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Here we go at 8:00 p.m...
We'll see who's the hand-shake aggressor. Handlers want their candidate to be the assertive and taking charge at that point.
8:03 - - Glad there is a more open format than that awful Tammy/Tommy 'debate' last Friday.
Effusive handshake. Slight nod to the Prez.
8:04 - - Q. on job creation. Obama on his talking points. 5,000,000 jobs created, more work to do. Comprehensive answer. Take war savings and invest in the domestic economy. "Embrace new economic patriotism."
8:07 - - Romney. He's on his talking points. Focus on small business creation. Zinger alert! Says Obama believes in "trickle-down government."
Obama responding to Romney: Obama talking green energy. Says Romney will put us on the hook for another $8 trillion.
8:11 - - Zinger alert: Romney says middle class being crushed by "an economy tax." Romney brings up his end to deductions, but no specifics.
8:13 - - Uh, oh. Romney says he likes coal. Will drill in ANWR and off-shore.
He pledges that no tax cut will add to the deficit. I doubt that.
8:14 - - Obama says he has cut middle-class taxes. Finally nails Romney on which deductions he will close. Romney on the spot. "Top-down economics."
8:15 - - Romney wants to respond. Says Obama misrepresenting the Romney plan. Romney says he will not raise middle-class families or support a $5 trillion tax cut. Calling the fact-checkers...
8:17 - - Obama says Romney's "big bold idea [after 18 months] is, never mind." Obama is for increased taxes on earners over $250,000. Obama hitting a stride here.
8:20 - - Romney in detailed tax answer. Sounds like he knows what he's talking about, but fact-checkers will have to check his data.
8:23 - - Obama looking at camera. "Math, common sense and our history" show it's not workable. A reference to Bush 2000-08.
8:25 - - Romney again says he is not for a $5 trillion tax cut. Again he says his priority is jobs. Oh, now he's off attacking food stamp growth. Ruined his effect with that talking point junk.
8:27 - - Segment now on the deficit and deficit reduction. Romney says it's a moral issue. Also wants to cut Public TV, Obamacare and anything that requires borrowing money from China to run them. Talking points.
8:29 - - Reminds people about debt run up by Bush, two wars on the credit card. Lists the programs he's cut. Medical fraud. Wasteful military projects. Says he's proposed another $4 trillion in cuts. Has also asked for tax revenues from the wealthy. Romney has said no. Says Romney's approach is "unbalanced."
8:31 - - Romney on Simpson-Bowles. Obama interrupts Romney on the deficit. Romney again explaining why he won't raise taxes on the wealthy. Says these are small business owners. Says Obama will kill 700,000 jobs.
8:33 - - This is a useful discussion. Romney is against raising revenue from the wealthy, or on anyone, period. Wants more workers paying in. A real difference between the two.
8:34 - - Obama now on corporate tax breaks? How about eliminating breaks on corporate jets, too? Second reminder that Romney will not ID his deductions. Says Romney's plans will create real hardships.
8:36 - - Romney says the oil break is small and has been around 100 years. Obama says "let's end it." Romney blasts Obama's green energy breaks. Zinger alert. Says Obams is not just picking winners and losers, he's picking losers." Then Romney says he's been in biz for 25 years and knows nothing of the alleged tax break for shipping jobs overseas. Obama raises his eyebrows.
8:40 - - Q. now to Social Security. Obama on the principles behind Soc. Sec. and Medicare. Story-telling and philosophical. He's talking directly to seniors. Unpacking the language of entitlements. Professorial here. Explaining the $716 billion in Medicare savings. Not for major change in Soc. Sec. Structurally sound.
8:42 - - Romney back on the $716 billion attack.
8:44 - - Says Romney is for voucherizing Medicare for those 55 or under. Romney agrees. Over time, Obama says, the traditional Soc. Sec. program will collapse. Obama: "I don't think that's the way to go."
the halfway point-----------
8:46 - - Obama says the primary beneficiary of voucherizing is the private insurance sector.
8:48 - - Obama says AARP says Romney's plan will weaken Medicare.
8:50 - - They all agree this is an issue with a genuine choice for voters.
Topic is regulation.
8:51 -- Romney says some regulation is excessive. Dodd-Frank, for example. Says it made some banks too big to fail. Says he'd repeal and replace.
Obama says this is a great example of why we're in a crisis - - reckless behavior, etc. - - and Romney wants to reduce the changes. I think this is the first flub by either candidate.
Obama on a roll here, reprising the financial crisis, but now Romney says he wants to repeal the change, which was Dodd-Frank.
Does anybody out there think that's the answer?
Romney objects. But then goes back at it and has another reason to repeal. I predict you'll see 'repeal Dodd-Frank' in an Obama ad by tomorrow.
Leher says "this is another clear difference between the two of you." The candidates agree.
8:56 - - Romney for repealing Obamacare. Obama explaining why it came about. Strong Obama answer. Pre-existing conditions, rebates from private companes. Model works well in MA. "Gov. Romney did a good thing."
Obama laughs and smiles more authentically.
9:00 - - Romney says his MA plan was approved with Dem. support - - but remember the GOP opposed it in the Congress. Romney says his plan was different.
9:03 - - Obama reminding people Obamacare born w/ Romneycare. Obama stresses his plan helps insure the uninsured, more cost-effectively. Getting wonky here, if people can absorb it. Predicts costs are going to come down. Rate increases slowed. Rebates are being paid. Leave it to the states? 50 million people will lose their insurance if Obamacare is repealed.
9:07 - - Candidates distracted by something falling off-stage.
9:08 - - Romney objects to some sort of board making efficiency policies. Romney wants it in the hands of the docs and insurance. A takeover of health care.
9:09 - - Obama corrects Romney's statement about the power of this board. Criticizes Romney for not being specific enough enough on health care reform. Just like his rforms to Dodd-Frank and deductions. A theme developing. Is Romney keeping these plans secret because they're too good?
9:11 - - Romney says he will get this done with Democrats. Then says on deductions, maybe the bucket list "make up a number, $25,000, $50,000." Another flub: Make up a number.
9:12 - - Q. is role of government. Romney on talking points. Pure Tea Party rhetoric. Food stamps, etc. Lehr wants specifics for both. On fed. role in Education:
9:18 - - Romney likes Race to the Top, but praises Arne Duncan, not Obama. Romney for School choice.
9:19 - - Budgets matter. Cuts in his budget will hurt education. Ryan, too. He didn't provide many specifics. "This seems to be a trend." Obama zinger alert.
9:20 - - Obama now on student loans. Get rid of paying the middle-man. Provided more $$, lowered interest rates. "Our priorities make a difference." "Borrow money from your parents." Obama Zinger.
9:22 - - Says Obama is entitled to his own house and plane, not your own facts. Zing! Fail. Romney has gone from student loans to green job subsidies, etc. A bit of a flail here. Sounds peeved.
The back and forth and loosened format has been great.
9:24 - - Romney pledging collaboration with Dems when he's elected, on day one.
9:25 - - Obama joke. He's going to be busy on Day One, since he pledged to do that too, and it won't be too popular with the Democrats you'll be sitting down with.
Also means doing unpopular things, and saying what you'll do and before and being willing to say no.
Obama got the best of the last answer, using it as a summary.
He goes first in the closing statements, Romney gets last word.
Praising Americans. Reminiscent of his convention 'you did that' theme. Fair share, fair shake. Asks for votes.
Romney: Repeats his 12 million new job pledge. Pledges end to Obamacare, then 50 state plans. Repeating that $716 billion medicare cut. Pledges no cuts to military spending.
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Just keep your comments libel and cuss-word free.