Pundits on Obama-Romney Debate Performance (Roundup) - 'President on the Defense'

Pundits on Obama-Romney Debate Performance (Roundup) - 'President on the Defense'

Pundits have generally agreed upon President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney's debate performances on Wednesday night, with a clear consensus of analysts and voters giving Romney a clear win. Many are now questioning whether Romney's impressive showing will actually make a difference in the polls.

Here is a round up of what pundits are saying about Obama and Romney's debate performance last night:

Dan Balz of The Washington Post
The president was not bad but Romney showed up with a clear sense of what he wanted to do. The president was on defense and Romney was on offense. There was a lot of substance, some of it in the weeds. It underscores there are a lot of differences between the two candidates. Romney's campaign feels pretty good. But they will really be looking at where they are in two weeks.

Glenn Thrush of Politico
Barack Obama has not been on a debate stage for 1,400 days and that really showed tonight. Mitt Romney has been in 29 debates in the last 18 months. One guy used to do this passably well (Obama). The other guy currently does it well. The president is really going to have to improve his performance in the next two weeks.

Molly Ball of The Atlantic
A major win for Romney by any measure. He was quick, aggressive and energetic, while Obama was rambling and defensive much of the time. The president may have wanted to seem above the fray, but instead he seemed beside the point, and Romney seemed more than capable of stepping into his shoes.

Mark Knoller of CBS News
It seemed to me that both candidates spoke with passion. It seemed that they were knowledgeable on their policies and conversant with them. But it appeared that Romney was more confident. Sharing the stage with the president made him seem presidential. And even Obama campaign aides say Romney did himself good tonight.

Mark Mardell of BBC News
As theatre, a battle of image and confidence, Mitt Romney was the clear winner. He looked Mr Obama in the eyes as he interrupted with animation, overriding the moderator, insisting on a comeback. He didn't seem rude. He did seem in command and to be enjoying the scrap. President Obama on the other hand looked as though he'd much rather be out celebrating his wedding anniversary with his wife. He started out looking very nervous, swallowing hard, not the confident performer we are used to seeing.

Lawrence O'Donnell of MSNBC
It's impossible to judge a winner tonight. It's not up to anyone on the debate stage or in this room. The answer is in the polling, and we will start to get that next week. If there's no movement in the polls this debate will mean nothing. It would have been entirely neutral. There was nothing said in that debate that was memorable 10 minutes later.

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