Stillwater News Press

Our World

October 17, 2012

VIDEO: Questions at town-hall debate reflect economic angst

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. — The everyday Americans who engaged the candidates at Tuesday's second presidential debate spoke directly to a question widely expected to decide this election:

Whom can they trust to improve their faith in the economy, the country and their futures?

A college student, a respiratory therapist and a club owner were among the undecided Long Island voters selected randomly by the Gallup organization to pose questions to President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney during their only town-hall-style debate of the season.

The questioners at Hofstra University seemed like real people, speaking in sometimes thick New York accents, occasionally fumbling to find their reading glasses or the notecards on which they'd scrawled their questions. They sharply probed the candidates' weaknesses - asking questions that prompted exchanges about Romney's wealth or Obama's response to the violence in Libya. Their topics, in the aggregate, made plain the economic uncertainty that dozens of polls have already told us haunts a wide swath of America.

"Mr. President, Governor Romney, as a 20-year-old college student, all I hear from professors, neighbors and others is that when I graduate, I will have little chance to get employment," began Jeremy Epstein, the evening's first questioner. "What can you say to reassure me, but more importantly my parents, that I will be able to sufficiently support myself after I graduate?"

Katherine Fenton, a young woman, offered a glimpse of the uncertainty through her own prism: "In what new ways do you intend to rectify the inequalities in the workplace, specifically regarding females making only 72 percent of what their male counterparts earn?"

Some questions were framed as a referendum on Obama, an effort to get at what he's done to deserve reelection. Phillip Tricolla asked the president to explain why gas prices are so high. Susan Katz said she was "disappointed" with the lack of progress she's seen over the past four years.

Some of these questioners left the impression that they like the president and may even have supported him last time. But their questions suggested that they are searching for a reason they should do so again next month.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Our World
Must Read
Buy & Share Photos
NewsPress e-Edition
NewsPress Specials
AP Video
Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
Stocks
NDN Video
Weird 'Wakudoki' Dance Launches Promotional Competition Two women barely avoid being hit by train Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth