The second of three debates between President Obama and Mitt Romney is now history. In a spirited, 90-minute town hall, the candidates clashed over social and economic policy, domestic issues and foreign matters, and even each other’s pension. (Check out the complete transcript here and watch the debate in two minutes below.)
Here is a look at a few figures that mattered in Tuesday’s night’s debate:
* 5 (The numbers of times Obama and Romney mentioned “Medicare”): Unlike the first debate (where the word “Medicare” came up 52 times) or last week’s vice presidential debate (where Vice President Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.) said it 30 times), discussion of the topic was much more limited on Tuesday night.
* 3 (The number of times the candidates mentioned “Libya”): As The Fix’s Aaron Blake noted Tuesday morning, Romney may have jeopardized a key line of attack on the subject of Libya, based on the way the discussion unfolded Tuesday night. Here’s a reminder that a theme doesn’t have to dominate a debate to become a major topic of conversation afterward.
* 12 (The number of times Romney and Obama mentioned George W. Bush): Romney tried to put some distance between himself and the 43rd president, while Obama tried to link the two. The Republican said he and Bush “are different people, and these are different times.” Obama sought to link the two on economic policy. On social policy, the president argued Romney has in some ways “gone to a more extreme place.”
* 1 (The number of times “binders” came up): During a discussion about women’s issues, Romney said that when he was governor of Massachusetts, he enlisted the help of women’s groups to help him find qualified female candidates for his cabinet. “They brought us whole binders full of women,” he said, in a sound bite the Obama campaign has used to argue that Romney’s attitude toward women is condescending.
* 6 (The number of times the candidates used the word “pension”): One of the night’s most memorable one-liners came when Romney asked Obama whether he has looked at his pension. “I don’t look at my pension. It’s not as big as yours, so it doesn’t take as long,” said Obama, in apparent jab at Romney’s wealth.