What happened last night can be explained in no uncertain terms: Mitt Romney gave President Obama a brutal ass kicking in front of 60+ million viewers.
Where did robot Romney go and where did the polished, comfortable and well-spoken man we saw last night come from?
I was raised to value truth and ethics over vanity and big talk. I repeated the Scout Oath countless times in my youth its first tenant; Trustworthy. But, the actuality is that we live in a world where theatrics trump substance and truth and in this world there was one very clear winner last night, Mitt Romney. Though somewhat bullish he absolutely controlled the floor talking over Jim Lehrer and the President repeatedly, he was aggressive, powerful and present. The same cannot be said for the President who had difficulty finding words and even more difficulty finding the rebuttals that should have been obvious to a well prepared debater.
Perhaps part of the problem stems from the fact that the Mitt Romney who appeared on stage here in Denver last night seemed to be fleeing from the one who won the Republican nomination. He unraveled a whole new platform that seemed to in every conceivable way misrepresent the platform on which he and Paul Ryan are/were actually running. He claimed he had no intention of cutting taxes on the rich or a tax cut that would balloon the deficit further, but that simply isn’t true. He has said repeatedly that he wants to restore the Bush-era tax cuts that expire at the end of the year, he wants to end the estate tax and the gift tax — all at a cost of more than $1 trillion over a decade if you believe in the power of Math. Further more, he wants to preserve the very generous capital gains rates that currently exist and wants to cut everyone’s taxes by 20 percent.
He claims all of this wouldn’t cost a dime thanks to reductions in deductions and loopholes, but he again refused to enumerate a single deduction he would erase.
No economist can say Mitt Romney’s tax plan adds $5 trillion if I say I will not add to the deficit with my tax plan.
I wish I could believe you Mitt, but I’m not going to take your word on this one. The fiction didn’t stop there, Mitt Romney:
- Repeated the dubious claim of the Affordable Health Care Act being a ‘government takeover of health care.’ – Politifact’s Lie of the Year 2010
- Revived the idea of death panels by claiming Obamacare established “a board that will tell people what kind of treatment they’re going to get.” — Nope, though private insurers do exactly that if you’re into facts
- Denied he has proposed a $5 trillion tax cut, but continues to refuse any specifics on the elimination of “offsets” like tax deductions and credits
- Repeated the untruth that President Obama is “cutting $716 billion” from Medicare — these are actually savings from reductions in fraud and waste, a good thing
- Claimed gas prices have doubled under Obama
The worst lie of the night? In my opinion, was Romney’s claim that people with pre-existing conditions would be covered under his plan — his adviser immediately backtracked on that one after the debate. Shameful and a blatant lie.
Regardless, Obama didn’t challenge him when so many opportunities presented themselves. For example, when Romney accused the president of supporting a “trickle-down government,” it would have been in the president’s best interest to maybe ask that means. But he didn’t.
When he said he supported the idea of regulation but rejected the Dodd-Frank financial reform law Obama could have pointed out how the law limits the corrosive practices, like derivatives trading — what directly led to the 2008 crash. But he didn’t.
The question then is; Do Americans really care whether they are being lied to? Or was the first presidential debate nothing more than another fake reality show? Text to vote… If Americans find aggressive lying entertaining, will we eventually be unable to tell the lies from reality? I fear that the ship may have already sailed.
Who really lost the debate? Truth. Hands down.