Cobb County reacts to the first Presidential debate
by Jon Gillooly
October 04, 2012 01:06 AM | 7113 views | 16 16 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
(MDJ Staff/Nathan Self)
(MDJ Staff/Nathan Self)
Mary Van Brink of Acworth shows her true colors at Wednesday night’s party.<br>Staff/Nathan Self
Mary Van Brink of Acworth shows her true colors at Wednesday night’s party.
Staff/Nathan Self
MARIETTA — Georgia’s two U.S. senators, Johnny Isakson of east Cobb and Saxby Chambliss of Moultrie, declared Mitt Romney the winner in the first presidential debate between the former Massachusetts governor and President Barack Obama on Wednesday.

“I wanted to see the Romney that I hoped I would see, and I saw him tonight. He was very, very good,” said Isakson, who watched the debate from home.

Isakson said it was clear that Romney bested Obama in the Denver debate.

“Romney was clear in the definition of his vision, clear in what he planned for the future,” Isakson said. “President Obama was defensive on a lot of the issues.”

It was crucial that Romney perform as well as he did, Isakson said.

“I don’t think there was any question there were some questions out there in terms of where he was going to go,” Isakson said. “He was definitive. He was straightforward. He had a grasp of the issues, and I think he took on the president very well.”

One of the subjects that stood out for Isakson during the debate was health care.

“A lot of people thought that Romney would be defensive on the Massachusetts bill in terms of health care, and instead he was positive,” Isakson said.

Chambliss, who watched the debate from his Moultrie home, called a little after 10 p.m. to say he didn’t have to see any more of the debate to declare Romney the victor.

“This is such a slam dunk,” Chambliss said. “Obama’s making up stuff. He says he cut taxes on middle Americans 18 times, then he turns around and he blames the economy that he inherited on tax cuts. I don’t understand what the guy’s talking about. I think Romney has done a very good job articulating the way we go forward, not where we’ve been. Every time he raises a point with respect to the president’s policies, the president seems to talk about things that simply are not true. I mean for example he talked about the F-22. He said the Air Force proposed programs that weren’t working very well and we had to eliminate those programs. Well Lord knows we’ve shown today that because we limited the number of F-22s our capability to eliminate Iran from having a nuclear weapon is certainly pretty much tightened up. So statements like that are just simply not out of context, they’re out of sorts.”

Chambliss also said it was crucial that Romney performed well in the debate.

“Obviously the polls have not been trending his way, and while I don’t pay attention to the numbers themselves, I do pay attention to the way the polls trend, and I think Romney has not only acquitted himself very well tonight he’s shown a very stark contrast that indicates that if the president is re-elected we’ll be on the same path we’ve been on, which is not improving, which has not laid out a foreign policy that works, which has not laid out a policy on health care for example, that’s going to make life better for the American people, and Romney on the other hand has laid out a plan tax-wise and otherwise that will get the economy back on track.”

“Any way you look at it, you can’t say Obama has improved his chances tonight. I think you can very definitely say that Romney has improved his chances,” Chambliss said.

Kerwin Swint, a political science professor at Kennesaw State University who specializes in elections, said it was important for Romney to perform well, which he did.

“Obama certainly did not win,” Swint said. “Romney passed the ‘president’ test by appearing competent and thoughtful. He was also able to criticize the President on the economy and health care in a convincing fashion.”

Swint said Romney was particularly strong when discussing the role of government in a free society.

“With his performance, Romney will help himself with some swing voters,” Swint said. “But there were no knockdowns, and no blood on the floor. To catch up in the polls, Romney may have needed more of a clear victory tonight.”

U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Marietta) watched the debate at home with his wife, Billie, but not before calling their teenage grandkids to make sure they watched the debate.

“President Obama realized tonight he was in the ring with a heavyweight, and he got out-punched,” Gingrey said. “Romney performed tremendously. He didn’t have to resort to zingers or gotchas because he was able to articulate his plans, his policies, and the president’s miserable record. His message to undecided voters was ‘We can do better. I will do better.’”

U.S. Rep. Tom Price (R-Roswell) said the debate provided voters with a clear choice in the election.

“We can continue the president’s policies that have brought us a stagnant economy, record deficits, government control of health care, and which will lead to higher taxes and more debt, or we can turn the page on four years of failed leadership and pursue Governor Romney’s pro-growth agenda that will cut taxes, rein in the debt, keep patients and doctors in charge of health care, and empower job creators to turn this economy around,” Price said. “This evening Gov. Romney proved that he’s the type of leader who will turn this economy around and put us on a path to prosperity.”

Attorney General Sam Olens of east Cobb, watched the debate with his wife, Lisa, at the Cobb GOP watch party at Tijuana Joe’s Cantina.

“The governor demonstrated how the President’s policies have worsened our economy and national security,” Olens said after the debate. “Romney looked and acted presidential while the President simply grimaced and asked for more time. The president was irritable and defensive during the debate, misstating the Governor’s proposed policies. The Governor confidently stated how he would work with the Congress to grow jobs. The president’s hope and change tarnished tonight.”

Republican Hunter Hill, who is vying to oust State Sen. Doug Stoner (D-Smyrna) in next month’s election, said Romney dominated the debate.

“He based his arguments on facts,” Hill said. “His success tonight is in line with his success in the private sector. He is not an ideologue, but a problem-solver. He articulated a vision for America that is in line with our founding principles.”

Stoner did not return calls by press time.

Northwest Cobb Commissioner Helen Goreham, a Republican, said the night belonged to Romney.

“He did an exceptional job through his responses showing that the President’s record on accomplishments was not great,” Goreham said. “He was able to address the issues that are out there and show a huge contrast between himself and the president and indicate that there’s been a lack of leadership for four years.”

Georgia GOP Chair Sue Everhart of east Cobb declared it a great night to be a Republican.

“Mitt Romney gave us hope tonight that we can bring back this great country,” she said.

Democrats had a different take on the debate.

State Rep. David Wilkerson (D-Austell), who watched the debate at a viewing party at Varners Restaurant & Tavern in Smyrna, said Obama won.

“He was able to expand on the things he wanted to do,” Wilkerson said. “I don’t think he swayed anybody, to be honest with you, but the president proved why he is doing the job that he’s doing, and he has a clear idea of what he wants to do and Romney just wants to not do what the president’s doing.

“Plus, he wants to fire Big Bird! That’s the biggest thing.”

State Rep. Stacey Evans (D-Smyrna), who watched the debate at home with her family, also said Obama won.

“The big question that Romney had still to answer tonight is how is he going to reduce the deficit and pay for the plan that he put forward, and that is telling us what loopholes he would close,” Evans said. “Obama has told us clearly he’s going to be looking at loopholes and looking at incentives that are currently built in for businesses that ship jobs overseas, and that’s where he’s going to focus his attention and make sure that we’re keeping America at work. To me, that said it all.”

State Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan (D-Austell) had a different answer.

“The American people won,” Morgan said. “I got so many text messages tonight asking me where I was going to be watching the debate, and I don’t remember that ever happening. So what that says to me is a lot of people are paying a lot more attention, and that is fantastic. For people who are in politics, you pay attention to the debates, you understand the issues, you know what’s going on, you read the articles, but if you’re not necessarily involved in politics I think for many people this is the first time they started paying attention to this election.”

Who would you call the winner in the debate?

Comments-icon Post a Comment
Joy O.
October 05, 2012
Romney lied Wednesday night. He's not going to cut taxes. That's not what he's been saying otherwise. I hope the public is not going to be taken in by this. Obama cannot go in and in four years clean up th emess that Reagan and Bush put in. Give him a little time. Romney is trying to fool the people to win the election.
Eileen Alberstadt
October 04, 2012
Brad, you look great and glad that you sat at our table. The debate was very interesting and I loved how Mitt Romney took notes and came back to re-address all of the issues that Obama tried to cover. I would say that all Obama cares about is having a healthcare plan named after him. No matter how he hurts the Medicare recipients that he stole 716 BILLION DOLLARS from. The people who keep lining up for freebies turn my guts. Keep having another kid to get a $50 raise in your welfare check. They need to make people work for their checks like they did in the 70's. And also drug test them.
October 04, 2012
Obama has faked his way through 4 years. There was no faking last night. The true Obama shines. Lost as a goose. I actually felt pity for the man.
Connie Mack Jr
October 04, 2012
Some debate?Obama rolling over for 1% Romney and throwing the phony fight between two evil twins who will procreat the American People over one more time....

Wake up Dumb idiot Corporate Republicans....You are toast like the Corporate Demcrates when the system collapses totaly by April....
john galt
October 04, 2012
"dumb idiot corporate republicans" poor libs... this is why Obama lost the debate
October 04, 2012
Looks like the empty suit showed up to occupy that empty chair that Mr. Eastwood was referring to.

October 04, 2012
There are still 30 days until the election and anything can happen. However, I do think those of us who lean right are entitled to a little happiness today. Tomorrow, back to work.

My favorite moments -

Romney called out Obama on his claptrap about how oil and gas production has gone up. Yeah, in spite of Obama's policies!

Obama's drivel about how outsourcing companies get a tax break. O just makes up stuff hoping something will stick!

Solyndra! Yeah, baby! Maybe those who aren't political junkies and have never heard of Solyndra will look it up! 'Nuff said.

How the banking industry is reluctant to make loans because no one has any idea what "qualified" means. This was a particularly sweet moment, I think. It displayed Romney's deep understanding of Dodd-Frank. Hopefully, the undecideds picked up on that.

What were your favorite moments?
Just Wait
October 04, 2012
Cobb - Republican

Romney - Republican


Who'da guessed?
High Plains Drifter
October 04, 2012
Check out all of the national news outlets. They're all saying the same thing: Obama got spanked on live TV.

High Plains Drifter
October 04, 2012
It is crystal clear that Romney mopped the floor with Obama last night. Even MSNBC's liberal mouthpiece Chris Matthews was whinning about the President's lackluster and feeble performance. Wilkerson and Evans showed their true ignorant colors by blindly stating they think Obama won the debate, siting silly reasons like "He wants to fire Big Bird!"

Reality is setting in for those who worship at the Shrine of Obama. He hasn't yet had to answer one tough question from the media regarding his poor performance over the last 4 years. Without a teleprompter feeding him prepared remarks, he had little to say to defend himself.

Next up: Joe Biden gets taken out to the woodshed by Paul Ryan.
Rich and Idle
October 04, 2012
Yes, if all I had to do for the last month was practice for a debate, I'd shine as well. Think about it. No, wait, you're a Republican. You pay others to do your thinking for you.
October 04, 2012
Perhaps. Yet, ALL obama has had to do (aside from tossing hoops) for the the last 4 years is be a President! In that, he has failed miserably...think abiout it! No, wait, you're a Democrat...and do no thinking at all.
GOP nanny
October 04, 2012
looks like obama should have been studying up on current & past events these last few weeks instead of playing in Vegas, doing the view, late night TV & hob nobbing with jayz & beyonce

just saying.

he toast and our country will be MUCH better off once he is GONE

John Galt
October 04, 2012
right... it's because he's had more time to go over the issues. Wait... Obama should have been living the issues for the last 4 years. What has he done instead? You libs are all the same.

Laura Armstrong
October 04, 2012
Interesting that there are no pro-Obama comments on this local story yet from around North America. I suppose the O-Team only instructed their propagandist posters to hit the AP article and not the local angle pieces. And Stoner and local dems are silent because they've not yet received their talking points from on high about how to explain the president's poor performance.

Romney out-shined Obama in every aspect last evening, dispelling Dem myths and showing leadership and great intelligence. Let's have more of the candidates, unplugged. The filter of today's media is so filthy, there is no other way of knowing who these men are.

I could not believe the (liberal) moderator was actually helping Obama with his answers!!!
October 04, 2012
Stoner is planning for the next TSPLOST attempt.
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