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2016 Presidential Debates

Five Best Moments From Obama and Romney’s 2012 Second Debate

As 2016's second presidential debate inches closer, we are taking a walk down memory lane to the best, most viral-worthy moments during President Obama and Mitt Romney's second presidential debate in 2012 and the week surrounding that event. Obama and Romney unleashed a wealth of insults at one another on a range of issues, from pensions to the Benghazi attacks, and the public reacted instantly to these insults on Google and social media.

Whether Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will be able to rival Obama and Romney's words remains to be seen, but here's five of Obama and Romney's best moments in the week of the second debate:

1. Romney's "Binders Full of Women"

When an undecided young woman voter asked Obama and Romney how they plan to rectify wage inequality in the workplace, Romney thought he could go in for the kill and show women he cared.

He explained that he was surprised to find men occupying cabinet positions and asked his staff if they could find women who were equally qualified for them. “I went to a number of women’s groups and said, ‘Can you help us find folks?’ And they brought us whole binders full of women,” Romney said to prove he had taken a “concerted effort” to find qualified women.

Within minutes of his speech, a Tumblr parody was created, #bindersfullofwomen became a trending Twitter hashtag and the phrase was the second-highest Google search term during the debate.

2. Obama on Pension: "It's Not As Big As Yours"

Romney sparred with Obama over unfair trading practices in China, and admitted to having invested in Chinese firms. But he then confronted Obama and asked him repeatedly if he had looked at his own pension.

“You know, I don’t look at my pension. It’s not as big as yours so it doesn’t take as long. I don’t check it that often,” Obama responded to Romney’s line of questioning.

While Romney thought he got a leg up by accusing Obama of having investments in China and the Cayman Islands, the real winner online was the president. His response was the top searched Google query during the debate, particularly in Virginia, New Jersey, Ohio and Illinois.

3. Obama's Remarks in the Rose Garden

On September 12, 2012 in the Rose Garden, President Obama announced the deaths of four Americans killed during the attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, including that of Chris Stevens, American ambassador to Libya. During his remarks, Obama called their deaths “an act of terror.”

Later in the second debate, Romney accused Obama of waiting 14 days to officially declare the Benghazi siege a “terror-based” attack during the second presidential debate, forcing Obama to re-read the transcript of his original announcement that day.

The tension between Romney and Obama over Obama’s remarks in the debate made it Google’s third most searched query during that week.

4. Obama on Romney: "He Has Romnesia"

During a campaign stop at George Mason University after the second debate, Obama mocked Romney's indecisiveness and labeled it "Romnesia."

"If you say you’re for equal pay for equal work, but you keep refusing to say whether or not you’d sign a bill that protects equal pay for equal work — you might have Romnesia," Obama said, criticizing Romney's shifting stances on women's rights, healthcare, equal pay and tax cuts.

By the evening of Oct. 19, the world was having a serious case of Romnesia and it became the top Google search the following day.

5. Alfred E. Smith Dinner

Two days after the second debate, Obama and Romney traded barbs at the Al Smith Dinner in New York City. Obama made fun of his own widely-panned first debate performance and reminded the crowd that "he got Bin Laden." Romney, on the other hand, poked fun at the media and told Obama "he has Bill Clinton" to help him with his tough campaign, unlike Romney who has his wife, Ann.

The "Al Smith Dinner" quickly became a trending hashtag on Twitter and many users said Romney "roasted" himself.