Who Won the Presidential Debate? Republicans Say Romney 2-0
Charleston area Republicans pleased with GOP nominee's push for the truth; unhappy with moderator Candy Crowley.
For Mitt Romney fans, it wasn't even a question. Romney came away with a decisive victory in Tuesday's debate, and he's now 2-0 against President Barack Obama, according to Lowcountry Republicans.
Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties GOP parties gathered at Pilot's Lounge and Bistro in Summerville for a debate-watching party that featured the GOP presidential nominee and the incumbent.
While Romney won praise from his supporters, Obama was called "untruthful" and the debate moderator Candy Crowley deemed unfair.
What won the debate for Romney?
"I'll put it this way: I thought Romney won on facts," Berkeley County Republican Party Chair Tim Callanan said. "Romney's a fighter ... (Obama) is not used to being confronted, he's used to being coddled."
"All Romney had to do was hold his own and he definitely did that," Dorchester County Republican Chair Carroll Duncan said. "He won because he told the truth."
"(Romney) kept his cool. He didn't get flustered. But he not only had to debate the president but he had to debate Candy Crowley (moderator) as well," Charleston County Republican Party Chair Lin Bennett said. "He had his facts in order and was able to rebut Obama's statements with factual statements."
S.C. Senate GOP candidate for District 38 Sean Bennett said Romney won with his arguments on the economy.
"We deal in a global economy, and the president has shown he can't deal with a domestic economy, let alone a global economy," Bennett said.
Bennett and Callanan felt that Romney's performance could have been improved. Bennett wanted to see the presidential contender answer the question of gender equality.
"He did what a lot of politicians do and didn't really answer it," Bennett said, adding that instead of talking about future actions, Romney relied on his past accomplishments.
Callanan saw a missed opportunity for Romney to push the incumbent further on the issue of gas prices, which Obama said were lower when he first took office because of the looming Great Recession.
Callanan took issue with Obama's statement since it implied that since gas prices are higher now that the economy is booming.
"When you have an opportunity where a candidate absolutely steps in it — I'd have been happy if (Romney) pounced on it," Callanan said.
Praise was scant for Obama. Most Republicans felt the president was not truthful on a number of comments.
"I found him to be so untruthful when talking about Libya," Duncan said. "I simply couldn't believe it."
"I agree with (Obama) that the free enterprise system is what makes this country great, but I don't believe he believes that," Callanan said. "I am stunned at some of the things Obama said — that he's for free enterprise, that he doesn't believe government creates jobs. Then why spend the stimulus?"
"There's nothing that (Obama) said tonight that was believable," Lin Bennett said.
She also talked about the president being "out of touch."
"When Obama started talking about gangbangers ... He didn't answer the question (on assault weapons legislation)," Bennett said. "It has nothing to do with legal guns ... He gave the impression he was totally out of touch."
The incumbent wasn't the only one with little praise, Crowley also was heavily criticized for her role.
The moderator would shut down Romney, but politely ask the president to stop speaking, Callanan said, adding that the pre-approved questions also showed a clear bias.