What They’re Saying About the Presidential Duel in Denver - Obama: “Four Snore Years”

The first debate is over!

It was remarkable…

for Romney.

The day after the first presidential debate of 2012 in Denver, CO, this headline from the Boston Herald says it all… (Oct 4, 2021)

I was going to begin this article by saying Governor Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama went eyeball to eyeball last night in Denver, but that wasn’t the case. It was a night of Romney focusing on Obama, looking directly into his eyes, while Obama’s eyes were oft-times focused… downward… as if he was willing the lectern to morph into his teleprompter. And, in my opinion, as if he knew Romney was on to him. The Boston Herald headline above encapsulates the evening.

Romney seemed to relish the opportunity to speak to Americans without the filter of the nefarious news media. He was the man we know and admire - very well-prepared, precise, focused, in control, filled with conviction and compassion, showed humor, aggressive while affable, and was completely at ease.

Obama was flat, subdued, distracted, passive, at times churlish and bewildered that his royal-highness-stature-and-personality wasn’t cutting the mustard. At one point Obama asked moderator Jim Lehrer to move off a topic (a first!).

From the get-go, Obama attempted to set the campaign narrative as not what has happened in the last four years, but what will happen if he’s given four MORE years. He couldn’t be standing on shakier, flakier ground.

Some Obama proponents today are claiming moderator Jim Lehrer was weak or favored Romney. Not so. Obama was given four more minutes of speaking time - over Romney. The Governor delivered far more substance in his allotted time than Obama with his extra OVERtime. And, Lehrer appeared at times to attempt to coach Obama via his questions, trying to prompt him to give a more cogent response.

Last night’s debate aptly illustrated by Gary Varvel, Oct 4, 2021

Clash of the titans? The only titan present in this race is Mitt Romney.

I’m delighted at what is being said about the Duel in Denver (from Mitt Romney Press):

Obama Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter: “And I Think That Mitt Romney, Yes, He Absolutely Wins The Preparation. And He Wins The Style Points.” (CNN’s “CNN Live,” 10/3/12)

ABC News’ Jake Tapper: “It Was Not A Strong Performance By [President Obama].” ABC’s JAKE TAPPER: “Well, I’ve covered President Obama for about six or seven years now and I’ve seen him inspire crowds of tens of thousands and then I also recall the summer of 2007 when he was listless and flat and uninspired and his campaign manager had to knock some sense in him and get him back in the game. Unfortunately for the Obama campaign that’s the Obama I saw on the stage tonight. It was not a strong performance by him.” (ABC, 10/3/12)

Bloomberg’s Joshua Green: “Dominating…” “On Wednesday night, Mitt Romney attempted a hostile takeover of the presidential campaign … dominating President Obama.” (Bloomberg, 10/3/12)

Politico’s Glenn Thrush: “How Tough A Night Was It For The Incumbent? He Even Muffed Some Of The Basics Of Debate 101…” “How tough a night was it for the incumbent? He even muffed some of the basics of Debate 101, struggling to find the right camera to address once or twice during the mostly civil 90-minute exchange.” (Politico, 10/3/12)

After Mitt Romney’s debate performance, his sweet granddaughter rushed on stage to give him a big hug. Oct 3, 2021 (photographer unknown)

Time’s Mark Halperin: “A Performance That Will Both Delight The Republican Base And Make Undecided Voters Take Note. Was The Dominant Figure On The Stage On Almost Every Exchange.” (Time , 10/3/12)

ABC News’ Russell Goldman: “Romney Came Out Swinging In The First Presidential Debate…” “Mitt Romney came out swinging in the first presidential debate, challenging President Obama over his health care reforms, treatment of the economy, taxes and funding for Sesame Street’s Big Bird.” (ABC News, 10/3/12)

BuzzFeed’s Michael Hastings: “For Weeks, President Obama’s Advisers Have Been Lowering Expectations … Maybe The Expectations Weren’t Low Enough.” “For weeks, President Obama’s advisers have been lowering expectations for the debate tonight, both privately and publicly forecasting that the Commander in Chief could deliver a dud. Maybe the expectations weren’t low enough.” (BuzzFeed, 10/3/12)

Time’s Joe Klein: “Mitt Romney Won This Debate. Barack Obama Lost It. I Mean, He Got His Butt Kicked.” “Well, I’m with all the other talking heads: Mitt Romney won this debate. Barack Obama lost it. I mean, he got his butt kicked. It was, in fact, one of the most inept performances I’ve ever seen by a sitting President.” (Time , 10/3/12)

Bloomberg’s Ramesh Ponnuru: “Romney Made The Most Focused Appeal To Middle-Class Voters On The Basis Of How His Agenda Would Help Them…” “Romney made the most focused appeal to middle-class voters on the basis of how his agenda would help them — on energy, on health care, on jobs — that he ever has.” (Bloomberg, 10/4/12)

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Romney Blasts Obama on Jobs Report: “Another Hammer Blow to Struggling Middle-Class”

Economy barely putt-putting along… Team Obama says they’re “ahead of the curve.”


23 million Americans are out of work.

July’s jobs report reveals another bruising whack at the middle-class.

While speaking to voters today at ‘Sierra Truck Body and Equipment’ in North Las Vegas, NV, Governor Mitt Romney responded to the jobs news:

“And, of course, today we just got a new number from the unemployment report and it’s another hammer blow to the struggling middle-class families of America because the President has not had policies that put American families back to work. I do. I’ll put them in place and get America working again. You know this. These numbers are not just statistics. These are real people really suffering, having hard times. 23 million Americans out of work, or stopped looking for work, or way underemployed. 23 million. The official unemployment number: 8.3 percent. That’s the longest period of time, 42 months, the longest period of time we have had unemployment above 8 percent in American history - since this has been recorded. This is an extraordinary record of failure. The President’s policies have not worked because he thinks government makes America work. He’s wrong. It’s people like John that make America work.”

(emphasis added)

Team Obama is spinning the latest unemployment news as being “somewhat ahead of the curve.” Uh huh. That goes hand-in-glove with Obama’s lofty declarations that “the private sector is doing just fine“, “you didn’t build that“, and the economy will be stimulated if we “buy furnace thingamajigs.”

Romney continued to reassure Americans he knows how to get Americans working again:

“And so the time has come for a plan that will actually get America’s workers back to work, that’ll create more jobs and take-home pay. And I know how to do that. This is not a mystery for me. This is not theory. This is practice!”

With his focus on helping the middle class climb out of the Obama morass, Romney presented a five-point economic plan yesterday which includes “achieving energy independence, cutting the deficit and balancing the budget, improving education, strengthening trade practices, and championing small businesses.”

A few results of Obama’s “ahead of the curve” putt-putt governance…

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Artur Davis: Fmr Dem Rep & Prominent Obama Backer Supporting Romney

Former Rep. Artur Davis (D-AL), and former Co-Chairman for Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, is supporting Governor Mitt Romney.

Artur Davis, former Democrat Representative and high-profile Obama supporter, once dubbed the ‘Obama of Alabama’, is now a Republican. And, he’s voting for Governor Mitt Romney.

Here’s Davis last night with Greta Van Susteren:

I’m going to vote for Governor Romney. … I think he has the potential to be a very good president in this country.

You leave a party because on the whole range of issues you just don’t feel the comfort, you don’t feel the home anymore. That’s where I am but I’m not alone. Millions of Americans who supported the Democratic Party four years ago have left because they no longer see their views and their common sense represented in the Democratic Party.” - Artur Davis

On May 29, 2022 Davis wrote:

…[T]his is not Bill Clinton’s Democratic Party (and he knows that even if he can’t say it). If you have read this blog, and taken the time to look for a theme in the thousands of words (or free opposition research) contained in it, you see the imperfect musings of a voter who describes growth as a deeper problem than exaggerated inequality; who wants to radically reform the way we educate our children; who despises identity politics and the practice of speaking for groups and not one national interest; who knows that our current course on entitlements will eventually break our solvency and cause us to break promises to our most vulnerable—that is, if we don’t start the hard work of fixing it.

On the specifics, I have regularly criticized an agenda that would punish businesses and job creators with more taxes just as they are trying to thrive again. I have taken issue with an administration that has lapsed into a bloc by bloc appeal to group grievances when the country is already too fractured: frankly, the symbolism of Barack Obama winning has not given us the substance of a united country. You have also seen me write that faith institutions should not be compelled to violate their teachings because faith is a freedom, too. You’ve read that in my view, the law can’t continue to favor one race over another in offering hard-earned slots in colleges: America has changed, and we are now diverse enough that we don’t need to accommodate a racial spoils system. And you know from these pages that I still think the way we have gone about mending the flaws in our healthcare system is the wrong way—it goes further than we need and costs more than we can bear.

May 30, 2022 - Davis was interviewed by FOX News’ Neil Cavuto:

A Harvard educated lawyer, Davis represented Alabama’s 7th Congressional District 2003-2011. He was the first Congressional member outside of Illinois to throw his support behind Senator Barack Obama’s 2008 run for the presidency. Davis was a Co-Chairman for Obama’s campaign and, at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, was the guy who seconded the official nomination of Obama. These last two points are why his support for Governor Romney is especially noteworthy.

To Artur Davis, we say WELCOME!

UPDATE: Davis Hits the Road for Romney

Follow Jayde Wyatt on Twitter @YayforSummer

Leaders of Congress Follow Mitt Romney

Last week was a big week for Mitt Romney. The Newt Gingrich bubble burst and the Romney resurgence began.

But the most missed story of last week was Gov. Romney’s health care victories. First, Romney’s proposal to reform Medicare got a big boost when it was adopted and sponsored by two very prominent members of congress, Rep. Paul Ryan (R) and Senator Ron Wyden (D) of Oregon. Paul Ryan is the popular conservative chairman of the House Budget Committee and is ranked as one of conservatives most influential voices on economic policy. Wyden serves on the Senate Budget and Finance Committees and is a health care expert in his own right. Wyden was widely considered as a top candidate to become HHR secretary under Obama. The fact that both of these leaders adopted Romney’s proposal speaks volumes about the quality of Romney’s plan and Romney’s ability to lead and develop bold yet realistic goals that will get things done for the American people.

Even Newt Gingrich, Romney’s chief rival for the nomination, praised the Ryan-Wyden health care bill as a “major breakthrough” in the last GOP debate in Iowa saying:

“Now, Gov. Romney, frankly, came up with a very good plan which allowed for the maintenance of the current (Medicare) system. Paul Ryan has adopted that, and I think in a very brave act by Senator Wyden, you now have a Democrat willing to co-sponsor the bill. I’ve endorsed the concept today. I think it is a big step forward and I think Gov. Romney deserves some of the credit for having helped figure out a way to make this thing workable. So I think it is a nice thing to actually have a bipartisan plan in Washington that we can actually look at in a positive way, and I hope will help save Medicare.”

Gingrich’s high praise for Romney is particularly surprising when one realizes that Newt and Mitt are running neck-in-neck for the nomination and given that Gingrich is often referred to as the “GOP’s idea man.”

The Ryan-Wyden Plan illustrates how Romney is able to develop bold goals that will produce results even in a difficult political climate. A lot of candidates will put forward a lot of proposals while running for office, but most of those proposals are ideas that just pander to the base of their party and have absolutely no chance of passing congress. The Ryan-Wyden plan shows Romney’s ability develop serious bipartisan solutions to America’s most difficult challenges. For a candidate who is not even in office yet, this is an impressive accomplishment.

The second victory Romney achieved last week in regard to health care came directly from President Obama. Obama finally caved in and conceded to Republicans by allowing states to have greater flexibility in crafting their own state plans.

The New York Times said this:

“In a major surprise on the politically charged new health care law, the Obama administration said Friday that it would not define a single uniform set of ‘essential health benefits’ that must be provided by insurers for tens of millions of Americans. Instead, it will allow each state to specify the benefits within broad categories.”

Why is this important? By giving states more authority to define their own health care programs, Obama is trying to avoid the “big brother” label on health care that is frequently used by conservatives. Obama is also trying to deflect the powerful argument made frequently by Romney that ObamaCare forces a one-size-fits-all standard for health insurance and usurps state authority to regulate the industry.

From the beginning, Romney has been pushing the Obama administration to allow greater flexibility to states, and in fact, what Romney ultimately wants is for each state to have the same degree of freedom that he had in Massachusetts to design and implement their own plans. One of the primary reasons Romney opposed ObamaCare is because it violated state sovereignty by taking away each state’s ability to create a unique plan, and then test that new plan in the ‘laboratories of democracy.’ Even though Obama’s move does not allow the full freedom that Romney would like, it represents a huge concession to Romney and the Republicans.

In conclusion, Romney has shown time and again that he is up to the task of reforming our nation’s most difficult and persistent problems. Health care costs in this country are astronomical with the U.S. spending almost 33% more per capita than other first-world countries. Most people do not realize that the U.S. federal government spends more money on health care than our entire national defense budget! Gov. Romney is the only candidate who consistently shows the breadth and depth necessary to handling meaningful entitlement reform in this country.

Romney and Congressman Paul Ryan Discuss Debt Crisis, Entitlements

Romney and Ryan…

According to Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI), he and Governor Romney spent time together last Thursday (Oct. 27) when Romney was in Washington D.C. They discussed entitlement reform and our federal debt.


Speaking Tuesday, Mr. Ryan said the meeting was focused on issues pertaining to Social Security reform and the nation’s growing debt crisis.

I spent an hour with Romney on Thursday,” Mr. Ryan said. The Wisconsin Republican said the two discussed about entitlements reform and Republican proposals aimed to limiting costs associated with Social Security programs.

“I think he gets the situation, and I think he’s serious about fixing it if elected.”

John McCormack from The Weekly Standard asked Ryan about his meeting with The Gov, pointing out that Ryan had previously been somewhat critical of Romneycare:

[Ryan] says the issue is irrelevant. “I don’t think this question matters that much anymore because Romney’s been very clear that he’s against Obamacare and he’s going to repeal it. So I for a second don’t worry about whether he’s going to shy away from repealing the president’s health care law.”

Ryan also said this about Romney:

He keeps winning these debate tests. He’s pretty capable and strong and resilient in those things.”

(emphasis added)

Congressman Ryan is the ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee. The Republican National Committee has delegated him to fundraising for the eventual nominee, so he won’t be endorsing anyone during the primary.

Last week, the day before he met with Romney, Congressman Ryan spoke to a gathering at The Heritage Foundation:

Saving the American Idea: Rejecting Fear, Envy and the Politics of Division

► Jayde Wyatt

Mitt Romney: Obama Must Slay the Job-Killing Beast

On this day after feisty midterm elections, many of us are a little bleary-eyed after late-night return watching. This morning, Republicans hold a majority in the House of Representatives and have added more balance to the Senate. Some races are still being determined. How sweet it is!

What next? What will Obama say during his post-election press conference today? While we’re still catching our breath from yesterday, Mitt Romney has written a succinct op-ed offering advice to the president…

Obama must slay the job-killing beast
By Mitt Romney
Wednesday, November 3, 2021

President Obama could have focused on solving the financial crisis. He did not. He could have endeavored to conquer the looming threats to our future. Instead, he added to them. Now that voters have rejected his first two years in office, the president should not waste this political crisis: He should seize his “Nixon to China” opportunity.

Government is a greater threat to America in 2010 than China was in 1972. Government is smothering the pioneering, entrepreneurial spirit that propelled our economy past those of older, larger nations. Ever higher taxes on small and big business, layers of red tape, onerous labor regulations, and punitive bureaucrats and lawsuits are suffocating U.S. economic vitality. So far, the president and his fellow travelers in Congress have made things worse: If Obama is serious about changing the way things are done in Washington, he must slay the job-killing beast Washington has become.

He must also choke off government’s voracious appetite. Under current law, the federal government’s share of the economy will grow from its 50-year average of 20.3 percent to 26.5 percent by the end of this decade; federal, state and local governments will then constitute more than 40 percent of the economy. At what point do we effectively become a socialist economy, with its associated low growth, low incomes and permanently high unemployment?

And at what point will lenders to our government insist on charging punishingly high interest rates, or stop buying U.S. debt altogether? Congressional Budget Office data indicate that government spending through the next decade will require $12.4 trillion in additional debt, bringing our total public indebtedness to $22.2 trillion by 2020 - about the size of our gross domestic product. America’s debt then will look a good deal like Greece’s debt does today.

Obama’s first instinct is to blame all this on his predecessor’s tax policies. But the $22.2 trillion figure already assumes that Obama will raise taxes on annual incomes higher than $250,000, repealing the so-called Bush tax cuts for the rich. So the $12.4 trillion in new debt is entirely due to government spending and the president’s own tax policies. Spending, Mr. President, is what threatens America’s economy, not tax cuts.

To tame runaway government spending, the president should of course embrace the usual measures: freeze government employment; freeze growth in discretionary spending; veto every spending bill chocked with earmarks; work to regain an effective line-item veto; extinguish ineffective, wasteful programs. But these are just the start.

If the president is to become serious about spending, borrowing and deficits, he must subject government to the two budgeting rules employed by every well-run business and home.

Rule One: Start with the total, don’t end up with it. Decide from the outset the amount that the government will spend for the year. Don’t add up all the program requirements, departmental requests and political wish lists to calculate the total - that’s surrendering, not budgeting. The nation’s 50-year average annual tax burden has been 18 percent of GDP. That’s the right figure for total spending; it may take several years to rein in spending to that level, but it should be the target.

Rule Two: Go where the money is. With entitlement spending about half of all federal spending, the president has no choice but to address Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. He should propose less costly progressive indexing for future Social Security beneficiaries - using the consumer price index inflator rather than the wage index for higher-income retirees. Medicaid should be granted in block to the states, giving them flexibility to meet the needs of poor residents in their own ways. Medicare will require reform of health care, making it more like a consumer market and less like a regulated utility. Medicare recipients should also be given better options for private coverage. Regardless of the reforms chosen, the entitlements budget should be subject to Rule One - set a total first and conform the programs to that level. Advocates of this course include the Brookings Institution on the left and the Heritage Foundation on the right.

Finally, don’t let the Bush tax cuts expire. Keeping them will yield revenue at 18.4 percent of GDP in 2020 - higher than the historic tax average. Lower taxes will propel growth, add jobs and produce a larger GDP that can accommodate our spending priorities. And don’t push defense below 4 percent of GDP; with today’s global threats and allies’ diminishing military capabilities, freedom will increasingly depend on American strength.

The president can turn his party’s losses Tuesday into a win for the country. It all depends on the course he sets.

(my emphasis)

I hope Obama is in the mood to take advice. If not, I know who should be our next president.

*Thanks to all who particpated in our election day chat. You helped make it a memorable day!

► Jayde Wyatt