By Azhar AlFadl, Niki Blasina, Aram Chung, Anna Goldenberg, Nikolas Iubel and Ellie Ismailidou
Instant polls show that President Obama performed slightly better than his challenger, Mitt Romney, in Tuesday’s debate. But how did the candidates play overseas? We gauged reaction from German, Greek, Korean, Portuguese and Spanish news outlets and Twitter users.
All over the world there was agreement that Obama was better, and more aggressive, than in the first debate.
Obama goes back to being Obama, read the headline for an analysis piece published by Antonio Caño, the U.S. correspondent of the Spanish newspaper El Pais.
Not ‘too polite’ this time: Obama fights back, the Austrian newspaper Die Presse wrote, commenting that Obama was better than Romney in empathizing with the audience, seeking eye contact and mentioning his own family.
Obama and Romney raise pitch and attack each other, the Brazilian news outlet G1 reported.
In Canada, the Vancouver Sun’s headline read Obama razor sharp in high-stakes second debate with Romney.
Another weapon analogy appeared in Yonhap News, a Korean publication, which compared the debate to a spear-to-spear combat, with no shields.
Twitter users took a more skeptical, and sometimes light-hearted stance: “Obama’s more aggressive than in the first debate, but he attacks but can’t defend,” @jongheuk_kim from Korea tweeted.
“Top-performance from Barack Balboa!!” German-speaking user @kritikerpreis commented.
“Awoken Obama is already beating sleepy Obama from last debate…and maybe Romney too,” @jianghomeshi from Canada tweeted. Later, he added a different perspective: “This debate is getting intense, fiery and passionate. By which I mean Romney vs Crowley,” referring to moderator Candy Crowley of CNN. This comment was retweeted almost 200 times.
“If I was American, I’d vote for Candy Crowley,” Canadian @jordenfoss tweeted.
In Germany, @DasSiliel thought that Crowley was taking her role too far: “How the moderator chokes off everything and everyone…”
Different regions picked out different issues.
In Greece, Romney’s remark that Obama would put the U.S. “on a road to Greece” prompted a wide range of reactions.
Greece and its financial struggles were a central point of the second debate, wrote the conservative national newspaper Kathimerini.
The popular news website Newsbeast.gr featured an interview with the director of the Greek Foundation for European and External Policy, Thanos Veremis, who said Obama’s re-election would be beneficial to Greece.
On Twitter, comments were less moderate. “Romney tends to be racist against the Greeks,” @skathari wrote.
Greek @verrosc tweeted: “Don’t tell me that you believe that Romney knows that there is a country called Greece and where that is…”
Reporting from Latin America brought attention to immigration policy, which came up for the first time since in the presidential and vice-presidential debates.
For some, this was not enough: Guillermo from the Dominican Republic, tweeting as @Gapc83, wrote: “Again, the immigration topic was barely touched on. Neither Romney, nor Obama propose concrete policies for reform.”
A story in El Universal, one of Mexico’s main newspapers, led with the debate on immigration policy and Operation Fast and Furious.The failed operation led to the smuggling of guns that ultimately ended up on several Mexican crime scenes.
Korean Twitter users reacted to Romney’s remark that he would label China a currency manipulator. “It’s like if Romney becomes president, he’s going to start a currency w
ar with China… We could be crushed in between… Please let’s prepare for this…” @djthekid_tv wrote.
German-speaking news outlets paid attention to the news that Jill Stein, the Green party candidate for the presidential elections, was arrested outside the Hofstra University debate site. Schweizmagazin, a Swiss publication, commented: “Dictatorship USA: Obama puts opposition to jail.”