Page last updated at 20:29 GMT, Sunday, 28 September 2008 21:29 UK

Voters' Views: Philip Craig Leiter

White House hopefuls Barack Obama and John McCain have clashed over foreign policy and the economy in their first debate.

Here Republican and Democratic voters from across the US reflect on how the candidates performed.

Philip Craig Leiter Student | Republican

McCain was prepared, confident and kept his cool

Philip Craig Leiter
Age: 18
Lives: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Occupation: Student
Last election voted:
Too young to vote
In 10 words or fewer: Realist, cosmopolitan, progressive, content

"If I were to describe John McCain in one word it would be teacher, for Barack Obama the one word would be student.

Senator McCain dominated the whole debate. It was obvious foreign affairs are nothing new to him. He beat Obama in every key issue - especially with regard to Iraq and Iran.

For example, Obama seemed naive to suggest that America could take out al-Qaeda agents in Pakistan. McCain pointed out that this is no way to do politics in that region.

Obama was predicted to get under McCain's skin and force him to make mistakes. However it was McCain that went on the attack and seemed to get under Obama's skin.

McCain was prepared, confident and most importantly he kept his cool. Obama could not keep calm during the debate. It was awkward seeing him look angry when he is usually so content.

The only issue where the candidates tied was on energy policy - as they seem to have very similar ideas.

I was expecting McCain to win the debate but I was surprised Obama had so little to say."

You can add your comments and questions on Philip's views using the form below:

Your comments:

John McCain won best all around. Obama seemed rehearsed and naive about most subjects. I think he was counting on charm to get his points through to the listeners. That may work at rallies but not in a debate.
Thelma Whitworth, Charlotte USA

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The readers' panel has been selected from as wide a cross-section of people as possible and may not be representative of wider US public opinion.

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