Rowan reacts to debate

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 28, 2012

SALISBURY – Local residents weighed in on Monday night’s presidential debate on Facebook and Twitter.
President Barack Obama, a Democrat, and Republican candidate Mitt Romney sparred over foreign policy.
An hour into the debate, Post columnist Mark Wineka asked on Facebook what stood out so far.
Nassar Farid Mufdi Ruiz of Salisbury said, “Obama’s focused, pointed attacks on Romney’s fundamental and confusing positions, while showing his own experience and ability to relate to the human side of this important election and its impact on our everyday lives.”
Bill Greene of Salisbury added: “That we have ships that planes can land on and ships that go underwater. Who knew?”
Later, Wineka asked, “How did the three debates change your mind about Obama and Romney? Did they change the way you will vote? Are they worthwhile?”
Karon Torrence, formerly of Salisbury, said, “The debates are worthwhile for me. They did not change my vote.”
Early in the evening, Wineka wondered what people thought of Bob Schieffer as moderator and whether he was doing better than the previous two.
Russell Rollins posted this response: “He’s doing a great job thus far, better than Candy (Crowley).”
Lynn Earnhardt Coughenour of Salisbury posted that she watched all three debates, and they did not change her mind. She added she was ready to vote for a change. “These four years have been disastrous,” she said. “If we have another four disastrous years, I feel for the future!”
Reporter Sarah Campbell asked what readers thought of the debate and whether there were any particularly memorable moments.
Karen McGee Puckett said, “I remembered that everyone should vote for Obama!”
Catherine Bedell Reynolds replied, “Er, I have to disagree – try ‘Epic Fail.’
Lonnie Carpenter wrote, “I don’t think anyone cares much about this debate. The die has been cast. The economy is more important than foreign policy.”
Ben Lynch said, “Romney was VERY Presidential!”
Kathy Yost agreed, writing to reporter Karissa Minn, “I liked that Mitt Romney ACTED Presidential. At times I thought Obama acted childish. Like he got angry over something that Romney said.”
On the Salisbury Post Facebook page, Kate Robertson added, “Highlight (was) when Obama wasn’t speaking! Can’t stand hearing his lies anymore. I’m so ready for real change!”
Mike Jones added, “They shook hands and smiled at the end! That’s good, especially considering how sharp and derogatory their comments towards each other were. I do think Obama talks in such broad generalities yet the realities of what he espouses is just a dog and pony show.”
Bitzer, a political science professor at Catawba College, gave his final take in a direct message on Twitter, calling it a draw.
“They both got their zingers in, but not sure it’s going to make a a huge impact on moving things one way or the other,” Bitzer said. “Think this race is going to be deadlocked for the next 2 weeks. It’s hard for foreign policy to really impact things when the major emphasis of voters is on the economy.”
Local Tweets revealed varying opinions.
Chris Bowie (@cbowie24): “The debate just started and Obama just exposed him already on foreign policy. Cmon son, STOP IT ROMNEY!! #Debate”
Nate Gillman (@Natenat3p1): “#Debate I love it how people base Mitt’s intentions on Bush’s ‘Failures’ JUST BECAUSE THEY’RE BOTH REPUBLICAN!”
Mike Fisher (@MikeFisher_NC): “Obama asked about Iran, attacks Romney. Romney asked about Iran, attacks Iran. #debate”
Katrina Cowger (@katrina_cowger): “As Bob’s mom says, ‘Go vote. It makes you feel big and strong.’ #debate love this!”
Twitter users also responded to a comment from Obama that used horses, bayonets and the game Battleship to illustrate how the nation’s military has changed.
Dr. Michael Bitzer (@CatawbaPolitics): “Horses and bayonets. OK, now we’re getting there. #ISANKYOURBATTLESHIP”
Many times during the night, Obama and Romney strayed from foreign policy to topics like balancing the budget and teacher pay.
Ben McNeely (@benmcneely): “Teachers unions? Thought this was a foreign policy #debate?”
Shelley Palmer (@PalmerShelley): “@MittRomney Why do you hate teachers so? #debate #NCpol #Rowanpol”
But later, Romney, Obama and Schieffer all assured the public that they love our nation’s educators.
Veleria Levy “We need to take care of Teachers – Obama / I love teachers – Romney & finally “We all Love Teachers” – Bob Schieffer #finaldebate” Dr. Michael Bitzer “I’m glad we could end a foreign policy debate by acknowledging “we all love teachers” #feelingthelove”

See more local reaction: