As the presidential debate began in Denver, Colo. Oct. 3, roughly 60 Eastern Michigan University students packed the Walton/Putnam lounge to watch. Similar to the national reaction to the debate, a majority of students were surprised at the outcome.
“I’m expecting [President Barack] Obama to destroy [Republican presidential candidate Mitt] Romney,” EMU student Ryan Poling said. Afterward, he expressed his surprise at how well Romney did and how poorly Obama had performed.
This assessment of the two candidates’ performances seemed to resonate the views of many others who watched the debate. Students from varying political views commented on how Romney’s responses to the questions asked were much more specific than they were used to, and that he seemed to be on the offense for most of the debate.
The man who is seeking to replace the president showed aggressiveness during the debate that seemed to overpower not only
Obama, but also debate moderator Jim Lehrer.
According to Politico, “Lehrer did not control the debate, failed to enforce the time limits, did not press the candidates enough and generally was steamrolled by the presidential candidates, Mitt Romney in particular.”
As the debate went on, the lounge filled almost to capacity as people came to watch with their fellow students. There were repeated segments of laughter and cheers as the candidates spoke and interacted with one another.
One of the most talked about moments of the debate was a comment made by Romney, stating his intention to cut what he feels are non-essential federal expenses. He included PBS in his proposed budget cuts.
“I’m sorry Jim. I’m gonna stop the subsidy to PBS. I’m gonna stop other things,” Romney said. “I like PBS, I like Big Bird, I actually like you too.”
The comment, which was directed at Lehrer (who is employed by PBS), instantly set the Internet ablaze with responses. Within a few minutes there were “Save Big Bird” campaigns all over Twitter and Facebook.
Once the night’s event came to a close and the lights came on, the post-debate conversations began. The general consensus in the room was that Romney had won.
“It doesn’t matter for the people who know who they’re voting for … it’s more significant for those who are undecided,” political science major Danyelle Pouncil said when asked how she thought this debate would affect the rest of the election.
Student Government Vice-President Desmond Miller was among those in attendance. When asked about debate showings on campus, he said he hoped they would allow an opportunity for students to become more politically informed.
Several students expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to watch the debate with friends in a public and comfortable setting and since the other debate screenings will be held in the Student Center Auditorium, a larger attendance is expected.
“m b v” as anything but a highly anticipated train ...