President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney met for the second 2012 presidential debate Tuesday night in New York. Join us for in-depth analysis of the debate.

Debate Video Highlights

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Exchange on Creating Jobs (First Question of the Debate)


Exchange on the Attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi


Exchange on Pension Funds & Investment in China


Exchange on Equal Pay for Men and Women (aka The Binders Full of Women comment)


Exchange on Immigration


Exchange on Misperceptions of Each Candidate (Last Question of the Debate)

Lisa Lerer, reporter for Bloomberg News traveling with the Romney campaign
Ron Elving, senior Washington editor for NPR News
Larry Gerston, professor in the Department of Political Science at San Jose State University

  • OldVet

    Michael, I hope the etymologist in you will investigate the term: ‘candidate’, in that room of arms folded, legs crossed civilians.

    This bodes ill for the man that will control the kill lists and the drones and commence the undeclared wars, does it not?

    Vague ideas and no military experience is what unites these two fellows vying to control the biggest military on the globe.

  • What I most enjoyed was how President Obama handled Mitt “the bully” Romney. Romney was pushing the president to answer something, “So President Obama, you did this didn’t you? Didn’t you? Didn’t you?”
    President Obama, nods, says “Please continue.”
    Romney’s days of being a bully are almost over. But the lying will undoubtedly continue (but he was caught on that one as well — “Read the transcript.”).

  • Felix

    I hear that Green Party candidate Jill Stein got arrested last night for the massive crime of trying to enter the building where the debate was happening. Imagine that, a presidential candidate gets arrested for trying to attend a presidential debate. The corporatist candidates Mitt Rommel and Barak O’bankster are cowardly shysters who fear a fair and honest debate. They don’t want us to hear about how Obama’s justice department is run by lawyers for the big banks, which is why we never saw prosecutions for the financial collapse. Or how Romney is connected to mafia crime boss Sheldon Adelson, who’s in tight with the Chinese triads.

  • Steve Wilkes

    the 47% comment to the end, with no possibility of a recourse from
    Romney was masterful. I’m expecting lots of linking to the Obama kicks
    door open gif as a result. http://rgifs.gifbin.com/122010/1291664255_obama-kiks-door-open.gif

  • Billinho

    Why was Romney’s microphone so much louder and more present
    than the President’s? Who was tweaking
    the audio, Karl Rove?

  • Dan Barahona

    Why are we fixated on a tiny sliver of undecided voters? It seems both sides have much greater chances of swaying the outcome by focusing on motivating their base?

  • Chemist150

    4 years ago? In February 2010 our total debt which includes Social Security (etc.) exceeded 90% to GDP. Rognoff and Reinhart had already published on this issue with their multinational study showing that the peak of the bell curve was 90% TOTAL debt to GDP where the economies become depressed by an average of 1%. In March 2010, our GDP was reported to have dropped by 1% and has remained depressed since. Their idea was in the absence of a governing equation, they’ll look at statistical averages. Likely, it’s a function of how much money is leaving a country based on its growth and printing of money.

    Obama cites Clinton administration raising taxes and thus a surplus and jobs were created. It was the Republican controlled Congress pushing through a balanced budget that balanced the raising of taxes to create a surplus. We can’t get there from here if we do not balance the budget and February 2010 is the exact month that the President and Congress failed. He had a chance to lead us to a balanced budget but he encouraged the opposite. We can’t there from here.

  • Jim

    It’s absolutely astonishing that this panel refuses to discuss the factual accuracy of the candidates’ claims and couches their comments in the usual fluff. Nobody has noted that Romney’s claim regarding an immigration bill is a flat-out lie: The DREAM act was introduced in both houses of Congress on 26 March 2009, just over 2 months into the President’s term. Senate Republicans filibustered it. Romney left that small detail out, and so did your panelists.

    Lisa Lerer described Romney as “trying to moderate” his position on reproductive rights, ignoring the fact that this “moderation” represents a flip on his own previous positions when he was talking to people in his own party, for example, during the primaries. Why supposed “journalists” give Romney a pass for his serial shape-shifting is beyond me, although it might have something to do with the fact that Lerer is “traveling with the Romney campaign”. Perhaps she’s worried about losing her “access” if she’s caught commiting journalism, an apparent felony in today’s campaign.

    These are but two examples from dozens more.
    And Gerston defends this utter abdication of responsibility by saying “well, that’s how the game is played.” What a disappointment and an embarrassment to KQED.

  • Jenn

    Why didn’t Obama jump all over the comment about which taxes Romney said he would cut – “middle-income taxpayer no longer will pay any tax on interest, dividends or capital gains”

    Who in the middle class really has to worry about any of those? He’s basically saying he’ll keep the tax breaks for the wealthy.

  • guest

    Binders full of women

    October 17, 2012 Urban Dictionary Word of the Day

    Where Mitt Romney gets his women from

    Joe: Bit of a sausagefest we’ve got going on here, we need to find some ladies!

    Mitt: Not to worry, I’ve got binders full of women we can choose from!


  • Tim

    Why can’t Obama speak up for the concept of PUBLIC goods, for the health of our national commonwealth? Why can’t he speak up for the REPUBLIC–public things? Why can’t he point out the fundamental hypocrisy of the party opposing him, a party called Republican but which never misses a chance to denigrate the public realm?

    This fundamental moral position impacts specific issues including health coverage; social security; infrastructure; environmental, food and drug regulations; education, etc.

    This a moral failure on both sides.

  • Aditi

    I am a registered independent, but definitely not undecided. I think the media, the press and all your guests are all being disingenuous with regards to President Obama not keeping his promises. it was definitely not because of lack of interest or motivation on his behalf. The fact that the Republican party was hell bent upon making him a one-term President, they blocked every effort by his administration to get anything done.
    Romney changes his position almost every week, how do we what he really stands for?

    • JIm

      Thanks Aditi. The entire Republican plan, as enunciated quite candidly by Mitch McConnell, has been to block everything the President (and, from 2009-Jan 2011, the Democratic-majority Congress) wanted to do, and then to blame the President for not getting anything done. The filibuster numbers are jaw-dropping: Josh Smith at the National Journal reported in Dec 2010 that Republican filibusters had DOUBLED in the 111th Congress, to nearly 150.

      I actually fault the President for letting them getting away with it. He should have hammered on this obstructionism from the get-go but he was too busy trying to play nice with a party and a party leadership that was obviously out to destroy his Presidency from day one. In fact, Robert Draper reported on a Washington meeting by high-level Republicans at the swanky Caucus Room restaurant, on the very day the President was inaugurated, in which they planned this very campaign of obstruction, and then proceeded to execute it.

    • Chemist150

      Perhaps if you were more specific about what they blocked. I find it unlikely that they would vote against their own initiatives just to spite Obama. The healthcare law is not what most people think. With only a $600 tax penalty, it’ll only encourage people to buy catastrophic insurance with will not cover doctor visits, stitches, prescriptions, etc. If you are likely to collect, you’re likely to be dead. If you live, you’ll likely to still be hit with bills that you cannot pay. The whole point of this mandate was to get people to pay insurance companies to accept those with pre-existing conditions. With only $600 tax, this will only allow those making <$20K to actually qualify for subsidized healthcare. Those making 10K will have better healthcare insurance than those making 30K. On top of that, it won’t control the cost of healthcare. Half the healthcare expenditures in the country are through programs like Medicare, Medicaid, etc. Then the third party pays the cost of healthcare for most of the others. The healthcare industry has not been in the free market since the inception of Medicaid, etc. Bubbles are created by government. Examples include Medicare in the healthcare industry contributing to raising costs. Fannie Mae, guaranteeing risky loans which encouraged banks to make risky loans and bet against them by simply filling out paperwork that guaranteed the government would pay them if they borrowers did not. The list goes on. Healthcare prices will simply rise as companies go to HMOs and do what is done in the government… i.e. the $700 hammer. They create side companies to sell themselves chairs at twice the normal cost. So they can spend more on “healthcare costs” and rake in more money from insurance companies. I’m sorry but this is a big failure. Wait for the bubble because it’s coming.

    • Rhet

      It was Obama who staffed the Justice Dept with defense lawyers like Holder who represented mortgage companies in the past, rather than with prosecutors who would have prosecuted criminal bankers.

      Obama failed America on purpose.

  • jane hillhouse

    The whole debate got off to a very patronizing start when Gov Rom “thanked” and i quote thanked President Obama for being there. Who in heavens name does he think he is. GOD.
    Also huge disappointment as others have said and called in regarding a COMPLETE absence of any environmental issues. So sorry Jill for your arrest. Its high time the two parties got squashed with some new principled third party people. We did it in England.

    • Chemist150

      Obama did not have to be there.
      How did England manage that? I want rank voting here.

  • Beth Grant DeRoos

    I really miss the era where (D) Speaker of the House Tip O’Neil from MA would work with and get together with (R) President Reagan even if they didn’t always disagreed, these two adult men knew how to work together and also be friends.

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