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What People Are Saying About Last Night's Debate

From Obama for America's press shop: 

President Obama: “Winner” … “Clear Victor”… “Stellar performance”… “Knocked it out of the park”

Mitt Romney: “Irked early on” …“Horribly weak moment”… “Painfully awkward moments” … “Deer in the headlights”

Mark Halperin: “I don’t think anyone can say Governor Romney won this debate… His answer on Libya was the closest thing to a moment, a horribly weak moment, I think that the debate had.”

Neil Cavuto: “The President put in a better performance tonight.”

Mike Allen: “There were a number of painfully awkward moments for Governor Romney. This was one of them. American Bridge, one of the liberal groups, has already bought the website binderfullofwomen.com.”

John Kerry: “I'm telling you, in the next days, all of these inconsistencies and untruths we'll see. Tonight the Mitt Romney campaign began to unravel formally and publicly and dramatically.”

John King: Romney on Libya: “That one moment, there, just a little bit of deer in the headlights.”

Jim VandeHei: “I’m getting an email from Lois Romano who’s on the floor in the spin room, and it says that Romney people are very defensive about the performance. She said that Ed Gillespie is red-faced and defending Mitt Romney’s performance.”

John Harris: “I sensed that this time Mitt Romney’s competitiveness sometimes made him seem a little peevish… I did feel that he was slightly annoying, frankly.”

Charles Krauthammer: “I think on points, if you’re scoring it on points, Obama wins on points.”

Ed Schultz: “I think the President had a stellar performance tonight … the dagger came out, the dagger of truth: Mitt Romney this is who you are behind closed doors, and the President hit him with the 47% comment in just the right tone, just the right way.”

Jim VandHei: “He seemed to get irked early on.”

Brit Hume: “[The President] will probably be declared the winner of this on most cards.”

David Brooks: “If we go by winners and losers, I guess I’d have to say Obama won this debate.”

Matt Dowd: “Yeah, very clear victor. President Obama gets the victory in this.”

Juan Williams: “I think Obama won the debate.”

ABC Fact Check: “Mitt Romney, when he says the President doubled the deficit – that’s just false.”

Lois Romano: “The sense of the room is that Obama knocked it out of the park.”

NYT’s Andrew Rosenthal: “When George H.W. Bush looked at his watch in a 1992 debate with Bill Clinton and Ross Perot and absolutely bungled a question about how the national debt had affected him personally, he cemented the impression that he was out of touch with real Americans’ lives. When Gerald Ford denied in 1976 that there was any “Soviet domination” of Eastern Europe, he cemented the impression that he was out of touch with pretty much everything. Tonight, Mitt Romney may have had a similar moment, during a back-and-forth about the attack on the Benghazi Consulate.”

Taegan Goddard: “Obama won the debate decisively. The president had a simple formula: Defend and explain his record while insisting that Romney wasn't being truthful. He kept Romney on the defensive and came prepared with counter-punches to nearly every topic. It was devastatingly effective.”

Chris Cillizza: “In trying to catch the incumbent in what he thought was a clear mistake, Romney was hoisted with his own petard by Crowley in what will be the single most memorable (and replayed) interaction of the debate.”

New York Times: “The most devastating moment for Mr. Romney was self-inflicted. Continuing his irresponsible campaign to politicize the death of the American ambassador to Libya, he said it took two weeks for the president to acknowledge that it was the result of an act of terror. As the moderator, Candy Crowley of CNN, quickly pointed out, the president referred to it as an act of terror the next day, in the Rose Garden.”




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