Last night, Governor Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama met in Denver, CO for the first of three Presidential Debates. Romney was aggressive and sure of himself during his performance, while Obama was calm, reserved, and deliberate in his. Romney needed a game changing performance last night, and that didn’t happen.
Liberals have been complaining since the debate concluded that President Obama let Romney get away with telling too many lies—that the President should have aggressively challenged those falsehoods. While listening to Romney get away with his lies was frustrating, it was not necessarily a bad strategy for the President to let those lies pass unchallenged during the debate.
The economy is slowly recovering from the worst economic crisis in 80 years. But that recovery isn’t the best position to argue from for the President. In a first debate between a challenger and incumbent the worst thing the incumbent can do is come off defensive. President Obama spoke on what he was doing and what he plans to do in his second term, without responding directly to Romney’s attempts to hang the slow economy around his neck. If the president had accurately pointed out that it was the Republicans in the House and Senate who have blocked or watered down every attempt to help the American economy recover from the economic crisis that they and former President George W. Bush, he would have appeared weak and ineffective.
When Romney kept harping over $716 billion in cuts to Medicare, President Obama could have pointed out that Romney’s running mate proposed the same amount in cuts. He was wise however to let his campaign handle the process of calling him out, rather than be defensive.
President Obama didn’t need to come out swinging last night, he just needed to hold his own. He did that. Mitt Romney needed to deliver a game changing performance landing several knock-out punches. He didn’t do that.
I suggest my fellow liberal friends who were frustrated with President Obama’s performance last night that there is plenty of time for Romney’s lies to be rebutted, and the President doesn’t have to personally rebut them.
I’ll start now with a few.
Facts Matter—and Mitt Romney is unwilling to give them to the American people.
“And at some point, I think the American people have to ask themselves, is the reason that Governor Romney is keeping all these plans to replace secret because they’re too good? Is it — is it because that somehow middle-class families are going to benefit too much from them?” — President Barack Obama (Denver Presidential Debate 10-03-2012)
$716 billion from Medicare—The cuts to Medicare under Obamacare are savings resulting from a more effective health care system. The Romney-Ryan budget actually cuts the same amount from medicare benefits.
The AARP endorsed Obamacare because it extended the life of the program by nearly a decade by reducing unnecessary insurance company subsidies and rooting out waste and fraud. Mitt Romney’s plan would bankrupt Medicare by 2016, turn the program into a voucher system, and could increase costs for seniors by more than $6,000 a year – based on an analysis of his current plan. In fact, the savings Romney just decried were included in his running mate’s budget, which Romney called “marvelous” and promised to sign into law.
ABC News Fact Check: Spending Will Be Reduced By Getting Rid of Fraud and Ending Overpayment To Private Insurance Companies.” “Medicare spending will continue to grow, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), but ACA will slow that growth….spending will be reduced by getting rid of fraud and ending over payments to private insurance companies. It sends a message to those insurance companies: Operate more efficiently.” [ABC News, 6/28/12]
Romney Won’t Support Own Tax Plan—says he won’t cut taxes on the wealthy
“I will not reduce the share paid by high income individuals. I know that you and your running mate keep saying that and I know it’s a popular thing to say with a lot of people but it’s not the case.”
With Romney’s Tax Plan the Top 0.1% would see an average tax cut of $246,652. [Tax Policy Center, On The Distributional Effects Of Base-Broadening Income Tax Reform, p. 19, 8/1/12]
I will close with this—Mitt Romney spoke last night of raising 5 boys and listening to them repeat falsehoods over and over again expecting him to ultimately believe them to be true. That’s funny, seems like he has perfected the same tactics in his campaign based upon his experience.
The problem for Mitt is that just as his children were unsuccessful in convincing him, the American people will not be easily fooled by the constant repetition of lies.
I’ll cover more later, but I think you can discern my point.