SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - Both candidates came out swinging in last night's debate with strong performances that some are calling contentious and even rude.
Three Key Elements expert Ann Washburn says President Obama's body language was stronger than Gov. Mitt Romney's because he was more grounded. He put his weight equally on both feet and he held his chin up. She says Romney had better eye contact and was more comfortable to watch.
She pointed to details between the candidates first handshake. The two men embraced right hands and touched each others upper arm with their left hand, but President Obama gave Romney three simple pats with his hand.
"That can mean I'm putting you on equal ground with me," said 3 Key Elements Body Language Expert Ann Washburn.
This is a big difference from the first handshake before the first debate when Mr. Obama wrapped his fingers around Romney's arm communicating then that he was in control.
Washburn says Mr. Obama was much more aggressive than he was during the first debate. "They're getting in each other space. To get into someone else's space sends the message...it's a dominance thing," Washburn said.
At point when Mr. Romney is challenging his competitor Mr. Obama puts his hand out and keeps his palm down. "So like right here when somebody puts their hand out OK, they're pushing something away. This could indicate that he wants to push away the comments that are coming from Romney at that moment," said Washburn.
Both men communicated extensively with their hands, but during a point of contention- Romney lower fingers fold in and he points.
"When you gesture with your whole hand it's a much safer move than when you do it with one finger, which is what he's switching to," said Washburn.
At one point in the debate both men tried to stand in the same space to make their point known to America.
"Interesting to me as they step into each others space Obama doesn't make eye contact," said Washburn. ABC 4's Noah Bond asked, "Does Romney make contact with the President?" She replies, "Romney is looking at the President, but Obama avoids Romney's contact."
She says this could mean either the President is not willing to give Romney his time or he's uncomfortable with the degree of energy Romney is delivering his message.