• With: Judy Miller, Jim Pinkerton, Ellen Ratner, Richard Grenell

    This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Watch," October 20, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

    JON SCOTT, HOST OF "FOX NEWS WATCH": On "Fox News Watch"...

    (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

    PRESIDENT OBAMA: Governor Romney doesn't have a five-point plan, he has one point plan.

    MITT ROMNEY, GOP PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: You said in the Rose Garden the day after the attack it was an act of terror? It was not a spontaneous demonstration. Is that what you're saying?

    (END VIDEO CLIP)

    SCOTT: It was round two in the presidential debates, both candidates facing off on the issues, both scoring points. But is that how the media reported the outcome?

    (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

    CANDY CROWLEY, CNN, MODERATOR: He did, in fact, sir -- he did call it an act of terror.

    (END VIDEO CLIP)

    SCOTT: CNN's Candy Crowley throws the president a lifeline, acting as an on-the-spot fact-checker, but with the wrong fact. Was this merely moderator interaction or an intervention?

    (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

    HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: I'm responsible for the State Department.

    (END VIDEO CLIP)

    SCOTT: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton takes one for the team, seemingly taking the blame for errors surrounding the deadly terror attack on our mission in Benghazi. Was this a diversion plan for the press? And did it work?

    (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

    BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, SINGER: I'm here today for Ohio, for President Obama.

    (END VIDEO CLIP)

    SCOTT: Bruce Springsteen becomes an Obama groupie, joining a cast of characters singing the president's tune.

    And the two presidential candidates take time off the campaign trail for a few laughs.

    (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

    ROMNEY: In the spirit of "Sesame Street," the president's remarks tonight are brought to you by the letter "O" and the number $16 trillion.

    (LAUGHTER)

    (END VIDEO CLIP)

    SCOTT: On the panel this week, writer and Fox News contributor Judy Miller, Richard Grenell, who served as press spokesman for the last four U.S. ambassadors to the U.N., Jim Pinkerton, contributing editor, The American Conservative magazine, and Talk Radio News bureau chief Ellen Ratner.

    I'm Jon Scott. "Fox News Watch" is on right now.

    (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

    OBAMA: Governor Romney says he's got a five-point plan. Governor Romney doesn't have a five-point plan, he has one-point plan. And that plan is to make sure that folks at the top play by a different set of rules.

    ROMNEY: We have a president talking about someone's plan in a way that's completely foreign to what my real plan is. And then we have his own record, which is we have four consecutive years where he said when he was running for office he would cut the deficit in half. Instead, he's doubled it.

    (END VIDEO CLIP)

    SCOTT: Three weeks left before Election Day. The two presidential candidates faced off for a second time, taking questions from supposedly undecided voters and taking a lot of shots at each other.

    One of big issues in this debate was the role of the moderator. We'll get to that a bit later, Jim. But what about the debate itself? Just tell us how the media handled this debate in comparison to the first one.

    JIM PINKERTON, THE AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE MAGAZINE, FOX CONTRIBUTOR: I think the media were happy to see that President Obama woke up, by his own admission, and were happy to say that he won, for the most part.

    However, as I wrote for The American Conservative magazine -- I said, listen, as somebody who went through the 1980 Reagan campaign, the fact that President Reagan did a good job in that one debate with Carter and then won the election in a landslide, the fact that Romney has been on the TV unfiltered by the media for a totally of 90 minutes now with 125 million people cumulatively watching, I think something is really changing out there.

    I think something's really changing out there. The reality is that media can't spin Romney actually talking and standing up for himself and articulating his views, and so on, although as Romney joked at the Al Smith dinner Thursday night, the media are doing the best to obscure what he's saying -- I think that reality is punching through in a way that the filter and the gatekeepers and the mediators can't quite deal with.

    SCOTT: So what about it? Does it suggest that these debates are more about style than substance?

    JUDY MILLER, WRITER, FOX CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it's television, yes!

    (LAUGHTER)

    MILLER: Well, its television. Yes, of course that's true. But I was struck by to the extent that people tended to stick with the view that they brought into the debate, and that includes the reporters. You know, the Washington -- The New York Times said, Mr. Obama comes back, as the head of its lead editorial, the title. And The Wall Street Journal said, President without a plan.

    So what you heard was what you wanted to hear and see from that debate.