United States: Hispanic Perspective on Second Presidential Debate

Without a doubt, the second debate which took place at New York's Hofstra University on the night of October 16th showed a much more energetic and on the offensive Barack Obama than in the first. For some, Obama took advantage of the ground gained by Joe Biden in the first and only appearance of the vice-presidential candidates, visibly putting Mitt Romney up against the ropes.

The head-to-head was held in a public audience-style atmosphere where the participants, some of them students, asked the candidates questions. The debate opened with the lack of opportunities for recent graduates, which led on to discussion of equal conditions for women, tax cuts, the cases of bankruptcy of automotive companies in Detroit, energy and finally, immigration. The vast majority of these topics are important in states which have still not decided which candidate to vote for on November 6th, the day of the election.


During the hour and a half dedicated to the debate, the grudge between the two candidates was

Mitt Romney and Barack Obama during the second debate. Screenshot from video.

Mitt Romney and Barack Obama during the second debate. Screenshot from video.

obvious judging by the crossing of glances, their occasional physical approaches, and even in their exhanges of words. When Romney asked Obama if he had checked his pension fund, the latter responded: “No, but it's not as big as yours.” In the final moments of the debate, Romney made a mistake when he stated that President Obama had not classified the attacks on the consulate in Benghazi, Libya as an “act of terror,” at which point the moderator Candy Crowley confirmed that Obama, in fact, had made such a pronouncement.

Twitter saw high levels of activity surrounding the debate. According to reports, more than 100,000 tweets were registered per minute when the subject of immigration was raised. The Latinos did not hold back with their observations, as in the case of Richard Molina Gómez (@Richgomez18):

@Richgomez18: Que desorden ese debate presidencial en USA. Le han dado mucho mas tiempo a Obama en su intervención

@Richgomez18: What a mess this presidential debate in the USA. They've given Obama much more time for his speech

Even in the middle of a day of qualifying matches for the World Cup in Brazil 2014, many didn't want to miss the presidential debate, like Juan Muñoz (@Jmmunoz69):

 @Jmmunoz69: En cuanto termine este partido d #Chile – #Argentina veré el debate presidencial d los EEUU entre Romney y Obama q por lo q leo es chistoso

@Jmmunoz69: As soon as the #Chile – #Argentina match finishes I'll watch the US presidential debate between Romney and Obama, from what I read it's pretty funny

Miss Behaved (@youngvictoria16) noted the contrast in Obama's performance in comparison with the first debate:

 @youngvictoria16: Vi 10 minutos del debate presidencial en USA. Parece que Obama resucito

@youngvictoria16: I watched 10 minutes of the presidential debate in the USA. It seems like Obama has come back to life

Jennyfer Cohen (@JennyferCohen) made the following statement:

 @JennyferCohen: #debatepresidencial Obama mucho mejor que el anterior.

@JennyferCohen: #presidentialdebate Obama much better than in the last debate.

Similarly, Yoryna (@Yorynaperalta) emphasised Obama's efforts:

@Yorynaperalta: Me esta gustando todo lo que estoy leyendo del #debatepresidencial, al parecer esta mas agresivo que el otro! #Obama se activó! :D

@Yorynaperalta: I'm liking everything I'm reading about the #presidentialdebate, it seems he's being more aggressive than in the last! #Obama has livened up! :D

Ma Ximena Rodriguez (@MariaXimena) defends Obama's administration:

@MariaXimena: Es fácil criticar a Obama que está gobernando y decir lo que “yo voy a hacer”cuando Romney no ha sido presidente! #debatepresidencial

@MariaXimena: It's easy to criticise Obama who's in government and say what “I'm going to do” when Romney hasn't been president! #presidentialdebate

The debate went beyond US borders and some Twitter users like Fabiola De León (@FabiolaMarina35) wished for a similar debate in their countries of origin:

@FabiolaMarina35: Me detuve en mi faena laboral para ver el debate presidencial de Obama y Rommey joooo políticos y futuros candidatos en Panama aprendan!

@FabiolaMarina35: I paused in my work to watch the presidential debate between Obama and Romney, ohhh politicians and future candidates in Panama, learn from them!

Hiddekel Morrison (@IngMorrison) spoke about the topic of China during the debate:

 @IngMorrison: Romney acusó a Obama de tener acciones en empresas Chinas, se puso tenso ese tramo del debate presidencial EEUU. Campaña sucia?

@IngMorrison: Romney accused Obama of having shares in Chinese companies, this part of the US presidential debate got tense. Dirty campaign?

Carlos Salomón (@carlossalomon) suggests that Romney came out badly on a controversial topic:

 @carlossalomon:  Obama va ganando el debate presidencial,solo un error cambiaría el resultado,Rommey esta muy mal,la ley arizona lo hundió.

@carlossalomon: Obama is winning the presidential debate, only a mistake will change the result, Romney is doing very badly, the Arizona law brought him down.

Finally, Sebastián Reina (@_sebastianreina) posed the following question:

 @_sebastianreina: ¿Quién ganó el debate presidencial gringo? MSNBC dice que Obama, Fox dice que Romney, por supuesto, ¿a quién creerle? ¿CNN?

@_sebastianreina: Who won the Yanks’ presidential debate? MSNBC says it was Obama, Fox says it was Romney, of course, who are we to believe? CNN?

In actual fact, CNN declared Obama to be the winner in its most recent survey carried out two hours after the debate. Equally, experts in Forbes granted victory to the Democrat candidate, which gives rise to the expectation of a change in voter preferences over the coming days. The next and final debate will take place in Boca Raton, Florida, on October 22nd.

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