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The Next America - Politics 2012 / Politics

Immigration Debate Topic Stirs Twitter Most

Supporters of President Barack Obama in Miramar, Fla., watch the second televised debate between Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and Obama.(AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

photo of Doris Nhan
October 17, 2012

GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s response to an audience-prompted question regarding immigration generated 109,560 tweets per minute, the highest rate in Tuesday’s presidential debate, according to a Twitter report. The flurry of tweets, which at some points slowed the site’s servers, indicated that viewers were eager for the candidates to address an issue up to then largely ignored.

(RELATED: Noteworthy Twitter Bites From Obama-Romney Second Presidential Debate)

The Republican challenger’s response championed for what he called a more “streamlined” approach for processes that would lead to permanent residency for undocumeted youth. He also reiterated statements often made on the campaign trail  that he would not grant amnesty to those who are here illegally.

Romney also challenged President Obama on his failure to pass an immigration-reform bill in his first year as chief executive, asking, “Why did he fail to even promote legislation that would have provided an answer for those that want to come here legally and for those that are here illegally today?”

Obama fired back, bringing up the governor’s past, more-conservative stance on immigration, including his intention to veto the Dream Act and the offhand remark that he hoped illegal immigrants would “self-deport” back to their home countries.

Here’s a sampling of what viewers were firing back in response on Twitter.

Reactions to Immigration Issue

Collection of tweets in response to immigration issue in the second presidential debate.

Storified by National Journal · Wed, Oct 17 2012 09:25:15

This is weird. Obama is tacking conservative on immigration and Romney is tacking moderate. Think Hispanics matter? #debateFawn Johnson
Immigration debate was a bit surreal, because both candidates have been fairly weak and timid on immigration issues.Nicholas Kristof
RT @FoxNewsFan: @ergeekgoddess1 Romney answer on Immigration was heartless and so disrespectful to our community #latism #debateElianne Ramos
Finally immigration was discussed in a debate and there are clear distinctions between Obama and RomneyJORGE RAMOS
Won't grant amnesty to those coming here illegally. Oh Mitt. I feel you know nothing about immigration, refugee, and asylum law. #DebateA Rog
#Obama (s) responses (lies) to his failed policies are insulting. Job generation, immigration reform and US Oil. #EnoughIsEnough#debateNate Bertolino
Did Romney say the Arizona immigration law - #SB1070 - was a model for the nation as Obama asserted? No, he did not - http://abcn.ws/R3FdImZach Wolf
#debate Obama immigration policy: everyone come in and vote for me but if you kill someone I will scold you.Clayton A.
And Mitt? Well, he has no answers on math question and was exposed. Vulnerable on every social issue, esp. immigration. http://thebea.st/V7xk8AAndrew Sullivan
Obama gets an A+ and won the debate easily, Romney gets a D, mainly for lying on immigration #2012debateBill Mefford
Debate overall: tie, but Obama lied abt Libya, AZ immigration law, dodged Fast and Furious, & couldn't answer for 4 years of failed record.Robert Cleveland
Mitt was solid debate-wise until one-two punch of 'Are you like Bush?' and immigration questions. Downhill since #debate #HoftstradebateAngelia N. Levy
i can't hold this in any longer: all this immigration debate smacks of racism. and its bullshit.Jessica
There is no difference between Obama and Romney on immigration. Neither will grant amnesty. Obama wont tell you, Romney just did #debateJatzel Roman

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