Covering Washington politics. From our vantage point. One day a time.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Debate Two In The Bag: More Fact Checking, Please

The second presidential debate between President Obama and presidential candidate Mitt Romney took place last evening at Hofstra University, located in Hempstead, NY.  President Obama settled in days before his running mate, preparing his speech at the nearby Kingsmill Resort where he spent days restructuring his debate strategy in hopes of improving upon a very lackluster first debate that left undecided voters still undecided.

With just three weeks until the 2012 Election, viewers last night saw a more tactically engaged President Obama, in a debate moderated by CNN's Candy Crowley (host of the show's State of the Union on Sunday mornings), as he addressed the issues that seemed important to voters.  Among the issues: more insight into the 9/11 attack in Benghazi, women's rights, and energy.

While undecided Americans claim they still don't know who they'd vote for, or which candidate they are more likely to believe, The Huffington Post did a nice job of fact checking the remarks of the two men that may help voters decide. 

Here is a bit of what they uncovered.

On oil and energy:

ROMNEY: "As a matter of fact, oil production is down 14 percent this year on federal land, and gas production was down 9 percent. Why? Because the president cut in half the number of licenses and permits for drilling on federal lands and in federal waters."

PRESIDENT OBAMA: "Very little of what Governor Romney just said is true. We've opened up public lands. We're actually drilling more on public lands than in the previous administration and my – the previous president was an oilman."

THE FACTS: Both statements ring true, as far as they go. Obama more correctly describes the bigger picture.

According to an Energy Department study published in the spring, sales of oil from federal areas fell 14 percent between 2010 and 2011 and sales of natural gas production fell 9 percent, supporting Romney's point. The lower oil production was a result mainly of a moratorium on offshore drilling imposed by the Obama administration after the April 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

According to the same report, though, oil production from federal areas is up 13 percent since Obama took office despite last year's dip, and analysts say Gulf oil production is expected to soon exceed its pre-spill levels.

Natural gas production from federal areas has been declining for years because drillers have found vast reserves of natural gas in formations under several states that are cheaper to access than most federally controlled areas.

Click here for more of the HuffPost's fact checking.

The next debate, on Monday, October 22, will be held at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida at 9 p.m., moderated by Bob Schieffer (Host of Face the Nation on CBS).

We say it won't really be a debate until its held in the Nation's Capital (Washington, DC) where both men are vying for its prime real estate: The White House; and where the heart of the nation can participate.

Reviewing the Debate
The Debate: By The Numbers

Fashion: Leading Ladies at The Debate

And of course you can't critique the men of last evening's debate without critiquing the leading ladies in their lives.  Check out First Lady Michelle Obama (wearing Michael Kors) and Ann Romney (Oscar de la Renta), who both decided to wear pink at last night's debate, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 

We give kudos to both for their effort.  Who do you think wore pink the best?

A poll taken by The Daily Beast shows the first lady having a clear advantage over Ann Romney, a breast cancer survivor.

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