President Barack Obama showed up in feisty form for Tuesday's debate, winning most pundits' approval with sustained and lively attacks on Republican challenger Mitt Romney's record and policy positions. Romney fought back hard and landed some telling blows but spent much of the debate on the back foot as Obama turned in an energetic performance. "President Barack Obama stopped the bleeding, Mitt Romney stayed in the game, and the 2012 race remains very competitive," writes Maggie Haberman.
In Tuesday's presidential debate, both candidates tied education to the health of the nation's economy. Both President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, stressed policies that would help make college more affordable. Obama also spoke about the importance of helping all students get a quality education. Romney said his focus would be on helping college graduates find good jobs.
President Barack Obama pushed back hard against Republican challenger Mitt Romney in Tuesday's debate, repeatedly asserting that Romney's claims were simply untrue. In fact, both candidates distorted the facts on issues including oil production, job creation and tax policy.
Obama campaign officials were "ecstatic" after their candidate's comeback in Tuesday's debate -- but analysts say the victory might not be enough to undo the damage done in Denver. "It's not clear that the president can 're-disqualify' Romney among voters reassured in the first encounter," notes Ronald Brownstein. "Both men have virtually no margin for error in a race that could once again divide the country almost exactly in half."
The second presidential debate saw a re-energized President Barack Obama, but Mitt Romney had another aggressive performance, with the result being a close call between the two, writes Doyle McManus. But given the reduced prospects for re-election that emerged from Obama's weak performance in the first debate, the president had more to gain from Tuesday's performance, he writes.