At the second presidential debate, the candidates' final question what what they believed to be the biggest misconception about them as human beings, and what they could say to dispel it.
"I care about 100 percent of the American people," Romney said, addressing criticism made at a fundraiser regarding 47 percent of Americans who do not pay federal taxes. "My passion probably flows from the fact that I believe in God," Romney continued, in a rare example of the candidate discussing his religious beliefs. Romney referenced having gone on a mission for the Mormon Church and volunteer work he did while serving as a pastor. "I've sat across the table from people who were out of work," Romney said, "and worked with them to try and find new work or to help them through tough time."
Referencing an earlier comment from Romney, Obama said the biggest misconception about him is the accusation that he believes government is the main driver of job creation.
"I believe in self-reliance and individual initiative and risk takers being rewarded," Obama said. "But I also believe that everybody should have a fair shot."
Obama used much of his remaining time to return to one of his campaign's favorite moments: "When [Gov. Romney] said behind closed doors that 47 percent of the country considered themselves victims who refuse personal responsibility, think about who he was talking about," he said, citing military veterans, students and senior citizens. "I want to fight for them ... because if they succeed, I believe the country succeeds."
President Obama concluded the debate. He captured significantly more speaking time than Romney, 44:04 to 40:50, respectively.
It was the largest gap in speaking times so far through the first three debates.
- Politics & Government