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Carol Goldberg's 'amazing moment' at Hofstra debate

Shown here at her Woodbury home, Carol Goldberg

Shown here at her Woodbury home, Carol Goldberg was one of the undecided voters who asked a question during the town-hall style debate between President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney at Hofstra University. (Oct. 17, 2012) Credit: Newsday/John Paraskevas

Carol Goldberg sounded a lot less undecided Wednesday on her presidential vote after looking both candidates in the eye during the town hall debate at Hofstra University Tuesday night.

Goldberg, 53, a mother of two from Woodbury, asked President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney about the outsourcing of American jobs overseas.

"What plans do you have to put back and keep jobs here in the United States?" she said.

Her aim, she said in an interview Wednesday, was to pose "a short and sweet question, because I thought it would result in a short and pointed answer."

Romney immediately jumped to talking about China.

"My question wasn't about what China is doing," Goldberg said, regarding the Republican nominee's response. "It was about what the U.S. will do."

Next, she said, she locked eyes with Obama. He gave her specific points, such as closing the tax loopholes for businesses that send jobs overseas, and she said she felt at ease.

"I felt like I was the only person in the convention center," Goldberg said of the town-hall-style debate in Hofstra's David S. Mack arena. "I felt like he was only talking to me."

Goldberg said she hasn't completely made up her mind on her choice but is leaning toward Obama, the Democratic incumbent. His answers were more on point, she said she thought as she was sitting about 5 feet away from both candidates.

The Gallup polling organization selected 80 undecided voters to participate in the town hall debate. Each came with four questions, and ultimately 11 voters got the opportunity.

Goldberg said her three other questions were about the cost of health care, Supreme Court appointees, and the candidates' plans to increase exports, she said -- all issues that have been on her mind for some time.

She was asked last week to join the debate after she completed a Gallup telephone poll.

"I never thought they would choose me to ask a question," she said. "It was an amazing moment, and it is truly what is great about America. This doesn't happen in other countries."


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