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State leaders react to presidential debate along party lines

PHOENIX — One of the issues brought up in the second presidential debate Tuesday night hit home for Arizona. When discussing immigration, SB 1070 came to the forefront.

President Obama said Mitt Romney called the law a “framework for the rest of the country.”

“We’re going to need bring everything to the table and somehow some way find a solution to this very complex problem,” Arizona Republican Chairman Tom Morrissey said. “I believe what Governor Romney said is a tremendous start in that direction.”

Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego wasn’t surprised SB 1070 came up.

“Romney has been on both sides of the issue,” Gallego said. “I think because of his multiple positions on immigration, that’s what caused the exchange to be longer than usual.”

Like a lot of voters, the exchange on Libya was the defining moment of the debate for Gallego and Morrissey.
Gallego said Romney mishandled the topic.

“It was something that he really did not engage in well, and the president showed why he is the trusted leader when it comes to international relations,” Gallego said.

Morrissey saw the exchange differently.

He said Romney was defiant when accusing the president of taking too long to recognize the attack on the American embassy in Benghazi.

“The president said that he called it a terrorist attack and he didn’t,” Morrissey said. “And when Gov. Romney pressed him on it, he wanted to change the subject.”

While they disagree on who won, Gallego and Morrissey said the president was much feistier than he was in the first debate in Denver.

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