Stage Is Set As Candidates Ready For 2nd Debate
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (CBSMiami) – The eyes of the nation will be on a small South Florida college next week at the third and final presidential debate. Lynn University in Boca Raton will host the final face-off between President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, but not before tonight’s second debate at Hofstra University in New York.
About 80 uncommitted voters will be in the audience for tonight’s debate between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney and they’ll be able to ask the candidates questions about domestic and foreign policy issues. Critics said Obama was ill-prepared for the first faceoff with Romney. He has largely dropped out of sight for the last three days for a “debate camp” at a resort in Virginia.
“I can’t even describe how excited I am,” said Hofstra University Senior Ashley Armstrong.
The town hall style format will feature 80 randomly selected voters in the audience. All of them will have questions prepared but only 11 will get to ask them.
“It’s going to be fun to watch. Maybe more fun for you than for me,” said Ann Romney, Mitt Romney’s wife.
Mitt Romney is coming off what many consider a win in the first debate. He spent Monday in Boston working with Ohio Senator Rob Portman, who has been playing President Obama in debate preps.
President Obama spent the day at a resort in Williamsburg, Virginia. He’s promised to be more aggressive in refuting Romney’s claims. But political analysts warn that because voters will be asking the questions, being too aggressive could be seen as a negative.
“It’s a very difficult format to prepare for,” explained Larry Levy of Hofstra University.
Despite the town hall format, the moderator for tonight’s debate has promised to take an active role and that has both campaigns concerned.
CNN’s Candy Crowley says she plans to ask follow up questions if the candidates failed to answer the original question or if there needs to be a clarification.
But when the campaigns agreed to the debate, they came to a mutual agreement that the moderator will not ask new questions or raise new topics. Both campaigns voiced concerns about Crowley’s plans to the Chairman of the Commission on Presidential Debates who said Crowley is not bound by any agreements reached between the campaigns.
Romney won the coin toss so he will get the first question of the night.