Final Obama/Romney Debate Shows More Substance, Voters Say
The "horses and bayonets" comment a hit among some President Barack Obama supporters watching the debate with Gov. Mitt Romney at the Patch-sponsored event at the Rosebud Theater in Wauwatosa.
The third and final debate between former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama had enough substance to give voters more confidence heading into the Nov. 6 election, debate watchers told Patch.
Patch sponsored debate-watching parties at the Rosebud Cinema in Wauwatosa for all three debates, along with the vice presidential debate. About 50 people were in attendance Monday night to view the foreign policy debate aired from Lynn University in Florida.
Jeff Perzan’s already cast his vote in the presidential election using early voting. But he still kept a close watch on the debate. Perzan said he felt the moderator, Bob Schieffer, had a better presence in the final debate.
“It was, as other people have said, very substantive and very interesting,” Perzan said.
“We certainly got a lot more words out of their mouths,” chimed in Dan Peterson, of Wauwatosa.
Laura Gronek plans to vote for Obama this election. The Milwaukee resident said she’s feeling better and more confident about that vote after seeing Obama’s performance Monday.
“It made me think about all of the time that is being kind of wasted in a way with advertising,” Gronek said. “Why couldn’t they dedicate some time in these ads to educate me with various programs and initiatives? … I just think that our free speech and our airwaves are not really utilized to their full capacity. … I saw something more forceful in Obama that made me feel better about casting my vote for him.”
Gronek admitted after the debate she’s in election overload but attending the Monday’s debate was more social. She’s been at debate parties throughout southeastern Wisconsin and saw Obama’s speech in Milwaukee weeks ago.
But until Monday, she felt there was some substance lacking in the campaigns.
“It’s like eating cotton candy,” Gronek said. “It doesn’t have a lot of substance.”
Overall, Gronek said she was pleased that Obama came across authoritative and forceful, but not condescending or “overly cute.”
'Fewer Horses and Bayonets'
Browen Mead, of Wauwatosa, liked that Obama wasn’t laughing at Romney as much as Vice President Joe Biden was laughing at Romney’s running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, during the vice presidential debate.
Still, she was giggling in the crowd a few times when Obama made various comments, especially when he told Romney, “we also have fewer horses and bayonets because the nature of our military's changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines. And so the question is not a game of Battleship where we're counting ships.”
“I think it was good of him to be humorous as well as serious,” Mead said.
“From the get go, Governor Romney highlighted the foreign policy failings of the current administration and laid out a clear plan to return our nation to a spot of prominence and influence throughout the world,” said Communications Director Nathan Conrad. “For the last four years we have taken an apologetic stance when dealing with world leaders rather than uniting by our nation’s long standing history of strength through peace and the influence that has given us in world affairs.”
‘A Republican Snooki’
Wauwatosa East High School students Ben Titera, Ian Reid and Hailey Rakowiecki aren’t able to vote in the election, but they still had plenty to say about the debate – some serious comments and some goofy comments.
Reid and Rakowiecki also noticed Romney’s dark tan and Obama’s apparent makeup job for the debate.
“He was a little more tan than Obama,” Reid said.
“He was a Republican Snooki,” Rakowiecki joked.
However, all three high school students also were paying attention to the politics during the debate.
“This debate was a lot more tame than all of the others I have seen,” said Titera, a sophomore. “I thought they got a lot of information through. I thought it was a quality debate. Both sides were heard, it was just a wonderful night.”