This debate has the potential to be the game-changer that Romney needs. Trailing by over 3% in the polls based on the RealClearPolitics average and needing something more than a tie or marginal win that would likely only narrow the polls, Romney delivered a game-changing performance and changed the narrative of this election in the first debate.
President Obama has attempted to make this election into some sort of class warfare or blame Bush election- but Governor Romney was successful in this debate into making this election into a decision on whether or not to continue Obama’s policies or change them. Romney was right- we can go with the traditional American economic system or continue to attempt Obama’s trickle down government economic theories that have been so unsuccessful over the last 4 years and have slowed the recovery. Throughout the debate, Romney lectured Obama on economic policies, the proper role of government in society, theories in leadership, and on basic truths of the world, and Obama sulked and looked away and looked angry (you can tell by his head tilt). There were times during this debate that I felt that even Obama didn’t believe what he was saying- his tone and cadence changed into what I call ‘lecture mode’ as he spewed out talking points and parts of past speeches, while Romney appeared to be in the debate, listening to Obama, attacking his policies and theories of government, and responding to the flow of the debate.
On to the specific points and questions… here are my thoughts:
- Romney did a skillful job of anticipating Obama’s attacks and was very well prepared for this debate- he came out roaring and hard-hitting. He responded to Obama’s attacks while not getting sucked into his bizarro world and replying to all of the backwards and wrong facts contained in them.
- Watch the first 15 minutes of the debate- in that first part, I think that Romney hammered Obama pretty heavily, although the middle of the debate was more even.
- Obama stuck to the ‘$5 trillion tax cut for the rich’ angle over and over, even though Romney said that he doesn’t have this policy- either Obama believes Romney is a liar or Obama is a liar.
- Obama over and over cited ‘studies’- compare this to Romney, who cited actual commissions and their findings and said the name of the organizations whose studies he was quoting. I wonder whose studies Obama is citing and whether or not they are nonpartisan, well-sourced, and well-researched. I doubt it, and so did Romney later on, when he said he could find 6 studies that said that the study that Obama was citing was bunk.
- “Look at the evidence of the last 4 years”- good line from Romney, because this is not a debate between Romney’s potential theories and Obama’s potential theories- we’re comparing the evidence of President Obama’s results (as President) vs the evidence (such as it is) of Governor Romney’s results (as Governor).
- Obama had NO answer for the debt and deficit questions. He didn’t even try to defend himself or his record on this and dodged and ducked is way through it.
- Romney said that he will grow his way out of debt. Liberals don’t like this and will talk about ‘the math’- but the math that they will use will be static and assume that tax cuts or spending cuts do not affect revenue, and this assumption is poor. Tax cuts may lead to less revenue of the government- but they also lead to employment growth and after that they lead to much greater revenue than without the tax cuts. Romney believes in a dynamic economy- Obama is about locking in and divvying up a static economy. Later I imagine the liberals will do the math over and over on this issue, ignoring the dynamic nature of the economy the entire time.
- Obama brought up a bunch of taxes that he would repeal if he were President- but he is President and has been President for 4 years and for the first half of that time his party controlled the House and Senate- and he didn’t repeal those taxes. Either he lied here and doesn’t want to really repeal those taxes or he was incompetent and when handed the keys to the car he drove it in a different direction than he should have.
- When asked about how President Obama would deal with the skyrocketing (and immoral) debt, President Obama talked about spending more money on college and cutting a minor tax break for oil companies that has been around for over 100 years.
- “I’ve been in business for 25 years, and I have no idea what you are talking about”- Romney to Obama. Great line, because it establishes that Romney knows what he is talking about and that Obama does not.
- Obama began his discussion about how to deal with the looming and massive policy problems of entitlement reform by speaking about how we shouldn’t call them entitlements. The name of the program is not really what the problem is here, Mr. President- it is the fact that these programs are broke and insolvent and will soon result in poor and elderly facing a reduced standard of living and less security.
- Romney says “I want to repeal and replace program”- Obama says “Romney wants to repeal”- Romney says “Also I want to replace it- repeal and replace”- Obama says “Yeah, but there are no details on the replacement”- Romney says “Here are the details”- Obama flashes a sheepish grin and shakes his head because he knows that he is selling BS and got caught.
- Romney addresses the costs of healthcare and talked about how to get the costs of this program under control.
- Although Obama mentioned several roles of government, the one that he spoke the most about and with the most passion about was new spending programs.
- Romney talked about the role of government in protecting liberty and freedom and encouraging prosperity- his answer is much closer to what our Founding Fathers wrote about in the Declaration of Independence.
- Several times, President Obama said “Romney doesn’t have any details” and then in the next sentence said “But based on the details we have, I can predict”. It is not possible for there to both be ‘not enough details’ and there to be ‘enough details to predict numbers’- that’s double-speak.
- President Obama talked about how he has lately been making progress dealing with the GOP House as his example of how he has been bipartisan- but I predict that next week Obama will give a speech where he accuses the GOP House of being the sole barrier to him being more successful.
- Obama in his conclusion laid out his vision of the next four years- raise taxes, more money for green energy, more money to teachers, and continue doing what he has been doing.
- Romney in his conclusion said that he wants to change directions, course change for America, two paths to take, look at the records and results, and vote based on this contrast in success.
Final verdict- big win for Romney.
Original Post: A Conservative Teacher