It was a confrontational town-hall style presidential debate Tuesday night at Hofstra University.
In the second presidential debate, analysts say the president brought the energy he lacked in his previous performance.
“I think both men drew blood from the opponent, they really exploited the weaknesses of the other candidate,” said speaking coach Mark Grimm. “The president needed to be more assertive, and he was.”
But once again, Romney is coming under fire for an unpopular choice of words.
He ousted Big Bird in the first debate, and this time, he sparked a wave of criticism for how he spoke about finding women to fill his cabinet.
“I went to a number of women's groups and said, ‘Can you help us find folks?’ And they brought us whole binders full of women,” Romney said.
Wednesday, a Romney campaign surrogate tried to calm the controversy.
“That may not have been my choice of words, or your choice of words,” said Rep. Marsha Blackburn. “The point is this: he made a concerted effort to find qualified women who wanted to submit their resumes and were looking for that opportunity.”
The phrase quickly became a trending topic on Twitter and a new website.
During that controversial remark, Romney referred to a 2004 study conducted at UAlbany.
“The University of New York in Albany did a survey of all 50 states and concluded that my mine had more women in senior leadership positions than any other state in America," said Romney.
Retired Director of the Center for Women in Government and Civil Society Judith Saidel authored the study, which collected data on gender, race, and ethnicity of top gubernatorial appointees in all 50 states.
“To have a study actually surface in a presidential debate with millions of people watching was an extraordinary moment,” Saidel said.
However, Saidel says Romney’s quote was inaccurate. She says although Massachusetts did rank first, it was in terms of a ratio comparing the percentage of women appointed to the percentage of women in the state.
“Instead, he talked about number of women he had appointed as being higher than any other states and that was not precise. Actually, 21 other states had more women appointees than Massachusetts did,” explained Saidel.
President Obama and Mitt Romney will square off one more time before the election at the third and final debate on Monday night, October 22.