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AK Valley voters give edge to Romney after presidential debate

| Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012, 1:41 a.m.

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney was “strong and detailed” in his answers during the first presidential debate, and President Obama's supporters would like to have seen more from their candidate, said voters who spoke to the Valley News Dispatch after Wednesday's debate.

“President Obama was a little weak this evening,” said Cheryl Swank, 53, of Apollo, a Democrat. “I wasn't pleased at how he came across. But, still, if I had to vote this evening I'd still vote for President Obama.”

Romney and Obama participated in the first presidential debate held at the University of Denver. Topics included the economy, taxes and the role of the federal government in Americans' lives.

Local voters tended to support their party's candidate and disagreed on which man gave the thorough answers.

Thom King, 66, of New Kensington, a Democrat, said that although Romney appeared to have been more “forceful in terms of controlling the time he had,” Obama was the better candidate in terms of detailed answers.

“Romney would say things like ‘I'll create jobs,' but never once did he give anything specific in terms of how he could do it,” King said. “Obama gave several specifics in terms of what he plan is.”

Chris Masarik, 48, of Fawn, feels just the opposite.

“(Romney) gave more detail of how he was going to lower the deficit,” she said. “President Obama kept saying how he's done this and he's done that, but never laid out a plan.”

Masarik, a registered Democrat, said she's still undecided on whom she'll vote for in the presidential election.

Swank and King both said Romney “flip-flopped” on certain issues.

“I've followed President Obama and Romney for months, and Romney completely changed his tune about everything this evening,” Swank said.

“For how long has we been listening to clips of Romney talking about the 47 percent (of Americans who feel they are entitled to government aid), and yet this evening he comes out and all he wants to talk about is how he's for the middle class and he's against tax breaks for the rich.”

However, Dennis Haracznak, 74, of Arnold, a Republican, said Romney was clear winner on all fronts.

“I think he came out nicely. He was strong and forceful and detailed,” he said. “Obama was good, but he wasn't as good as he is with a teleprompter.”

In the next two debates, Nedra Ameno, 51, a Leechburg Democrat, said she hopes to see the “president I voted for.

“While I didn't like what I saw tonight,” she said, “I will still back my candidate.”

Jodi Weigand is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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