Debate Report Card: Who Won?

Martha Raddatz and Matt Dowd grade the candidates on their debate performances.
3:00 | 10/23/12

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Transcript for Debate Report Card: Who Won?
So let's do the "nightline" report card. I'm joined now by abc's senior foreign affairs correspondent martha raddatz who mod waited excellently the vice presidential debate. Thank you. And matt dowd, our abc news consultant who was also chief strategist for george w. Bush. Let's get right to it and great them on the commander in chief aura they projected. Mitt romney, what do you think? B minus. B minus. "B." Tough grade. Tough grade. Well, I think basically because he backed off all his peace and strength. Some of the statement he said you can't kill your way out of this mess. I wondered what mitt romney was talking about from the mitt romney we used to know. A change in persona. A change in persona so maybe not the commander in chief "a" What do you think? A "b." I thought he came across as someone you could see as president of the united states and so that littles test he could but didn't come across as strong and assertive as he did in his first debate and let the president become that more which we'll talk about in a second but I think he could be commander in chief and you could see him as president but nothing overwhe overwhelming. So he's running against the combh but let's grade him. How about obama do on projecting that commander in chief authority. I thought air forcen "a" minus. "A." You're a tough "a." I haven't given an "a" to anyone in this series of debates. I thought it was his best moment and to me the commander in chief test and strong and decisive is the most important thing in the campaign. Why mitt romney rose and in the aftermath of the first debate and I thought the president came across that way. There were a few instances i think he came across a little aggressive but as you wed the debate I think you could see he was clear and could make the decisions you need to make. In that regard I gave him an "a." He seemed more confident. He is the commander in chief. Let's just leave it at that. It wasn't quite as hard for him to reach that level of an "a" or "a" minus as it was for mitt romney. Why did you give him the "a" minus. There were a couple of things he said that weren't like on the status of forces agreement that he wasn't quite right talking about the fact that mitt romney said he wanted 20,000 troops to remain. President obama's administration wanted troops to remain italian, as well. They just were unable to get a status of forces agreement so that's where he got -- they got stiffed by iraq. I'm a hard grader too. You are. So you just raised something. Let's grade them on accuracy in the foreign policy debate. How accurate was what they said. Mitt romney. "B" minus. "B." Tough on mitt romney again, why? I just think all these things, it's the old adage accurate but not true styes. Things aren't exactly right. What didn't you like about -- what did you find in error or slightly slippery in what romney said. Well, I thought there were a couple of cases when he was talking about syria. When he was talking about we want to keep trying and just want to arm -- we want to arm some of the rebels but we have to figure out who they are. I just think there's so much nuance in these things. Basically I hate giving these grades because -- I can tell. Because there's so much nuance in this. It's really hard to give a definitive grade. Matt has no problem with that. He was grading right away. Ut especially in the foreign affairs area. Yeah, I have no problem and saying I made a mistake a day later saying I screwed up. The interesting thing about the debate and sort of saw accuracy as substance on foreign policy in the debate I didn't see mitt romney make any distinction with the president of the united states. I thought his strategy was me too. For whatever the president just said, me too but I'll do slightly something different but I won't say what it is. He said exactly what the president said. Okay, let's give the president a grade on accuracy. I'm going with a "b" minus. That's back to the status of forces agreement and just the same thing. It's just the nuance. I find myself on those foreign policy things and no one else in america is doing this but me. Because you know it so well. It's those tiny things. Your grade. A "b." For the same exact reason. There was no real debate on foreign policy. No solutions, nothing like that. Who needs solutions, right? Not that you thought it would change next year. Did you didn't watch it, you didn't miss anything. Who is the winner in your judgment? I'm not going to sayre's a fair winner but I would say overall obama probably scored more points because he goes into this as commander in chief so he walks out there does the job he's done. Mitt romney probably was just showing up and saying, look, I'm on the same stage as he is. I don't want to make any waves. I don't want to talk about war or scare anybody. Because of barack obama got the commander in chief passing colors I think he won and i think it was fairly clear and fairly decisive. I don't think mitt romney hurt himself but I think barack obama may have helped himself a point or two in the course of the debate by winning this tonight. Romney may have been playing it too safe. A little too soft in this. He became the peace candidate in the course of this debate.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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