Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

October 5, 2012

Local debate reactions

Bill Grimes
Effingham Daily News

EFFINGHAM —     A wide majority polled by CNN after Wednesday night’s presidential debate felt that Republican challenger Mitt Romney scored a decisive win over Democrat incumbent Barack Obama.

    Local Republicans aren’t about to disagree with that assessment.

    “It was the debate performance everybody knew Mitt Romney had to have,” said GOP precinct committeeman Brian Milleville. “The way things had been going, Romney had to hit a home run and he hit a grand slam.”

    Milleville, who lives in Effingham, said the former Massachusetts governor “looked presidential.”

    “He was able to explain his positions and Obama couldn’t make any inroads,” Milleville added. “Romney had Obama in the corner from the opening bell, and Obama couldn’t get off the ropes.”

    Republican Jane Willenborg of Summit Township, secretary of the county’s GOP central committee, said Romney was able to make specific points.

    “He was specific about every point of his five-point plan to lower taxes and reduce the deficit,” Willenborg said. “He also made it clear that there will be no changes if Obama get re-elected.”

    Not surprisingly, local Democrats didn’t think Romney stood out in Wednesday’s debate.

    “I had a problem with Romney not answering where the $5 trillion in additional spending was going to come from,” said Shirley McEvers, of Summit Township.

    McEvers said Obama came across as presidential in the debate.

    “I was very proud of him,” McEvers said. “He could have made some attacks, but he didn’t.

    “I thought Obama was very truthful. Any incumbent has to defend his positions, and he did.”

    Democrat Tamber Black of the Heartville community south of Effingham said Obama might have been a little too laid-back in Wednesday’s debate.

    “I thought Obama could have been a little more aggressive,” Black said. “But, I thought he explained the health care issue really well.”