- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 17, 2012

MT. VERNON, Iowa — Buoyed by his much stronger second debate performance, President Obama on Wednesday said he was beginning “to get the hang of these things” and continued where he left off the previous night: pounding away on GOP rival Mitt Romney’s five-point plan for the economy, tax plan and record on pay equity and other issues with appeal for women.

Speaking to students at Cornell College, the president expressed confidence that he had overcome his earlier poor debate performance and began to make his closing arguments of the campaign — that Mr. Romney will come up short on his tax and jobs plans and will let women down when it comes to issues they care about the most.

“As many of you know, we have our second debate last night — I’m still trying to figure out how to get the hang of this thing — debating — we’ll keep on improving as time goes on,” he told the crowd. “We’ve got one left.”

By mid-day Tuesday, political analysts were still marveling over just how fierce the second debate match-up was with the two candidates trading strong punches on issue after substantive issue.

Right from the start, Mr. Obama went after Mr. Romney, dismissing his five-point economic plan as benefiting the top earners in the country the most, a point he repeated Wednesday.

“The interesting this is that Gov. Romney has been running around talking about his five-point plan,” he said. “It’s really a one-point plan. It says folks at the very top can play by their own set of rules.”

When talking about his commitment to education, encouraging students to study math and science and hiring more teachers, the president again hammered Mr. Romney for saying Tuesday night that he turned to a binder of women when trying to hire more female aides while governor of Massachusetts.

“We don’t have to collect a bunch of binders to find qualified, talented driven young women ready to work and teach in these fields right now,” Mr. Obama said.