The Latest Debate: Presidential?

Besides CNN Candy Crowley’s biased performance tonight, perhaps the most memorable aspect of the Romney-Obama debate was its confrontational style. This certainly wasn’t what many expected from the town hall format.

Both candidates repeatedly pushed against each other, interrupting and talking over one another. And both, on occasion, went after the moderator and spoke over her as well.

Perhaps the most combative exchange of the night arose over whether or not Obama cut permitting for onshore and offshore drilling. Both candidates got into each other’s face, and Romney wouldn’t let up.

Turns out that Obama was on the wrong side of this issue: Romney’s assertion that the President had significantly cut permitting was accurate, contrary to Obama’s protests.

The candidates also clashed on whether oil and gas production had increased or decreased during Obama’s presidency. See an article that fact-checks the production question HERE.

As to the moderator’s bias, Obama ended up with about three more minutes than Romney, not a big deal in a forty minute plus debate. But Crowley’s intervention after a question about Benghazi and whether Obama had initially attributed the attacks to terror was particularly memorable. Crowley actually backed up Obama’s false statement that he called Benghazi’s attack terror from the outset. That caused Obama to dig in even deeper.

Reince Priebus, the chair of the RNC, flatly called the President’s statement on whether he called the Benghazi attacks terror, “a lie.”

Some pundits have said that the rough and tumble approach used by both candidates turned off women and entertained men. If so, Obama and Romney were pretty much equal offenders.

On the facts, Romney comes out on top. But each base has something it can point to in championing its cause. Although there was not a flat-out winner, my take is that undecided voters who watched the debate will break strongly for Romney.