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Following the Denver debate on Storify

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The Obama - Romney Denver debate

Chicago Sun-Times columnists and reporters will be livetweeting the Denver presidential debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Follow along here, at, or via Twitter.

Storified by Chicago Sun-Times · Thu, Oct 04 2012 10:46:25

Live tweets, blogging, thoughts and reactions from tonight's debate:

Back in the saddle! Here's our roundup of debate fact-checks so far. What else should we check? Use #PolitiFactThis
They should bring in Carol Marin to moderate the next #debate. She would have stopped the filibustering.Mark Brown
To steal from National League's #2 wild card, it will be a #happyflight for Romney. Less so on Air Force One. #debateMark Brown
When CNN says perception is POTUS "appeared listless" and MSNBC says Team Obama may have to change strategy, well.Richard Roeper
Chris Matthews on MSNBC just tearing into POTUS. "Where was Obama? What was Romney doing tonight? He was WINNING!"Richard Roeper
9:38 | NEIL STEINBERG: They're running the highlights reel. Once was plenty. See you all Oct. 11 .... drive safely. 
# debate -- So box score, Romney bests Obama on points, lives to fight another day.Neil Steinberg
No mention of 47 percent or Bain during #debate, Blitzer notes. Hadn't thought of it. He's right. #denverdebateMark Brown
#debate -- CBS calls it "a very lively evening." You've got to be kidding....Neil Steinberg
Except for the most committed, Obama fans are going to wonder why he didn't bring his A game. #debateMark Brown
Bad form for Romney to don that "2012 Champions" hat and T-shirt onstage.Richard Roeper
9:33 | Steve Huntley: I know this debate was about domestic policy, but moderator Jim Lehrer missed an opportunity in not bringing up the top foreign policy issue of the day -- Libya and all the questions surrounding the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens.
#debate -- Free at last, until Oct. 11. Both run into the arms of their loved ones. And so to bed.Neil Steinberg
#debate Expectations for this debate were that Obama had far less to lose but Romney had to gain. And did gain---a little.Carol Marin
#debate -- Now Romney, he's concerned about America. Shadows under his eyes. Like a Disney anamatronic. Promising pie in the sky a jobs...Neil Steinberg
9:30 | Steve Huntley: Obama complains about Romney not offering specifics but packs his closing statement with vague generalities and platitudes.
#debate -- he keeps looking up with an "is this over" expression. Now, "fight every single day." A little flash. But not enough.Neil Steinberg
When POTUS finishes this speech, Romney should just say, "I'm good."Richard Roeper
Regardless of who you support, it's tough to make the argument Obama won this debate. This was a good night for Romney.Richard Roeper
#debate "Terrific debate" said Obama.Carol Marin
#debate -- Obama is thanking people in his two minutes. Now a history lesson. He likes the American people. He met a woman who has a job.Neil Steinberg
9:27 | NEIL STEINBERG: Obama ends as he began, looking tired and little hesitant. His trademark eloquence just not there, completely. Not that he did poorly. But he left Romney standing. 
#Debate #DenverDebate Obama's best takedown: How will Romney be able to work with Democrats if on Day One he wants to repeal ObamacareLynn Sweet
9:25 | Steve Huntley: In answering what to do about the gridlock in Washington, Romney cites his record of working with an 85 percent Democratic legislature and cited that as evidence he could get Washington working again.
#debate Three minutes can feel like three hours in a debate like this.Carol Marin
#debate Four minutes left. Obama--is there a response to Romney's last filibuster?Carol Marin
9:24 | Mary Mitchell: Romney's : "You are entitled to your own airplane and your own house, but not to your own facts."---Zinger. But does that make Romney more likeable to the undecideds?
And we have an instant @SilentJimLehrer Twitter account, with 3,500 Followers and counting...Richard Roeper
The 'spot' on Romney's flag pin is the Secret Service star logo, given to him by his security. That's pretty cool.Richard Roeper
#debate Okay, time to talk about this debate format. Not working. Not working.Carol Marin
9:19 | Mary Mitchell: Gov. Romney is a great matter what the question,  Romney was able to turn the response into an opportunity to attack Obama's position on every issue.
@MittRomney says America must: "Maintain our commitment to religious toleranance and freedom in this country." #Denverdebatenatasha korecki
9:18 | Steve Huntley: Romney again turns the liberals' "trickle down" phrase against Obama by talking about how "trickle down government" has failed to bring prosperity to the country.
@MittRomney: "We know the path we're taking is not working, it's time for a new path." #Denverdebatenatasha korecki
There he goes again. "Trickle down government." Have to admit its kinda catchy. #debate #denverdebateMark Brown
@MittRomney: "I don't believe in cutting the military, I believe in maintaining the strength of our military." #Denverdebatesnatasha korecki
Obama: "The genius in America is the free enterprise system." #Denverdebatenatasha korecki
#CNN time clock has Obama 3 mins ahead on time before even starting this answer. #debate #denverdebateMark Brown
#debate Do I feel more secure if a private insurance company decides I don't really need a new knee? Who do I appeal to?Carol Marin
Mitt likes Arne Duncan. Has said nice things about him before.Lynn Sweet
I can't believe Don Draper has pulled off another identity switch. He's utterly convincing as the GOP candidate. #DebateRichard Roeper
#Debate Mitt soundbite "It is time for a new path"Lynn Sweet
#Debate Mitt ...ya may not agree with him, but much crisper on what the role of government is.. Point is for style, not substance.Lynn Sweet
#Debate Obama on Better Together. Thats from Saguaro Seminar on Civic Engagement..Obama an alum...way back in the dayLynn Sweet
#debate Will Bill Clinton please step in and explain this in distinctly clear terms?Carol Marin
Romney: "private market and individual responsibility always work best." Hasn't worked great in health care. #debate #denverdebateMark Brown
#debate "I like the way we did it in Massachusetts." Romneycare but not Obamacare because of who voted for it?Carol Marin
Romney:Republican genius -- fail to cooperate and then blame Obama for not having Republican involvement.Neil Steinberg
9:02 | Steve Huntley: Romney scores again by noting that Romneycare passed with bipartisan support in Massachusetts while Obamacare squeaked through on a strictly partisan vote.
#debate The candidates have to stop moderating the moderator.Carol Marin
Are people who AREN'T be paid to watch this still tuning in? Or is it just pundits?Neil Steinberg
8:58 | Steve Huntley: Romney scores again by tagging Obama for spending 2 years passing Obamacare instead of working to fix the economy.
Romney delivers his set piece against ObamaCare to good effect, then seals it with a well-earned smirk at the end.Neil Steinberg
8:57 | Steve Huntley: Romney succinctly sums up the cause of the Great Recession as too many unqualified people getting loans to buy homes they couldn't afford.
Can"t blame Romney for talking over Lehrer. He's consistently had less time than Obama. #debate #denverdebateMark Brown
"Does anybody think the big problem we had was too much regulation of Wall Street"? Nice one, Mr. President.Neil Steinberg
8:53 | Mary Mitchell:  Romney's quite a fast talker or at least that's how he's coming off in the debate.
Glanced at the Twitter feed -- if the whole world is tweeting, who's reading it?Neil Steinberg
8:52 | Mary Mitchell: Obama has the habit of letting his opponent cut him off. He did that during his debates with Hillary Clinton. He's letting  Romney cross talk him too much.
Romney walking thin line. Assertive is good. Talking too much over the moderator can backfire.Richard Roeper
8:51 | NEIL STEINBERG -- Mitt Romney is a fan of regulation, because regulation tells you which Caribbean islands to stash his money on. 
Obama scores with terrified seniors and we soon-to-be terrified seniors. Mention Romney's emergency room plan.Neil Steinberg
8:50 | RICHARD ROEPER: We're near the halfway point of the debate, which is already running long, ala the Academy Awards. Maybe they should have had an orchestra in the pit to "play off" the candidates when their speeches ran long.
#debate STOP them. And get this organized.Carol Marin
8:49 | Steve Huntley: Romney scores a strong point in noting that the idea to inject competition into Medicare originated in the Clinton administration.
#debate Romney now firing the insurance companies?Carol Marin
Obama should explain why he has become fond of the term Obamacare. #debate #denverdebateMark Brown
Romney seems more focused and on point so far. POTUS saying "uh" too much, doesn't seem energized.Richard Roeper
#DEbate #PresidentialDebate Mitt mis-leading about supposed $716 billion in Medicare cuts...that's future cuts to providers, not patients.Lynn Sweet
#debate Enough with the grandmother. We know the story and appreciate it already. Did so four years ago.Carol Marin
8:43 | Mary Mitchell: Romney has already landed a few key punches, such as "I don't know what you are talking about."
Bain had nothing to do with shipping jobs overseas? #debateRoger Ebert
Main takeaway so far: these guys have done a good job of memorizing their talking points. Not much else. #debate #denverdebateMark Brown
#Debate #PresidentialDebate Obama on entitlements...will he bring up 47 per centers??Lynn Sweet
@MittRomney says he's never heard of a tax break for taking companies overseas: "I may have to get a new accountant." #Denverdebatesnatasha korecki
Stop these guys and make them shape up, now! #debateCarol Marin
8:39 | Steve Huntley: "50 years of what oil and gas receive" -- Romney delivers in a telling way how much more taxpayer money goes to green energy than oil and gas.
#Debate #PresidentialDebate Mitt finally mentions Solyndra--took him 38 minutes...but no folo up --so farLynn Sweet
8:39 | CAROL MARIN: Romney: "I like green energy as well" doesn't ring out as loving green energy.
#debate 39 minutes in, people. Can you summarize so far?Carol Marin
@BarackObama hitting @MittRomney on corporate tax breaks: "The oil industry gets $4 billion a year in ... corporate welfare." #Denverdebatenatasha korecki
#Debate...Obama better tax equity argument. Soundbite-- "Does anyone think Exon Mobil needs more money?"Lynn Sweet
8:35 | NEIL STEINBERG: Mitt doesn't want to go down the path to Spain. I don't know, I hear Spain is nice. Tapas. Lots of sun. Bullfights....
Romney's promise to cut help for PBS won't go over well with millions watching debate on PBS. #debateRoger Ebert
8:34 | Steve Huntley: Romney scores big by noting that the economy is growing more slowly now than when Obama extended all the Bush tax cuts because it would hurt a weak economy, but that now Obama wants to raise taxes on job creators.
I'm more of a Cookie Monster guy myself. #debateMark Brown
8:32 | Mary Mitchell:  Romney: I like big bird. I like you too (to Jim Lehrer ) really, really? 
Obama specific on deficit. Romney recites generalizations. No specifics. #debateRoger Ebert
@MittRomney says he "loves" Sesame Street and Jim Lehrer but: "I'm going to stop the subsidy to PBS." #debatenatasha korecki
#debate If Romney is going to undercut Big Bird, what the heck does this mean for Elmo. DO NOT HURT Elmo!Carol Marin
If people want a debate with no real control by the moderator, they're getting it. #debate #denverdebateMark Brown
Did Romney say he was going to kill Big Bird?Carol Marin
#Debate Mitt on his cuts...well done in personal touch with Obamacare, PBS...though he likes Big BirdLynn Sweet
8:29 | NEIL STEINBERG: Obama is on the defensive -- that's bad, for him. 
"I'm sorry, Jim, I'll stop subsidy to PBS"?#debateCarol Marin
LIVE from the Emanuel debate watching party - Sun-Times PoliticsSun-Times reporter Mitch Dudek is following Mayor Rahm Emanuel tonight -- watching the debate in Alderman Michelle Harris' family room --...
Oh no, now Romney is doing math!Carol Marin
Obama needs to use the "Bush" word. #debateRoger Ebert
Arguing about who gets the first and last word...bad idea. #debateCarol Marin
"Bill Clinton"....second reference by name, second reference by math & arithmetic.#debateCarol Marin
#Debate Obama couldn't help himself...telling Jim Lehrer he might want to move on to another topic. Deduct 1 point.Lynn Sweet
"Math", "Arithmetic"....can you guys do some calculus? #debateCarol Marin
Romney's tight little pitying smile. #debateRoger Ebert
8:22 | Steve Huntley: Romney makes a strong point in that Obama's plan would raise taxes on employers who hire a quarter of all workers.
#Debate Moderator Jim Lehrer perhaps too laid back toniteLynn Sweet
8:21 | Mary Mitchell:  It's math. It's so.
Density of data...for both these guys...does not necessarily yield clarity.#debateCarol Marin
8:21 | Steve Huntley: "Donald Trump doesn't like to think of himself as small anything" -- weak Obama joke falls flat. Did hear a single laugh.
#Debate Obama soundbite "His big bold idea is never mind"Lynn Sweet
Romney: I will not reduce the taxes paid by high income Americans. Rich people scratching their heads: he won"t?#debateMark Brown
8:18 | Steve Huntley: Obama cites a discredit study alleging Romney's tax plan would raise taxes on the middle class.
#Debate...Will Romney be pressured to name some tax breaks he will end?Lynn Sweet
8:18 | Mary Mitchell: Gov. Romney's:  I've got five boys I am used to people saying something that is not true but think I'll believe it because they keep saying it---that may not be a direct quote, but you get the point--zinger.
8:17 | Steve Huntley: Good Romney line about Obama's misrepresentation of his tax plan: "I've got five boys, so I'm used to people saying something and hoping I'll believe it."
8:17 | CAROL MARIN: Romney trying to cram too many facts into one answer. Obama responds...a bit more slowly...Romney jumps in...And Lehrer tries...but does not interrupt. He needs to start showing some muscle early on these guys.
#Debate...Obama--who has been told to be concise--is rambling on tax caught in trap of quarreling over $5 trillion tax cutLynn Sweet
8:16 | Mary Mitchell: President Obama had better start lobbing some zingers of his own.
Just off-camera, Emmett Smith waiting in the wings with Just For Men for both candidates. Could be a game-changer! #DebateRichard Roeper
8:15 | NEIL STEINBERG: No wonder we focus on zingers -- 20 seconds of wonky tax talk and we start to glaze over. "Why this is hell, nor am I out of it." Christopher Marlowe. 
8:14 | MARY MITCHELL:  Romney is lobbing some zingers---"not due to his policy in spite of his policy" response on the energy question was a good one.
#debate On Ties: Obama blue state blue; Romney red state red. Just wanted to point out...Lynn Sweet
8:12 | CAROL MARIN: Obama:  "I want to hire...I want to pass"....first person commander-in-chief.... Romney: Lehrer asks if he has a question for President...Sure, he says.  But offers statement. Jim Lehrer has a tough job here.
Switchero. Romney says *Obama* in favor of trickle-down. #debateRoger Ebert
The proverbial lady with a baby. #debateRoger Ebert
#debate -- Did Mitt forget to cut his hair? He doesn't look afraid -- just sort of low-level hysterical.Neil Steinberg
8:08 | Steve Huntley: Romney cuts to the heart of the choice in this campaign: big government vs. limited government.
#Debate Obama's phrase "economic patriotism" has been in play for a few weeksLynn Sweet
8:08 | Steve Huntley: Romney offers crisp summation of his campaign promises.
8:08 | Steve Huntley: Romney gets off to a good start with telling ancedotes of people suffering in the poor economy.
Mitt scores. More comfortable. Classy followup to Obama's greetingNeil Steinberg
8:07 | Steve Huntley: The term "economic patriotism" sounds increasingly shallow.
Obama has fear in his eyes.Neil Steinberg
8:06 | Steve Huntley: Obama kicks off debate with familiar campaign rhetoric mis-characterizing Romney's tax position.
He could have waited to work the anniversary line into the debate. Trivialized an important question.Mark Brown
Anniversary greetings? Really? Hmmmm....Neil Steinberg
Blue and red ties -- geez, it's like a uniform.Neil Steinberg

The pre-debate reporting and tweeting:

7:59 | MARY MITCHELL:  Why is Valerie Jarrett wearing that fuddy duddy shawl? And why a coin toss to introduce the wives of candidate. Michelle Obama is the first lady!!!! She should have been introduced first.
7:54 | NEIL STEINBERG: So if we consider each six-minute segment of the 90 minute debate a "round," then which round of the 15 round match will be the deciding one? I almost said Obama delivers a KO in the 9th, but that sounds too partisan, and I still sort of hope he has some kind of gibbering Captain Queeg-like breakdown, cause really, who expects that? 
#debate -- Ten minute til -- the popcorn is popping in the kitchen. Too soon? Too late now, we've passed the point of no return, popcornwiseNeil Steinberg
Oh wow, @ebertchicago is live Tweeting this. Get ready for some SCORCHING critiques of the camera angles. #debatePatton Oswalt
#Debate moderator Jim Lehrer admonishing audience to...he is saying it shut up and not cheer and clapLynn Sweet
7:50 | NEIL STEINBERG -- So you think Jon Stewart moderates the debate four years from now? I'd pay to see that.  Assuming of course we still have a democracy then.....
#Debate...Ann Romney in white, Michelle Obama in blueLynn Sweet
#Debate Ann Romney, Michelle Obama HUG in debate hall....Lynn Sweet
#debate -- The pre-debate spin seems to be all about emotion, one-liners, body language. Thank God there aren't any problems facing the USA.Neil Steinberg
Finally, a celeb! Dennis Miller, supporting actor in the1995 techie thriller "The Net," which holds up SO well! #DebateRichard Roeper
#Debate Michelle Obama sitting next to Valerie Jarrett in the debate hall...Today is Obamas' 20th anniversaryLynn Sweet
Mitts pre debate dinner: BBQ sandwhich, spaghetti from Cheesecake Factory #DebateLynn Sweet
#debate -Which network to watch?. As a longtime Uncle Walt fan, CBS is default -- or Fox for its buffoonery, jaw-dropping-bias? CBS wins.Neil Steinberg
#debate -- Another issue -- can we swear in our tweets? We haven't been briefed on that. One hand: not the paper. The other: representing itNeil Steinberg
#debate -- Forget the drama of the debates -- with all these journalists tweeting on the fly, who is going to commit a career-ending gaffe?Neil Steinberg
6:50 | Mitt Romney had debate prep refueling at Chipotle on Tuesday. Jim Acosta reports on CNN that he hit the Cheesecake Factory Wednesday evening for hit pre-debate last meal. But did he go for the Old Fashioned Burger? Or the Over-The-Top Meatloaf Sandwich?
Your Sun-Times favs live blog on the debate. At And catch theirs and others' Tweets at Fornek
This is the worst red carpet ever. I don't recognize half of these people. #DebateRichard Roeper
#Debate Debate hall beginning to fill up..Campaigns were given tickets to distribute....Easy stroke for big donors...Lynn Sweet
Sweet blog Aaron Sorkin #debate: If he were directing Obama, Romney Sweet
#debate --- Immediacy is the enemy of accuracy. Newton M. Minow -- one "n" -- if he thought TV was a vast Wasteland, what does he call this?Neil Steinberg
No truth to rumors Obama is going to slap Presidential Seal on his lectern, say, "How you like me now?" drop mic and walk off.Richard Roeper
Sun-Times pundits live-tweet and blog. Brown, Mitchell, Marin, Huntley, Roeper, Steinberg and me. Bookmark: Ebert
#debate More in the Spin Room: Sen. Marco Rubio, Colorado Gov. Hickenlooper, former Sen. Simpson...OFA's Katie Hogan is in the house....Lynn Sweet
Aaron Sorkin #debate: If he were directing Obama, Romney - Lynn Sweet(video by Lynn Sweet) DENVER, COL.--Aaron Sorkin--writer and creator of the West Wing and The Newsroom,--now playing on HBO--was asked We...
Yes, we will be live-tweeting tonight's debate! There's also our Argument Ender app. Details:
Tonight's fact-checking team (1 of 2) @AdairPolitiFact @amy_hollyfield @angieholan @asharock @loujacobson @bbowerstimesPolitiFact
Tonight's fact-checking team (2 of 2) @mollymoorhead @jonzgreenberg @katielsanders @amysherman2 @jbwogan @kelly_dyerPolitiFact
What I wrote after the 2008 Obama-McCain debate. #debateRoger Ebert
Giuliani for Mitt, Wasserman Schultz for Obama making the rounds of the media center before the debate...Lynn Sweet
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel declares debate winner--before it happens - Sun-Times Politics: korecki
If CNN is going to insist on calling this "Debate Night in America," echoing the feel of "Football Night in America," we may need a tailgate:
2012 Presidential Debate Drinking GameThe Mitt Romney/Barack Obama debates are finally here - which means it's time for the 2012 Presidential Debate Drinking Games! So stock u...
The Ultimate Debate Drinking Game for Women. #debateRoger Ebert
Sweet blog Obama arrives at debate: Check out his motorcade Sweet
How Obama can win a debate without saying a word: Just have the candidates walk in on a runway. #DebateRoger Ebert
Obama and Romney as Debaters James Fallows in The Atlantic. #DebateRoger Ebert
#debate. Festive atmosphere at debate site, University of Denver Sweet
#debate pre-debate: politics as theater w Aaron Sorkin, Simpson, Todd & Shorenstein Center Jones Sweet
#debate Tweeting on debate tonight. My money is on President Obama. Unflappable vs. Stiff as a board.Mary Mitchell
#debate #Coheartland Colorado Gov Hickenlooper: attack ads have limits. Pepsi never attacks CokeLynn Sweet
Obama, Romney hunker down for debate prep - Chicago Sun-TimesBy JULIE PACE Associated Press Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney leaves his campaign headquarte...
"First Debate Usually Helps Challenger in Polls," sez Nate Silver, the NYTimes' number cruncher. #DebateRoger Ebert
#debate @debate Obama will get the first question at the debate, according to Presidential Debate Commission co-chair FahrenkopfLynn Sweet
Reuters: "The public expectation is that Obama is going to clean his clock." #DebateRoger Ebert
Sweet blog Obama's Stephanie Cutter Pre Debate memo and video Sweet
Sweet blog Republican National Committee Pre-Debate Video Sweet
Romney has chance to reverse '47%' momentum - Chicago Sun-TimesBY LYNN SWEET Twitter: @lynnsweet A worker labels chairs in the Magness Arena at the Daniel L. Ritchie Center for Sports and Wellness, si...
Tonight's Obama/Romney debate...what are we looking for? Marin
In THIS corner, in the blue trunks weighing in at 175 pounds: Mitt RRRomney!Debate? What debate? - Chicago Sun-Times: Steinberg
I feel like it's Superbowl Saturday. #DebateRoger Ebert
#Debate @Debate Just arrived Denver. Great weather.. Obama, in Nevada--breaking from debate prep-- visited Hoover Dam on Tuesday.Lynn Sweet
Sweet blog Romney does improv before debate: Funny or Die new video Sweet
Sweet blog Obama debating Rep. Rush on WTTW in 2000: RNC revives clips Sweet
Sweet blog Debate zingers: What's at risk for Obama, Romney Sweet
Sun-Times columnists live-tweet about debate. Marin, Mitchell, Roeper, Steinberg, Brown, Huntley and me. Bookmark: Ebert

Contributing to this live report:

Roger Ebert (@ebertchicago) Richard Roeper (richardroeper) Lynn Sweet (@lynnsweet) Natasha Korecki (@natashakorecki) Mark Brown (@markbrowncst) Carol Marin (@carolmarin) Neil Steinberg (@neilsteinberg) Thomas Frisbie (@thomasfrisbie)

You can always find more political coverage and Chicago Sun-Times political reporting at the following locations:The Sun-Times politics blog Election central at Lynn Sweet's blog The Sun-Times on Twitter (@suntimes)

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