In Costa Rica, plenty of ways to watch presidential debates

October 3, 2012

DENVER, Colorado. — Barack Obama and Mitt Romney will not wait until the end of their first debate to proclaim themselves the winner or attack an opponent’s claims – their online teams already will have done so.

They’ll be plenty of ways to follow Wednesday’s U.S: presidential debate, and the retorts that follow. Basic cable packages in Costa Rica offer channels that will carry the debate like CNN, Fox News, ABC or NBC. But in addition, the Internet – as it tends to do – will provide live commentary on what’s being said and how “true” each statement is.

While aides and other interested parties spun their message in Denver, Colorado ahead of Wednesday’s first of three 90-minute showdowns between the White House rivals, two websites will provide live punch later on.
Romney’s debates.mittromney.com and Obama’s www.barackobama.com/debate will vie for online supremacy when the debate starts at 0100 GMT.

Obama’s site was trailing a “Cheat sheet,” outlining what the Democratic candidate contends that Republican rival Romney will say to try and win favor.

“While President Obama will lay out his specific plan to grow the economy and restore middle-class security, Mitt Romney will no doubt double down on his well-established strategy of attacking the president, distorting his own record, and avoiding any and all details of his plans for this country.”

Romney’s site, meanwhile, listed a set of “Debate Facts,” noting that the United States had suffered a credit rating downgrade under Obama and said the national debt had risen by more than $5.4 trillion on his watch.

The site “will be the hub of our debate night efforts, fact-checking the Obama campaign as well as posting supportive material for our arguments,” Zac Moffatt, director of Romney’s digital campaign, told Mashable, a website.

On Twitter, the battle was already under way between Republican accounts, including the candidate’s official @MittRomney and @RomneyResponse, and the Obama side @BarackObama and @TruthTeam2012 will lead the charge.

Obama’s top advisor David Axelrod, @davidaxelrod, is likely to be active as is the president’s campaign spokesman Ben La Bolt, @BenLaBolt on what are two of the most followed accounts among the Democrats.
But a less partisan check on each of the candidates is likely to come from independent websites including politifact.com (@PolitiFact on Twitter) and factcheck.org, both of which check the veracity of campaign statements.

Leading traditional news organizations, most notably The New York Times, have also upped their online game for the debate, with the “Gray Lady,” ready to publish elements on 76 subjects on the newspaper’s website when appropriate.

“We’re writing these fact-checks in advance so that we’re not scrambling,” said Mary Suh, a deputy politics editor at The New York Times, where 20 reporters have worked on the debate material.

“It’s all on an Excel spreadsheet – from Romney’s Bain history to Obama’s record on the deficit,” Suh added.

But Andrew Beaujon, a media reporter for the Poynter Institute, a non-profit journalism school, said social media had changed the game of making sure that politicians’ public statements are held to account.

“The interesting thing about this is, probably, the biggest fact checker is Twitter,” Beaujon said. “Not everybody will need a professional fact checker to look things up.”

You may be interested

Of snow, kindness and Northern Lights: a Costa Rican in Manitoba, Canada
Please Send Coffee!
624 views
Please Send Coffee!
624 views

Of snow, kindness and Northern Lights: a Costa Rican in Manitoba, Canada

Gustavo Díaz Cruz - December 14, 2017

My mom named me Gustavo Adolfo. I was born in Puntarenas, next to the sea, but my home was in…

Response to disaster: aid successes, struggles in post-Maria Puerto Rico
Weather
797 views
Weather
797 views

Response to disaster: aid successes, struggles in post-Maria Puerto Rico

John McPhaul - December 13, 2017

As Costa Rica joins many other nations in looking back upon the horrendous 2017 hurricane season, longtime Tico Times contributor…

Looking back at Hurricane Maria: the initial impact
Weather
1888 views
Weather
1888 views

Looking back at Hurricane Maria: the initial impact

John McPhaul - December 12, 2017

As Costa Rica joins many other nations in looking back upon the devastating 2017 hurricane season, longtime Tico Times contributor…