There are probably plenty of other dissections of Obama various skews, misdirections and outright lies… But here I’m just focusing on the lines and moments that leapt out at me. Relevant links and extras included for your additional time disappearing!
(I did some of the transcript by ear, then switched to NYT’s transcript with some modifications.)
BEST, 5:15 – Romney: “I’ve had the occasion over the last couple of years of meeting people across the country. I was in Dayton, Ohio, and a woman grabbed my arm, and she said, I’ve been out of work since May. Can you help me?”
Romney does this several times throughout the debate – citing personal anecdotes of real people, which really serves to humanize him. Which must be very surprising to the viewer who knows Romney only from the liberal media’s portrayals:
BEST, 6:38 – Romney: “Now, I’m concerned that the path that we’re on has just been unsuccessful. The president has a view very similar to the view he had when he ran four years ago, that a bigger government, spending more, taxing more, regulating more – if you will, trickle-down government would work.”
BEST, 5:55 – Romney: “My plan has five basic parts…”
Here it’s clear Romney isn’t just here to fight and win a debate, he’s here to show the American people – unfiltered by the liberal media – who he really is (not the heartless, uncharismatic braggart of caricature), and what he espouses to return the country to greatness. Also, his listing points by number is a good method to help people remember at least that he has concrete plans, if not the actual plans themself.
And Obama’s repeated attempts to portray Romney as having nice ideas but no specifics is totally defeated by Romney’s constant citing of specific plans, complete with numbers – hypocritical projection much, President of the Vague Notions?
WORST, 8:58 – Obama: “A five trillion dollar tax cut… Two trillion dollars in additional military spending that the military hasn’t asked for.”
This is just the first of THREE times that Obama tries this attack line. Romney responds and debunks this claim immediately following each mentions.
By the latter attempts to kick this dead horse into gear (mixed metaphor lol), it really gets grating – the audience was probably moaning and rolling their eyes by the third rehash: “Groan, not this again!” I get the feeling he keeps regurgitating it because it’s one of the few numbers he could be bothered/had time to memorize (and also, it distracts and diffuses his own record-breaking, over and over again, deficits).
As Ronaldimus Prime might have said: “There you go again.”
And of course, Obama’s line is patently false.
BEST, 10:07 – Romney: “Middle income Americans have seen their income come down by four thousand, three hundred dollars. This is a tax in and of itself. I call it the ‘economy tax’.“
Excellent! Romney shows he knows his stuff, citing a figure he obviously memorized and hitting where it counts – on current affairs, stuff that matters to everyday Americans. And then he drives it home with his tax quip! Obama’s sucky economy – 100+ charts & videos here! – and he lays it squarely at Obama’s feet by noting shortly after that rising prices happened on his watch, with taxex up (everyone hates taxes on themselves!).
BEST, 11:26 – Romney: “Energy is critical. And the President pointed out correctly that production of oil and gas in the US is up… But not due to his policies, in spite of his policies. Mr President, all of the increase in natural gas and oil has happened on private land, not on government land. On government land your Administration has cut the number of permits and licences in half.
Kapow! Takes Obama’s dishonest spin and throws it back in his face. Romney here gives the vibe of educating Obama, explaining it step by step – literally schooling the President. And here you start to notice Obama doesn’t look at Romney, but instead looks down – a constant failing in posture many noted.
BEST, 15:01 – Romney: “Virtually everything he just said about my tax plan is inaccurate. If the tax plan he described were a tax plan I was asked to support, I’d say absolutely not.”
When Obama starts on the aforementioned 5 trillion in tax cuts line again two minutes before this point, you can hear Romney start to make objecting sounds. When Obama finally stops jawboning, Romney doesn’t take punches while meekly smiling the way McCain did – he interjects and by sheer persistence forces the moderator to let him speak and address the gross misportrayal by Obama.
Excellent move, sets the precedent that LIES FROM THAT MAN WILL NOT BE TOLERATED.
BEST, 15:37 – Romney: Look, I’ve got five boys. I’m used to people saying something that’s not always true but just keep on repeating it and ultimately hoping I’ll believe it.”
Zing! Shares an anecdote that shows he’s a family man, snarks at the constant media misrepresentation that is aimed at influencing public perception:
And subtly compares Obama to a fibbing kid.
WORST, 18:40 – Obama: “But under Governer Romney’s definition, they’re all a bunch of millionaires and billionaires who are small businesses.”
This would be halfway decent, if Obama hadn’t just zoned people out with two minutes of rambling. He sounds unpracticed, very unsmooth speech. Note to self: Get enough sleep before appearing on an internationally viewed debate, cut down on the golf and partying if need be. He was so self sure that he had almost no self-awareness.
Or as Ann Coulter says:
With the economy in the toilet and the Islamic world on fire, when Obama appears in person it’s even worse than if he were sleeping. That’s why — contrary to popular belief — the first debate was Obama’s best performance.
Perhaps if liberals hadn’t coddled Obama his entire life, giving him college acceptance letters, standing ovations and Nobel Peace prizes just for showing up, he would have been more prepared to debate someone a little more challenging than John McCain.
WORST, 21:52 – Obama: “But I think math, common sense and our history shows us that’s not a recipe for job growth.”
Not really a flop, but when he mentions ‘math’ us armchair pundits think ‘Paul Ryan’ not Obama.
WORST, 25:06 – Romney: “I’m sorry Jim, I’m gonna stop the subsidy to PBS. I’m gonna stop other things – I like PBS, I love Big Bird, I actually like you too. But I’m not gonna keep on spending money on things, to borrow money from China to pay for it.”
Tadaah! Surprised I put a WORST quote for Romney? It’s not that this wasn’t an amusing quip or an excellent point – with the amount of US debt held by China, they probably have a more solid claim to ownership of Big Bird than America does – it’s that he didn’t take the chance to clarify something many viewers may not know offhand – that PBS, thanks to Sesame Street, is extremely profitable to the tune of over $50 million a year. They don’t NEED public funding! This might have defused a lot of the (ridiculous and childish and honestly more revealing about Obama’s campaign than Romney’s) attacks like this:
BEST, 29:57 – Lehrer: “No, I mean do you support Simpson-Bowles?”
Romney: “I have my own plan. It’s not the same as Simpson-Bowles.”
Romney does this more than once – instead of slipping into a false dilemma – Yes or No? – he clarifies that he has his own plans and ideas and vision.
30:07 – Obama: “That’s what I’ve done. Made some adjustments to it, and we’re putting it forward before Congress right now. Four trillion dollar plan…”
BEST, Romney: “But you’ve been President four years.”
Kapow! Romney says out loud what everyone is thinking – Obama has had four years and now he wants another four, what the heck has been doing all this time? (Rhetorical question. It’s golfing, fundraising, talk shows.)
The way Obama meekly nods, head down, is oh so telling.
In fact, via AoSHQ, this guy said:
…was quicker to drop his bonhomie and adopt the look of a long-suffering headmaster enduring the excuses of a bright student he is going to expel.
Ah, but which candidate does that quote refer to? Watch the debate for yourself, particularly the scene I just described above, and note what kind of Bizarro world liberals still refuse to depart from!
And lastly, since the actual context was on Simpson-Bowles… Obama ignored its advice completely, doing nothing except release his own half-hearted (and zero-voted) plan, thus revealing that all his talk of bipartisanship, reform and balancing the budget was empty and insincere politicking.
BEST, 31:57 – Romney: “The revenue I get is by more people working, getting higher pay, paying more taxes. That’s how we get growth and balance the budget.”
Yes! Thank you, Romney, for explaining the Laffer Curve so succintly and straightforwardly! Is it possible to keep taxes low yet increase government revenue? Yes, if taxes are currently too high – Bush did it before!
He then goes on to explain the opposite tack – raising taxes, fewer working, end up like Spain with 42% of their economy spent on government is not where he wants to go.
WORST, 32:35 – Obama: (See below)
He starts of on a somewhat viable track, moving the topic to corporate taxes. But listen as he drones on and starts wandering in circles telling grandfather stories for the next three minutes – if you can, because you start to drift off too as he starts boring the audience like the mere senior lecturer he is. His unsmoothness and frequent stops don’t help. Romney hardly ever stutters, he keeps the pace going without wasting time. No wonder Obama ended up talking 4 minutes longer than Romney, yet said hardly anything worthwhile.
BEST, 35:39 – Romney: “We’ve gone on a lot of topics there – it’s gonna take a minute to go from Medicaid to schools to oil to tax breaks to companies going overseas. So let’s go through them one by one.”
And then Romney prods at this unimpressive performance by noting how Obama jumped all over from topic to topic. And shows off that he was mentally noting each one, zing!
35:47 – Romney: “First of all, the Department of Energy has said the tax break for oil companies is 2.8 billion dollars 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.”
BEST, Romney: “And in one year, you provided ninety billion dollars in breaks to the Green energy world. Now I like Green energy as well, but that’s about fifty years worth of what oil and gas receives…”
Ouch! Don’t open your mouth so big next time Obama, you’re liable to stick your lazy foot in it before you shoot it yourself!
BEST 36:32 – Romney: “But don’t forget, you put ninety billion dollars – like, fifty years of breaks – into solar and wind. To Solyndra and Fisker and Tesla and Ener1. I mean, I had a friend who said, you don’t just pick the winners and losers; you pick the losers.“
Rubbing it in, ouch again!
BEST 42:46 – Romney: “But the idea of cutting $716 billion from Medicare to be able to balance the additional cost of “Obamacare” is, in my opinion, a mistake.”
WORST, 52:41 – Obama: “And so the question is does anybody out there think that the big problem we had is that there was too much oversight and regulation of Wall Street? Because if you do, then Governor Romney is your candidate. But that’s not what I believe.”
BEST, Romney: “Sorry, Jim. That’s just not the facts. Look, we have to have regulation of Wall Street.”
Romney “That why I’d have regulation. But I wouldn’t designate five banks as too big to fail and give them a blank check. That’s one of the unintended consequences of Dodd-Frank. It wasn’t thought through properly.”
Speaking of the 2008 crisis…
Obama also keeps pausing in the first paragraph above. Didn’t Biden say he was supposed to be articulate?
BEST, 55:51 – Romney: “Fourth, there was a survey done of small businesses across the country. It said, what’s been the effect of Obamacare on your hiring plans? And three-quarters of them said, it makes us less likely to hire people. I just don’t know how the president could have come into office, facing 23 million people out of work, rising unemployment, an economic crisis at the kitchen table and spent his energy and passion for two years fighting for Obamacare instead of fighting for jobs for the American people. It has killed jobs.“
Pow! What did you do with your 2008 mandate from the voters to fix the economy, Obama? What did you do with your unassailable Democrat majorities in the Senate and House for 2 years?
Again, when Romney turns to face Obama, Obama quickly turns his own gaze down to avoid meeting eye to eye. Afraid much?
BEST, 59:38 – Romney: “First of all, I like the way we did it in Massachusetts. I like the fact that in my state, we had Republicans and Democrats come together and work together. What you did instead was to push through a plan without a single Republican vote. As a matter of fact, when Massachusetts did something quite extraordinary, elected a Republican senator to stop Obamacare, you pushed it through anyway.”
Wait, Romney worked with and persuaded Democrats? He goes on to cite 87% Democrat of 200 legislators and 198 of them agreed to his proposals? I thought Romney was a hyperpartisan, far-right extremist who will usher in the Third Term of Bush’s Fascist Police State? That’s what the media told me!
BEST, 1:15:47 – Romney: “And it’s not working. And the proof of that is 23 million people out of work. The proof of that is one out of six people in poverty. The proof of that is we’ve gone from 32 million on food stamps to 47 million on food stamps. The proof of that is that 50 percent of college graduates this year can’t find work. We know that the path we’re taking is not working. It’s time for a new path.”
Facts… Painful things, eh, Obama?
BEST, 1:20:24 – Romney: “Mr. President, you’re entitled, as the president, to your own airplane and to your own house, but not to your own facts.”
This just seems so… Reaganesque. Nice.
BEST, 1:20:39 – Romney: “But you make a very good point, which is that the place you put your money makes a pretty clear indication of where your heart is. You put $90 billion into green jobs. And I – look, I’m all in favor of green energy. Ninety billion, that would have hired 2 million teachers. Ninety billion dollars. And these businesses, many of them have gone out of business. I think about half of them, of the ones have been invested in, they’ve gone out of business. A number of them happened to be owned by people who were contributors to your campaigns.“
Four hit combo! Using Obama’s own idea against him, citing the 90 billion wasted that could have gone to Obama’s allegedly beloved teachers, the failure of Obama’s company picks, and the crony nature of the subsidy allocations:
WORST, 1:28:29 – Obama: “I’ve kept that promise and if you’ll vote for me, then I promise I’ll fight just as hard in a second term.”
Kept that promise? Which one of these was it again?
Fight just as hard? What, you mean you’ll play NO MORE THAN 100 days of golf next round?
BEST, 1:29:31 – Romney: “You’ll see chronic unemployment. We’ve had 43 straight months with unemployment above 8 percent. If I’m president, I will create, help create 12 million new jobs in this country with rising incomes. If the president’s re-elected, Obamacare will be fully installed. In my view, that’s going to mean a whole different way of life for people who counted on the insurance plan they had in the past. Many will lose it. You’re going to see health premiums go up by some $2,500 per family. If I’m elected, we won’t have “Obamacare.” We’ll put in place the kind of principles that I put in place in my own state and allow each state to craft their own programs to get people insured. And we’ll focus on getting the cost of health care down. If the president were to be re-elected, you’re going to see a $716 billion cut to Medicare. You’ll have 4 million people who will lose Medicare advantage. You’ll have hospitals and providers that’ll no longer accept Medicare patients. I’ll restore that $716 billion to Medicare.”
This is why Romney chose to give his closing statement after Obama upon winning the coin toss. The last thing viewers get out of the debate are facts and numbers illustrating the dreadful present under President Obama’s first term – which is what the dreadful future under a second term will be like. Only worse.
But Romney will prevent that, will fix that, will help YOU!
The body language telegraphed a lot. Barack Obama spoke down to viewers. While Mitt Romney spoke up. And John was right about Barack Obama’s amateurish posture. Narcissus was just passing the time.
Gifs at the second link.
– Obama did so badly, that much mockery is being made of the him – including among the formerly reverent comedy shows and liberal media! Favourite one, even references Gangnam Style:
– From The Wall Street Journal:
the view expressed this week by a member of the U.S. Senate who served there with Mr Obama and has met with him in the White House. People back home, he said, sometimes wonder what happened with the president in the debate. The senator said, I paraphrase: I sort of have to tell them that it wasn’t a miscalculation or a weird moment. I tell them: I know him, and that was him. That guy on the stage, that’s the real Obama.