Content, Not Delivery: The Debate Transcript

Check out the raw version of last night's exchange.

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The analysis of last night’s debate includes plenty of talk about of eye contact, energy and body language. CNN wrote in this morning’s wrap-up: “Romney often looked more at ease than Obama. When speaking, Romney often looked directly at Obama, while the president mainly looked at the moderator or the cameras when he was speaking. And Obama looked down quite often while Romney was speaking.”

That’s all important, but it’s also interesting to take a look at words, separate from the optics. Here they are (including the all-too-common frustrating “[CROSSTALK]” moments when people were talking over each other and nothing was really heard), from the Washington Post’s full transcript. No, it still doesn’t include the phrases “47 percent” or “You’re a total liar,” but it might provide a slightly different view of last night’s exchange.

LEHRER: You have two minutes. Each of you have two minutes to start. A coin toss has determined, Mr. President, you go first.

OBAMA: Well, thank you very much, Jim, for this opportunity. I want to thank Governor Romney and the University of Denver for your hospitality.

There are a lot of points I want to make tonight, but the most important one is that 20 years ago I became the luckiest man on Earth because Michelle Obama agreed to marry me.

And so I just want to wish, Sweetie, you happy anniversary and let you know that a year from now we will not be celebrating it in front of 40 million people.


You know, four years ago we went through the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Millions of jobs were lost, the auto industry was on the brink of collapse. The financial system had frozen up.

And because of the resilience and the determination of the American people, we’ve begun to fight our way back. Over the last 30 months, we’ve seen 5 million jobs in the private sector created. The auto industry has come roaring back. And housing has begun to rise.