October 23rd, 2012
04:16 PM ET
10 years ago

It all shows: debates do matter in 2012

Washington (CNN) - Mitt Romney waited until the presidential debates in the final five weeks of the election campaign to make his long-anticipated shift to the political center after previously espousing strongly conservative stances to win the Republican nomination.

The move appeared to catch President Barack Obama by surprise at their first face-to-face match up. His lackluster performance against a strong showing by Romney helped the former Massachusetts governor to catch, and in some places, pass the president in the polls.


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama • Presidential Debates
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    We can really wonder what Romney was talking about last night. That should change some people and their minds about who they are voting for this November.

    October 23, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  2. Marie MD

    That's because Mr Hyde came out and it surprised everyone probably even the twit himself! We never know which bipolar part of the twit is going to show up for anything but it's always fun to watch him squirm like he did last night.
    That smirky creepy look 🙁

    October 23, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |

    You darn right these debates mattered. They confirmed to me what I suspected: Willard Milton Romney will say and do anything to get elected. I found out last night that this man is a puppet....literally! He'll do whatever the neo caons tell him to do. The man has no backbone and no core. He basically endorsed the President's foreign policy. Hey everybody, look at "Mr. Me Too."

    October 23, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  4. ThinkAgain: The GOPs policies are all PROVEN FAILURES

    You'd have to be scared, ignorant or nuts to vote for Mittens 'n' Munster. Their policies are what took our country down the toilet; their social policies are backward and, when it comes to those most vulnerable among us, immoral and cruel; their idea of "investment" is to give the rich even more in tax breaks, even though after 10 years, it has NOT resulted in job creation here in the U.S.

    We have mail-in voting in my state and I cast my ballot for the future, for President Obama and a straight Democratic ticket.

    Obama/Biden 2012 = The only sane choice

    October 23, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  5. ta111

    Bye, Bye obama. this is what happens when your record is atrocious and you have nothing to run on. Remember a few months back when obama's entire campaign was "kill Romney". Yeah, that's the ticket.

    October 23, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |

    Mitt has No IDEAS of his own! A PUPPET that can hold a pen and sign his name for the like of Norquest and Chenny!
    Wake up people! Romney and Ryan are NO GOOD!

    October 23, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  7. truth hurts

    The first debate will go down in history as the WORSE debate by a sitting president. Obama was totally out to lunch, as he has been for most of the last 4 years.

    October 23, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  8. Borderless

    Silly CNN. Don't you know this election isn't about electing Romney? It's about getting rid of Obama. Nice try, though.

    October 23, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  9. Rick McDaniel

    Perhaps.......but in truth, Romney was already moving up, before the first debate. It would have happened even without the debates, and the debates have caused Romney to move up faster.

    October 23, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  10. cbr

    millionaires pumping so much money into the PACs? How many people are truly invested int he election? If the polling is correct then we have a nation that is deeply divided by race. White men continue to support the Republican and not Mr. Obama. The minorities tend to give their support to Mr. Obama. Only the American women were able to break out of the mold and vote for the candidate they thought would do the best job. Does this mean that women look past race and religion and vote for the person they feel will do the best job. Interesting dynamic that's for sure.

    October 23, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  11. Marti

    He absolutely did take the POTUS's foreign policy, change the wording a bit, and make it his own.
    What a sham.

    October 23, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  12. 2ndsnow

    It really doesn't matter if Romney is changing his opinion on certain topics this late in the game. Obama has a record to be judged and that is exactly what the voters will do on Nov 6. Romney has laid out his vision for the future and you either like it or not. Come Nov 6th the world will know.

    October 23, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  13. truth hurts

    Three debates and nobody in America knows what Obama wants to do with another 4 years in office. Based on the results of the last 4 years, one is left to assume he wants to finish the destruction of the country. The American people are saying no thank you loud and clear.

    October 23, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  14. Karina

    Obama reminds me of a college kid who didn't do much all year and at the very last tries to do some work.
    Too late.........!!!!!

    October 23, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  15. Marti

    ta111, that was the GOP's stance from the moment Obama was elected..."Make sure he's a one-term President." Why SHOULDN'T Mr. President use the same tactics?
    "Make sure Romney doesn't win."
    Duplitcious much?

    October 23, 2012 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  16. Karl

    Wow, republicans are so out of touch with reality and the human condition, it's really quite sad and pathetic. If you are honestly riding so high because Romney defeated Obamais his firtst debate, than that's not an issue of logic, but childish desperation. Because as well as he performed (I say performed, because of his fake, super-scripted nature) he also flat out lied about most of his statements. Obama soundly defeated him in these last two debates with presentation and facts. Romney look perplexed last night, and when asked what he would do specifically, he responds with "Look at the website"

    Basically if you aren't rich, don't vote for this clown, apparently he doesn't care for 47%. Then we have Ryan washing clean dishes, looking for a photo-op? Fake, fake, fake. The GOP has a lot of work to do regarding how to address the nation effectively, without coming off as a robotic, automated response system.

    October 23, 2012 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |