October 23rd, 2012
11:10 PM ET

RidicuList: Political pundits (including Lindsay Lohan)

Brace yourself for some Twitter wisdom in the battle for the White House, courtesy of actress Lindsay Lohan.

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Filed under: The RidicuList
October 23rd, 2012
10:54 PM ET

'Undecided' voter attacked for debate question

CNN's Randi Kaye reports on a Twitter smear campaign against a 24-year-old undecided voter who asked the candidates a question about equal pay during the second presidential debate.

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Filed under: 2012 Election
October 23rd, 2012
10:42 PM ET

Truth about naval spending under Obama

President Obama’s “horses and bayonets” comment created the most buzz after Monday’s presidential debate, as he tried to paint Governor Mitt Romney as out of touch with the U.S. military’s needs in the 21st century. Romney accuses the president of cutting spending and is calling for more Navy ships.

In the key battleground state of Virginia, home to the world’s largest naval station, Republican Governor Bob McDonnell agrees with Romney and is firing back, calling the president’s comment an “insult” to sailors. Anderson talked with Governor McDonnell and asked him about a numbers game when it comes to the amount of naval ships.

October 23rd, 2012
10:39 PM ET

Romney camp slams 'glossy panic button'

The Obama campaign released a pamphlet with economic plans for a second term to convince undecided voters to support the president. Jessica Yellin and Jim Acosta report.

October 23rd, 2012
10:21 PM ET

Campaigns micro-target undecided voters

Gloria Borger and John King report on the techniques used to customize outreach and persuade voters. King says it's a mix of old and new methods, like using direct mail that is specific to the interests of the recipient  And phone calls are being made by people similar to the voter for a more personal feel and connection.

October 23rd, 2012
10:10 PM ET

Danzig: Obama has grown Navy

Richard Danzig and Fareed Zakaria debunk claims made during the presidential debate about the strength, needs, and cost of the U.S. Navy.

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Filed under: 2012 Election • Military • Mitt Romney • President Barack Obama
October 23rd, 2012
07:05 PM ET

Tonight on AC360: Voter's equal pay question leads to smear campaign

Katherine Fenton had no idea she was going to be called on in the second presidential debate to ask a question. She also never predicted her question would prompt such a firestorm from conservatives.

Within minutes, her Facebook page and Twitter feed were raided by conservative bloggers and commentators looking to dig up anything they could on this 24-year-old pre-kindergarten teacher from Long Island, New York.

Why? Katherine Fenton’s question was about equal pay for women in the workplace. She asked President Obama and Governor Romney what they planned to do to rectify the situation. Obama talked about his signing of the Lilly Ledbetter Act.

Mr Romney’s response included the now overplayed “binders full of women” comment. Maybe that’s what got conservatives so heated?

What would drive them to start writing about comments she’d made on Twitter about getting “wet” at happy hour and drinking “purple joose” until she blacked out? What does that have to do with politics? Or was it about trying to harm her reputation because she asked a question about the gender pay gap which conservatives often play down?


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Filed under: 2012 Election
October 23rd, 2012
03:07 PM ET

Letters to the President #1373: 'True believers'

Reporter's Note: Supporters of both President Obama and Governor Romney are busy today spinning tales about their magnificent debate performance last night. Ahem. I’m busy writing yet another letter to Pennsylvania Avenue. The president has not answered me yet, btw.

Dear Mr. President,

Honestly, I don’t know how I wound up on the email lists for every activist on the planet who either wants you re-elected or, conversely, shrieks and runs at the very thought, but I am being hammered on an hourly basis with political messages in my inbox. I’m pretty sure that you and Governor Romney were still talking last night when I received my first “impartial assessments” of who won the debate, and trust me they were far from impartial.

Your fans saw you as strong, decisive, and a true leader. They loved the way that you stood up to your opponent and called him out on his inconsistencies and shortage of solutions. Your enemies, on the other hand, said just as emphatically that you were a desperate bully, bitterly and egotistically grabbing at every straw to defend your failed record…and yanking a good man down in the process.

Whenever I read such rabidly opposing views of the same event I think of that line in the Dire Straits song, "Industrial Disease." “Two men say they’re Jesus…one of them must be wrong.”

It’s exhausting. I suppose I should just find a way to send all such messages to my spam folder and be done with it, because for you or against you, what I am talking about is pure propaganda. Still, I feel a certain responsibility to read it all. Sure, it is insanely partisan and the writers show no interest in any sort of verifiable truth, but that alone is valuable; it reminds me that there are people on the far left and right of this race who are more interested in winning than they are in anything else…including fairness, including democracy, including the good of the nation. It’s a shame, but it is also a reality.

So congrats to you and Mr. Romney on your debate performances last night. You each had true believers and true deceivers cheering you on. Just be careful to remember that each is probably not a very good judge of where you really stand in this campaign, and should likely be treated with suspicion.

Call if you can, but please make it a little later. I had very little sleep last night after the whole affair, and I may try to grab a nap.


October 23rd, 2012
01:01 AM ET

Obama wins final debate, but does it matter?

Editor's note: Anderson Cooper reports on the impact of the presidential debate and the state of the race going into the last few weeks of campaigning. Watch AC360° at 8 and 10 p.m. ET.

A forceful President Barack Obama put Republican challenger Mitt Romney on the defensive on foreign policy on Monday night, with analysts and an immediate poll giving him the victory in their final debate just 15 days before the November 6 vote.

Obama displayed the experience of a commander-in-chief in explaining U.S. policy under his leadership and attacking the views and proposals of Romney, a former Massachusetts governor with less experience on international issues.

Romney ended up supporting most of the Obama administration's steps involving hotspots, such as the civil war in Syria, and preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, giving the president the advantage in a debate in which his GOP rival needed to question foreign policy of the past four years.