Finally after all the campaigning and talks by the surrogates, we finally got our first Presidential debate. This is the first of three Presidential Debates and one Vice Presidential Debate that will take place over the course of the month of October.
My takes of the debate:
MEET CENTRIST MITT
On Wednesday night, the American people were introduced to Centrist Mitt Romney. He came out in favor of regulations for Wall Street and said he likes Green Energy.
That is not going to make his Wall Street overlords pleased.
Remember this is coming from a guy who said this:
Which brings me to this…
WE BUILT THIS… ON LIES
The theme of the Republican Convention was “We Built This.”
That was a lie.
The Tampa Bay Tribune Convention Center was built with the use of taxpayer funds, and it is worth mentioning that the convention center received vital services such as electricity and water from the public utility service. Extra police and security was brought in to ensure that convention attendees could get around Tampa safely and ensure that the activities of the citizens of Tampa were minimally impacted by the Republican National Convention.
The Romney-Ryan campaign said that their campaign will not be dictated by fact checkers. Really?!
During the debate I knew that Romney was flat out lying.
Take this whopper from Mr. Romney…
Romney’s claims of that his tax plan does not include a $5 trillion tax cut is FALSE. The Tax Policy Center’s analysis of Romney’s proposal for cutting taxes by 20% for all incomes, eliminating the Alternative Minimum Tax, eliminating the estate tax, and other tax reductions, would reduce federal revenue by $480 billion by 2015. Hmmm…. Over a decade that would come out to… carry the 4… multiply by cosine 0…. Find the determinant of a 3-by-3 matrix…. $4.8 trillion.
Oh and those tax cuts will ADD to the deficit. Republicans like to cry about that we are $16.1 trillion in debt due to the overspending of the Obama administration. Again, LIES!
When Obama took office in January 2009, the debt stood at $10.626 trillion. Today it is at $16.1 trillion. Now don’t get all “sky is falling” on me, Obama’s contribution to the debt is only $5.474 trillion.
That comes out to Obama adding 34% to the debt. Clinton added 36%. Then you have George H.W. Bush who added 55% to the debt. His son, George W. Bush, nearly doubled the national debt in his eight years in office.
But which President caused the debt to EXPLODE under his presidency…?
Nope, not Carter. His change in the debt was 42.3%.
Here is a hint: I was born during this Presidency.
It was Ronald Wilson Reagan. Reagan nearly tripled the debt during his eight years in office.
Republicans claim that so much of our country is being crushed by the debt amassed over the last 30 years and claim that the solution is to stop spending money and cut revenues.
It pays for the maintenance of our roads. It pays out Pell Grants for students. It pays for Social Security for the elderly and provides Food Stamps for children so they don’t go hungry.
It pays our troops, supports the Veterans Administration Hospitals, and provides our returning Veterans with a way to pay for school.
I have bills to pay and if my revenue stream stops, guess what, I still have bills to pay. If I want the basic functions to sustain life and comfort (housing, electricity, food), I have to pay for them. Same with our government. We want nice things, but they cost money.
DON’T KILL BIG BIRD
Debates are known for sound bites. In the first debate, it will be known as Big Bird.
Mitt Romney said that he would cut the funding for PBS even though he liked the moderator and Big Bird.
The amount that PBS receives from the government in subsidies is $450 million, while Big Oil gets a $4 billion tax cut.
Which one needs to be cut again?
THERE’S THAT $716 BILLION AGAIN
Romney again peddled that non-sense that ObamaCare cut $716 billion dollars from Medicare. Again, the purpose of that money was used to save the program and to combat waste, fraud, and abuse in the system.
Once again, MATH!
PBS newscaster Jim Lehrer moderated 11 presidential debates and insisted that 2008 would be his last one. The Commission on Presidential Debates urged him to return for this one.
Mr. Lehrer should have stayed retired.
His performance should revive the discussion about reforming the debate process. I think a return of the three-person moderation table should make its return and also extend the time of the debate to two hours instead of 90 minutes.
I admit that my grading was a tad reactionary. I gave Obama a C-minus based on that this was his first debate in four years, and he appeared shocked that Romney was spouting lie after lie. Obama had built a pretty sizeable lead in key swing state polls over the last few weeks in part due to a sizeable convention bump and the Mr. Romney’s 47% comments made it look like the President would be re-elected. I gave Romney a C-plus, but I am downgrading it to a C. Yes, Romney had the optics, but the LIES.
Right now Romney is riding a momentum wave, but I don’t expect it to last. Mr. Romney can say what he feels will get him elected but he has a long documented series of flip-flops. He is still Mitt Romney, the stereotypical politician who will say whatever he wants based on the polls and the way things are going. Mr. Romney is a businessman and knows how to swindle people and that is exactly what he is doing.
Up next is the Vice-Presidential debate and I am hoping that Vice-President Joe Biden can reclaim Obama’s lead. There is a second presidential debate on 16 October at Hofstra University in New York. It is a town hall format that will take questions from voters in the audience. The moderator needs to be forceful with the candidates and not be the doormat that was Jim Lehrer. I would like for one of the audience members to ask which Mitt Romney is running for President: is it the one who signed Massachusetts version of health care reform or will dismantle ObamaCare at the federal level? Or the one who acknowledged climate change as governor or as a Presidential candidate became the bitch for Big Oil? Or the one who said “I will be better than Ted Kennedy on gay rights” in 1994 or the one who signed a pledge stating that he would support a Constitutional Amendment defining marriage as “One Man, One Woman?”
President Obama has his work cut out for him. Not only does he have his job as President, but he needs to hit the pavement hard for every last single possible vote and prepare for the second debate. Interesting enough, there was a post-debate rally for Obama in Wisconsin. Romney, did not have one. At the rallies that Obama has had so far he is encouraging his supporters to go and vote. Romney, not so much.
Obama cannot afford another debate performance like he did last week. In the second debate with Mr. Romney, he needs to bring his A game and tell the people WHY he is more qualified than Mr. Romney to be president. Mr. Obama has a record to run on; Mr. Romney is afraid of his.
Nationally, I would rate the race from likely Obama to leaning Obama. It is not a tossup… YET. Democrats, stop hyperventilating and calm down. Republican, put down the champagne, you haven’t won yet. There is still a long ways to go until Election Day.