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Crowd Fills Britannia Arms for Patch's Debate Viewing Party

Britannia Arms in Capitola was packed as people from across the county showed up to watch the Presidential Debate.

There was laughter, clapping, cheering and even some groaning, as a capacity crowd gathered at Patch’s Presidential Debate viewing party Wednesday night to witness the first debate between Pres. Barack Obama and Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney.

About 60 to 70 people from around the county attended the party at Britannia Arms in Capitola to watch the debate at Magness Arena at the University of Denver moderated by Jim Lehrer of the “PBS NewsHour.”

As the debate began, Amy Smith, 36, of Santa Cruz, who works in patient services at Dominican Hospital, said Obama has her vote no matter what.

“It seems like they are both trying to do the best they can,” Smith said of the beginning of the debate. “But I’m all for Obama, especially with all the medical support he gives.”

Edward Walker, 51, of Santa Cruz, said that though Romney seemed more energetic, Obama did a great job.

“I think [Obama’s] message is clear and concise. Romney seems like he is groping for answers,” Walker said. “In terms of demeanor, Obama is having to deal with the horrors of the world. Romney hasn’t had to yet. He’s relaxing, he has had nothing else to do but prepare for this debate.”

Obama supporter Jana Meares, 52, of Watsonville, said Obama was “his usual wonderful self.”

“I think Romney has been hired as a very bad actor,” Meares said. “It seems like he’s playing a very hammy part. I think Obama is being chill.”

Though the majority of support was for Obama, Tristan College, 26, of Morgan Hill said that he would be voting for Romney.

“I don’t think Obama has made any good points. Being the incumbent I did think he would be stronger. The strongest point Romney made is that unemployment is still going up even though Obama said we are in a recovery,” said College, who was laid off last week from his job as an EMT.

As the debate came to an end, most of the crowd said they felt that Obama took the debate.

“The president won. He presented his ideas clearly and articulately and he used real data,” said Jim Gingerich, 68, of Albuquerque, New Mexico. “Romney lied about so many things, including how much he would cut from Medicare.”

Joanne Hale of Soquel said Obama spoke from the heart.

“He is very convincing. I see a man who really cares,” Hale said. “He’s not smirking. He’s smiling.”

Did you watch the debate? What were your thoughts? Do you think Obama or Romney won? Tell us in the comments.

Just One Vote October 04, 2012 at 06:44 PM
Encarta says: Lie--to say something that is not true in a conscious or deliberate effort to deceive someone. If that's the definition the commentators mean, then our republic is in far worse shape than any one debate or politician can solve. Personally, the fact that we live in a country that allows ALL of us to state our opinions, no matter how misguided or untruthful, is far more important to me than whether I agree with them. Ashleigh Brilliant said it best: "I've made up my mind. Please don't confuse me with the facts". I think Encarta and Ashleigh have it figured out. The rest of us need to keep listening, thinking and learning.
Bruce October 04, 2012 at 07:13 PM
Lies and deception are morally indistinguishable. Whether what Romney says is correct, partially correct or completely false -- it doesn't matter. What matters is that Romney was intentionally deceptive about his intentions as president and the problem with that is that he wasn't challenged on these deceptions right then. In the debate. Either by Jim Lehrer or by Barack Obama. Well, I guess, either that or he believed what he was saying last night, believed other things at other times and leaves one wondering what he might believe 3 months from now. That just might be worse.
Trish Thomas October 05, 2012 at 05:11 AM
I forgot to thank our hosts last night! Thanks to the Patch for the free food, t-shirts and totebags, and thanks to Britannia Arms for the venue. Your generosity is appreciated!
June Smith October 05, 2012 at 07:11 PM
Trish, you took the words out of my mouth. A huge thanks to our hosts!
Shannon Burkey October 05, 2012 at 10:29 PM
Thanks Trish and June! We had a great time and are very appreciative of everyone who came out.

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