Thursday, October 4, 2012

Romney: 1 Obama: 0

The first round of debates in the 2012 presidential election went solidly in Mitt Romney's camp on Wednesday evening. I'd say he won the debate within the first 15 minutes.

                                                      Courtesy: BusinessInsider
Both men came out looking presidential, but it quickly became obvious that Romney was there to debate, while Obama was there to be The Great Leader--unquestioned and unchallenged in his views and statements. We saw how four years of a pathetic press corps and an insular administration can atrophy the mental muscle of a politician who relies on lies and one-liners...and it was beautiful.

The winning attitude for Romeny was this--he didn't accept the premise of any of Obama's lies. Obama kept repeating that Romney would have $5 trillion in tax cuts and $2 trillion in defense spending increases. And every single time Romney slapped that back and refused to let Obama get away with lying about the facts. And he defended his tax plan against the typical talking points parroted by Obama.

"I know that you and your running mate keep saying that, and I know that's a popular thing to say with some people, but it's just not the case," Romney said. "Look, I've got five boys. I'm used to people saying something that's not always true but just keep repeating it and ultimately hoping I'll believe it. But that is not the case." 

There were
many other great moments, but the other one that stood out was Romney schooling Obama on energy taxes and breaks. Obama took after Exxon and "Big Oil," saying that they got a $4 billion tax break. 

Obama said: 
The oil industry gets $4 billion a year in corporate welfare. Basically, they get deductions that those small businesses that Governor Romney refers to, they don't get. Now, does anybody think that ExxonMobil needs some extra money, when they're making money every time you go to the pump? Why wouldn't we want to eliminate that? Why wouldn't we eliminate tax breaks for corporate jets? My attitude is, if you got a corporate jet, you can probably afford to pay full freight, not get a special break for it.

And Romney totally destroyed the talking point: 

First of all, the Department of Energy has said the tax break for oil companies is $2.8 billion a year. And it's actually an accounting treatment, as you know, that's been in place for a hundred years. Now...

OBAMA: It's time to end it.

ROMNEY: And in one year, you provided $90 billion in breaks to the green energy world. Now, I like green energy as well, but that's about 50 years' worth of what oil and gas receives. And you say Exxon and Mobil. Actually, this $2.8 billion goes largely to small companies, to drilling operators and so forth.
But, you know, if we get that tax rate from 35 percent down to 25 percent, why that $2.8 billion is on the table. Of course it's on the table. That's probably not going to survive you get that rate down to 25 percent.

But don't forget, you put $90 billion, like 50 years' worth of breaks, into — into solar and wind, to Solyndra and Fisker and Tester and Ener1. I mean, I had a friend who said you don't just pick the winners and losers, you pick the losers, all right? So this — this is not — this is not the kind of policy you want to have if you want to get America energy secure.

Love. And excellent usage of "Solyndra!"

After their initial, 15-minute exchange, it was clear that Obama was lost. He was caught in the undertow and never got his feet back under him. The only time his condescending, nose-in-the-air stance appeared was briefly during the Obamacare discussion, but that was quickly replaced by his posture of the night--eyes downcast, standing off balance, unwilling to confront Romney.

                                                            Courtesy: SALON
Now, I did think that at the beginning Romney's confidence had the danger of coming off as being too aggressive and impolite. He seemed to talk over the moderator and looked too eager to slap at the president. (Not that I minded, but it could have looked that way to the meek and diffident lefties out there.)

In fact, I'm not so sure that part of the Obama strategy was to let Romney look overly aggressive, as Obama submitted to him several times. Because the people who might still have a swing vote might not necessarily want a "cowboy" personality. It's just not nice.

But Romney reined it in and struck the balance between defending his record, getting out his message, and owning the night.

Now the Romney campaign just has to be prepared for every leftist talking head, writer, and blogger in the media to come after them to do the job Obama wasn't willing or able to do.

The questions were fair, the moderator was excellent--letting the debaters truly have the stage while maintaining the forum of the evening--and the politicians allowed their true colors to come through.

Romney was golden. Obama was just yellow.

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