Obama, Romney spar in first 2012 U.S. presidential debate
Friday, October 5, 2012
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According to Democratic nominee, and Romney, the Republican nominee, exchanged jabs on domestic policy and the U.S. economy. Viewership increased 28% from the first , which had an audience of about 52.4 million people., approximately 67.2 million people tuned in to the 90-minute debate moderated by of as President Obama, the
Mitt Romney, during the debate, mentioned children's television show character Twitter, a social networking site, announced a maximum of 17,000 mentions of Big Bird per second. President Obama said on Thursday, "I just want to make sure I've got this straight: He'll get rid of regulations on , but he's going to crack down on 'Sesame Street.' Thank goodness somebody's finally cracking down on Big Bird! Who knew that he was responsible for all these deficits! 's got to watch out!"in discussing federal subsidies of public broadcasting, propelling the character to online popularity. Romney stated he would end subsidies to PBS, a U.S. public television network, saying, "I like PBS. I love Big Bird. I actually like you, too, Jim [Lehrer]." He continued, saying he would "not [...] keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for it."
According to a poll conducted by, 46% of the 500 uncommitted respondents believed Romney won the debate; 22% of respondents believed President Obama won the debate and 32% believed it was a tie. In the same poll, 56% of respondents held a more favorable opinion of Romney following the debate, while 11% expressed a poorer opinion and 32% did not change their opinion of the Republican. Of the respondents, 13% viewed President Obama more favorably, while 17% viewed him less favorably and 69% indicated they did not change their opinion.
Wednesday evening's debate was the first in a series of three presidential debates as part of the 2012 election. President Obama and Romney are to spar again in New York on October 16 and in Florida on October 22. One vice-presidential debate, between Republican and Democrat Joe Biden, is to be held on October 11 in Kentucky.
- Meg James. "Nielsen: 67.2 million people watched first Obama-Romney debate" — , October, 4, 2012
- Elizabeth Llorente. "In the Presidential Debate, Immigration Stayed in the Shadows" — , October 4, 2012
- David Bauder (AP). "Debate thrusts Big Bird into presidential campaign" — , October 4, 2012
- "Poll: Uncommitted voters say Romney wins debate" — , October 3, 2012
- Morgan Little. "Presidential debate formats announced, feature town hall" — , July 25, 2012