MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and former St. Paul Mayor and U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman had plenty to say about the first presidential debate when they talked with WCCO’s Chad Hartman.

Mayor Rybak, a Democrat and strong supporter of President Barack Obama, says former Gov. Mitt Romney performed well, but said he lacked substance.

“Here’s a guy who stands up,” Rybak said. “He’s not sure of what he saying. Interrupts. Not a very good person who’s doing much listening. What he basically said is a very fancy way of saying that, ‘I’m going to do exactly with the economy that George Bush did.’”

Coleman, a Republican, says Romney was much more presidential in the debate than President Obama.

“He’s telling Americans we can’t keep going down the path we’re going down,” Coleman said. “The middle class just lost $4,000 in income over this president. We’ve had 40-something months of unemployment over 8 percent. And by the way, after November, greater taxes on the middle class.”

Rybak says the reason Obama wasn’t the aggressor in the debate is because the country needs leaders to talk to each other.

“I think the president was trying to do what this country needs,” Rybak said. “To not have a food-fight, but to focus on the facts and the issues in front of us. That may or may not have made for good television. But it certainly was the substance we need.”

Coleman says Romney challenged President Obama, and it showed.

“Early the president seemed petulant, he seemed irritable and he came across as weak,” Coleman said. “Romney was confident, was positive, was optimistic, and he was substantive.”


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