Obama wins on time, Romney wins on word count
October 17th, 2012
12:54 PM ET
2 years ago

Obama wins on time, Romney wins on word count

(CNN) – When Tuesday evening's showdown between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney concluded, the CNN debate clock showed the president spoke for 3 minutes and 14 seconds longer than his Republican rival.

The totals: 44 minutes, 4 seconds for Obama; and 40 minutes, 50 seconds for Romney.

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But in number of words, it was Romney who came out ahead. He spoke 7,984 words - 478 words ahead of Obama, who spoke 7,506 words.

A CNN count found the same phenomenon at the first debate – Obama spoke longer, but said fewer words.

At that matchup, held October 3 in Denver, Obama spoke for 42 minutes, 50 seconds, nearly five minutes more than Romney, who spoke for 38 minutes, 32 seconds.

But the GOP nominee spoke 7,802 words at that first debate, 508 words more than the president. Obama spoke 7,294 words in Denver.

CNN's Lindsey Knight contributed to this report.

Also on the CNN Political Ticker

– Colbert says he can't tell differences between Romney and Obama

– All tied up ahead of second Obama-Romney showdown

– Obama ad makes case for economic policies

– Romney message this week: 'A clear choice on debt and deficits'

– Largely hidden away, Obama reports debate prep 'going great'


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama • Presidential Debates
soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. West Coast

    Obama, the master at talking a long time without really saying anything of value. The guy is still in denial about Libya!

    October 17, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  2. jsmoulder

    It is hard to say a lot of words when you are making it up as you go.

    October 17, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  3. Tree

    Who Cares CNN....bottom line OBAMA won .......................................

    October 17, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  4. lnd72

    Overall Crowley favored Obama with respect to time allotted, and moving to new topics. Several times Romney was not given the opportunity to clarify some major mischaracterizations made by Obama. I think she did well otherwise.

    October 17, 2012 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  5. Gurgyl

    Mitt wins on Lies too.... Ha, ha, ha, GOP is a cult. Obama12.

    October 17, 2012 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  6. Sam

    Mitt Romney's always been a fast talker...

    October 17, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  7. Malory Archer

    So the challenger is a fast talker. Great if you're looking for a used car salesman; not so much if you're looking for a statesman.

    October 17, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  8. Mike

    RoBme spoke more words because he has to cover up all the lies he's been spreading across this nation. Obama/Biden 2012

    October 17, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  9. Jonathan

    Because Obama has less to say, less to run on, less intelligence... need I go on.

    October 17, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  10. Wire Palladin, S. F

    How could Romney use so many words, and still not tell us anything about his plans?

    October 17, 2012 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  11. Name williams solomon

    President Obama have to be focused if he wants to win mr.mitt on nov. 6, 2012.

    October 17, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  12. Borderless

    Obama takes most of the time to say the least. Why is that not surprising. The man has had nothing meaningful to say for years.

    October 17, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  13. Joe

    How can the moderator allow one candidate nearly four more minutes??! Why isn't this a story you are covering..not to mention it happened in the previous two debates. And it is seemingly unprecedented for the moderator to take sides with a candidate!!!! And she was wrong! Outrageous. CNN, this is why you've lost mainstream America, and it's amazing you continue to be in denial as you get blasted in theratings by your competition.

    October 17, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  14. NOTADEMOCRAT

    When you have no record to run on.., innuendoes and misrepresentations are all that's left. Not to mention bias moderators and unbalanced timed debates

    October 17, 2012 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  15. Matt

    the GOP can only comprehend shorter, more simple words.

    October 17, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  16. 2020

    Romney in 2nd debate like a ram lost his horns.

    Sununu this whimp cut his own throat

    October 17, 2012 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  17. Mig

    I'm curious, how did obama know that candy had a transcript of obamas comments right after the 'alleged' terror attack in Libya?

    October 17, 2012 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  18. Michael

    Kindly check Gallup Poll and see the effects of the debate. No need to read biased reports.

    October 17, 2012 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  19. Wire Palladin, S. F

    It looks like the crazy right wingnuts all got their talking points from Fox foreign owned media (10% Saudi owned as well), as all are denying reality.

    October 17, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  20. rs

    Maybe for the next debate, instead of trying say as much as possible, Mr. Romney should try speaking only the truth. Sure, it might be new to him, but he might actually make sense.

    Naaah!

    October 17, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  21. kendanga@yahoo.com

    What sense does this make to the readers.

    October 17, 2012 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  22. Yonni

    It is obvious that a used car sales man can put out more words per minute. After all Mitt can buy a company to dismantle it and sale it as a scrap this is easy for him.

    October 17, 2012 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  23. Robert Parrish

    The more dishonest a sales pitch, the more verbiage (bs) it requires.

    October 17, 2012 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  24. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Sununu should be deported back to Cuba and standup to Castro, coward and William Bennett needs his old fat behind whipped. These are just 2 of the Republican old guys whose time has come and gone so they are just haters in their last days because they're old and trying to remain revelent because the younger educated Americans are ignoring and laughing at them. Obama won, you old farts.

    October 17, 2012 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  25. jpmichigan

    Obama shouldn't worry women in his administration bite the bullet for him, when Hillary took responsibility before he would man up and Candy covered for him about words REALLY stated in the Rose Garden September 12, 2012. No wonder the American citizen cannot trust the Obama or the media that protects him, even at a high cost, to Amrican abroad.

    October 17, 2012 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
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