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Presidential debate reaction mixed in Placer County

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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AUBURN CA - Peering through the fog of campaign rhetoric, the second of three debates between Gov. Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama was resonating Wednesday in Placer County. But the vibrations were skewing in either candidate’s direction, depending on who you talked to, and what side of the political fence they were leaning toward – particularly residents with a penchant for political or community activism. Tuesday night’s debate found Republican Chris Reams, a retired Auburn Police officer who is himself running for a Foresthill Fire Protection District seat, declaring some wins on both sides. “I thought Obama won the talk on women but Romney did better on all the rest,” Reams said. “I think Romney missed an opportunity to smack him one on Libya because, clearly, the president isn’t accurate on what he’s saying.” After two debates, Obama is playing catch-up while Romney seems to have the facts in his favor because of the poor economy and jobs picture, Reams said. Democratic Darlis Beale, a volunteer at the Placer County Democratic Party office in Penryn, said that after almost two years of campaigning, nothing in the debate stood out from what has been said before. A member of the Democratic Central Committee, Beale said Obama did a fabulous job on Tuesday. “He was very clear and concise on the issues,” Beale said. “Mitt Romney rattled on and on and on about a lot of stuff.” Dianne Foster, on of eight candidates vying for five slots on the Foresthill Public Utility District board, said it was Romney who did the great job of debating. Foster is a Republican. “I also thought Obama lied on Libya,” Foster said. “The whole world knows, anyone who watches FOX-News or listens to the radio knows, he didn’t say there had been a terrorist attack for two weeks. There was lie after lie.” Romney came out as a clear winner in the second debate, Foster said. “I was impressed,” Foster said. “He stood his ground and didn’t let Obama push him around.” Gary Johnson, a Placer County Republican Central Committee member running for a seat on the Placer Hills Fire Protection District, said he voted four years ago for Obama but won’t be doing so this time around. “Romney was far better at supporting his side and outlook for the future by improving the economy and creating jobs,” Johnson said. “And there were problems with the president’s version of what happened in Libya.” Paul Berger, president of the Auburn Area Democratic Club, said that he’s very pleased with the president’s performance in the debate. “He showed the kind of passion for justice we’ve come to know him for,” Berger said. “He was forthright, direct and wouldn’t let Romney get away with statements he’s made.” Berger said that viewers watched as Romney tried to sell himself as a moderate after running in the primaries as a conservative. “He’ll say anything to get elected and doesn’t stand for anything,” Berger said. “He doesn’t have a viable plan to cut taxes and bring down the deficit and when pressed to tell the American people what he would eliminate, he can’t do it. He has a sketchy plan that’s really wishful thinking.” In general, Berger said he’s pleased with Obama’s performance and believes it may reverse any Romney momentum that may have come from first debate.