Tonight we will be commenting as the debate goes forward, from time to time, with a full commentary at the end of the night. This will be our thoughts, comments to Twitter (MVConsult), and on Facebook. It will include any responses we recive as well. We hope you enjoy.
[Be forewarned, typos may occur]
Our questions provided to #CSPAN2012 for the debate tonight
Also of interest is the is the Daily Caller Presidential Debate Drinking Game. We present this but strongly advise that unless you are home or somewhere you can sleep off the drunk you do NOT play.
At 7:39 PM EST, Michael McCurry, co-chair of the Commission on Presidential Debates, discussed the question if ‘should there be more black and hispanic moderators for Presidential debates?’ We agree with his answer that there should be a presence of people in color, the absence of which is unfathomable in the 21st Century. It cannot be said that there are not qualified members of the press available, or that they are not known to the public (if that mattered in comparison to their ability). Yet, as often as this is brought up, the result continues to be an absence that is reflective of the general whitewash that is the television presentation of America – which does not exist.
At 8:14 PM, James Hohmann, of Politico, was asked about likeability and relatability of the candidates, ‘Americans want someone who shares their values’. Mr. Hohmann noted that this remains a key factor in voting, and that head-to-head President Obama leads on this criteria.
We wonder though, in an age of American Idol and other programs dedicated to likeability, does it matter? President Obama was very well liked in 2008. That did not help him to pass a single piece of legislation. It did not improve the economy, alter the unemployment rate, or influence relations with nations like Iran or Egypt or even Israel. Likeability may make Americans feel good, and is a logical reason to pick a singer on television, but ultimately is not a solution to reducing the deficit or funding Social Security or any other problem the nation faces.
We notice that many of the questions and comments on C-SPAN and on #CSPAN2012 (Twitter) do not relate to the issue tonight of the economy. A few are touching on healthcare, which will be in the second part of the debate (the 3rd part is the role of Government). They are some very good questions: Why did President Obama not act to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and bring the troops home immediately as promised on the campaign trail in 2008, when he had a supermajority in Congress? Another is about the impact of the BP oil spill. Too bad these questions won’t be addressed tonight, there are several good ones.
We notice that several people do have questions about the changes resulting from enacting Obamacare. One caller to C-SPAN noted he must have a heart surgery prior to 2014, on the direct advice of his doctor, as Obamacare may prevent his coverage from allowing the surgery. Another asked how Obamacare is not a tax, as it adds taxes and a penalty. Another noted how they are already being told of changes to their healthcare coverages, which was promised to not change.
We are interested to see if there is any response to these questions.
Of course not all the questions are interesting or even deserving of response. Like the question at #CSPAN2012 – [Twitter name withheld] I wonder if Obama will use his fake black accent to pander to his constituents? or [Twitter name withheld] If you’re a student why WOULD you vote conservative? Seriously, a Presidential debate is not about race nor does it demand that any group of people be denied choice or forced to vote/think in a singular manner. Are these concepts too hard to understand.
At 8:56 PM, Jim Lehrer is cracking jokes about mishaps in past debates. Like when the prompter went dead just at the start of a debate some time ago. The audience is enjoying it. We would have too except C-SPAN killed his mike in the middle of it.
Obama goes first, already hit the financial collapse and going back in time. States housing is rising and auto industry booming, not quite correct. Made a dig at Romney already. Mentioned reduced deficits – which has increased $6 trillion since Jan 2009.
Romney starts with joke and congratulates Obama on wedding anniversary. Romney on the attack about lack of jobs. Energy independance, international trade, improve skill, balance budget, encourage small biz, another tack on Obama Administration. promise to restore vitality.
Obama response – trickle down government – response education. Wants to higher 100k more teachers, lower tuition. Taxes, both to lower corporate taxes, bit no loopholes and breaks to those that invest in America. Energy, emphasis solar and renewable. Another attack on Romney, stating tax cuts illogical.
Romney, I don’t have a $5 mill tax cut. Highend people will be fine. Middle income Americans need help. But not a question for Obama that Lehrer asked him to ask Obama. Government not cause of increases in energy production, tack about coal. No tax cut that adds to deficit
Taxes, Obama, stated will cut for middle class families in 2008 – which he did. Families in better position to weather economy. Again states Romney proposing $5 trillion tax cuts. Running over time. Claims that only way for Romney to not increase deficit, increase middle class tax $2000, according to unstated economists.
Romney, interupts, states will not put in place tax plan that adds to deficit. Brought up 5 sons. Will not raise taxes on middle classes, notes study says Obama will increase taxes 3-4000$. Wants to lower taxes on indiividuals, creates jobs.
Obama challenges that this plan has been around 18 months. If rates lower as per Romney, increase tax on middle class impossible to avoid (condencendingly stated). Will increase rates on those over $250k to Bill Clinton rates. Will allow changes to education and energy. Claims Donald Trump is small biz according to Romney.
Romney, 97% biz taxes at lower than top rate 35%, and employ majority of people. Example in St. Louis pays 50%, and claims Obama will increase tax and cost jobs. Best way to balanced budget is getting more people working.
Obama, emphasis that now $7 trillion in cuts is against history and common sense. Claims it is sales pitch from 2001 -03. Lost surplus and ended up in recession. Is claiming that his plan is Clinton plan, and creates jobs. Faulty logic as does not account for 9/11 or internet crash and other factors.
Romney, $5 trillion cuts does not exist. priority is to get people back to work. Attack on people without work, increase in food stamps.
Lehrer, lost a bit of control. Deficit is now up.
Romney is a moral issue that burden of deficit is being passed to next generation. Cut spending, growe economy or raise taxes to resolve. Taxes does not work. Cut spending – is program worth borrowing for? PBS, Obamacare out. Govt must be more efficient. Get to balanced budget. Noted Obama promised to cut deficit in half but increased by double.
Obama, deficit is from tax cuts (bush) and 2 wars. Emergecy measures done due to crisis, but 77 programs (include 18 in education) cut. Remove $50 billion in medicare waste. Made $4 trillion deficit reduction plan (did not pass Senate or House). Notes that Bowles Commission made recommendation – none were taken from the plan.
Romney atacks Obama did not accept Bowles plan. Highlights that CBO predicts $1 trillion in deficit going forward with Obama plans. Increase in taxes will affect everyone beyond Donald Trump and Obama plan will kill 700k jobs. Revenue from creatng jobs, not taxes as that will never balance budget.
Obama says to be serious, needs to take away $4 billion from Oil companies, corporate jets and tax breaks to companies shipping jobs overseas. Which raises revenue and can be given to students and teachers. Classes with 42 students in it are unamaerican – my summary, and I had classes with 42 students more than 20 years ago.
Counter attack is that Obama gave $90 billionto Solyndra and green energy, equivalent of 50 years of oil subsidy (Dept Energy says credit is 2.8 billion) and oil subsidy on the table if corporate taxes down to 25%.
Obama, essentially ok but needs to be tweeked like by Reagan. Talks about value of SSI. Story about grandmother who was on SSi and Medicare – pander to get emotional sympathy. SSI does not need major change.
Romney, seniors need it and neither candidate proposing change to current retirement. President cut $716 billion to Medicare retirees now. President will give back $1 for every $15 cut in Medicare.
Obama does not support future retirees getting voucher plan, agrees does not affect current retirees. Claims will not keep up with costs, especially with healthcare companies picking health retirees and ultimately will hurt seniors. Quotes AARP is support of Obamacare. Claims repeal will increase rates to seniors by $600 overnight (factcheck?)
Romney, for higher incomes less coverage with emphasis to lower incomes for Medicare.
Obama attack on insur companies, making profit, though states profit is ok.
Lehrer is losing control. Romney seeming impatient.
Romney, Dodd-Frank, responsible for 122 community banks failed but big banks too big to fail. Obama, TARP required payback (not an Obama Admin decision).
Romney, CBO will cost more than traditional insure, Obama claim costs should be down now but is higher. Obamacare places govt over people and makes biz less likely to higher people. Must be repealed. Replace with State option.
Obama, not just costs skyrocketing or biggest impact to deficit (factcheck). Reason is that insur companies impose unfair limits. Does not mean govt over personal choice. States you get to keep your insurance. Creates group rates that are 18% lower. States the Romneycare option is good as a national plan.
Romney, differences on Romneycare – bipartisan, compromised, no increased taxes, no board deciding coverages, people will not lose coverage – 20 million will lose current coverage according to CBO. Healthcare must be bipartisan.
Obama, board is experts to figure out who to reduce costs. Nothing proposed to replace it besides allow states to make own decision. And no proof that cross-state competition will work (and none that it won’t since it does not exist).
Romney, Private sector competiton better than a board of 15 people.Right answer is not Govt mandating treatment.
Obama, no details on what will replace Obamacare bexcause Obamacare is best. is romney keeping it secret because it is too good?
Romney, My way or the highway does not work in solution for healthcare. Romneycare is model for nation on State by State choice.
Well this is turning out to be more of a summary transcript. Not the original intention. Essentially both are stepping all over Jim Lehrer. There is a feeling of animosity between the 2 candidates. Theyt are both very knowledgable, and prepared for this debate. Neither seems very compassionate. Both are making sweeping statements though. Factcheck of their comments will be very interesting as both have mistated and misquoted facts, though President obama has done so more often.
The interuptions of Romney on Lehrer have not gone over well we think. Makes him seem too anxious. President Obama keeps making sideways attacks on business and success. The defence of Obamacare did nothing to refute that people ARE losing their doctors and healthcare, and being adversely affected.
Trying to attack the Ryan Budget isn’t smart considering there hasn’t been a budget since he was elected and his 2 proposals received 0 votes in the Democrat-led Senate.
The interest rate argument is kind of flat as there always was agreement that interest rates should not be raised on student loans.
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