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Colorado presidential debate: Media piles on moderator Jim Lehrer
Politico ^ | Oct. 4, 2012 | MACKENZIE WEINGER

Posted on 10/03/2012 11:39:15 PM PDT by Second Amendment First

Colorado presidential debate: Media piles on moderator Jim Lehrer By: Mackenzie Weinger October 4, 2012 01:18 AM EDT

The loser of Wednesday night’s debate, according to many pundits and political commentators?

Moderator Jim Lehrer.

Lehrer, the executive editor of PBS Newshour, sat behind the desk for the 12th time in the history of televised presidential debates on Wednesday night — and drew some of the most blistering reviews of his career. The consensus: Lehrer did not control the debate, failed to enforce the time limits, did not press the candidates enough and generally was steamrolled by the presidential candidates, Mitt Romney in particular.

(Also on POLITICO: Lehrer: The master of moderation)

Fox News Sunday’s Chris Wallace criticized Lehrer for seeming to “lose some control” of the candidates, and questioned whether his questions sometimes helped President Barack Obama.

“Jim Lehrer, a man for whom I have tremendous esteem, seemed to lose control of the debate, occasionally,” Wallace said. “He seemed to just simply throw something out there to keep the conversation going, sometimes it seemed to be helping Obama, like saying, ‘Well, gee, so you are for a balanced approach of tax cuts and spending — tax increases and spending cuts,’ and that really seemed to lose some control.”

On MSNBC, Chris Matthews knocked Lehrer for not being aggressive, saying, “I thought the moderator did not moderate.”

“He didn’t follow up,” Matthews said. “Today, moderators are expected to be aggressive, they’re going to ask a question, they throw it out there, they don’t just say a topic. They ask a question.”

Also on MSNBC, The Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman blasted Lehrer as “practically useless.”

“Jim Lehrer was practically useless as the moderator,” Fineman said. “It was criminal negligence not to follow up on the question — ‘Mr. Romney, specifically what tax loopholes or deductions do you want to get rid of?’ He didn’t ask it.”

CNN contributor James Carville said Lehrer “let those guys freelance and go back and forth,” and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow noted that “Lehrer — to the extent that he tried to assert himself — got rolled over by Romney again and again and again.”

Before the debate, NBC’s Ted Koppel defended Lehrer’s role as debate moderator, telling POLITICO that “the pressing in a debate needs to come from the adversary: It’s up to the candidates to say to one another, ‘I heard Jim’s question and you’re not answering it.’ This is not about whether we want Jim Lehrer to be president.”

And The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple backed Lehrer afterward, writing that the moderator “deserves a nod” for the “excellent” debate.

“He moderated the thing, after all,” Wemple wrote. “Much of the vitriol headed his way grinds at his inability to enforce time limits, which are arbitrary and dumb anyhow.”

“Lerher’s real problem was that, for one night, he hads [sic] to play stand-in for the entire American media. And if there’s one thing the American public enjoys, it’s bashing the American media, no matter how it performs,” he added.

But many of Lehrer’s fellow TV hosts tweeted throughout the evening, saying they wished Lehrer would make his presence known. “This isn’t a debate, it’s just a polite exchange of views,” CNN’s Piers Morgan wrote. “Come on Jim, get in there and rev things up a bit.” David Gregory of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” meanwhile, noted it “would be great to have more follow up to pin down their views.”

Some were more stark with their assessment of Lehrer: NBC’s Today show weatherman Al Roker tweeted, “I hope Jim Lehrer gets the license plate of the truck that drove over him in this debate.”

Many on Twitter commented on Lehrer’s inability to control Romney, with Aaron Blake from The Washington Post’s The Fix blog writing, “Romney is totally overpowering Lehrer.” Comedian Bill Maher called for Lehrer to push back against Romney, tweeting, “Hey Lehrer, you’re the f—-ing ref, stop letting the Mittbot bully you - he can’t fire YOU.” That wasn’t the only foul-mouthed tweet of the evening, with The New Republic editor Franklin Foer writing, “Biggest p—— of the night: Obama or Lehrer? I’m one of the few undecideds.”

Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas dubbed the moderator “tonight’s Clint Eastwood,” and Commentary magazine editor John Podhoretz tweeted that Lehrer “may be the worst moderator in the history of moderation.” But Washington Post columnist Ezra Klein offered a more sympathetic take, tweeting, “I feel badly for Jim Lehrer tonight.”

The Huffington Post’s Sabrina Siddiqui summed up the media’s take on Twitter: “Tonight’s loser: Jim Lehrer.”

© 2012 POLITICO LLC


TOPICS: News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2012debates; pbs
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On MSNBC, Chris Matthews knocked Lehrer for not being aggressive, saying, “I thought the moderator did not moderate.”

Wait, a moderate is supposed to be aggressive?

1 posted on 10/03/2012 11:39:20 PM PDT by Second Amendment First
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To: Second Amendment First

Translation: Lehrer did not rig it for Obama.


2 posted on 10/03/2012 11:42:09 PM PDT by kaehurowing
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To: Second Amendment First

For the first time, in a long time the Presidential Debates, a moderator actually sounded fair.


3 posted on 10/03/2012 11:42:39 PM PDT by Nachum (The List was hacked- www.nachumlist.com)
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To: Second Amendment First

So the libs are ticked that he didnt help Obama out more.

Duh!


4 posted on 10/03/2012 11:43:39 PM PDT by VanDeKoik
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To: Second Amendment First

Matthews sounded like he was going to start crying and kicking the ground.


5 posted on 10/03/2012 11:46:39 PM PDT by ponygirl (Be Breitbart.)
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To: Second Amendment First

I didn’t see the debate, but honestly, if Romney doesn’t let Lehrer “control the debate,” who’s going to stop him? What is Lehrer supposed to do? They’re not going to cut the cameras, turn out the lights. Why should Romney listen to a nobody like Jim Lehrer?

Romney apparently knew that he had to fight both the media and Obama in this debate. He took care of the former by simply ignoring it. The ‘debate moderator’ has no power. He’s irrelevant.


6 posted on 10/03/2012 11:47:28 PM PDT by Steely Tom (If the Constitution can be a living document, I guess a corporation can be a person.)
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To: Nachum

I think he really was trying to be fair, which is why the left is so annoyed. And obama was very annoyed when interrupted on his “professorial” remarks demanding 5 more seconds, and more.


7 posted on 10/03/2012 11:48:29 PM PDT by Second Amendment First ("Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not..." - Thomas Jefferson.)
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To: Second Amendment First

Yet, throughout the last four years, will any of the aforementioned Media ask thorough follow up questions of this President, “have more follow up to pin down their views”.


8 posted on 10/03/2012 11:48:29 PM PDT by Stand Watch Listen
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To: Second Amendment First

The Obots have to find someone to blame, other then their
Marxist messiah.


9 posted on 10/03/2012 11:49:15 PM PDT by AlexW
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To: kaehurowing

So now we know what the game plan will be in the VP and the next two presidential debates.

I hope Romney and Ryan are up to having to fight off both democratic candidates and the moderators.


10 posted on 10/03/2012 11:49:45 PM PDT by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults.)
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To: Second Amendment First

Stupid writing, He says ‘MSM’ and then quotes all those committed Obama supporters.

MSNBC is not the MSM, it is the Dem channel.

Over at MSNBC there was also plenty of criticism of Obama for being weak and praising of R for winning, and yes cursing him for ‘lying’.. Not fitting the Koolaid formula.


11 posted on 10/03/2012 11:52:37 PM PDT by sickoflibs (Romney is still a liberal. Just watch him. (Obama-ney Care ))
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To: Second Amendment First

As usual, Barry isn’t the blame for his poor performance. Now, its the moderator. These fools have caused this with their molly coddling Obama. They have no one to blame but themselves for carrying his water for the past 5 years.


12 posted on 10/03/2012 11:53:12 PM PDT by Catsrus
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To: kaehurowing
>”Translation: Lehrer did not rig it for Obama”<

No, he just Failed to rig it for Obama. He did try, but he didn't expect Romney to bring a Gun to a Knife fight.

I think Obama might just make old Jim Lehrer the new Ambassador to Libya.

13 posted on 10/03/2012 11:53:50 PM PDT by Kickass Conservative (How do you insult an Obama Voter? Call them an Obama Voter.)
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To: Second Amendment First

Massachusetts moderate manhandles moderator.

You really know Romney won the debate when the libs can’t even credibly claim that Romney lost. They refuse to admit Obama lost, so they have no choice but to blame the moderator.

This was a totally open debate format. As Lehrer explained it, they were supposed to have 15 minutes to discuss issues freely without questions. It’s not Lehrer’s fault that Obama couldn’t compete on a level playing field.


14 posted on 10/03/2012 11:53:56 PM PDT by JediJones (ROMNEY/RYAN: TURNAROUND ARTISTS ***** OBAMA/BIDEN: BULL $HIT ARTISTS)
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To: Second Amendment First
Jim Lehrer was just as surprised as the rest of the media that the great Obama, without his teleprompter, sounded just like a sleazy snake oil hawker.
15 posted on 10/03/2012 11:54:28 PM PDT by crazyhorse691 (Obama is just the symptom of what is destroying the U.S.)
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To: Second Amendment First

It’s just too obvious that the leftist “news” people are mad that Lehrer didn’t help Zero take Romney down.


16 posted on 10/03/2012 11:55:01 PM PDT by jeffc (The U.S. media are our enemy)
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To: kaehurowing
>”Translation: Lehrer did not rig it for Obama”<

No, he just Failed to rig it for Obama. He did try, but he didn't expect Romney to bring a Gun to a Knife fight.

I think Obama might just make old Jim Lehrer the new Ambassador to Libya.

17 posted on 10/03/2012 11:55:47 PM PDT by Kickass Conservative (How do you insult an Obama Voter? Call them an Obama Voter.)
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To: Second Amendment First
Actually other than allowing 0dumb0 to continually run past his time limitation, I think Jim Lehrer did a very good job. He allowed Mitt & 0dumb0 to spar back & forth with each other and still directed the debate to the next topic. The media & lefties are just pissed off because they wanted to see Jim Lehrer totally handcuff Romney and to rig the debate for 0dumb0! And I credit Mitt Romney for not allowing that to happen as well. I think Jim Lehrer actually performed in a much more balanced way, and that is what is really pissing the marxist leftie toons into a snarling pack of hyenas who are now ripping the flesh off of Jim Lehrer!
18 posted on 10/03/2012 11:56:36 PM PDT by rcrngroup
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To: Second Amendment First

The liberal media is despicable.

If this debate had gone the other way, the media would just declare the entire race over and anoint Obama for a second term instead of attacking the moderator.


19 posted on 10/03/2012 11:57:28 PM PDT by radpolis (Liberals: You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy)
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To: Nachum; All

While for the moment the consensus is that Romney won, he certainly did just stomp on the Moderator. Given the past complaints that Romney has acted like a bully, tonight’s performance will merely confirm this opinion in the minds of some. The question that needs to be answered is whether the Romney take no prisoners style is what would successfully run the government and international relations.


20 posted on 10/03/2012 11:58:15 PM PDT by gleeaikin
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To: Second Amendment First

This is the first debate I can remember where the moderator didn’t try to debate the Republican himself.

This is the way it should be done. It is the candidate’s debate, not the moderator’s. Let the candidates say what they have to say, and keep time.

Most moderators spend their time trying to stop the candidates from talking, mainly if they are a Republican. Lehrer encouraged the conversation and I thought it went rather well. Both candidates had ample time to develop their thoughts. I thought both candidates presented themselves well. The Obama partisans are just mad because Lehrer didn’t shout Romney down and cut him off after 20 seconds, which is what too many so-called “moderators” have done in previous debates.

Romney won handily, just because he was able to get past the media gate-keepers for an hour tonight, and give more than a bumper-sticker answer to the questions.


21 posted on 10/03/2012 11:59:47 PM PDT by marron
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To: Second Amendment First
@RickSantorum Romney rocked it!
22 posted on 10/04/2012 12:01:03 AM PDT by Berlin_Freeper (Obama at the UN: The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.)
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To: Jonty30

The other debates matter very little.
Only the political junkies from both parties will be watching.
This was the important one.

Besides, I think Oblameo may find a reason not to have time to debate again.


23 posted on 10/04/2012 12:02:30 AM PDT by Bobalu (It is not obama we are fighting, it is the media.)
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To: Nachum

yep.
The blame Jime Lehrer meme is starting to grow with these leftist knuckleheads.
Gee maybe Obama can’t properly explain his record because it SUCKS! And has nothing to do with Jim Lehrer.


24 posted on 10/04/2012 12:02:35 AM PDT by snarkytart
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To: kaehurowing
Meanwhile all the people who actually were watching the exhange between the 2 candidates not the moderator were able to see what Obama stands for and what Mitt Romney stands for and which is what a debate should be. I don't like it when the media gets too involved let the people make their own decision please. Oh and Obma came off as the liar that he is and I have known him to be since 2008.
25 posted on 10/04/2012 12:02:52 AM PDT by funfan
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To: Nachum

“Also on MSNBC, The Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman blasted Lehrer as “practically useless.”

“Jim Lehrer was practically useless as the moderator,” Fineman said. “It was criminal negligence not to follow up on the question — ‘Mr. Romney, specifically what tax loopholes or deductions do you want to get rid of?’ He didn’t ask it.””

Fineman is a particularly odious hack. This crying, whining tirade shows what a ultra-partisan dick he is. That being said, I do love the taste of his bitter tears.


26 posted on 10/04/2012 12:04:08 AM PDT by princeofdarkness (The Obama Administration is circling the wagons. But the Truth Indians are using flaming arrows.)
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To: Second Amendment First

Lehrer gave Obongo almost 5 minutes of time . Aas it turned out , that was not a + for O . lol


27 posted on 10/04/2012 12:05:49 AM PDT by sushiman
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To: kaehurowing

“Translation: Lehrer did not rig it for Obama.”

Exactly. Initially, the comments were about the debate being spirited and vigorous. In the past Presidential “debates” are trite to the point of being silly, and don’t get beyond sound bites and “alpha male” posturing. But Lehrer let the discussion go on when the participants wanted to explain or elaborate, and he gave extra time to both candidates. It just happened that this worked in Romney’s favor, because he had a deeper understanding of and a detailed knowledge of subjects like finance and government health care, while Obama was limited to fuzzy generalities.

I can’t wait until foreign policy comes up, and Obama will have to explain his insistence to “Ask Vladimir to wait until after the election”, or his feckless performance with the Benghazi attacks.


28 posted on 10/04/2012 12:06:29 AM PDT by haroldeveryman
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To: kaehurowing

“Translation: Lehrer did not rig it for Obama.”

Yup, you nailed it! I didn’t watch all the debate, but from what I did see, I think Lehrer did a pretty good job. These folks are just mad he didn’t rush in to save The Won from himself.

I’m half surprised they didn’t drag Lehrer off and put in an emergency call to Gwen Iffill, LOL.


29 posted on 10/04/2012 12:10:12 AM PDT by DemforBush (100% Ex-Democrat.)
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To: gleeaikin

It’s definitely your opinion and you’re entitled to it, but you’re so far off on reading this debate and what Romney did it’s not even funny.


30 posted on 10/04/2012 12:10:36 AM PDT by snarkytart
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To: sushiman

Exactly, let him ramble on. Hopey/Changey is officially dead!


31 posted on 10/04/2012 12:10:40 AM PDT by Second Amendment First ("Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not..." - Thomas Jefferson.)
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To: gleeaikin
Did he cut Jim's hair I must have missed it. I disagree with
what you said Romney bullied no one tonight and he was able to get his plan out to the people and I for one am glad he did it. The media lies 24/7 about Romney and Ryan and fawn all over Obama enough already. Obamas international relations are awesome just ask the Muslim Brotherhood they love the guy. Romney's style will be a 200% improvement over the hack Obama any day of the week.
32 posted on 10/04/2012 12:11:52 AM PDT by funfan
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To: gleeaikin
Did he cut Jim's hair I must have missed it. I disagree with
what you said Romney bullied no one tonight and he was able to get his plan out to the people and I for one am glad he did it. The media lies 24/7 about Romney and Ryan and fawn all over Obama enough already. Obamas international relations are awesome just ask the Muslim Brotherhood they love the guy. Romney's style will be a 200% improvement over the hack Obama any day of the week.
33 posted on 10/04/2012 12:11:59 AM PDT by funfan
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To: Steely Tom

“Why should Romney listen to a nobody like Jim Lehrer?”

When Romney was talking about what he’d cut, he specifically mentioned PBS. That comment probably left Lerher in shock! And as an aside, Lerher looked as though he ‘s joined the Lautencorpse group. Man, he’s just OLD!


34 posted on 10/04/2012 12:11:59 AM PDT by vette6387
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To: Second Amendment First

(yawn) Had Ubama been the consensus winner tonight, none of these scumbags would have a single critical word for Lehrer. In fact, had Ubama won they would be patting the guy on the back for a good job.


35 posted on 10/04/2012 12:13:04 AM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: vette6387
Man, he’s just OLD!

Yeah, I noticed that, too.
The half-inch thick white pancake makeup on his face didn't help, either.

36 posted on 10/04/2012 12:15:39 AM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Lancey Howard

The only thing missing was his Hoveround!


37 posted on 10/04/2012 12:18:49 AM PDT by vette6387
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To: sickoflibs

Sorry is is not MSM or MSNBC or any of the others. The correct title is

MINISTRY OF PROPAGANDA

otherwise known as the MOP


38 posted on 10/04/2012 12:19:00 AM PDT by Snuph ("give me Liberty...")
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To: Second Amendment First

Rachel Maddow was all ready to go off on how Lehrer gave Romney more time, until it was pointed out Obama actually was given more time. He just didn’t say anything, whereas Romney used his time to make his points in understandable, reasoned, non-stuttering, succinct ways.


39 posted on 10/04/2012 12:21:32 AM PDT by MacMattico
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To: jeffc

Please get the name correct

MINISTRY OF PROPAGANDA

Otherwise known as the DNC MOP


40 posted on 10/04/2012 12:21:39 AM PDT by Snuph ("give me Liberty...")
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To: Second Amendment First

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/04/us/politics/obama-and-romneys-friendly-fire-the-tv-watch.html?hp

“........Over all, it was civil, interesting and not at all exciting. It certainly did not look like a historic encounter. Yet the first black president shared a stage with the first Mormon presidential nominee in a television event disseminated on almost every imaginable digital avenue — even Hulu caught debate fever.

It looked less like a historic first than a rerun, an archival clip. Mostly, the subdued, old-school tone was helped along by Mr. Lehrer, who was moderating his 12th presidential debate. He presided over this one with courtesy, fairness and absolutely no flair for enlivening the discussion. Mr. Romney said that despite his personal fondness for Big Bird and Mr. Lehrer, he would reduce government spending by cutting financing for PBS.

Mr. Lehrer may have helped make his point.”


41 posted on 10/04/2012 12:26:19 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: funfan

media? please the correct term is

MINISTRY OF PROPAGANDA

otherwise known as the DNC MOP


42 posted on 10/04/2012 12:26:21 AM PDT by Snuph ("give me Liberty...")
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To: Snuph
RE :”Sorry is is not MSM or MSNBC or any of the others. The correct title is MINISTRY OF PROPAGANDA”

The MSM has their biases and yet that doesn't mean that they wont go after Dems, because they do occasionally.

But when proof of the MSM bias is cited as what those working for the Dem channel (MSNBC) say then it is just-more silly cult victim stuff,

Rush LOVES that crazy talk, It means more $$$$ for him.

43 posted on 10/04/2012 12:27:24 AM PDT by sickoflibs (Romney is still a liberal. Just watch him. (Obama-ney Care ))
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To: Second Amendment First

I thought Lehrer did a great job, and not just because Mitt won. Essentially, he let the candidates show themselves. He actually gave O more time, so if O lost, it’s because he let Mitt win, not because Lehrer didn’t moderate.

I’d love to be a fly on the wall at the O’s tonight.

She: You wimp. You let Romney win. Don’t you have any gonads?

He: It’s all Lehrer’s fault! He let Romney go off on the economy! He’s supposed to stop Romney from running away with it. He disrespected ME! I’m the president! I deserve respect!

She: Well, he handed you your tail tonight. Now I’m going down to the kitchen for some ribs, better not talk to me for the rest of the night. I don’t care if it IS our anniversary. (Stomps out)

Lehrer better watch his back. The Chicago thugs will get him for this.

By the way, I just found out Obama made the wife of the head of Univision an ambassador. He is such a crook.


44 posted on 10/04/2012 12:28:11 AM PDT by I still care (I miss my friends, bagels, and the NYC skyline - but not the taxes. I love the South.)
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To: MacMattico
....until it was pointed out Obama actually was given more time. He just didn’t say anything,...

From on-line tweet:

”Obama didn’t speak for four more minutes than Mitt he THOUGHTFULLY PAUSED for four more minutes than Mitt”

45 posted on 10/04/2012 12:29:09 AM PDT by Stand Watch Listen
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To: gleeaikin
What debate were you watching? There was no bullying. Lehrer himself said that he was using a different style where it was more of a conversation between the two candidates and he was there to throw out some questions for them to discuss. It went just fine, Obama lost, MSNBC, Huff Po and Daily Kos needed someone to blame, couldn't be THE ONE’s fault.
46 posted on 10/04/2012 12:29:57 AM PDT by MacMattico
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To: I still care

All part of the obama retirement plan.


47 posted on 10/04/2012 12:30:11 AM PDT by Second Amendment First ("Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not..." - Thomas Jefferson.)
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To: sickoflibs
The Ministry only attacks Dems when it has been officially allowed by the DNC or the fire is simply too hot to ignore.
48 posted on 10/04/2012 12:31:59 AM PDT by Snuph ("give me Liberty...")
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To: Stand Watch Listen

In other words, didn’t know what to say!


49 posted on 10/04/2012 12:33:00 AM PDT by MacMattico
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To: vette6387

Did you notice he had no whites to his eyes? It scared me.


50 posted on 10/04/2012 12:33:00 AM PDT by I still care (I miss my friends, bagels, and the NYC skyline - but not the taxes. I love the South.)
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