St. Francis students analyze the debate
By tony Graf Sun-Times Media October 3, 2012 10:48PM
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama shake hands during the first presidential debate at the University of Denver, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012, in Denver. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Updated: November 5, 2012 11:40AM
JOLIET — Both President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney did a good job of holding each other accountable Wednesday night, said one Joliet college student who viewed the opening debate in the 2012 presidential race.
However, the candidates threw out a lot of numbers, and the debate could have used different views from a third party, another student said.
A third student is concerned about America’s moral direction as the countdown to Election Day continues.
Ashley Rodawold is a political science student at the University of St. Francis in Joliet who was in the audience for a mock debate Wednesday afternoon and later viewed the presidential debate.
Her views lean toward those of Obama and the Democratic Party. In viewing the debate, she commended both candidates for holding each other accountable for past decisions and noted Obama’s references to Romney’s government health care plan in Massachusetts.
“There’s no way that Mitt Romney is going to get away from the plan that he enacted in Massachusetts,” Rodawold said. “Saying that it will work on a state level but not a federal level is really copping out of his responsibility to explain why he did what he did in Massachusetts — and explain what he’s going to do for the rest of the nation in regards to the type of care he would help provide them.”
Just two candidates?
Earlier Wednesday, student Phil Rizzo participated in the mock debate at St. Francis, representing the independent vote. He also watched the evening’s debate and said he wished there was a viable third-party candidate.
“If there were some different views from a third party — a Ron Paul would have been different from Obama and Romney both. I feel like I’m not seeing much choice right now,” Rizzo said.
He cited issues such as Romneycare in Massachusetts versus Obamacare and what should be the role of government in the average American’s life as examples where a third candidate would have added some valuable insight.
“You have Romney and Obama arguing very similar viewpoints. The things they’re arguing are so close that now they’re throwing percentages out there and numbers out there,” Rizzo said.
Andy Buchanan, a theology and secondary education student at the university, spoke on the conservative side during Wednesday’s student debate.
“If you look at abortion and the whole plethora of social issues wrapped up with the Obamacare legislation, and other things the Obama administration has done — it displays a different moral direction for the country than has traditionally been there,” Buchanan said.
He said he wants a president who will work to preserve traditional American morals.
“Where your heart is, that’s where your wallet is. That’s where you put your money,” Buchanan said. “So if, as a country, we decide morally that we need to support abortion — either openly or by not legislating against it — then money will go from the federal government to doing that. And that’s just one issue. The heart decides everything. And right now, we have a crisis of heart.”
The student debate on Wednesday was hosted by the LaVerne & Dorothy Brown Library at the University of St. Francis. Library Director Terry Cottrell was the moderator.