News, Politics

Romney’s Debate Performance Puts Him Back In The U.S. Presidential Race

Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney at a supporters rally in 2011. Image: Gage Skidmore

U.S. President Barack Obama has a reputation for being an eloquent speaker. When he was first elected in 2009, he won the hearts of American voters with his smart, straight talk.

His opponent in the American presidential race this time around is Mitt Romney. Romney is the leader of the Republicans (Obama is the leader of the Democrats).

Romney has put his foot in his mouth a number of times over the past few months.

Among his recent gaffes: He was caught on videotape explaining to a wealthy crowd of supporters that 47 per cent of Americans aren’t pulling their weight and he said he’s not concerned about them because they likely won’t vote for him anyway.

When he visited London during the Olympics he insulted Britons by questioning whether the people there had prepared well enough for the big event.

And in 2011, he addressed a group of unemployed people in Florida saying that he, too, was unemployed. (While this may be the case—that he didn’t have a 9 to 5 job—Romney has more than $200 million so it’s not really the same thing as being unemployed.)

On Wednesday night, the two men who want to be president squared off in a debate.

Each debater spoke for two minutes on topics such as healthcare, the American economy and how they would create new jobs for Americans if they are elected.

Romney’s foot was nowhere to be seen—at least, it wasn’t near his mouth.

According to many political commentators, he spoke well on the issues and seemed at ease.

Obama’s performance, on the other hand, wasn’t the slam-dunk people expected.

Barack Obama
Portrait of Barack Obama. Image: The Obama-Biden Transition Project.

He didn’t attack his opponent on his recent gaffes and he didn’t score any big points, some commentators said.

Many people think that Romney’s strong performance in the debate has put him back in the race.

There are two more presidential debates scheduled for Oct. 16 and Oct. 22 and the vice-presidential candidates (incumbent Joe Biden vs. Paul Ryan) will debate on Oct. 11 (9 p.m. EST).

Americans go to the polls on Nov. 6.

By Kathleen Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
Most people believe that Mitt Romney won this first debate.

How do you think someone can win a debate? What would they have to say or do to make them the better debater?

Reading Prompt: Text Patterns
Texts are often organized in ways that help us to read and understand the ideas in them. This article uses comparisons to explain the differences between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.

Read the article a second time. Identify and explain all of the different comparisons that are made in this article.

Identify a variety of organizational patterns in a range of texts and explain how they help readers understand the texts (OME, Reading: 2.2).

Analyse increasingly complex texts to identify organizational patterns used in them and explain how the patterns help communicate meaning (OME, Reading: 2.2).

Grammar Feature: Idiom
An idiom is an expression where the words may not mean the same as they sound. For example, Mitt Romney wasn’t actually going to put “his foot in his mouth”; he was potentially going to say something embarrassing or incorrect.

Read the following idioms below and guess what they mean:
1. It is raining cats and dogs.
2. He was tickled pink by the news that he made the basketball team.
3. She went home because she was feeling as sick as a dog.
4. The sound of the trumpet is driving him up the wall.
5. The girl said she would hand in her homework when pigs fly.