidate Barack Obama, even saying at one point that he felt a thrill go up his leg during one of his speeches. However, after Wednesday night’s presidential debate, Matthews changed his tone on Obama. “Well, this tonight wasn’t an MSNBC debate, was it?” Matthews said. “It just wasn’t. It didn’t mention all of the key fighting points of this campaign. I don’t know what he was doing there. He had his head down. He was enduring the debate, rather than fighting.”

James Carville, CNN commentator — “President Obama came in, he wanted to have a conversation. It takes two people to have a conversation. Mitt Romney came in with a chain saw. He’s trying to talk to a chain saw.”

Charles Krauthammer, Fox News contributor — “I thought Romney won, and Romney won big,” Krauthammer said. “He won by two touchdowns. You know when a challenger steps up on the stage, that gives stature, but when he performs the way Romney did, I think it really changes.”

Joe Scarborough, MSNBC — “I’m sitting here racking my brain going, when have I been this surprised and when has the whole sort of chattering class been this surprised?” Scarborough said. “And you got to go back to Tokyo, Buster Douglas takes down Mike Tyson.”

Chuck Todd, MSNBC — “You know what, come on now — Mitt Romney is a much better heavyweight fighter than Buster Douglas ever was,” Todd said. “But I hear ya.”

Stay tuned for the vice presidential candidates’ debate on Thursday, Oct. 11.

Keith Hansen