Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Debate liveblogging attempt

By Donald Sensing

Oh, well, here goes.

Q1: Jobs for college graduates. Romney goes first and gives an answer any other Democrat could have given: turn it over to the government. Obama - brings up everything - and I do mean everything - he ran on four years ago.

Romney rebuttal: nails Obama on employment stats. Obama counter-rebuttal: Rom neyis mean and doesn't care about the common man.

Q2: To Obama - is it your energy department's policy not to do anything to bring down gasoline prices?

Obama's long answer is a laundry list of all his recycled 2008 stump speech malarkey about green energy and increased regulation of the auto industry.

Obama's short answer: "Yes, that is correct."

Romney's turn: None of the increase of domestic oil production can be credited to this administration. Romney is blowing holes in Obama's policies, or lack thereof.

Crowley to Obama: Are these high prices the new normal?

Obama: Um, uh, yes.

Romney takes the mike and confronts Obama! Obama comes out of his corner! They point at each other! Who will take the first swing? Then Romney has his "I paid for this microphone" moment when he tells Obama to sit down and wait his turn. Mitt spanked him like a newborn there, don't know how it will play with viewers.

Obama: yes, gas prices were low when I took office because the economy was collapsing. And Romney wants to collapse it again. Then back to green energy and the gazillions of jobs they are always going to bring next year. It's always next year.

Then Crowley wants to move along, and Romney takes control and speaks his mind.

Q3: Tax question to Romney about his plan to lower income tax rates while eliminating certain deductions.

Romney: Bring down rates. Simplify tax code. Middle-income taxpayers need to pay less in taxes because they're getting crushed. Top five percent of taxpayers will continue to pay 60 percent of taxes collected. Middle income taxpayers will not pay tax on interest, dividends or capital gains (for anyone earning $200K or less). Obama's spending and borrowing will cause tax increases on the middle class.

Obama: Give middle class families relief. I have cut taxes for middle class and small businesses. But if we are serious about reducing the deficit "the wealthy" have to pay more. But the Republicans won't let me do that because they want all the breaks for the top two percent.

Romney then proves that Obama still knows nothing about how businesses expand and why they add employees and create jobs.

Crowley moderates! Asks Obama basically to rebut Romney's ridiculous claim that he wants to leave the top five percent's tax burden unchanged. Translation: Please, Mr. President, take this chance to dig your self out of the hole Romney just threw you in.

Have to give Obama credit for hard charging here, but Crowley handed him the bat, threw a softball, and then turned off the timing clock for his answer. Then Crowley tries to get Romney to admit that his numbers won't add up. So Romney line drives her fast ball back at her teeth. (Sorry for all the baseball analogies.)

Crowley tries to shut Romney down because he's effectively knocking Obama's answers into pieces.

Q4: To Obama: How are going to make sure that women like me continue to get special federal protections in the work place?

Obama: My mother was a working woman! I love working women!

Romney: When I was the liberal governor of a liberal state, I went out and found women to work with me! We were the best in the country! My chief of staff was a woman who needed to cook dinner for her kids! I love working women!

Then the math: women have lost 580,000 jobs in last four years, three and a half more now in poverty. But he only bunted on that one and he should have at least hit to the warning track.

The the Moderator asks Obama to stomp on Romney. Guarantee Romney won't get another chance to address. Obama makes sure he slips in the bit about insurance coverage of contraceptives. Then: Romney wants to take away all the great free federal stuff!

And I was right: Romney gets two minutes, Obama gets six. The Moderator demands: Got to move along now!

Q5: Romney, convince me that you are not a royal SOB like Bush was!

Romney: Energy - I want us to be energy independent. Bush didn't crack down on China, I will. Spending: I will balance the budget, Bush didn't and Obama doesn't even want to. Businesses: Have to help small businesses, not large ones. My priority is jobs and I know how to make it happen.

Obama: Thank you for giving me the opportunity to sing my favorite refrain that everything bad in the world is because of Bush. And Romney could just as well be a Bush clone. Romney loves China! In fact, Romney is even more extreme!

Q6: From a black gentleman to Obama: I voted for you in 2008 but am not so sure now. Please convince me. Please, please, please!

Obama: I killed bin Laden. So there. And "the commitments I've made, I've kept." (They just didn't do you any good.)

The Moderator tries to get Obama to stop talking, but he doesn't so Candy backs off.

Romney: What you see is what you get. What you got the last four years is what you'll get the next four. Nails Obama on economic facts. Nails him on, well, math.

For once Crowley doesn't let Obama butt in. Good on her. On to next Q.

Q7: From a woman with a mildly Hispanic accent to Romney: What are you going to do with immigrants without a green card who are productive people here?

Romney: I was born in Mexico! (Wait, doesn't that make him ineligible for the presidency? Oh, never mind, Obama was born in Kenya. Or Indonesia. I forget.) Legal immigration good. Illegal immigration bad. Thank you.

Obama: The mean Republicans are holding up progress. I want to open our doors to everyone. Did I mention that Romney is mean?

My guess is that the list of things that Obama says are horrid about Romney's proposals are ones that a majority of Americans think are pretty good ideas.

And Crowley actually turns the mike back over to Romney. And now the devil is looking for an overcoat.
Starts to nail Obama on foreign investments so Crowley rides to the rescue.

Q8: To Obama: State Dept. refused extra security to Libya diplomats. Who refused them extra security and why?

Obama: I am not going to answer your question. I will talk instead about how much I love our diplomats. But I did order extra security after four Americans were killed. Like OJ, I want to find the real killers. Now I will attack Romney for criticizing me. And I know the media will carry the ball for me.

Romney: Obama didn't answer your question, but I will pretend he did and thus lay the buckstop squarely on his desk. Reminds that Obama reacted to the attacks by flying to Vegas then Colorado for fundraisers. The Libya attack calls into question Obama's whole Middle East policy. Transitions to Syria critique.

Crowley: Mr. President, aren't you content to let Hillary take the fall for this?

Obama: I will feign anger now. I said the day after the attack that this was a terror attack. (This is a lie. See end note.)

Romney just nailed him on it. Crowley rides to the rescue: No, really, he did say that! It was the riot account that took a long time to develop. Now gosh amighty I am going to shut this down before Obama is really hurt bad.

Q9: To Obama: How are you please going to take away Americans' guns? Please do.

Obama: We are a nation of hunters, blah blah blah. Theater shooting in Denver. Need to start banning certain types of firearms.

Romney: Fast and Furious. Nuff said.

Obama: Er, uh, um ... Let's talk about education.

Crowley: We need to move along. Obama: No. Crowley: Ok!

Q10: To Romney: How are you going to keep jobs in America?

Romney: I will make sure it is more attractive to keep jobs here than go overseas. Obama makes businesses want to get out of Dodge. Now I will talk about currency manipulation, although I know you don't have a clue what that means. But it makes me sound smart.

Obama: I missed much of his answer because of a TV glitch. But what I did see seemed cogent. But he didn't address the fact that he is making incredibly expensive for companies to keep jobs here.

Romney: We have to make it attractive to entrepreneurs to stay here.

Crowley: I have to cut you off to make sure that Obama has twice as much time as you to answer.

Obama: Some jobs are not coming back - the low-wage, low-skill jobs. (Um, no, Barry, they are the only ones that are coming back.)

Q11: To Romney: What are the lies the Obama capaign has been telling about you? (Finally! A plant question for Romney! It's vastly outnumbered, though.)

Romney: An excellent bullet point stump speech dwelling on the shortcomings of the Obama administration.

Obama: I've done good! My grandfather fought in World War Two. Since I am going to be the last one speaking here, I will now bring up Romney's 47-percent remark because I know he will not have a chance to rebut it. (Actually, a good tactic.)

End note: Here is the section of Obama's Sept. 12 Rose garden remarks about the Libya attacks.

As Americans let us never, ever forget that our freedom is only sustained because there are people who are willing to fight for it, to stand up for it, and in some cases lay down their lives for it. Our country is only as strong as the character of our people and the service of those, both civilian and military, who represent us around the globe. 
No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for. 
Today we mourn for more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America. We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done.
Does this characterize this attack specifically as a terror attack? I don't think so, especially since in succeeding days on many occasions, Obama bluntly refused to characterize it thus. Video here.

More: Scored as a debate, it was a draw. Each man have as good as he got. But Obama cannot afford a draw. He had to get a win and he didn't. A woman on Frank Luntz's "undecided voter" group (forgive me) said something I hadn't thought of: I am not undecided about whether to vote for Romney or Obama. It is whether to vote for Romney or not vote at all.

CBS' poll shows Romney won 2:1, this announced by FNC.

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