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Locals, Students Pack Debate Viewing Party in Stony Brook

Over 60 residents came out to watch Obama and Romney spar at The Bench.

Dozens of locals – and not-so-locals – packed The Bench in Stony Brook for a Live Viewing Party of the first presidential debate, a mix of more than 60 students, small business owners.

"It's so great to see so many members of the community come out to get informed and listen to the direction each candidate wants to take the country," said Kara Hahn, Suffolk County legislator representing the region. "I like the back and forth that has been going on, it is allowing a lot of depth."

The Denver face-off between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney face off in Denver moderated by PBS News Hour host Jim Lehrer started at 9 p.m., though locals started trickling in around 8:20 p.m. and enjoyed hors d'oeuvres for a while before it kicked off.

But when it was all over, reaction at the Patch-sponsored party over who "won" the debate was mixed.

"It was great watching Obama flounder," said Centereach resident Rod Morgensen. "He was speaking in generalities. He didn't get away with his typical stuff. Romney was clear, concise and specific."

Adam Newman, a Port Jefferson resident, disagreed.

"I think it's great that Obama said he wanted to close tax breaks for companies that outsource," he said. "It's about time someone does something to keep jobs in America."

Local Stony Brook University media, including the Stony Brook Statesman, Stony Brook Press, Smithtown Radio, and WUSB were in attendance.

One SBU student, Craig Stein, said he wasn't particularly impressed by either candidate.

"They're telling people what they want to hear," Stein said. "I didn't hear anything really interesting."

On Oct. 11, vice presidential nominees Joe Biden and Paul Ryan will face off in a debate of their own, followed by the second presidential debate on Oct. 16 at Hofstra University in Hempstead.

EG October 04, 2012 at 04:03 AM
Factcheck is a Bogus site. Obama actually came off dumber than Biden tonight.
janet dejesus October 04, 2012 at 08:12 AM
Obama from the start of term came in to sweep the mess that Bush left behind, so I think that he has came a long way. The both have to think about the lower class, not just the middle class.
LivingSmall October 04, 2012 at 01:28 PM
Do not forget that the last two years of Bush's second term were marked by a Democratic controlled Congress. Obama, as a member of Congress, was helping create the mess you're suggesting he is sweeping up. I don't dispute the fact that the candidates need to think about the lower class -- especially since an increasing number of middle class citizens are sliding into the lower class.
Marie Griffin October 04, 2012 at 02:31 PM
Yes. That's because he spends too much time trying to be a celebrity, and not enough time being a leader. Pres. please stay off the talk show circuit, it's really getting embarrassing! (and apparently not helping your debate skills) One thing was clear... if your not middle class - you don't count! So sad.
Rich T BIrd October 04, 2012 at 02:40 PM
All the comments regarding the debate(s) are/will be interesting. But, I would like it to be less of a food fight and more of a debate/discussion with real suggested solutions that touch the hot spot issues. Example of those issues: Realistic Immigration reform. Curtailing ObamaCare's overreach but supply examples of what's staying and what's going. "I have a plan" is NOT an answer. Taxes and Tax reform; what are you raising? what loopholes are you closing? Entitlements; what's being cut and what is the plan for revenue to sustain them? Unfortunately these are 3rd rails and no one is going to touch on them sufficiently.

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