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Economy central issue after debate

Published: Friday, October 12, 2012

Updated: Friday, October 12, 2012 01:10

Vice presidential debate

David Cohen

Election debates are often characterized by strong opinions, bold statements and multiple interruptions, with the the vice presidential debate of the 2012 election being no exception.

Thursday night’s debate, between Vice President Joe Biden and Romney running mate Congressman Paul Ryan, made history as the first between two Catholics with the largest age difference. It was a debate over foreign policy, tax cuts and health care, as well as a battle of experience versus youth. Social media sites lit up with opinions on the winner and arguments over misleading facts during the course of the discussions.

The theme of the debate was best summed up by the mediator’s quote about a highly decorated soldier.

“These campaigns are tearing each other down instead of building this country up.”

Vice President Biden was caught many times interrupting Congressman Ryan and making bold statements against his policies.

“These guys bet against America all the time,” Biden said. “If [the Republicans] would get out of the way and let us pass the tax cut for the middle class, America would be better off.”

Between the smattering of insults and allegations the candidates made against each other, they kept a bit of light-hearted humor in the picture. Congressman Ryan had the audience laughing with one of his statements.

“I think people will be better educated if we don’t interrupt each other,” Ryan said. “I don’t always mean the things that come out of my mouth, and I’m sure you can relate to that Mr. Vice President.”

Students are trying to base their votes on the different issues emerging as most important. Sophomore business administration major Brad Head will be basing his vote on many key issues.

“To me the most important issue is what this country is going to do for me as an American citizen,” he said. “Are they going to continue to protect my religious freedom? My individual freedom? Is it going to be there to financially support me? Will it have an empowering economy? These are the key issues for me.”

A common theme can be seen in the way that the majority of college students will likely be voting this November. Sophomore meteorology major Josh Johns said the economy and job market after graduation is what will be on many students’ minds.

“I personally think that most college students right now are going to be looking at who’s going to be getting us the most jobs and the most benefits after we graduate,” Johns said. “Then you have the select few that focus on what they were brought up with, values and such.”

Johns said he believes the number one issue in this election is the state of the economy.

“[The economy] is part of the reason for how I’m voting,” Johns said. “I stand very firmly on my values. I’m voting more as a referendum against the current administration. I’m not straight republican by any means, but this year I don’t agree on much of anything on their platform. Four years ago I did.”

Sophomore political science major Maci Hurley said she believes the most important issue in this election for her is secondary education.

“Being a college student during this election cycle, whatever actions that the next president, whoever that may be, decides to implement relating to this issue would be directly affecting both me and my peers for at least the next few years,” Hurly said. “Therefore, I want to make sure that the candidate I vote for will be working with policies that serve in the best interest of the students at Texas A&M University as well as other colleges nationwide.”

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