I don’t know if Obama’s heart just wasn’t in it last night, or if Mitt Romney just intimidated him, but lets face it, Mitt Romney dominated this debate. All the evidence you would need to confirm this can be found in the reactions of certain media pundits who have traded trickles up the leg, for sharp pains in their chests.
The debate started with sparks. After the obligatory introduction, Obama attempted to establish a few things. First, he inherited this mess (which we have heard for the last 4 years), secondly (true to his campaign slogan of “Forward”) we shouldn’t look at where we have been, but instead should look at where we are going. He then attempted to characterize Mitt Romney’s plan as, “a perspective that says if we cut taxes, skewed towards the wealthy, and roll back regulations, that we’ll be better off”.
Of course Mitt Romney wasn’t going to let this slide. After all, for the past several months Mitt Romney has been reduced to snippets and soundbites designed to take him out of context, divide and confuse voters and defame his character by a media snugly in the pocket of the Obama administration. Seizing the opportunity, Mitt Romney set the record straight (and would continue to have to do so as the night went on and Obama retreated to the same talking points).
Mitt Romney’s tax plan does not call for tax cuts to the upper class. Now I know that may be the first time some of you have heard that, and it apparently was the first time Obama had heard it because he had to be corrected on it at least three times, but it’s true.
With the “tax cuts for the wealthy at the expense of the middle class” argument clearly neutralized, Mitt Romney was free to compare and contrast Obama’s plans (and implemented policies) with those of his own. I’ll spare you the play-by-play and skip to some of the highlights, but what I have included here don’t even begin to illustrate the WIN that was this debate;
First, Obama made a play for energy by saying the following:
On energy, Governor Romney and I, we both agree that we’ve got to boost American energy production, and oil and natural gas production are higher than they’ve been in years. But I also believe that we’ve got to look at the energy sources of the future, like wind and solar and bio-fuels, and make those investments.
Keep in mind here, “investments” to a liberal means government funding… just so we are clear. Romney countered with this beauty:
Energy is critical, and the president pointed out correctly that production of oil and gas in the U.S. is up. But not due to his policies. In spite of his policies. Mr. President, all of the increase in natural gas and oil has happened on private land, not on government land. On government land, your administration has cut the number of permits and licenses in half. If I’m president, I’ll double them, and also get the — the oil from offshore and Alaska. And I’ll bring that pipeline in from Canada. And, by the way, I like coal. I’m going to make sure we can continue to burn clean coal. People in the coal industry feel like it’s getting crushed by your policies. I want to get America and North America energy independent so we can create those jobs.
After what was clearly the kind of punch that makes you see stars, Obama was eager to get the subject back to taxes, again repeating the lines about a 5 trillion dollar tax cut and middle class families having to cover those costs under a Romney administration. This gave Romney yet another opportunity to counter by saying:
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