About an hour into the second presidential debate on Tuesday, one area Republican thought President Barack Obama was performing better than he did in the first debate about two weeks ago.
“You’re certainly seeing a more aggressive president,” said Russell Fry, vice-chair of the Grand Strand Young Republicans Club. “But, he had nowhere to go but up from the last time.”
Fry still thought Mitt Romney was performing better on the issues.
Mary Max Neely, a local Democrat, however, disagreed.
“I think Obama is hitting his high key,” she said. “He’s being specific and Romney is being rather vague.”
Both spoke to The Sun News during Tuesday night’s town hall formatted debate, which immediately jumped to the job market, a core of local, state and federal campaigns across the Grand Strand and the country.
Fry, a 27-year-old attorney, said Romney’s got the right plan when it comes to fixing the unemployment numbers.
“There’s no question the president has a great gift in speaking and discussing jobs, but I think he’s had four years to produce on that and promote job creation in this country,” he said. “People my age aren’t finding jobs. Unemployment for younger people is high and people aren’t finding jobs or they’re underemployed.”
Fry said Romney’s experience in the private sector is a key to his ability to turn the job market around.
But, Neely wasn’t sure Romney really had the answers and said she’s concerned he doesn’t support education enough.
“All I know is he plans to cut the Pell Grant,” she said. “And what do you think that will do to college kids?”
The debate heated up on energy policies and gas prices.
Neely thinks Obama is on the right track with his energy policy, despite a rise in gas prices. She said he’s focused on better technology.
“Obama is trying to get us to the point where we get 60 or 70 miles per gallon like cars already do in Europe,” she said.
Fry looked more at the rising gas prices, and said Romney has the right idea in trying to develop local gas so there’s a lessened reliance on foreign oil.
“If you just look at the simple math, the price at the pump has doubled under this president,” he said.
Neely and Fry also weighed in on each candidates views regarding equality in the workforce.
“Under this president, women have lost jobs at a higher rate than men,” Fry said. “The first step is to get them back to work first as Governor Romney said. Women are going and doing the things they need to do to succeed, but the first step to resolving any inequality in the workforce is getting them back to work.”
Neely, said Democrats historically fight for equality more than Republicans.
“If the Democrats don’t fight for women’s rights, then nobody will,” she said. “That’s just a Democratic issue. Equal rights for women, gays and everybody else. … Romney is running for a party that does not believe in women’s rights.”
Contact AMANDA KELLEY at 626-0381.