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U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney discuss a point during Wednesday’s debate. (JIM URQUHART/REUTERS)
U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney discuss a point during Wednesday’s debate. (JIM URQUHART/REUTERS)

Debate highlights: From Big Bird to body language Add to ...

MEMORABLE BODY-LANGUAGE EXCHANGE BETWEEN THE TWO CANDIDATES

Romney: “I don’t have a tax cut.”

Obama: [looks down, and smirks]

Obama: “We do best when the middle class does well.”

Romney: [looks up, and smirks]

Romney: “Virtually everything he has just said about my tax cut is inaccurate.”

 

PROMISES, PROMISES

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Romney: “Obamacare – I’d get rid of that. I like PBS. I like Big Bird. I like you too, Jim [Jim Lehrer of PBS, the moderator] but I’m going to get rid of that.”

 

BEST-PREPARED ZINGER

Obama: “When I came into office, we had … two wars that were paid for by a credit card.”

Romney: “Try and get a mortgage these days!”

 

OF INTEREST TO CANADA

Romney: “I’ll bring that pipeline in from Canada.”

 

FAILED ATTEMPT AT LIKEABILITY

Romney: [Recognizing that Wednesday was Mr. Obama’s 20th wedding anniversary] “I’m sure this is the most romantic place you could imagine, here with me.”

 

FIRST FUNNY LINE

Obama: “Under Governor Romney’s plan, Donald Trump is a small businessman. And I know Donald Trump doesn’t like to think of himself as a small anything.”

 

MOST INVOKED FIGURE (OR INTEREST GROUP)

“The middle class,” “middle-class families,” struggling women, small business owners

 

HARDEST SELL

Romney: “I’m not in favour of a $5-billion tax cut. That’s not my plan. … My plan is nothing that’s been tried before.”

 

HEALTH-CARE ZINGERS

Romney: “The cost of health care is just prohibitive [and] Obamacare … is adding to cost. … It’s expensive. … It has killed jobs.”

Obama: When I ran four years ago, I met families scared of going broke if they got sick. “It doesn’t say you can’t have your own doctor. It does say [insurance companies] can’t jerk you around.”

Romney: “The Republicans put a plan out … and we have to have a president who can reach across the aisle.”

Obama: “Governor Romney wrote and said, ‘what we did in Massachusetts can be a model for the nation.’ … The fact of the matter is, we used the same advisers.”

 

MUSCLING ASIDE THE MODERATOR

Obama: [As Mr. Lehrer attempts to cut him off] “I had five seconds before you interrupted me.”

Romney: [As Mr. Lehrer attempts to cut him off] “No, I have to respond to that.”

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