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Mississippians React to Final Debate

By Daniel Cherry | Published 23 Oct 2012 12:35am | comments
As President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney clashed over foreign policy last night in their final debate, Mississippians were among the millions tuning in. MPB News has team coverage from both Democrats and Republicans, starting with MPB's Daniel Cherry.
 
The 90 minute debate between President Obama and Governor Romney featured fewer one-liners and zingers than past debates, but Democrats gathered in downtown Jackson, like Alec Barrett were happy with the President's performance. 
 
"I think Obama, not surprisingly, knows his stuff, and Romney just doesn't have nearly the depth or breadth of knowledge on these issues. He hasn't been Commander-in-Chief for the last four years, but it shows in terms of how eager he is, how ready he is to engage Obama on these issues", says Barrett.
 
It was clear to see President Obama was the aggressor during the debate, and supporters were glad to see it after what many Democrats thought was a poor performance by the President in the first debate. Todd Allen, of Jackson, thought the President had control of last night's contest.
 
"I've just been watching Governor Romeny just consistently repeat that he agrees with the President. He would do exactly what the President did, but he would be tougher... I don't really understand what that means. He just says, 'I'm going to be tougher. I'm going to have tighter sanctions', but he's not talking about what that means on a practical basis", says Allen.
 
Mandy Robbins liked what she saw from Obama, although she feels foreign policy debates are more for show than anything.
 
"There are things that he can't talk about, and he also has to be aware that there are foreign leaders are listening to everything he's saying about them and his interactions with their country and he's responsible for that, especially if he gets re-elected. Whereas, Romeny is in much more of a position to say whatever the heck he thinks is going to get him elected", says Robbins.
 
This was the last time President Obama and Governor Romney will debate head to head this election season. Daniel Cherry...MPB News
 

….. and I’m Sandra Knispel in Oxford where Republicans watched at a local bar on the Square. While competing with Monday night football and baseball reduced turnout significantly, those 20 or so who came – with another dozen in a neighboring bar – liked when Governor Romney told the president and the audience:

 “Well, first of all, it’s not government that makes businesses successful! [applause]"

Mostly students had come to watch the debate. And like hospitality management senior Shelby Ray, many are pinning their hopes on Romney when it comes to jobs:

“Everyone that’s graduating should be able to find a job that’s worth their college education. I mean we pay a lot to go to college and we want to find good jobs. And hearing Mitt Romney talk about how he can create 12 million jobs and how that’s his plan – it really resonates with me.”

Sitting at the same table is her twin sister Jordan, also a hospitality management senior.

"Within the past four years, President Obama has done a really good job registering with people who are out of jobs and who really need support from the government right now, which I think is a major issue, but the thing with Mitt Romney is that he will help create jobs.”

Chris Hayman, a banker in Tupelo, liked particularly what Romney had to say about trade relations with China.

“Just his stance on how we’re not going to negotiate with China on how they’re going to walk over us with continuing to deflate their dollar so they can continue to dominate and gain power in the world.”

Watch party organizer Geoffrey Yoste, who serves as chairman of the Lafayette County Republicans, says this last debate was evenly matched.

“I would call it a draw. Just because they both did punches. I don’t think that you can have one clear winner in that debate format just because both of them are extremely articulate. They are both bright men.”

Of course, as a business development consultant in the defense industry, the part about possible automatic defense spending cuts made Yoste listen carefully.

“The sequestration issue is an important issue and the defense budget is an important issue, not just for my livelihood but I also believe in peace through strength.”

Now it’s up to the voters to digest...very few remain still undecided. And the latest polls indicate a dead heat between the two candidates.

Sandra Knispel, MPB News, Oxford.

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