The Second Presidential Debate: Fanfare for the Common Man

For Round 2, everyone was invited into the fray!

Everyday folk peppered former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama with questions at the second presidential debate of the election season, held in a town hall-style format at Hofstra University. CNN chief political correspondent Candy Crowley moderated the 90-minute event, which dealt with issues related to both foreign and domestic policy. As part of the debate’s format, audience members addressed questions directly to the candidates.

At TVLine, we watched to see who delivered the night’s best lines. Below is our fair, balanced, non-partisan take on the event’s top moments, strictly from an entertainment point of view. My fellow Americans, I want you… to read through our list, take our poll and then hit the comments to make your voice heard! In closing, God bless you, and God bless TVLine Nation.


• In discussing his process for building a gender-balanced gubernatorial cabinet in Massachusetts, said, “I went to a number of women’s groups and said, ‘Can you help us find folks?’ and they brought us whole binders full of women.” Within moments, Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes tweets that she’s “scared for the women stuck in binders.” Soon after, a Binders Full of Women Tumblr is born.

• Got a few laughs by saying, “The thing I find the most troubling about Obamacare… well, it’s a long list.”

• Gave a succinct illustration of the unemployment situation by highlighting the disparity between the unemployment rate Obama envisioned and the reality: “The difference between where it is and 5.4 percent is 9 million Americans without work.”

• After Obama reviewed his accomplishments of the past four years as reasons to vote him into a second term, retorted with a strong-yet-simple, “I think you know better.”


• Was quick to assure a woman who stumbled over her tax-related question, “You’re doing great.”

• Played on the former governor’s history as a “very successful investor” to say that he’d never accept a spending proposal that lacked a payback plan. “You wouldn’t take such a sketchy deal and neither should you, the American people, because the math doesn’t add up.”

• Replied to Romney’s question about whether he reviews his pension with, “I don’t look at my pension. It’s not as big as yours, so it doesn’t take as long.”

• When Crowley refuted a point Romney made about the Obama administration’s classification of the Libyan embassy bombing,  called out, “Can you say that a little louder, Candy?”