Obama wins on time, Romney wins on word count
October 17th, 2012
12:54 PM ET
10 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

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- 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. 4moreyears

    This also lets you know that Mitt Romney is a fast talker and will say anything to make a sale. If you are not listening very closely you may fall for the banana in the tail pipe. Kind of like a used car salesmen trying to sell you a lemon and swearing that it's like new. Well I am not falling it for it.

    October 17, 2012 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  2. DumbasRocks [R]s

    When you don't have to stick to the truth and accuracy, you can talk as fast as you want, no matter how far the fairytale is from the truth.

    Romney proved onced again last nite that he is a lying sack of bat guano, and he's got millions of slack-jaws eating it out of his hands.

    October 17, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |

    "Obama wins on time, Romney wins on word count"

    reading this headline gave me headache! This is the dumbing down of America.
    The fact that CNN has an article about this makes me sad

    October 17, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  4. One Binder to Rule Them All!!!

    @West Coast. Obama is in denial about Libya? He took sole blame for it more than once last night. You'll have to try harder to find a reason to slam him.

    October 17, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  5. Name w.bullock

    New question over whether presdient obama is presenting a clear vision for next 4 yrs

    October 17, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  6. Wilson

    ""It's proven FACT that tax cuts do NOT CREATE JOBS! DEMAND creates jobs in every sector. Dubya's tax cuts cost $6.4 Trillion and didn't create a SINGLE job."""
    Riiiight. And unemployment was what during all but the last year of Bush's term???? 4.6 percent. Stop lying.

    October 17, 2012 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  7. Independent

    Give it up people, stop saying Romney is lying without EVIDENCE or PROOF showing that he is lying!!! We can say anyone is lying anytime we want but that does NOT make it true!!!! Show me some PROOF and EVIDENCE of his lies; otherwise you are the ones looking like lying fools!!!

    October 17, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  8. richard nixon

    But every word from Obama's lips was like golden dewdrops from angels, bringing comfort and peace to your very soul. Obama could have said only ONE word (for instance, "muffin") and the effect would have been the same. It doesn't matter WHAT he says, all that matters is that he says something. Don't you understand?

    October 17, 2012 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  9. Hammerer

    The eloquent that Obama spents most of his speaking with uh- uh- uh.
    Not very informative words are they?
    That is because he has nothing to say.

    October 17, 2012 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  10. Woman In California

    The president wins period.

    I also owe Candy Crowley an apology. She did a good job with one exception: she should have been clearer on whose time it was to speak, as both men were confused at times and didn't know if it was their turn or not.

    The audience was also good at not showing their true feelings, although at the end, they surrounded the president as any thinking American would.

    October 17, 2012 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  11. Independent

    @Wire Palladin, S. F.....trying paying attention to the actual words that he says for a change!!! Even CNN polls had Romney's economic plan way in the lead over Obama's. Last I saw after the debate it was like 61% to 31% and the best part is that the poll was 58% Dems and 33% Rep. LOL

    October 17, 2012 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  12. UDidntBuildThat

    CNN how come Candy Crowly had the transcript conveniently readily handy of Obama's speech in the Rose garden right b/4 he hopped on AF1 to Vegas for a fundraiser? Doesnt that strike anyone as odd? Why is she sticking up for Obama?
    Secondly, Crowley later came out and "ate crow" (yes pun intended), when she said SHE WAS WRONG!!! OBAMA DID NOT CALL IT AN ACT OF TERROR! Nothing CNN?
    Wow the President lie to cover up our Amb.+3 deaths yet it's Romney who is the liar and is being political about Libya.
    When will this country wake. up.

    October 17, 2012 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  13. JJJimno

    As both stood before us talking of putting America back to work...My question Where are the suits they have on made? How come one of them has not challenged the other to a made in America debate? Could one of them promises that if elected or reelected he would not put a tax of any sort state or federal for the first three months of his term on Any product made in our America? You want to give us Americans jobs then they need to start in there own yard and remove the hazing and slander for the others party digging up useless information except for there own egos and political gain. Put us back to work and do it by giving us a tax break on our goods made here in America. Not Saying I don't enjoy a lot of the products made in other counties or the money I saved on them, but if I get the savings with made in America with no taxes on it my next new car our truck would be American made and bought the fist three months of the next President.

    October 17, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  14. Obama's days are numbered

    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.
    Sorry to inform you that Obama is no statesman. Anyone who lets his Secretary of State take the blame before him for 4 loyal Americans dying because his administration didn't give them protection and secrity is no Statemen. During the 1st debate he looked like a stuffed pillow without the stuffing..next you got laughing Joe, last night we had angry Obama. What is next? No vote Obama...Mitt gets my vote...and I'm from Massachusetts!

    October 17, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  15. Ohio_voters_decide

    Romney can talk faster because he does not think about what he's saying and he's not using facts.

    October 17, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  16. jerrymcm1970

    Maybe after the election, Romney can get a job reading the legal disclaimers at the end of radio ads?

    October 17, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  17. JJlabo

    I am getting the since that Obama runs his campaign on thoughts of idealism and Romney is running on facts and figures, realism. I think its time Obama faces reality, American is major debt trouble without any clear vision of where we are going. I think its time to move forward in a different direction Mr. Obama.

    October 17, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  18. Paul " Look at ME!!! I'm working in a soup kitchen!!" Ryan

    But do RoMoney's LIES count as words?

    October 17, 2012 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  19. 'Town Hall........Debate...

    'The case of Before & after.....we remember John Kerry as the Presidental -Candidate saying..."I was against it..before I was for it"....or whatever..................................

    Pres Obama's Foreign-Policy sounds a lot like it....Before Pres Obama on the UN-podium said that the Benghazi attack was the result of the "Anti Islam Film" and not a terrorist-attack...said it six times...but now on the podium in the Town Hall Debate said..."I said terrorist-attack the very next it happened in my Rose-Garden speech"...".Didn't I Candy"...
    "Yes indeed you did" said Candy....Furthermore was Pres Obama Really debating Romney on this or was he reprimanding Hillary Clinton who the day before took the lead and announced "I take Responsibility for what happened and I am responsible for the security of the more than 60,000 Empoyees at the Sate Department"....We heard Pres Obama say..."Hillary works for me and as....In-Chiel "I take Responsibility".........and so we must ask the question: "If Pres Obama knew the next day of the attack that indeed it was a Terrorist-attack...then why was he not specific and came clean with the American People and delared then "I take Responsibility........?

    October 17, 2012 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
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