Romney masterful, on point, fact machine. Obama; exhausted, rambling, out of ideas.
LEHRER: “Your five seconds went away a long time ago”
That may have been my favorite line of the night. How appropriate. Obama had just demanded he be given his full 2 minutes which include another 5 seconds. Instead, he rambled for another two minutes, providing no new substance and was finally, mercifully interrupted by Jim Lehrer. I can’t think of a better metaphor for this presidency or his campaign. Your time is up Mr. President. Please move off stage.
The debate really could not have gone better for Romney. Obama would have had to announce his exit from the race for it to have been any more one sided. As I have already posted this morning, Obama is simply not prepared to have someone challenge him with facts. His campaign of soundbite lies doesn’t play well when the person your lying about is standing next to you with an open microphone. Romney let nothing go unchallenged. It was beautiful. He went after Obama with facts.
Half a dozen times I sat there listening to Obama drone on and on and on and on thinking to myself two things – First, Mr Lehrer please turn off his microphone. Second: If Romney would only say this during his response. I was disappointed in my first wish but not my second. Romney came out firing. It was fun to watch. The “you only pick losers” line was epic. It would only have been better had Romney done the “loser” sign on his forehead.
Something amazing happened as well. The Democrats often claim the moral high ground on big government. What Mr. Romney? You want to repeal the puppies, widows and orphan protection act? Not last night. Romney managed to disarm Obama’s use of these tactics and to my sheer joy and amazement, he boxed Obama into a central planning argument. FINALLY!!!
Mrs. Tincup9 had to ask me to keep the noise down for fear of waking the kids. A couple of such moments in the debate stand out. Obama has a tactic of taking one tiny sliver of the piece of the truth and espousing it as an enormous fact. Romney nailed him time and time again last night. Debunking tax myths. The “I’ve been in business for 25 years. I have no idea what you’re talking about,” comment. Obama wants to close an oil company loophole. Romney immediately fired back the value of that proposal was a mere $2.9B. 50 times less than Obama’s failed investments in green energy or the equivalent of 2M new teachers. Obama looked staggered.
One of my favorites moments was during the exchange on small business taxes. Obama attempted to attack by launching into his populist rhetoric that his tax increases would only impact 3% of small business owners. You could almost sense Occupy painting new “we’re the 97%” signs. One problem, Mitt would have none of it:
Romney: Well, President, you’re — Mr. President, you’re absolutely right, which is that, with regards to 97 percent of the businesses are not — not taxed at the 35 percent tax rate, they’re taxed at a lower rate. But those businesses that are in the last 3 percent of businesses happen to employ half — half of all the people who work in small business. Those are the businesses that employ one-quarter of all the workers in America. And your plan is to take their tax rate from 35 percent to 40 percent.
The National Federation of Independent Businesses has said that will cost 700,000 jobs. I don’t want to cost jobs. My priority is jobs.
DAMN! These companies employ 50% of small business employees and 25% of workers nationally. 700,000 jobs. This retort was devastating to the President. Romney could just as easily have said: “Mr President, either you know those 3% employ 25% of US workers and you’re trying to mislead this nation, or you DON’T know those 3% employ 25% of US workers and you have no business leading this nation. Which is it?”
The personal highlight of the evening came for me when Romney went after Obama on Romneycare. It was like Romney was using my talking points from an earlier post.
Romney: First of all, I like the way we did it in Massachusetts. I like the fact that in my state, we had Republicans and Democrats come together and work together. What you did instead was to push through a plan without a single Republican vote. As a matter of fact, when Massachusetts did something quite extraordinary — elected a Republican senator to stop Obamacare, you pushed it through anyway.
So entirely on a partisan basis, instead of bringing America together and having a discussion on this important topic, you pushed through something that you and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid thought was the best answer and drove it through.
What we did in a legislature 87 percent Democrat, we worked together; 200 legislators in my legislature, only two voted against the plan by the time we were finished. What were some differences? We didn’t raise taxes. You’ve raised them by $1 trillion under Obamacare. We didn’t cut Medicare. Of course, we don’t have Medicare, but we didn’t cut Medicare by $716 billion.
All the post debate analysis say the same thing. Obama came across as long winded, unfocused, unprepared and tired. The best analogies I have seen suggest Obama was just trying to run out the clock of the debate with 5 minute lectures. This isn’t due to a lack of debate prep. It’s because he is arrogant and not accustomed to being challenged. He has no new ideas. The playbook has been run. He is not a candidate for the Presidency, he is the President and the economic disasters of the last four years are his responsibility. A point Romney made clear on several occasions.
Romney: trickle-down government approach, which has government thinking it can do a better job than free people pursuing their dreams. And it’s not working. And the proof of that is 23 million people out of work. The proof of that is 1 out of 6 people in poverty. The proof of that is we’ve gone from 32 million on food stamps to 47 million on food stamps. The proof of that is that 50 percent of college graduates this year can’t find work.
Mitt won big last night. His job is to now take that momentum and those talking points to the campaign trail. Keep the pressure on. Obama will certainly be better prepared in two weeks. Mitt should be ready. Next week we get treated to the Vice Presidential debate. You thought last night was ugly. Biden should fake an illness and call in sick. I can’t wait.