My general reflections on tonight’s debate:
Obama appeared tentative and defensive until he began talking about ObamaCare.
Mitt’s smirk glued on his face all night made him appear plastic.
Romney went on the attack and immediately Etch A Sketched his $5 trillion tax cut for the rich after campaigning on it for two years.
Mitt kept bullying moderator Jim Lehrer until I half expected him to forcibly cut his hair.
The debate opened with the subject of jobs. The President spoke about creating 5.1 million private sector jobs. he said we need to invest in education, energy and rebuild America. He said we can’t “double down on Top Down.” I think he meant Trickle Down. Mitt responded by claiming he isn’t in favor of Top Down even though he is. He said he’d crack down on outsourcing jobs to China although he later denied there’s a law giving tax credits for doing so (there is). He said he’d use a balanced budget to create jobs but his tax cuts blow another huge hole in the deficit.
Obama mentioned his Race to the Top which focuses on charter schools at the expense of public ones and he’d cut corporate taxes. He sounded very conservative with these. Romney proceeded to deny he has a $5 trillion tax cut for the rich. He suddenly Etch A Sketched the centerpiece of his campaign since the GOP primaries began. I couldn’t believe he stood there and repeatedly denied he’s been calling for this for 18 months or more.
Romney then challenged Obama’s expansion of domestic oil and gas drilling by saying since most of it is on private land the President cannot accept credit for the policies he adopted which did that. This was patently absurd. He then reiterated “I don’t have a $5 trillion tax cut.” He also invoked Clean Coal which doesn’t exist and never will.
I bet Obama’s team is already cuing up the video clips of Mitt calling for his tax cuts along with tonight’s denials. He’s going to look awfully bad when those hit the airwaves.
Obama bragged about all the spending cuts he accepted which hurt people. He took on the Medicare cuts and explained them well as Mitt went after him unmercilessly on the cuts. Of course Mitt will destroy Medicare so this was rather silly. He kept saying he won’t cut Medicare for current retirees while ignoring what he’s going to do to everyone else. The President countered that if you’re 54 or under you ought to be scared.
Romney also declared the Ryan Budget Plan won’t mean an extra $6000/year for seniors under their voucher system and later even claimed that private business performs better and cheaper. Every other health care system in the world proves that to be wrong as does Medicare. On this topic the Governor also claimed that cuts to Medicare Advantage are hurting seniors. Medicare Advantage isn’t Medicare. It is a private industry copy cat program which costs more for the same thing. This undercuts his claim that private industry is more efficient. Obama’s cuts to Medicare largely went after these privatized programs. Taxpayers shouldn’t pay for private business profits.
Obama countered that clearly when he said putting seniors at the mercy of private health insurers is wrong. Everyone has known or heard of the horror stories which health insurers have committed (just watch Sicko) so this point hit hard.
Altogether Romney appeared strong but maybe too strong. He repeatedly bullied Lehrer and that was very bad. I’ll have nightmares about that smirk. They make horror movies based on things like that.