Town Hall Presidential Debate: Athenians Take on Presidential Issues

Opening Remarks

Last Monday, before the 2nd Presidential Debate, Athenian sophomores hosted a Mock Presidential Town Hall debate for the Upper School as part of their U.S. History studies.  Sophomores Lauren and Aaron represented President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney, respectively.  After opening remarks from each candidate, the speakers opened up the floor to the student body for questions.

Athenians’ Town Hall Questions: How do they stack up to the official Town Hall?

 Topic  Athenian Town Hall Question  Official Town Hall Question
Tough Question  How come you both have worked continuously to suppress the views of Dr. Jill Stein and Governor Gary Johnson who are running for the 3rd parties and how come they are not featured in today’s debate? Hi, Governor. I think this is a tough question. To each of you. What do you believe is the biggest misperception that the American people have about you as a man and a candidate? Using specific examples, can you take this opportunity to debunk that misperception and set us straight?
Jobs  Over the last 4 years, the unemployment numbers have risen 2%.  I’m wondering what Obama will do during the 2nd term to fix that. Mr. President, Governor Romney, as a 20-year-old college student, all I hear from professors, neighbors and others is that when I graduate, I will have little chance to get employment. What can you say to reassure me, but more importantly my parents, that I will be able to sufficiently support myself after I graduate?
 Energy  How is continuing to drill for oil in line with Romney’s idea of green energy?  Your energy secretary, Steven Chu, has now been on record three times stating it’s not policy of his department to help lower gas prices. Do you agree with Secretary Chu that this is not the job of the Energy Department?
 Taxes Romney, how do you plan to pay for a 20% reduction in taxes and a $2 trillion increase in military spending, specifically?  Governor Romney, you have stated that if you’re elected president, you would plan to reduce the tax rates for all the tax brackets and that you would work with the Congress to eliminate some deductions in order to make up for the loss in revenue.  Concerning the — these various deductions, the mortgage deductions, the charitable deductions, the child tax credit and also the education credits, which are important to me, because I have children in college. What would be your position on those things, which are important to the middle class?
 Romney  Romney, I understand you are a man of faith, specifically the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, that is a church of continued revelation. It’s possible that the president and prophet of that church, Thomas Monson, might have increased revelation.  How would Romney deal with that as far as his moral code and his responsibility to the people? Governor Romney, I am an undecided voter, because I’m disappointed with the lack of progress I’ve seen in the last four years. However, I do attribute much of America’s economic and international problems to the failings and missteps of the Bush administration.  Since both you and President Bush are Republicans, I fear a return to the policies of those years should you win this election. What is the biggest difference between you and George W. Bush, and how do you differentiate yourself from George W. Bush?
 Immigration  What is your approach to furthering border security?  Mr. Romney, what do you plan on doing with immigrants without their green cards that are currently living here as productive members of society?
 Foreign Policy  In the past, Israel has been one of America’s key allies in the middle east and during his term, President Obama has moved away from Israel.  What is his plan for protecting Israel and keeping them as an alliance? We were sitting around, talking about Libya, and we were reading and became aware of reports that the State Department refused extra security for our embassy in Benghazi, Libya, prior to the attacks that killed four Americans. Who was it that denied enhanced security and why?
 Gun Control  What are the candidates’ opinions on the 2nd amendment, the right to bare arms?  President Obama, during the Democratic National Convention in 2008, you stated you wanted to keep AK-47s out of the hands of criminals. What has your administration done or planned to do to limit the availability of assault weapons?
 Death Penalty  What are your views on the death penalty?  N/A
 Military Funding  Our military is already so strong and people who are in charge of the military say they don’t need more funding.  We are also trying to pull out of several wars right now.  Why do you think that funding more of the military when we’re trying to have less wars is a good idea?  N/A
 Debt  What would you do about the debt ceiling and our national debt in general?  N/A
 Women N/A  In what new ways to you intend to rectify the inequalities in the workplace, specifically regarding females making only 72 percent of what their male counterparts earn?
 Obama  N/A  Mr. President, I voted for you in 2008. What have you done or accomplished to earn my vote in 2012? I’m not that optimistic as I was in 2012. Most things I need for everyday living are very expensive.
 Outsourcing  N/A  The outsourcing of American jobs overseas has taken a toll on our economy. What plans do you have to put back and keep jobs here in the United States?