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. Wilson

    Perfect example of the quality of people on the left, other than OWS, the number of threats on Romney's life that were tweeted after the debate, should he win the election.

    October 17, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  2. 4moreyears

    What CNN???? Why is this even news. Come on guys you are killing me with word and time counts.

    October 17, 2012 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  3. OCCaVoter

    When your presidential candidate's "solution" to the automatic_weapons_problem is for "kids to get married sooner" , you have absolutely no business talking about Obama or anyone else............That has to be one of the most_monumentallyStupid things anyone has EVER SAID , much less a presidential candidate

    October 17, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  4. Howard

    Obama never takes responsibility for his actions ... instead, he constatntly blames others ... he throws others under the bus ... has others take the blame for him ... uses Executive Privilege ... blames syntax ... acts indignant ... avoids the issue ... refuses to answer ... has the biased mainstream media, or his devout obama stooges, circle the wagons, or cover his tracks .... or he just resorts to outright lying ... anything to avoid taking responsibility. It's time to replace this poor excuse for a President, with a man of integrity, honesty, and character ... someone with the actual experience and know how to repair all of the damage Obama has caused over the past 4 years ... Mitt Romney 2012 !!!

    October 17, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  5. Cami100k

    The heading should say–Obama's brain works slower than Romney's.

    October 17, 2012 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  6. plain&simple

    Takes a lot of words to make up stories, only a few to speak truly.

    October 17, 2012 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  7. Mitt Romney is a CEO and the USA is NOT a corporation!

    It takes a lot of words to explain all of those flip flops!

    October 17, 2012 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  8. ART

    I totally agree with Colbert Romney it seems is now a liberal, who knew?

    October 17, 2012 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |

    44 minutes, 4 seconds for the 44th POTUS.......fitting

    And this is news why? How about reporting on Willard "initially" breaking the rules of the debate.

    October 17, 2012 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  10. plain&simple

    It's very clear with each debate Romney becomes more nervous and spews more. Obama speaks less and says more. Facts matter as Joe says.

    October 17, 2012 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  11. Frank

    This tells american voters that who is more efficient.

    October 17, 2012 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    The reason that Obama spoke longer is because he was given more time than Romney. The mediator didn't cut him off when his time was up but would continually let him go longer, but for Romney she always cut him off right away. Democratic agenda.

    October 17, 2012 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  13. Ray E. (Georgia)

    I thought it was cute when Romney asked Obama if he had looked at his Pention lately and he also had investments in China.

    But, people will talk. Stacy Dash, Kid Rock, Lindsay Lohan and Rocker Gene Simmons, all who supported Obama last time have changed their support to Romney. You?

    October 17, 2012 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  14. Guest

    Obama doesnt say much of importance yet somehow manages an extreme amount of hyperbole in actually saying nothing!!

    October 17, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  15. 2020

    it is the substance that count.

    Romney was dead wrong on foreign affairs, and lies all along on domestic issues.

    the 47%, women all thrown under the bus. Thank you Romney, you made up my mind, serverely.


    October 17, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  16. rs

    Yes, Mr. Romney is a fast-talker- He spoke a bunch of the same nonsense over and over and over again. Just like a sleazy salesman.

    October 17, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  17. gr8 usa

    The President won on content and facts. Romney gave absolutely no details about his sketchy tax plans. Which deductions are going away to pay for his tax cut to the wealthy? Mortgage Interest? Child Care Costs? Health Insurance Premiums? He couldn't say he supported the fair pay act, but did think women should get an early release note from their employers so they could go home and cook dinner. Even the weird binders full of women statement has been fact checked and is wrong. Romney was a flat out mess last night. The look on Anne's face and the Romney supporters coming out of the woodwork to attack the moderator are proof that he lost.

    October 17, 2012 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    The dumbnig down of America continues unabated.

    October 17, 2012 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  19. n

    So what's the point? Romney is still the "Big Fat Loser" Period.

    October 17, 2012 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  20. Larry L

    Romney won on other categories which include:

    Lack of specificity
    Distortions of the truth and/or outright lies
    Stumbling, frustrated prattle
    Flip-flops from recent positions
    Mistakes in quoting opponents recent comments
    Old-man walking style
    Condescension for women and minorities
    False concern for the middle class
    Pivots from the actual question
    Rudeness to the moderator
    Rudeness to the opponent

    October 17, 2012 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  21. Jessie P.

    Romney has lied in two debates. How can we elect someone who lies about everything, not to mention a flip flopper and does it with such ease. I have to say what people are saying is true "he is the greasy sleazy used car salesman"!
    My family and I are registered Republicans, but will be voting for Obama. With all of the videos/tapes and independent fact checkers anyone can see that Mitt R. is a liar and does not care one bit for the middle class. When he was elected as governor of Massachusetts, he changed the public or employee elevator to where he and he alone could be the only one to use it. He is so out of touch with the common man and is counting on the common man to believe his lies!

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

    Of course Obama spoke 3 more minutes. Candy let him speak more and interceded on behalf of Obama several times and at least one time incorrectly. To beat Obama you have to better than he is and beat him and the supposed Journalist moderator water carrier.

    Lastly after all the talk last night we learned nothing of Obama's plans for a second term other than doubling down on his failures.

    October 17, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  23. q2long

    I guess Romney is a *fast talker* with all that usually connotes.

    October 17, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  24. Name

    Romney is a fast talker

    October 17, 2012 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  25. Name Independent Thinker

    Its not the words, its the content that matters. To believe or not to believe, that is the question.

    October 17, 2012 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
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