On Fox News Channel’s wrap-up of Tuesday night’s presidential debate, Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer said President Barack Obama had won the contest, which he compared to a prize fight between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier.
“I think on points, if you were scoring it on points, Obama wins on points,” Krauthammer said. “He made a lot of counter-punches. He made a lot of accusations. He managed to get under Romney’s skin a little bit by referring to his wealth. He made $20 million a year trying to make a point about taxes, but it’s a way to say, ‘you’re a rich guy.’ How will you understand the ordinary guy? I thought there is a point where Romney did really well. I think all of us agree that was on the issue on the failure of this administration. When Romney went large, it he did well. When he went small, which he did here and there, I think Obama got the better of him.”
Krauthammer said Romney had failed to properly handle the topic of Libya during the debate.
“There is one critical issue in this debate: the Libya question,” Krauthammer said. “Obama was completely at sea. He was asked about the security in Libya and Benghazi. He didn’t try to answer because he had no answer. Instead he went on and on about how we’re going to catch these guys. Romney, I think had a huge opening that he missed. Obama ended by saying ‘I’m offended by implication we’d mislead.’ … You sent out your U.N. ambassador to mislead America on five television shows in one morning, implying it’s about a video, talking about a riot. There was none. There wasn’t a video in this issue in Benghazi.”
Obama had a bit of crucial help from the moderator, Candy Crowley, according to Krauthammer.
“And then, there was one tactical error Romney made, which was he kept asking the president questions,” Krauthammer said. “Every lawyer knows you never ask a question for which you don’t already have the answer in already have the answer in hand. And that gave Obama a chance to counter-punch. We’ve got Candy Crowley’s intervention, which is essentially incorrect, supporting Obama on the transcript. He did not call it a terror incident. There was a big opening that was missed. I think it was contaminated by the actions of the moderator. But again, on the big issue, that one where I think Romney could really have scored, he missed an opportunity. And that’s probably why, I think on points, Obama came out ahead.”
In the end, though, Krauthammer said the answers Obama offered could backfire on his campaign’s efforts.
“I think it will be a problem for the White House,” Krauthammer said. “They’ve told untruths, fictions.”