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Romney Hammers Obama in First Presidential Debate

"Patch Back" columnist Lisa Bigelow says Republican nominee Governor Mitt Romney handily defeated President Barack Obama in the first presidential debate.

He was clear. He was (almost) concise. He was specific and he was energized. 

In what can only be described as a brilliant performance, Republican nominee Mitt Romney dominated President Barack Obama in Wednesday evening’s first debate, when the questions pertained to domestic policy, specifically the economy, health care and the role of government.      

President Obama appeared lackluster while speaking and did not project confidence, even as he described his vision for a “new economic patriotism” while attempting to scare undecided voters by stating that “the only way” to cut taxes — as Governor Romney plans through tax reform — is by cutting education and other important domestic programs. 

While Obama gazed at the ground or spoke directly to moderator Jim Lehrer, Romney projected enthusiasm as he directed his answers directly to Obama. 

Romney clearly and unequivocally denied Obama’s assertion that his tax reform plan would do anything other than help the middle class. Although Obama did not offer any specifics to improve the American economy, Romney pointed to his five-point plan, which, he claims, will broaden the tax base by putting more Americans back in the workforce.

Energy independence is Romney’s first economic goal, which he believes will create four million jobs. He also wants to open up Latin American trade, eliminate Chinese “cheating,” improve skills training and education, balance the budget and “champion” small business. 

'Trickle Down Government' 

Romney observed that new business startups under Obama are down to a 30-year low.

“Trickle down government is not the answer for America,” Romney said, thus spinning a well-worn liberal slogan to a conservative advantage.

Romney expressed disbelief, and rightfully so, that President Obama would choose to focus the first two years of his presidency on passing health care reform, which Romney noted did not receive one Republican vote, instead of working to put Americans back on the job — and on the tax rolls.

President Obama appeared tired and nearly disinterested as he repeated worn and inaccurate Democratic talking points pertaining to tax policy, education and entitlement programs.

Romney, on the other hand, appeared presidential, energized, knowledgeable and forthright — especially during the countless number of times he pointed to putting people back to work as his top priority: “this is about jobs”, “my priority is jobs”, “create more jobs” and “putting people back to work” were heard consistently throughout the evening from Romney. 

Obama mentioned his desire to hire 100,000 math and science teachers; to this point, Romney retorted that with Obama’s green jobs plan, he could have hired two million teachers.

“My friend told me, [Obama] doesn’t pick the winners and the losers, [he] just picks the losers,” when it comes to investing in green jobs, Romney said, referring to Solyndra and other failed taxpayer-funded green business initiatives.

The Middle Class

For the most part, Obama refrained from blaming the George W. Bush administration for the failures of the past three-and-a-half years. But he was unable to refute Romney’s observations that the economy is growing more slowly now than it was last year or the year before that and that gas, food, energy and health care costs — important issues to middle class voters — have all risen under Obama.

“I call it ‘the economy tax,’” Romney said.

Romney also criticized Obama for failing to reduce the deficit as promised and for failing to take advantage of the reforms suggested by the Simpson-Bowles fiscal commission.

“You should have jumped on that” recommended bipartisan reform, Romney said.

Obama’s response that his new plan would take into account elements of Simpson-Bowles felt too little, too late. And Obama’s claim that he listens to all ideas regardless from whom they come rings false, as any close observer of the 2009 stimulus package knows.

In fact, each of Obama’s “plans” are warmed over talking points from 2008. The difference is, he’s had 3.5 years to deliver and has failed to do so. And all we have left is a higher cost of living, a stagnant job market, a precarious foreign affairs predicament and a tarnished international reputation.

Obama performed better when he spoke about entitlements, such as Obamacare, Medicare and Social Security, although Romney won the point when he said his entitlement policy would be, “I would ask myself, ‘is the program so critical that we have to borrow money from China to pay for it?’”

Ultimately, the difference between the two candidates was most stark near the end of the debate when Lehrer asked about the role of government in society.

Obama noted that he believes government offers people a “ladder of opportunity” and that “some things we do better together.”

Romney, on the other hand, pointed to the words written on the backdrop behind the candidates from the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

The president should “promote and protect the principles of those documents,” Romney said.

“We are seeing a belief that government can do a better job than the individual,” he continued. Yet “college graduates can’t find work, more Americans are on food stamps.”

Obama also noted his responsibility to keep Americans safe.

I can’t help but wonder what the diplomatic staff in Libya thinks about that. 

HL October 04, 2012 at 12:32 PM
I need a more objective source for reviewing these debates and political events. I only made it half way through this article when I realized the author wasn't remotely close to objective.
Aaron Leo (Editor) October 04, 2012 at 01:41 PM
HL, this is an opinion piece. I have changed the heading to reflect that. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.
MAC October 04, 2012 at 04:04 PM
HL is a total Obot to not see Obama's disastrous performance last night, and especially to support a FAILED president Obama, whose actions have: --Threatened the U.S. Constitution --Weakened America's defenses --Encouraged our enemies --Irritated our closest allies --Moved us towards Socialism --Increased our budget deficit --Increased our national debt, by SIX TRILLION $$$!!! --Weakened our economy --Trivialized the War on Terror --Failed to meet his promises Most recently (besides the blatant stirring up of more RACISM, which came out yesterday in the 2007 video where Obama went off the TelePrompTer), we see that Obama's admin. SACRIFICED the lives of Amb. Chris Stevens and 3 other Americans in Libya, by ignoring abundant WARNINGS from TERRORISTS!! There were 16 terrorist attacks upon the Benghazi consulate in Libya in the 6 months leading up to 9/11 this year, and abundant warnings, including on FB--causing Stevens to plead for more security--which the State Dept. DENIED!! They did this because their focus is on helping Obama's election! Then they all LIED about it for 2 weeks--and won't even let the FBI into Benghazi for the PROMISED investigation"--trying to cover up the fact that Obama has NOT defeated Al Quaeda and other Terrorists!!!
Joan October 04, 2012 at 04:53 PM
Romney's hair-on-fire performance isn't what I consider a "debate winner" unless one is looking for some entertainment with all the veracity and dignity of a WWE smackdown rather than a rational presidential-level discussion that involves, you know, actual facts. Maybe Romney was trying to draw Linda McMahon back into the fold.
Jimmy Pursey October 04, 2012 at 05:15 PM
you STILL at this, Donny? I thought you were bailing from this site?
HL October 05, 2012 at 02:00 PM
MAC, you just sound raving to me. I wasn't looking for a pro-Obama piece, just objective reporting with fact checking and such, and without biased verbs and adjectives in the writing. It's easy to see bias when you know what to look for. When the writer starts sentences with "Obama mentioned" versus "Romney declared", and others like "Obama noted" versus "Romney pointed out". This just shows you the author was looking to fulfill her own prophecy that every Obama opinion was wrong, and everything Romney said was fact. I wonder if the author is aware of her own cognitive biases? I understand it's an opinion piece, and she is entirely entitiled to it ... but I am more interested in facts than opinion, especially pre-formed opinion trapped in the waves of cognitive biases. The brain is a funny thing. I try as hard as I can to stay open-minded. You are on the other side of the spectrum, clearly from your ranting posts.
TrumbullProgressive October 06, 2012 at 02:24 AM
Lisa, your entire piece is hilarious and sounds like it was written by a Romney spin-mister rather than someone who objectively watched the actual debate. Far from looking presidential, Romney looked like a desperate man willing to lie his behind off just to get elected. Republican Joe Scarborough said it pretty well a few weeks ago: "Mitt Romney is likely to lose - and should, given that he is nether a true conservative nor a courageous moderate. He's just an ambitious man." You could always tell when Mitt was lying - his lips were moving. He claimed his health care plan would cover preexisting conditions and allow students to stay on their parents insurance. How can that be? Romney doesn't have a health care plan - he wants to let each state do it's own thing. His campaign manager admitted as much the next day saying there would be no federal mandate to do either of the things Romney said his "plan" would do. Romeny claimed he's not planning to cut taxes on the wealthy - even thought we have video saying he will cut taxes by 20% for EVERYONE. If Romney's plan actually cuts rates, but cuts loopholes to keep things revenue neutral, then where's the claimed jobs stimulus for the magical "job creators?" You can't have it both ways!
MAC October 09, 2012 at 06:31 PM
HL, Joan and TP--It's very simple. When someone FAILS at a job, you fire him and hire one who is much better qualified, Romney, who has the executive and leadership skills and EXPERIENCE--instead of someone who was voted in because he looks and sounded good with the aid of a teleprompter. In short, Obama was elected by people who were uninformed, who ^^imagined^^ that he was everything they could "hope" for, and who would bring about the "change" that you and they want (Utopia). Others voted like they were voting for their favorite rock star--BAD MISTAKE!!! There IS no "Utopia" possible, and if there were, career politicians and bureaucrats could not create it! Government has utterly failed to improve the plight of the poor and underprivileged, shown by the fact that 50 years, of spending 19 TRILLIONS of $$$ on the FAILED "war on poverty," has not lowered the poverty rate at all!!! Certainly it did take decades of malfeasance by incompetent career politicians in congress, not just Obama making joblessness and poverty worse these past 4 yrs. However, in the unlikely event that he is re-elected, what he has planned (and won't tell you) will turn this nation into a real DYSTOPIA, resembling nothing like our formerly prosperous Constitutional, representative republic! It will be an entirely different, more truly hopeful event and prospect for our futures when "America's Comeback Team," Romney and Ryan take office next January!!
Joan October 09, 2012 at 07:13 PM
Your argument is utterly baseless. Obama has not "failed" and Romney has not demonstrated any expertise whatsoever as far as being qualified to serve as President of the United States. Aside from his inability/unwillingness to provide any specifics of his policies, aside from his lack of core beliefs (as shown by his constant changing of positions on all issues), aside from his repeated demonstration of his inability to handle even the most basic elements of foreign affairs, he is a prevaricator. In other words, he lies--and does so with remarkable, disturbing ease. That fact alone would disqualify him even if there weren't so many other reasons to reject him.
MAC October 10, 2012 at 05:05 PM
Joan, numbers don't lie; people do. Especially people who don't understand numbers. Obama lies about Romney, and uses those lies to distract from his own failures, as you are trying to do--so you obviously don't "understand numbers" Joan. ..."Liberals, who often do not understand how the economy works let alone how to expand the economic pie, failed to work in their assumptions that the purpose of Romney's tax cuts is to actually grow the economy, which would make people more prosperous. And as the economy grows and more people get jobs, the government would get more tax dollars."... /www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/10/07/Princeton-Economist-Romney-Tax-Plan-Mathematically-Sound-With-Economic-Growth Romney is a LEADER; yours has FAILED! Try the numbers, under Obama, of 23 million Americans unemployed or under-employed, with the Labor Participation Rate for men now the lowest since the 1950s! Or the number that the average middle-class family's income is down some $4,300 a year under "the One" while their energy and gas (transportation) costs have "necessarily SKYROCKETED" (in his words)! Obama 'succeeded' there didn't he! So, Obama has made Americans poorer AND less safe, financially as he has added 6 TRILLION $$$ to the national DEBT; and with his FAILED foreign policy, which has not stopped half the ME being in flames, we are also much more threatened by Iran and Islamic extremists, like those who murdered Amb. Chris Stevens and 3 other Americans!
Joan October 10, 2012 at 07:06 PM
I don't understand numbers?? That just proves you don't know what you're talking about. When you quote statements like "Liberals, who often do not understand how the economy works..." you have absolutely no credibility.
MAC October 11, 2012 at 06:17 AM
It is obvious to open-minded people that Joan denies all facts which contradict her slavish worship of Obama/Dem politicians. It's rather puzzling, since I don't believe she is an unintelligent woman. Her closed-mindedness then must be due to self interest, benefiting somehow, by helping retain in power the "ruling class," such as Obama, who are harming ordinary average Americans with huge increases in energy costs, over REGULATION and takeovers of industries (like health care by Obamacare) that are causing layoffs and a continually worse economy! Some loyal Obots are in the gov't/education fields, which are totally in the tank for DEMS, because their Union benefits/wages (or those of tenured professors) are superior to the private sector workers', and are protected by the Democrat party. Others work for an organization or company like PP, which also has a privileged, symbiotic relationship with DEMS, or are congressional staffers, or employees of the DEM party. Joan and others are little soldiers for Obama, even though he is leading our Nation over a fiscal cliff! His kowtowing to the Muslim Brotherhood has now put Americans in existential jeopardy in the ME. Obama's worshippers are going to be stunned when they see that his debacle in Libya, in which he SACRIFICED the lives of Amb. Chris Stevens and 3 other Americans, is a much much worse scandal than Watergate! c-span.org/Events/Congress-Holds-First-Hearing-on-US-Consulate-Attack-in-Libya/10737434835-1/
Joan October 11, 2012 at 12:29 PM
MAC, please leave me out of your delusional ultra-right-wing fringe rants. It's obvious to all "open-minded people" that you are little more than a mouthpiece for Glenn Beck, Breitbart, Fox News, and their paranoid ilk. True to form, you find it necessary to resort to personal attacks when anyone challenges your skewed world view. I guess I must have really hit a nerve, given the length of your diatribe against me.
Carol Hudak October 11, 2012 at 11:17 PM
MAC, thanks for the laugh! I needed one today. ""it is obvious to open-minded people that Joan denies all facts . . ." MAC, my dear, if you are including yourself in the 'open-minded people' statement, well, again . . . thanks for the laugh. Joan's closed-mindedness??? How about your own?? MAC, hear me out, you're not quite the person to be leading a balanced discussion on closed minds. LOL. You lob hand grenades at anyone whose thoughts are not reflective of your own.
Tim Hendrie October 14, 2012 at 06:09 PM
I don't think it's fair that they didn't let Obama use his teleprompter. Poor Guy how's he supposed to compete?
Tim Hendrie October 14, 2012 at 06:10 PM
Joan is accusing somebody else of personal attacks? Self awareness?
TrumbullProgressive October 14, 2012 at 08:04 PM
Tim, Romney/Ryan don't need a teleprompter because they're just making everything up as they go along. Lies are easy to make up on the fly, but they catch up with you in the end - especially now that we have this thing called video tape. A good case in point: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/16/paul-ryan-stimulus_n_1790573.html. I think this is what is commonly called a bald-faced lie. It's kind of like saying a concert is being cancelled due to weather or road paving when it is actually being cancelled due to abysmal ticket sales.
Tim Hendrie October 14, 2012 at 08:16 PM
Cancel the concert take your lumps move on. You have to recognize mistake make changes and move on. Thi is what the electorate has to do with Obama. He was a Brain Fart.
Jim Flynn October 14, 2012 at 08:20 PM
That must make Romney an anal fissure
louis October 14, 2012 at 08:36 PM
Non! This is unacceptable! They agreed that they would provide a concert for the people! Now they are just making money off of it! Do you people just read self help stuff? Or can you spew some wisdom with better foundations than that. Even Robert Schuller and Toni Robbins put more thought into this stuff than you people!

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