Tag Archives: debate

What Obama and Romney said at the final presidential debate


| brennison@queenscourier.com

romney obama


More than 17,000 words were spoken during the third and final debate between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney at Lynn University in Boca Raton. The words uttered tonight will be dissected in the next two weeks ahead of the election on November 6. The most common words were what you would expect to hear in a debate on foreign policy — except maybe bayonets.

World (said 67 times), military (49), Iran (47), leadership (46), nuclear (39), budget (35) all were among the most stated terms during the 90-minute clash moderated by Bob Schieffer.

But instead of telling you, take a look yourself at the top 250 words you heard over and
over tonight.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hofstra University hosts presidential debate


| brennison@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER?Photo by Billy Rennison

Four years after “Joe the Plumber” rose to prominence during a Hofstra debate, the presidential candidates again descended on the Long Island university for their second matchup ahead of the November election.

A carnival-like atmosphere enveloped the campus prior to the town hall-style debate between President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney with giveaways, chants and marching bands.

Students were generally excited to be part of the process in deciding the country’s next president, though some seemed annoyed by the mayhem.

“It’s great that [Obama and Romney] are here, but the campus feels shut down,” said junior Nathan Glenn regarding the closing of roads and heavy police presence.

Others remained unfazed.

“I’m just grabbing dinner, then heading back to study. Typical Tuesday for me,” said Cory Shelton, a sophomore.

See photos from the Hofstra debate

As the debate neared, those who were not among the lucky few that won a lottery allowing them to attend the event made their way to the numerous viewing parties scattered around the campus.

Hundreds packed one such gathering in Netherlands Café, donning red, white and blue hats and brandishing signs and ready to watch the debate on a large projection screen, as this is first presidential election most of the students are able to vote in.

“I feel a responsibility to make an informed choice and not just rely on Fox or MSNBC to make my decision,” said Cole Barker.

With a Yankees playoff game being played simultaneously some students had a different decision to make.

“I guess politics is bigger than baseball,” said Ryan Butler, who was wearing a Yankees sweatshirt at the debate viewing party.

Most students said they wanted to hear the candidates discuss job creation and how they will aid students in debt.

Cheers were interspersed with laughs as the candidates clashed on taxes, immigration, the deficit, energy independence and health care.

The confrontation on Libya drew the loudest reaction of the night, with many saying that exchange gave the decision to Obama.

“Romney wasn’t as commanding as [in the] last debate. Obama made him look foolish on the Libya answer,” said senior Nick Kearney.

Post debate, students poured back out onto the campus, ready to discuss the night.

“Obama was much more animated this time, he was ready to respond to whatever Romney had to say,” said freshman Tracy Reynolds.

“It seems disrespectful for them to interrupt each other, but it definitely makes the debate more interesting,” said junior Brendan Mortell.

The excitement of the past couple of days will fade away as the TV cameras depart and campus life returns to normal.

“It was fun while it lasted, but now I’ve got a paper to write,” said James Cowan.

 

Presidential Debate 2012: What Obama and Romney said


| brennison@queenscourier.com

romney obama

Nearly 20,000 words were uttered during the first 2012 presidential debate between President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.  Some, even those uttered once (Big Bird), will be dissected and argued about ad infinitum until the next presidential debate on October 16. But the most commonly heard words were talking points many expected to be the focus of the night — save maybe 47 percent.

Tax (said 112 times), Medicare (61), businesses (57), health (51), insurance (49), jobs (38) all were among the most stated terms during the 90 minute debate moderated by Jim Lehrer. But instead of telling you, take a look yourself at the top 200 words you heard over and over tonight.

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: Sunny, with a high near 93. Southwest wind 8 to 15 mph. Friday night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 74. West wind 8 to 10 mph.

EVENT of the DAY: Doctor Zhivago at the Museum of the Moving Image

Take in the 1965 classic at the Museum of the Moving Image.  Based on Boris Pasternak’s novel, this tale of a love triangle set against the Bolshevik Revolution is an astonishing feat, as emotionally involving as it is visually spectacular. Highlights include Freddie Young’s Oscar-winning cinematography and Maurice Jarre’s iconic score.

Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Stavisky and Messer face off in 16th Senate District debate

State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky and opponent John Messer agreed job creation was a priority in the 16th State Senate District as the two stated their platforms and fielded questions at a Wednesday, August 29 forum before hundreds of residents in the district. Despite agreeing on general issues such as employment, energy and bilingual signage, the six-time incumbent and Senate hopeful found themselves on opposite sides on gay marriage and charter schools. Read more: Queens Courier

Huntley probe widens

The criminal probe into indicted state Sen. Shirley Huntley has expanded to include every earmark she secured for nonprofits that employed her campaign staffers, Senate aides and family members, The Post has learned. Huntley, a Democrat, is facing up to 12 years in prison for allegedly covering up the misuse of $30,000 in “member item” funds by her niece and an aide to the bogus Parent Workshop charity. Read more: NY Post

Romney vows to deliver country from economic travails

Mitt Romney accepted the Republican presidential nomination on Thursday by making a direct appeal to Americans who were captivated by President Obama’s hopeful promises of change, pledging that he could deliver what the president did not and move the country from its worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Read more: NY Times

Women employed by lawmaker describe sexually hostile office

Five women who worked for Vito J. Lopez, the assemblyman at the center of a broadening sexual harassment scandal, described in interviews an atmosphere of sexual pressure and crude language in his office, with frequent unwanted advances by him and others, requests for provocative dress, personal questions about their boyfriends and fears of reprisals if they complained. Read more: NY Times

New program at sprawling public housing complex offers farm fresh foods for $10 a bag

Farm fresh produce is a scarce commodity in the Queensbridge Houses, where diabetes rates are high and junk food is cheap and plentiful. A new program — which kicks off next week — is offering residents a bag full of fruits and vegetables for just $10 a week. Read more: Daily News

Hip-hop manager Chris Lighty dead after shooting himself outside his Bronx apartment

Hip-hop mogul Chris Lighty died Thursday morning after he shot himself after an argument with his estranged wife at his Bronx apartment, sources told the Daily News. Lighty, 44 — a longtime manager of 50 Cent, Diddy, Ja Rule and Mariah Carey — stepped outside his South Riverdale apartment about 11:30 a.m., after a spat with his wife, Veronica, police sources said. Read more: Daily News

MTA kicking more trash cans at subway stations

Starting Sunday, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is removing more trash cans from subway station platforms. The agency is expanding a pilot program that is aimed at reducing the rodent population in the subway system. The MTA says it has more trash than it can collect at subway stations. Read more: NY1

40th District assembly hopefuls square off in first debate


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

Six out of seven Assembly hopefuls running in the 40th District race mulled over their top legislative priorities, plans to stir job creation and stances on affordable housing before each were stumped by questions on immigration policy.

The would-be state assembly freshmen — Democrats Ethel Chen, Yen Chou, Myungsuk Lee, Ron Kim and Republicans Phil Gim and Sunny Hahn — deliberated on hot-button state issues for the first time together during an August 16 candidates forum in the Flushing library branch.

Democrat Martha Flores-Vasquez was a no show.

The candidates relatively shared the same answers — each agreeing their top concerns include protecting seniors and education and making sure small businesses thrive. They were also united in their matching confusion on the federal immigration reform and enforcement program called Secure Communities, and were similarly vague when explaining how they would balance the state budget.

Secure Communities prioritizes the removal of criminal aliens and repeat immigration violators — and “causes discontent” largely within immigration communities, as was described in the prompt by a forum panelist. But while each candidate said it was important to protect immigrants, they said in contrast they would support the Secure Communities program.

After an audience member’s question called them out on their opposing statements, each finally admitted they did not know of the program and said they would have to study it more before answering.

Some of the candidates’ hazy answers on how they would balance the state budget during a brutal session beginning in January also seemed to frustrate audience members and panelists who had to continuously ask speakers to be more specific.

Lee and Hahn stood by generically repeating they “believe in balancing the budget,” without issuing many specifics. But Gim said he would do so by not raising taxes for small businesses and the middle class and cutting wasteful spending in the state by first finding where money is being misused.

Kim said he would fight for tax breaks for small businesses and working families.

Job creation plans ranged from Kim’s idea to work with state leaders to secure funding and make sure the government does not neglect the downstate area, to Chen’s proposal to focus on development in Willets Point, which she called “that triangle place.” Gim said his priority would be instead to help people keep their jobs in the first place and give small businesses incentives to encourage new hires.

The future of Willets Point came back into conversation when candidates discussed Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plans to increase affordable housing by 2014. Kim said he would push for more affordable housing in the redevelopment site than the 30 to 40 percent slated to be built in there. Lee also agreed the Iron Triangle would be a good location to plant more affordable housing.

Gim said the Flushing Waterfront, once redeveloped, would be ideal for affordable housing if the state could first stop lobbyists from getting zoning to build high-end luxury condos instead.

The six candidates were also prompted to debate what they would do differently than current Assemblymember Grace Meng, who is making a run for Congress in the 6th District.

Chen said she would “have a full attendance record.”

The Assembly hopefuls will battle it out in both a Democratic and Republican primary on September 13.

 

Debate League comes to Queens


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

Photos Courtesy Simon Cousins

Around 300 students, parents and teachers from across the city gathered at the Garden School in Jackson Heights this past weekend to watch lively middle school students debate a range of topics during the Metropolitan Debate League’s most recent competition.

The debate league, which draws participating teams from all types of schools in the Metropolitan area, had not previously held a competition in Queens.
“We aim to give students the tools to analyze their own world, engage with peers they might not otherwise meet, and, through friendly competition, allow them to survey and level their own playing field,” said Rhiannon Bettivia, president and co-founder of the Metropolitan Debate League.

Garden School coaches Kevin Burgoyne and Rich Kruczek said that the goal of hosting the event was to show appreciation for the Metropolitan Debate League and the opportunities it has given their students. The school provided refreshments throughout the day, sandwiches for lunch, and coffee, tea, and Wi-Fi access for all. “Even though we are only in our first year with the Metropolitan Debate League, we wanted to respond to the warm welcome that we had received by providing a host site for the group,” said the Garden School’s Headmaster, Richard Marotta, Ph.D. “It was very exciting for us to host, since it allowed more of our own families and teachers to attend and get a flavor of what debate is and what it means to the students.”

The students spent the day debating five topics, including financial literacy classes in public schools, organ donations, state primary election participation, debate league gender quotas, and United States trade regulations. The teams were given 15 minutes to prepare speeches on the topics before each debate. The day culminated in an awards ceremony honoring the top 30 speakers and the top 10 teams.

Among those awards, Garden School won two Top 10 Individual Speaker awards out of about 100 debaters, one Top 10 Team Award out of about 30 teams, and two Top 30 Individual Speaker Awards.

“We don’t just argue in a room. When we debate, we are learning valuable life skills,” said Garden School debate team member Daphne Davis.