President Obama and Mitt Romney attacked each other from the start in Tuesday night’s second presidential debate, quickly interrupting one another and engaging in a dramatic stare-down.
Twenty minutes into the debate, the two men were in each other’s faces, pointing fingers and talking over each other and moderator Candy Crowley of CNN.
Obama, who was criticized for a lackluster performance in the first debate, seemed energized at the start, skipping the formalities of thanking Romney, Crowley and New York’s Hofstra University for hosting the town-hall debate in favor of attacking Romney over his opposition to the auto bailout.
“I want to build manufacturing jobs in this country again,” Obama said. “Gov. Romney said we should let Detroit go bankrupt; I said we’re going to bet on an American auto industry, and it’s come surging back.”
Romney shot back, saying the president merely followed his own model of sending the companies through a restructuring.
But their most contentious moment was during a back-and-forth on energy issues. At that point, both men were out of their seats and standing with a few feet of each other to argue about drilling permits.