And so the first presidential debate of 2012 is in the books.
Obama hasn’t taken a shellacking like that since the 2010 midterm elections.
It was so one sided that even liberal pundits were lamenting their loss. There was no tingle running up Chris Matthew’s leg. Bill Maher tweeted: “Obama made a lot of great points tonight. Unfortunately, most of them were for Romney.”
CNN, MSNBC, ALL the liberal media had Romney squarely in the winner’s column.
VAN JONES said: “Romney was able to ‘out-Obama’ Obama. On the connection piece, on the authenticity piece, on the being able to tell the story.”
It came down to several things.
Romney was more upbeat than was Obama and it showed throughout. Obama just didn’t have the energy level…Head down…and smirking often.
It’s more than that though. Much more.
Mitt Romney was on point. He had the facts. He had the numbers. And he let them flow. Mitt Romney never seemed to be searching for answers.
Obama did. There were several times throughout the 90 minute debate that Obama had to circle around to discover an answer in his responses to questions.
Off prompter…Obama is lost.
Mitt Romney was on the offensive.
Obama played defense and played defense badly.
Several times, Obama would attempt to cite aspects of the Romney plan and Romney would correct the false statements. No matter, Obama would go right back to making the false accusations without offering any facts to back them up. Romney, again and again would correct him and each time, Mitt Romney had the last word on the subject.
There was not a single moment of the debate when Mitt Romney was NOT in control of the debate.
On CNN, after the debate, David Axelrod looked almost physically ill.
In a poll taken both before and after the debate, in a group of 500 undecided voters…AFTER the debate, they swayed in Romney’s direction by 2 to 1.
The take away was clear and clearly different between Romney and Obama.
Obama believes that the federal government is a better resource for everything from healthcare to education to energy and job creation.
Romney believes that the states, individuals, doctors, parents and business owners are better suited to make such decisions.
It was stark. It was decisive and it was stunning.
Was there a moment? A line like the type Reagan used to deliver?
Not really. But there were lines…
Mitt Romney told Moderator Jim Lehrer: “I’m sorry Jim [Lehrer], but I’ll cut funding to PBS. I love Big Bird, I actually like you too, but I’m going to stop borrowing money from China to pay for things we don’t need.”
On Energy, Mitt Romney said: “You put $90 billion — like 50 years worth of tax breaks — into solar and wind, to Solyndra and Fisker and Tesla and Ener1. “I had a friend who said: ‘You don’t just pick the winners and losers; you pick the losers.’ “
When Obama claimed that businesses can take a deduction for moving to China…Romney replied: “I’ve been in business for 25 years. I have no idea what you’re talking about. I need a better accountant.”
And, after Obama made some assertions regarding education reform…Romney came back with: “As president you’re entitled to your own house, your own plane, but not your own facts.”
When asked how he would create jobs in the next 4 years, Obama launched into a monolog on education and when it was HIS turn to talk about jobs…Mitt Romney took Obama to school.
Towards the end of the debate, when the question had to do with the role of government, Obama stuttered about, obviously not WANTING to sound like a big government liberal but, that ship had already sailed. He worked his way around it as best he could but ultimately told the viewers that government needed to be involved in education, healthcare and other things.
Romney, on the other hand, displayed true and deep passion.
Mitt Romney immediately launched into his deeply held belief in our Constitution. Romney talked about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Romney spoke of the government’s need to foster growth but not to mandate to the people.
To be clear, the difference tonight between Romney and Obama was this…
Romney brought a much deeper knowledge of the issues, facts, ideas and passion to the debate. He brought substance.
Obama brought standard liberal talking points.
At one point, Obama talked about Romney’s plan on deficit reduction and chided Romney for not wanting to raise taxes on the top 3% of small businesses.
Romney replied that it it that top 3% that employ more than 50% of American workers and create more than 25% of all new jobs and that raising their taxes would be a jobs killer and harmful to the Middle Class.
With that…Obama literally asked Jim Lehrer to change the topic.
THAT was THE most astonishing moment, in my estimation, of the whole debate and a moment that WILL be used in Romney ads probably as early as today!!
The last time Obama took a tough question it was in the Rose Garden when he announced that by Imperial Rule, the Dream Act had been decreed and he shouted down the reporter who asked that question.
This was not “The View” and none of the questions in this debate concerned his favorite color.
This was a debate between two distinct and vastly differing plans for the future of the Republic and Obama wasn’t about to get another Nobel prize for doing nothing.
Romney brought new ideas, a fresh approach, a plan. Obama tried to harken back to the Clinton plan because there was no defending his own failed policies.
In their closing statements, the difference was absolutely stunning.
Obama seemed lost at first, almost pleading for reelection and finally, he summarized his term this way:
“Four years ago we were going through a major crisis. And yet my faith and confidence in the American future is undiminished. And the reason is because of its people … Everything I’ve tried to do, and everything I’m proposing for the next for years … all those things are designed to make sure the American people, their genius, their grit, their determination, is channeled and they have an opportunity to succeed.Four years ago I said I’m not a perfect man and I wouldn’t be a perfect president — and that’s probably a promise Gov. Romney will agree with.”
Romney, on the other hand, displayed true and deep passion.
Romney, in his closing, with stern passion and resolve, stated:
“If I’m president, I will create 12 million new jobs in this country with rising incomes. If the president is reelected, Obamacare will be fully installed. … If the president were to be reelected, you would see a $716 billion cut to Medicare. You’ll have four million people who will lose Medicare advantage. I’ll restore that $716 billion. Finally military, if the president’s reeelected, you’ll see dramatic cuts to our military. … I will keep America strong and get America’s middle class working again.”
Last night, Obama became the “bump in the road” and Romney was driving the bus.