Menu

Politics

Breaking down the town hall presidential debate

For the second presidential debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney at Hofstra University Tuesday night, moderator Candy Crowley called on 11 undecided voters to pose questions to the candidates. The audience was selected by the Debate Commission with the help of Gallup polling to identify registered, undecided voters in Nassau County, New York, where the debate was held. 

Crowley selected the voters based on pre-submitted questions. 11 questions were asked by five men and six women, with Crowley allowing both Obama and Romney to answer follow up questions related to the audience issues. The topics range from immigration and gun control to gas prices, taxes and women in the workplace. 

Here’s a breakdown of the questions and the questioners:

QUESTION 1: (first-time voter Jeremy Epstein) Mr. President, Governor Romney, as a 20-year-old college student, all I hear from professors, neighbors and others is that when I graduate, I will have little chance to get employment. What can you say to reassure me, but more importantly my parents, that I will be able to sufficiently support myself after I graduate?

QUESTION 2: (Phillip Tricolla)  Your energy secretary, Steven Chu, has now been on the record three times stating it's not policy of his department to help lower gas prices. Do you agree with Secretary Chu that this is not the job of the Energy Department?

QUESTION 3: (Mary Follano) Governor Romney, you have stated that if you're elected president, you would plan to reduce the tax rates for all the tax brackets and that you would work with the Congress to eliminate some deductions in order to make up for the loss in revenue.  Concerning the -- these various deductions, the mortgage deductions, the charitable deductions, the child tax credit and also the -- oh, what's that other credit? I forgot. (OBAMA: You're doing great.) Oh, I remember. The education credits, which are important to me, because I have children in college. What would be your position on those things, which are important to the middle class?

QUESTION 4: (Katherine Fenton)  In what new ways to you intend to rectify the inequalities in the workplace, specifically regarding females making only 72 percent of what their male counterparts earn?

QUESTION 5: (Susan Katz) Governor Romney, I am an undecided voter, because I'm disappointed with the lack of progress I've seen in the last four years. However, I do attribute much of America's economic and international problems to the failings and missteps of the Bush administration. Since both you and President Bush are Republicans, I fear a return to the policies of those years should you win this election. What is the biggest difference between you and George W. Bush, and how do you differentiate yourself from George W. Bush?

QUESTION 6: (Michael Jones) Mr. President, I voted for you in 2008. What have you done or accomplished to earn my vote in 2012? I'm not that optimistic as I was in 2012. Most things I need for everyday living are very expensive.

QUESTION 7: (Lorraine Osorio)  Mr. Romney, what do you plan on doing with immigrants without their green cards that are currently living here as productive members of society?

QUESTION 8: (Kerry Ladka) This question comes from a brains trust of my friends at global Telecom's supply in [UNKNOWN WORD] today. We were sitting around talking about Libya and we were reading and became aware of reports that the State Department refused extra security for our embassy in Benghazi, Libya prior to the attacks that killed four Americans. Who was it that denied enhanced security and why?

QUESTION 9: (Nina Gonzalez)  President Obama, during the Democratic National Convention in 2008 you stated you wanted to keep AK-47 out of the hands of criminals. What has your administration done or plan to do to limit the availability of assault weapons?

QUESTION 10: (Carol Goldberg) The outsourcing of American jobs overseas has taken a toll on our economy. What plans do you have to put back and keep jobs here economy in the United States?

QUESIOTN 11: (Barry Green)  I think this is a tough question. Each of you. What do you believe is the biggest misperception that the American people have about you as a man and a candidate, using specific examples can you take this opportunity to debunk that misperception and set us straight?