Patch held it's Presidential Debate watching party in the Tri-Valley on Wednesday, talking with East Bay leaders to get their first impressions of the debate.
After President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney finished their debate, we turned the questions to our attendees. This is what they told us:
Greg Tomlinson, Dublin school board
I think the expectations weren't particularly high for (Romney). Everyone said Mr. Obama was going to do really, really well, but I think Mr. Romney was really good at specific ideas and sources to backup his proposals. He didn't speak too much on generalities, but I thought they both had good points on various subjects.
Eric Swalwell, Democratic Congressional candidate
For the debate tonight, it was really two different visions of how they want to lead in America. I think you can distill it down to one vision that says every person is on their own and another version that says we are all in this together. I would rather be in the we're all in this together vision, because I think we are. I think the president did a great job expressing this.
Al Philips, Republican Assembly candidate
(The debate) was awesome. Both started out polite. I don't think it was wise to spend the first minute talking about his wife and Romney continued that pattern. The moderator didn't get on top of it...Romney had bullet points he used very clearly and he kept going back to his talking points. Obama's thoughts were circular. After four years, he should have a better sense of his policies.
Ellen Corbett, Democratic State Senator
From the very beginning of the debate (Obama) definitely knew the issues. He had a command of the subject matter, wasn't speaking with cliches, he was speaking with great experience and empathy...As an elected official that has an opportunity to live in the community closely, as opposed to the president that has millions of constituents, I was just so impressed with his sincerity and command with what every day people encounter in this economy.
Corbett on green jobs:
Companies that are hiring people in this area are green energy and green tech businesses. They have been successful and very successful in this economy. As a California state senator who watches these trends, we are very excited that exports are up in California right now, mostly driven by green technology exports. So to have someone running for president talk about green technology as a bad thing — I just see him as totally our of touch with what's going on here in the Bay Area.
Eric Muetteries, Dublin business owner
I am more of a fiscal conservative than a Republican...I would rather see someone more conservative and was not a Romney fan but I was impressed with his grasp of the facts...I am very skeptical of all politicians. I am a regular Wall Street Journal reader and a lot of what I heard tonight was Obama twisting facts where Romney came right out.
Amy Miller, Dublin school board
I think Romney comes from a different perspective and a state with a different tax structure and funds education in a very different way. When I look at education, I look at the California tax structure and we are one of the four states that doesn't comply with 'Race to the Top,' and I just think more needs to be done. I think Obama had a much stronger case for education than Romney did. (Romney) made me feel like California was going to be left in the dust.
Shelby McNamara, Danville chamber chief executive
Danville is an affluent community but our shops, they are hanging on by a thread some of them. How are we going to get between now and Christmas. It's a day-to-day proposition. Stores are closing. There needs to be a real plan...Everybody says what they are going to do — 'they are going to create more jobs' — but how are you going to create the income for the people to shop...I just don't see it yet, I don't feel comfortable.
David Behring, Danville Rotary
I have been a Republican but can vote depending on the issues. I am a Romney supporter and I think Romney is better prepared. Obama was more personable and it helped. It was obvious they had a lot of points they each wanted to make.
Denise Holt, Dublin resident and mother
I am a Obama supporter and definitely not a Romney supporter. It is not a Democrat/Republican decision, it is about the candidate and not the party...In my opinion, Romney has disconnected from half of the country. The 47 percent are not all people on welfare refusing to take responsibility.