Liveblogging the final night of the Republican National Convention

Thanks for joining Carolina Journal Managing Editor Rick Henderson, Associate Editor Barry Smith, and potentially others as we comment on the final night of the Tampa convention.


As always, any opinions belong to the writer. Have fun!


Barry Smith - 11:56 AM

The clouds begin to break as Gov McCrory delivers his inaugural address.

Barry Smith - 11:43 AM

McCrory’s theme is Main Street should be backed by government, not hindered by it. His inauguration is symbolic of that theme. He’s facing one of Raleigh’s main streets, Fayetteville Street, with the Capitol in the background.

Barry Smith - 11:34 AM

McCrory now addresses the audience and the state. His address should last about 17 minutes.

Barry Smith - 11:31 AM

Chief Justice Sarah Parker administers the oath to Gov. McCrory, followed by a 19-gun salute.

Barry Smith - 11:29 AM

Not it’s time for Gov. Pat McCory to retake the oath. The governor’s nephew is reading the NC State Toast. In previous years, the late actor Andy Griffith has read the Toast.

Barry Smith - 11:27 AM

Dan Forest retakes the oath of office. He was officially w sworn in earlier this week.

Barry Smith - 11:25 AM

Wayne Goodwin takes the oath as insurance commissioner.

Cherie Berry takes the oath as labor commissioner.

Steve Troxler takes the oath as commissioner of agriculture.

Roy Cooper is sworn in as attorney general.

June Atkinson as superintendent of public instruction.

Janet Cowell is sworn in as state treasurer.

Beth Wood is sworn in as state auditor.

Elaine Marshall is sworn in as Secretary of State.




Barry Smith - 11:14 AM

The Pledge and the National Anthem are performed. If you weren’t in a patriotic mood before, you are now.

Barry Smith - 10:58 AM

Supreme Court justices are being seated. Justice Paul Newby got the loudest applause. He recently won re-election to his seat. He,like McCrory, is a Republican.

Mwmbers of the Council of State are also being seated.

Barry Smith - 10:54 AM

Former governors are being introduced. They include Gov’s Martin, Easley and Perdue.  Former Gov. Holshouser is in the hospital. Gov. Hunt’s name was not announced.

Former Lt.Gov. Jim Gardner is the emcee.

Barry Smith - 10:45 AM

I’m on the south side of the Capitol.  It’s an overcast day, but the overnight dense fog has lifted. Temperatures for early Januaray are quite mild. Temperatures are in the mid-50s.

Barry Smith - 1:31 PM

The principal clerk will be Denise Weeks.

Clyde Cook will be sergeant at arms.

Barry Smith - 1:08 PM

Rep. Paul “Skip” Stam, R-Wake, will be the speaker pro-tem.

Barry Smith - 12:54 PM

Tillis jokes. “All voices will be heard. We know that, because we heard them last year.”

Barry Smith - 12:51 PM

Tillis recounts accomplishments from the previous General Assembly. He says, “We must find ways to lower taxes.”

Barry Smith - 12:47 PM

Tillis wants to give every school the flexibility of charter schools.

Barry Smith - 12:44 PM

Tillis: “North Carolina will continue to be the least-unionized state in the United States.”

Barry Smith - 12:41 PM

Tillis tells freshman Democrats that he too was a freshman in the minority party. “I think we all want to make North Carolina the greatest state in the union,” Tillis said.

Barry Smith - 12:31 PM

The Democrats do not nominate anyone for speaker. Tillis will be elected by acclamation.

Barry Smith - 12:26 PM

Now on to the election of a speaker. Rep. Julia Howard, R-Davie, nominates Rep. Thom Tillis, R-Mecklenburg.

Barry Smith - 12:22 PM

Justice Mark Martin is now administering the oath to the House members.

Barry Smith - 12:11 PM

The House session is under way with the NC National Guard presenting the colors, Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler leading the Pledge, and Emma Fornes of Wake County sing the  National Anthem.

Barry Smith - 11:57 AM

House members are gathering in the chamber arepresentatives get ready to begin their session. It’s a festive atmosphere.

Barry Smith - 10:31 AM

The Senate is adjourned until noon, Wednesday, Jan. 30, in memory of Sens. Ed Jones and Don East.

Barry Smith - 10:25 AM

Lt.Gov. Forest notes that this is the 50th anniversary of the General Assembly meeting in the Legislative Building. The General Assembly first met there in 1963.

Then he goes on to use opening day as a platform to offer his vision for the state. This is one of the few times the lieutenant governor has such a platform.

Barry Smith - 10:10 AM

Sen. Louis Pate, R-Wayne, will be the deputy pro-tempore of the Senate.

The principal clerk will be Sarah Clapp.

The reading clerk will be Lee Settle.

Philip King will be sergeant-at-arms of the Senate.

Barry Smith - 9:51 AM

Now to the rules.

Sen. Tom Apodaca, says there are about 16 changes, mostly non-substantive. Emergency provisions are included, in case the Senate needs to meet somewhere else. I guess it never hurts to be prepared.

Pagers will no longer be allowed on the floor of the Senate. “We have cellphones now,” Apodaca jokes. Does anyone still have a pager?

There’ll be a 15-minute “cooling off period” after session before a lobbyist can come on the floor.

The senators are in a jovial mood. Apodaca says he’ll yield to a question from Nesbitt, “since he called me a gentleman.”

Barry Smith - 9:45 AM

Berger says, “We will reform our outdated tax code.”

He encourages more education reform. He says “hard work and determination” will make anything possible. “If we work hard, we can change our state,” Berger says.

Berger declares, “We will not waste this great opportunity.”

Barry Smith - 9:42 AM

Berger acknowledges new Gov. Pat McCrory in the chamber, and addresses the Senate.

Berger says, “Today we renew the fight for reform that started two years ago.”

While Berger says progress has been made, he declares that “our work continues.” He urges fellow senators to ask themselves how they can help families have a better life and a better education.

He addresses his GOP colleagues, saying they must show that there is a “real difference between a Washington Republican and a North Carolina Republican.” That’s a new theme, trying to separate local Republicans from national ones. For years, Democrats tried to do that.

Barry Smith - 9:34 AM

Minority Leader Martin Nesbitt, D-Buncombe, adds bipartisanship to the election of Phil Berger as president pro-tem of the Senate. His election is by acclamation.

Barry Smith - 9:32 AM

Sen. Tom Apodaca, R-Henderson, rises to nominate Sen. Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, as president pro-tem. Upon election. Berger will be serving his second term in the post.

Barry Smith - 9:30 AM

The senators are taking the oath office. For some, this is a formality, since a number of them have held their own ceremonies where they took the oath previously. Now it’s official for all the senators present.

Barry Smith - 9:28 AM

The organizational session is an effort to improve efficiency in the General Assembly. It allows the leadership to be in place, legislators to move into their offices and committees to be appointed before the legislature returns to work in earnest.

Barry Smith - 9:22 AM

Today’s organizational session is a departure from legislative tradition. If all goes as planned, lawmakers will be in town today only to elect their leaders and adopt their rules. Then they’ll be away for three weeks and return at the end of the month to get down to business.

The Senate is meeting now. The House will convene at noon.

Barry Smith - 9:17 AM

The Senate will precede with its ceremonial opening. A color guard from Morehead High School in Eden, which is in President Pro-tem Phil Berger’s home district in Rockingham County, is procedeing to the Senate chamber. Following the Pledge, Kathryn Atkinson of Raleigh will sing the National Anthem.

Barry Smith - 12:50 PM

McCrory made brief comments this afternoon after taking the oath of office.

The formal inauguration and inaugural address will be held in a week, on Saturday, Jan. 12. It will be held on the south lawn of the NC State Capitol, beginning at 11 a.m.

The inaugural parade will be held Saturday, Jan. 12, at 12:30 p.m. The parade route will go from Fayetteville Street, to West Hargett Street, to Wilmington Street.

Barry Smith - 12:33 PM

McCrory is North Carolina’s 74th governor.

He is the first GOP governor since Jim Martin left office on Jan. 9, 1993.

McCrory is the first GOP governor to wield the veto power.

The two GOP governors in the 20th century, Martin and Jim Holshouser, faced Democratic-controlled General Assemblies. McCrory will have a General Assembly in which Republicans hold supermajorities in both chambers.

Barry Smith - 12:26 PM

Senate President Pro-tem Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, has just released a statement on the new governor:

“Gov. McCrory is just the type of leader North Carolina needs – a proven problem solver with a track record of success in both the private and public sectors. I look forward to working with him to further the conservative goal of a lean, efficient government focused on promoting economic growth and encouraging job creation. North Carolinians elected the right man at the right time to continue moving this state toward a brighter future.” 

Barry Smith - 12:22 PM

Gov. Pat McCrory has other activities planned for the day. After the Cabinet secretaries are sworn in, he, the first lady, and Cabinet members will have lunch at the Executive Mansion at 1 p.m.

Later, McCrory plans to attend A Salute to North Carolina Veterans, hosted by the Veterans Leadership Council of North Carolina-Cares, at the North Raleigh Hilton at 6:30 p.m.

Barry Smith - 12:15 PM

Gov. McCrory and his Cabinet will now proceed to the House chamber where Cabinet members will be sworn in.

Barry Smith - 12:12 PM

McCrory is the first GOP governor in 20 years. He was sworn in by NC Chief Justice Sarah Parker.

Barry Smith - 12:11 PM

It’s 12:10 p.m., and NC has a new governor.

Barry Smith - 11:41 AM

I’ll be live-blogging the McCrory swearing in ceremony. Please join and feel free to comment.

Mitch Kokai - 1:05 AM

Now that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has offered his concession speech and we await President Obama’s victory speech, it’s time to sign off on this live blog.

Mitch Kokai - 12:46 AM

Appellate judicial races: Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby (52-48) wins re-election. Court of Appeals Judges Linda McGee (61-39) and Wanda Bryant (56-44) win re-election. Chris Dillon unseats Court of Appeals Judge Cressie Thigpen (53-47).

Mitch Kokai - 12:41 AM

Council of State: All incumbents win. Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin’s 52-48 victory is the closest margin for an incumbent. Republican Dan Forest’s lead in the open lieutenant governor’s race is 11,370 votes. He has 50.13 percent of the vote.

Mitch Kokai - 12:35 AM

N.C. turnout: 68.37 percent.

Mitch Kokai - 12:32 AM

Still crunching N.C. House numbers. It looks like a nine-seat gain for Republicans, giving them a 77-43 majority.

Mitch Kokai - 12:26 AM

Losing incumbent: House District 118, Ray Rapp

Mitch Kokai - 12:20 AM

Losing incumbent: House District 88, Martha Alexander

Rick Henderson - 12:20 AM

Rove may not have conceded, but it doesn’t matter. Obama has won a second term.

Mitch Kokai - 12:04 AM

Losing incumbent: N.C. House District 46, G.L. Pridgen

Terry Stoops - 11:59 PM

New Hanover voters say “NO WAY” to baseball stadium bond referendum.  Just under 70 percent vote “no” on the referendum.

Terry Stoops - 11:56 PM

Unofficial results – Republican Dan Forest is North Carolina’s lieutenant governor.  He received just over 11,000 more votes than Democrat Linda Coleman.

Mitch Kokai - 11:50 PM

Losing incumbent: N.C. House: Marian McLawhorn

Terry Stoops - 11:48 PM

Hood and company still workin’ hard on News 14 Carolina.

Mitch Kokai - 11:48 PM

Losing incumbents: N.C. Senate: Doug Berger

Michael Lowrey - 11:38 PM

N.C. voter turnout: 68.3% plus three Mecklenburg County precincts.

Terry Stoops - 11:33 PM

Harnett County sales tax referendum fails – 65% against and 35% for.

Mitch Kokai - 11:33 PM

Check that: The 387-vote margin was not final for McIntyre. That gap is now 507 votes. The margin is still just 50.08-49.92 percent.

Mitch Kokai - 11:29 PM

Mike McIntrye appears to have won re-election by 378 votes. The margin would allow David Rouzer to request a recount.

Rick Henderson - 11:27 PM

Not so fast, folks. Romney is contesting the call of Ohio. Twenty percent of the vote is out and Obama leads by only 900 votes, according to Karl Rove.

Dan E. Way - 11:27 PM

ABC notes one highlight for Republicans in this election: GOP Grabs 30 Governor Seats, Highest for Either Party in Over a Decade

Mitch Kokai - 11:24 PM

The N.C. Senate looks like a 32-18 Republican majority. That would mean a gain of one seat. Democrats appear to have won a close race in District 1; if provisional ballots lead to a change there, there’s a potential pickup of one more seat.

Dan E. Way - 11:19 PM

Republicans on the NC Supreme Court will remain in a 4-3 majority with the election of Paul Newby by a 52-48 percent victory over Sam Ervin.

Dan E. Way - 11:17 PM

Ohio added to Obama column. He now has enough electoral votes for re-election.

Dan E. Way - 11:15 PM

Republican Dan Forest looks to be he winner with a 12,000 vote lead over Linda Coleman in the lieutenant governor race with all precincts reporting in North Carolina.


Rick Henderson - 11:15 PM

Fox calls Ohio for Obama, meaning he wins a second term (unless Romney wins Nevada and Oregon, which ain’t happening).

Mitch Kokai - 11:14 PM

Fox calls Ohio for Obama.

Dan E. Way - 11:13 PM

CNN and NBC project Iowa for Obama.

Michael Lowrey - 11:12 PM

Correction: Looks like all the precincts in Congressional District 7 are in, so Mike McIntyre wins over David Rouzer by 400 votes pending the inevitable recount.

Michael Lowrey - 11:05 PM

Barbara Howe at 2.12% with just a few precincts still out, so it looks as if the Libertarians will stay on the ballot through 2016.

Mitch Kokai - 11:04 PM

Dan Forest leads Linda Colenan by fewer than 6,000 votes in the lieutenant governor’s race.

Dan E. Way - 11:03 PM

Romney needed those 15 electoral votes in North Carolina to remain viable. He’s got to have Florida, and the remaining battleground states to reach the magic number.

Terry Stoops - 11:03 PM

Why does Johnston County matter?  In the lt. governor’s race, Forest received around 18,000 more votes than Coleman in Johnston County.

Dan E. Way - 11:02 PM

Associated Press calls North Carolina for Romney.

Mitch Kokai - 11:02 PM

McIntryre’s lead over Rouzer drops to just 400 votes in Congressional District 7.

Michael Lowrey - 11:01 PM

Mike McIntyre is now ahead of David Rouzer in the 7th Congressional District by 400 votes out of 333,078 cast with one precinct in Johnston County, where Rouzer is from, still out!

Dan E. Way - 11:01 PM

Democrat incumbent U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre now just barely holding on in Dist. 7, with 400 votes separating him from Republican David Rouzer, according to WRAL. McIntyre had seemed to be comfortable in his lead earlier.

Mitch Kokai - 11:00 PM

Fox just called N.C. for Romney.

Terry Stoops - 10:58 PM

At last, Johnston County results are coming in.

Michael Lowrey - 10:58 PM

Paul Newby mow leads Sam “Jimmy” Ervin 51.7% to 48.3% for a seat on the N.C. Supreme Court. Chris Dillion leads Cressie Thigpen for the Court of Appeals 52.6% to 47.4%. Linda McGee and Wanda Bryant easily win reelected to the Court of Appeals.

Rick Henderson - 10:58 PM

AP just called North Carolina for Romney. One of the three states Romney must have to continue having a shot to win (Ohio and Virginia the other two).

Dan E. Way - 10:56 PM

With 98 percent of North Carolina precincts reporting, Romney leads Obama 50-49 percent, by about 70,000 votes.

Dan E. Way - 10:53 PM

Durham’s Herald-Sun newspaper reports that the half-cent sales tax for transit upgrades featuring a light-rail component has been approved by Orange County voters. Durham County passed a similar tax last year. Wake County has delayed a vote on a like measure. From Greg Childress’ story:

“Nearly 59 percent of the county’s 71,070 voters marked their ballots in favor of the tax while 41 percent voted against it. The final but unofficial tally showed 41,592 voters in favor of the tax and 29,155 voters against it.

“Sixty-eight percent of Orange County’s eligible voters cast ballots in Tuesday’s election.”

Rick Henderson - 10:51 PM

WRAL just called the 7th Congressional District for incumbent Democrat Mike McIntyre.

Mitch Kokai - 10:49 PM

Democrat Stan White’s 388-vote lead over Republican Bill Cook in N.C. Senate District 1, if it holds, would suggest Republicans would keep their 31-19 Senate margin.

Dan E. Way - 10:48 PM

16,000 votes separate leader Obama over Romney in Florida with 90 some percent reporting. That’s a 50-49 percentage breakdown.

Michael Lowrey - 10:46 PM

N.C. voter turnout: 66.34% plus a few scattered precincts and Johnston County.

Mitch Kokai - 10:44 PM

The latest numbers give Linda Coleman a slight lead in the lieutenant governor’s race.

Michael Lowrey - 10:40 PM

Pat McCrory now ahead of Walter Dalton in Mecklenburg County by a massive 716 votes out of 423,061 ballots cast and with 16 precincts still out.

Rick Henderson - 10:40 PM

Robert Pittenger will win the 9th District, leaving it in Republican hands, but by a narrower margin than expected.

Also, the 11th goes red, as Mark Meadows defeats retiring Democrat Heath Shuler’s aide Hayden Rogers.

Dan E. Way - 10:38 PM

CBS now gives Arizona to Romney.

Dan E. Way - 10:37 PM

Looks like Rob Christenson won’t get to use that poison pen against Republican Debra Goldman, as he pined for at the recent Civitas poll release luncheon. Democrat Beth Wood has retained her seat as auditor against the Wake Co. Board of Education member.

Rick Henderson - 10:36 PM

Stan White up by about 500 votes in Senate District 1, the district Marc Basnight held forever.

Terry Stoops - 10:36 PM

Hey Gary, give Johnston County a call.

Michael Lowrey - 10:35 PM

All precincts now reporting in N.C.Senate 1: Stan White (D) over Bill Cook (R) by 388 votes.

Terry Stoops - 10:33 PM

The Democratic majority of the Wake County Board of Education will appoint Chris Malone’s replacement.  One possibility is Malone’s opponent in the NCGA House race and former Wake school board member Lori Millberg.

Rick Henderson - 10:32 PM

A lot of speculation on the cable nets that we may have a repeat/reversal of 2000, with Romney winning the popular vote and Obama winning the electoral vote. Karl Rove also continuing to insist that Ohio’s not lost. Even with that, Romney needs either Colorado or Iowa to win.

Dan E. Way - 10:31 PM

CBS now says Obama picks up 10 electoral votes in Minnesota.

Dan E. Way - 10:30 PM

Huffington Post has electoral vote 163-163, though Romney leads in the popular vote 28.48 million to 27.01 million over Obama.

Terry Stoops - 10:30 PM

What the hell is taking so long, Johnston County?

Michael Lowrey - 10:30 PM

Somebody wake up the Board of Elections in Johnston County so we can get U.S. House District 7 decided. Johnston is one of two counties that still aren’t reporting any results.

Rick Henderson - 10:29 PM

Wake County School Board member Chris Malone becomes the only Republican on the board to reach higher office, winning state House District 51 over former Wake County School Board member Lori Millberg.

Dan E. Way - 10:27 PM

Obama has been projected the winner of New Mexico by ABC and Fox News.

Michael Lowrey - 10:26 PM

Stan White (D) up by 594 votes over Bill Cook (R) in Senate 1 with Perquimans County still out.

Dan E. Way - 10:26 PM

With 94 percent of the vote in, Romney leads Obama in North Carolina 50-49 percent, with 72,000 votes separating them.

Dan E. Way - 10:25 PM

Democrat Linda Coleman now leading Dan Forest by a few thousand votes for lieutenant governor race.

Terry Stoops - 10:23 PM

Fascinating – In NC Auditor race, Debra Goldman beat Beth Wood in Harnett County.  The noise from the media machine in neighboring Wake County failed to cross the county line.

Michael Lowrey - 10:22 PM

Linda Coleman now up by 7,587 votes.

Rick Henderson - 10:22 PM

Republican Deb Fischer defeats New Yorker Bob Kerrey for the Nebraska U.S. Senate seat.

Dan E. Way - 10:21 PM

Obama leads Romney with about 46,000 votes in Florida, 50-49 percent, with 87 percent of votes reported.

Rick Henderson - 10:17 PM

Wake Tech bonds winning, too.

Terry Stoops - 10:15 PM

Will revered conservative pundits lose big tonight?  It looks that way.

Terry Stoops - 10:11 PM

Urban/suburban counties carry Atkinson to apparent win in the Superintendent of Public Instruction race.  Atkinson wins big in Cumberland, Forsyth, Guilford, Wake, Orange, and Mecklenburg counties.

Michael Lowrey - 10:10 PM

67 counties now completely in. Romney at 51% with 128k vote lead.

Rick Henderson - 10:09 PM

Public Policy Polling now projects a Romney NC win by 1 or 2 percentage points.

Dan E. Way - 10:09 PM

Romney projected to pick up Missouri’s 10 electoral votes, according to CBS.

Terry Stoops - 10:07 PM

I’m still here, Roy.

Rick Henderson - 10:05 PM

WRAL called the superintendent race for Democratic incumbent June Atkinson.

Mitch Kokai - 10:04 PM

If current leads hold, the GOP would make one pickup in the N.C. Senate to hold a 32-18 margin.

Michael Lowrey - 10:03 PM

Dan, 7th congressional District is still far from decided — Johnston County is still out in its entirety and Rouzer is from Johnston County!

Dan E. Way - 10:02 PM

Romney picks up Utah and Montana, according to CBS projections.

Terry Stoops - 10:02 PM

It appears that Chad Barefoot will end Doug Berger’s tenure in the NC House.  I’ll miss that glorious head of hair.

Rick Henderson - 10:01 PM

Fox cannot call Nevada or Iowa. Romney wins Utah and Montana.

Michael Lowrey - 9:59 PM

Closest N.C. congressional district aside from the 7th: The 9th, with Republican Robert Pittenger at only 51.9%

Dan E. Way - 9:58 PM

As it stands, Republicans will hold a 9-4 majority in the NC U.S. House delegation. None of them is being seriously challenged. Nor do any of the Democrats seem to be in jeopardy of losing.

Dan E. Way - 9:55 PM

Republican Dan Forest now leads in the Lt. Gov. race 50.64-49.3 percent over Linda Coleman. He’s up by about 47,000 votes with 54 of 100 counties reporting.

Dan E. Way - 9:53 PM

Romney now leads Obama in North Carolina 50.98-47.7 percent with 54 of 100 counties reporting. Up by 120,000 votes.

Rick Henderson - 9:52 PM

Richard Hudson now making his victory speech, defeating incumbent Democrat Larry Kissell to win the 8th Congressional District.

Michael Lowrey - 9:51 PM

N.C. counties still not reporting any results: Caswell, Halifax, Harnett, Hoke, Johnston, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Robeson

Mitch Kokai - 9:48 PM

If current numbers hold, the N.C. delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives will flip from 7-6 Democrat to 9-4 Republican. The only GOP target that looks in trouble at this point is incumbent Democrat Mike McIntyre’s 7th District. He leads Republican David Rouzer, 53-47.

Michael Lowrey - 9:47 PM

Wayne Goodwin up over Mike Causey by 83k votes for insurance commissioner (51.2% to 48.8%). Why is this still even an elected office?

Rick Henderson - 9:47 PM

Forest up 2 with 81 percent of the vote in for lieutenant governor.

Rick Henderson - 9:45 PM

Newby up by 4 over Ervin with 77 percent of the vote counted.

Michael Lowrey - 9:44 PM

Barbara Howe up to 2.08%

Rick Henderson - 9:44 PM

Fox calling Wisconsin Senate for Democrat Tammy Baldwin, defeating former four-term GOP Gov. Tommy Thompson.

Dan E. Way - 9:44 PM

With 46 of 100 counties reporting, Romney leads Obama in North Carolina 51-47.6 percent

Michael Lowrey - 9:43 PM

Romney now up by 144K with 46 counties in complete and partial results from 44 others.

Dan E. Way - 9:42 PM

Sayonara Scott Brown. Democrat Elizabeth Warren projected to reclaim Ted Kennedy’s U.S. Senate seat in Massachusetts.

Rick Henderson - 9:37 PM

Or is it draw to an inside straight?

Rick Henderson - 9:36 PM

CBS calling New Hampshire for Obama. Romney has to start running the table.

Dan E. Way - 9:34 PM

CBS gives battleground state of New Hampshire to Obama. Dominoes starting to fall Obama’s way.

Dan E. Way - 9:32 PM

CBS projects Obama wins Wisconsin.

Dan E. Way - 9:31 PM

Tea Party upstart Ted Cruz wins U.S. Senate seat in Texas for the Republicans

Rick Henderson - 9:30 PM

WRAL calling Congressional District 2 for Republican Renee Ellmers, in a district where she was representing a lot of new voters.

Roy Cordato - 9:30 PM

News flash–a prediction by Dick Morris will be wrong.

Dan E. Way - 9:29 PM

Paul Newby now up 52-48 percent over Sam Ervin in the NC Supreme Court race, with 65 percent of votes tabulated.

Rick Henderson - 9:29 PM

That is, 19 Senate seats.

Rick Henderson - 9:28 PM

WRAL saying Dems will be lucky to hold 19 seats and could lose House seats as well.

Michael Lowrey - 9:27 PM

N.C.voter turnout: 51.7% so far with 29 counties fully in and partial results from 52 others.

Rick Henderson - 9:26 PM

Wood, Marshall, Cowell, Atkinson holding ~53-47 leads in Council of State races. Berry, Troxler up by 4+

Dan E. Way - 9:26 PM

Romney now up 51-48 percent over Obama in North Carolina with 65 percent reporting.

Michael Lowrey - 9:21 PM

Dan Forest over Lina Coleman by 36k votes with 29 counties now in fully in.

Mitch Kokai - 9:21 PM

Mitch Kokai - 9:21 PM

Statewide executive offices: McCrory wins big, the lieutenant governor’s race is tight, and Council of State incumbents of both parties seem to hold comfortable leads.

Rick Henderson - 9:20 PM

CNN has Florida only 170 votes apart.

Michael Lowrey - 9:19 PM

Barbara Howe now at 2.01%

Michael Lowrey - 9:18 PM

7th Congressional District: No Johnston County precincts in yet — and Rouzer is from Johnston County.

Dan E. Way - 9:17 PM

Sad to say that Obama now being projected the winner of Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral college votes. My home state still asleep at the political wheel.

Rick Henderson - 9:17 PM

Networks calling Pennsylvania for Obama.

Roy Cordato - 9:17 PM

Local ECU Prof Mike Adams projects Romney wins Utah. Beats Fox News to the punch. (FB)

Mitch Kokai - 9:17 PM

Senate District 25, the battle of the Genes, Democrat McLaurin leads Republican McIntyre, 51-49.

Dan E. Way - 9:15 PM

CBS said  Republicans will retain control of the U.S. House of Representatives. The days may be numbered for the much-reviled Nancy Pelosi as Democratic majority leader.

Rick Henderson - 9:15 PM

Orange County also approved transit tax.

Rick Henderson - 9:15 PM

Cary bonds winning big.

Michael Lowrey - 9:15 PM

Romney now up by 67k with 19 counties completely in and partial results from 56 more counties.

Dan E. Way - 9:14 PM

No doubt, the overwhelming Democratic population of Chapel Hill-Carrboro is responsible for the 59-41 percent lead in the vote on a half-cent sales tax for a transit plan that includes a light-rail component voters in the rural areas opposed.

Mitch Kokai - 9:12 PM

7th Congressional District: 189,000 votes in, Rep. Mike McIntyre, D, leads, 54-46.


Dan E. Way - 9:11 PM

Democrat Walter Dalton seems fairly upbeat in his concession speech after getting fairly well trounced by McCrory. He said he ran to win.


Roy Cordato - 9:09 PM

Amazing–the panel on Fox right now talking like it’s over for Romney. Do they know something the rest of us don’t? Probably.

Dan E. Way - 9:09 PM

Republican Dan Forest now has a very slight lead over Democrat Linda Coleman in the Lt. Gov. race.

Mitch Kokai - 9:09 PM

House District 119: former Sen. Joe Sam Queen, D, leads 53-47.

Dan E. Way - 9:08 PM

“The curse is over,” McCrory says, an obvious reference to the difficulty of a Charlotte mayor getting elected to governor in North Carolina.

Mitch Kokai - 9:07 PM

House District 118: Incumbent Rep. Ray Rapp, D, trails 52-48.

Rick Henderson - 9:07 PM

CNN projects Republicans will retain control of House of Representatives.

Dan E. Way - 9:07 PM

“I wanted to send a message to the young people . . . that serving in government can be honorable, running for elective office can be honorable, and you don’t have to tear down another person to make it happen,” McCrory said of the reason he ran a positive campaign. “If you run a positive campaign, you can be a more effective leader, and we’re going to be a more effective leader . . . we’re going to bring this state together.”

Dan E. Way - 9:05 PM

McCrory said the goal wasn’t to get elected governor, but to lead the state. “There’s a sense of urgency in this state right now that we’ve seen throughout this state. People are worried right now, people are hurting.”

Michael Lowrey - 9:05 PM

Court races: Newby over Erwin by 53k, McGee, Brant up big, Chris Dillon over Cressie Thigpen by 117k

Dan E. Way - 9:05 PM

McCrory thanks his wife and says, “She’s going to be a great first lady.”

“I’ve enjoyed building a relationship with you,” he tells voters who elected him.

Dan E. Way - 9:04 PM

Pat McCrory giving his acceptance speech in Charlotte. He thanks Walter Dalton for calling him. “I know exactly what he’s going through.” He thanks Dalton for his service to the state. “I just want you to know that Gov Perdue has been extremely gracious in offering her assistance” for a smooth transition. He also thanks Perdue for her service.

Roy Cordato - 9:04 PM

Will NC actually be as close as it appears for Prez? I find it hard to believe.

Mitch Kokai - 9:03 PM

House District 93 rematch: Former Rep. Cullie Tarleton, D, leads incumbent Rep. Jonathan Jordan, R, 53-47.

Dan E. Way - 9:02 PM

CNN projects Romney takes Kansas, Louisiana, South Dakota, North Dakota

Roy Cordato - 9:02 PM

Re my previous thought–good sign, fireworks are legal in PA.

Rick Henderson - 9:01 PM

Fox ready to make a bunch of calls: Michigan for Obama; Wisconsin, Minnesota, Colorado too close to call.

Romney wins Texas; Louisiana; Kansas; North Dakota; South Dakota; Wyoming; Nebraska (4/5 EVs)

Terry Stoops - 9:00 PM

State Board of Elections’ page keeps reloading automatically…drivin’ me crazy.

Dan E. Way - 8:57 PM

WRAL declares Republican Pat McCrory winner of governor’s race, 54-44 percent over Democrat Walter Dalton. First time since 1988 voters put someone from the GOP column in the executive mansion.

Michael Lowrey - 8:56 PM

Definition of pain: scrolling down to on the State Board of Elections’ site to get to the judicial elections.

Rick Henderson - 8:56 PM

WRAL saying Romney winning Wake County 53-47; Obama winning Forsyth 57-43. Watauga very close.

Mitch Kokai - 8:54 PM

House District 51: Incumbent Republican Mike Stone trails at this point, 51-49.

Roy Cordato - 8:53 PM

From Belief Blog “Early exit polls have Romney leading by abt 10 points among Catholics in Ohio, where Obama camp worked hard to win Catholics”

Rick Henderson - 8:53 PM

CJ’s own Barry Smith now with UNC-TV’s online coverage at

Rick Henderson - 8:51 PM

Romney now up again by 30k votes statewide.

Mitch Kokai - 8:50 PM

House District 9 looks like a neck-and-neck race.

Rick Henderson - 8:48 PM

No body slams on U.S. Senate floor: Republican Linda McMahon again loses in Connecticut.

Mitch Kokai - 8:47 PM

Tightest N.C. Senate race at this point: District 19. Incumbent Wesley Meredith leads former DMV commissioner George Tatum, 51-49.

Michael Lowrey - 8:44 PM

Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Barbara Howe at 1.96% of the vote…

Terry Stoops - 8:43 PM

Reminder: JLF’s Becki Gray joins Rick and Donna Martinez on 680 AM WPTF.

Rick Henderson - 8:42 PM

AP now calling Congressional District 13 for Republican George Holding, the former U.S. Attorney who prosecuted a host of Democrats in political corruption cases.

Michael Lowrey - 8:41 PM

A chunk of Durham County just reported: Romney now only up by 5k votes statewide.

Rick Henderson - 8:41 PM

In Senate District 18, Chad Barefoot ahead of incumbent Democrat Doug Berger 59-41.

Roy Cordato - 8:40 PM

According to Laura Ingraham “The Libertarian candidate is getting over 5% right now in the Indiana Senate race” See this article in the WSJ by Randy Barnett.

Terry Stoops - 8:37 PM

It looks like 138-year-old incumbent Howard Coble is pulling away from challenger Tony Foriest in U.S. House District 6.

Roy Cordato - 8:35 PM

Raymond Arroyo from EWTN just posted on FB–“PA, Ohio, Wisc., New Hampshire… as Catholics go, so go these states. Blame the Catholics for whatever happens. Stay tuned.”

Rick Henderson - 8:35 PM

2.4 million votes counted. Forest up 30k votes over Coleman for lt. governor.

Rick Henderson - 8:33 PM

284k votes counted in the 10th District. McHenry starting to pull away, 56-44.

Rick Henderson - 8:32 PM

2.5 million votes counted: Romney up 2 over Obama.

Becki Gray - 8:31 PM

McCrory wins NC!

Dan E. Way - 8:31 PM

CBS now giving Arkansas to Romney.

Terry Stoops - 8:31 PM

Call him Governor Pat McCrory.  AP calls the race.

Rick Henderson - 8:31 PM

Fox calling Arkansas for Romney. Leading Obama, 78-68 in electoral votes.

Rick Henderson - 8:29 PM

OK, folks: Fox projects McCrory defeats Dalton for governor. Big shock.

Roy Cordato - 8:29 PM

Glad to see any votes from anyone for Romney but it does worry me that  federal government workers don’t feel threatened by him.

Rick Henderson - 8:23 PM

N.C. Supreme Court race: Newby up 51-49 on Ervin.

Terry Stoops - 8:22 PM

I asked my Magic 8 Ball which presidential candidate will win North Carolina.  Damned thing said “Ask again later.”  Really?

Rick Henderson - 8:19 PM

165k votes counted in Congressional District 2: GOP incumbent Renee Ellmers is up 57-41.

Dan E. Way - 8:19 PM

When North Carolina Republicans redrew the boundaries of U.S. Congressional District 4, making it even an even stronger Democratic stronghold than it was before, who knew it would be this lopsided: state Board of Elections has it 74-26 percent for incumbent Democrat David Price over Tim D’Annunzio with 53 percent of votes tabulated.

Terry Stoops - 8:18 PM

The Chowan County Board of Elections is the first to completely report their results.  GAME ON!

Rick Henderson - 8:18 PM

On WRAL-2, David McLennan of Peace University says Wake County votes are in and Obama’s still neck-and-neck with Romney, which is bad news for the president in N.C.

Rick Henderson - 8:14 PM

Terry, I think MoveOn is asking you to stalk people.

Rick Henderson - 8:14 PM

Dan Forest pulls to within 16,000 votes of Linda Coleman in lieutenant governor race with 2.1 million votes counted.


Terry Stoops - 8:13 PM

I just received an email from Elena, Julia, Garlin, Manny, and the rest of the team at  They ask MoveOn-ers to “stop following the polls and knock on doors RIGHT NOW!!!” Man, what a ground game!  They want people to go door-to-door after the polls close.

Dan E. Way - 8:12 PM

CBS also has Mississippi for Romney. By its count, Romney leads 82-64 in Electoral College votes.

Dan E. Way - 8:12 PM

Former Maine Gov. Angus King projected by CBS to win U.S. Senate seat. He has run as an Independent, but hasn’t said which party he would caucus with. That puts him in the catbird seat when he gets to Washington. Imagine what he can demand to align with one or the other party.

Dan E. Way - 8:09 PM

CBS New projects Romney wins Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma, and Tennessee

Roy Cordato - 8:07 PM

Has Chris Christie totally stiffed Romney? Did he not know what he was doing? Did he not care?

Dan E. Way - 8:06 PM

The Associated Press projects that Obama wins Illinois, Connecticut, Maine, D.C., Delaware, Rhode Island, Maryland and Massachusetts, while Romney wins Oklahoma.

Michael Lowrey - 8:05 PM

Early N.C. presidential voting: Obama 879,343 (50.64%), Romney 840,063 (48.38%) — that’s very bad news for Obama.

Rick Henderson - 8:05 PM

Romney just jumped ahead of Obama by less than a percentage point on SBOE; 2 million votes counted.

Terry Stoops - 8:04 PM

Obviously we’ll get a good sense of the electoral landscape of North Carolina once Transylvania County reports their results.

Dan E. Way - 8:04 PM

Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry and Ag. Commissioner Steve Troxler the only Republicans in NC Council of State races that are leading their Democratic opponents with early returns in.

Rick Henderson - 8:03 PM

Here’s a shocker: With nearly 200,000 votes counted in the 9th Congressional District, Republican Robert Pittenger is up on Democrat Jennifer Roberts by only 1 percent.

Terry Stoops - 8:02 PM

Throughout the evening, John Hood will be offering live, insightful commentary on News 14 Carolina.  There’s some other dudes on there too.

Rick Henderson - 8:02 PM

In the 8th Congressional District, GOP challenger Richard Hudson up early over incumbent Democrat Larry Kissell, 55-45.

Michael Lowrey - 8:00 PM

Through early voting, all Democratic Council of State incumbents at 55 percent of the vote +/- .5 percentage point. The exception is Wayne Goodwin at 53.5 percent.

Rick Henderson - 7:52 PM

No surprise. Fox calls Georgia for Romney.

Terry Stoops - 7:50 PM

Vote tallies in Wake, Orange counties rolling in to NC Board of Elections site.

Dan E. Way - 7:48 PM

Romney leads 57-41 percent in Virginian with 6 percent of the vote tallied.

Rick Henderson - 7:48 PM

First results are being reported on the State Board of Elections’ site.

Incumbent Rep. Patrick McHenry has a small lead in the 10th District; Republican Mark Meadows up comfortably in the open 11th District.

Dan E. Way - 7:48 PM

Obama quoted by CBS News as having a concession speech prepared as well as a victory speech. Romney has said he has not written a concession speech.

Dan E. Way - 7:45 PM

WRAL has Pat McCrory up 53-46 percent over Walter Dalton at this point in the NC governor’s race.

Terry Stoops - 7:44 PM

With 0 of 100 counties reporting, I am declaring Roy Cooper (DEM) the winner of the NC Attorney General race.

Dan E. Way - 7:42 PM

CBS also projecting Romney win in South Carolina. Will it be a twin Carolinas victory? Still waiting for North Carolina.

Dan E. Way - 7:41 PM

ABC News projects a Romney victory in South Carolina.

Roy Cordato - 7:40 PM

You would expect that any state with legal fireworks will go Romney. I think we just need to get more states to legalize fireworks.

Roy Cordato - 7:37 PM

Posted this on my FB page today and thought I’d share it with all of you–To my knowledge there is no economic theory that says the deeper the recession the slower the economic growth will be in the recovery. Explanations of why the economy is recovering so slowly base on this premise are pure gibberish and demonstrate the economic illiteracy of those who make them.

Roy Cordato - 7:35 PM

Does O care about people like you? Feel warm fuzzies if the answer is yes.

Dan E. Way - 7:31 PM

CBS now projecting a win in West Virginia for Romney.

Dan E. Way - 7:31 PM

Remember Joe Wilson, the first U.S. Rep. to speak truth to power in a very public way when he yelled, in an impolitic manner, to President Obama during a joint session of Congress, “You lie!”? His constituents must recognize his keen insight. CNN projects Wilson as winning re-election.

Rick Henderson - 7:31 PM

Romney wins West Virginia coal country and 5 electoral votes.

Rick Henderson - 7:31 PM

Fox also say N.C. is too close to call.

Rick Henderson - 7:30 PM

Fox say Obama/Romney even in Ohio.

Rick Henderson - 7:30 PM

Aaaanndd … the polls have closed.

Terry Stoops - 7:23 PM

Did you catch Rob Schofield of NC Policy Watch discuss politics on NBC17’s Web Cafe?  Me neither.

Dan E. Way - 7:19 PM

Vermont apparently likes the Big Europe/socialist designs of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders. They have re-elected him, according to CNN projections. Sanders, of course, is an Independent who votes with the Democrats.

Dan E. Way - 7:15 PM

Civitas Tweets that the crowd is starting to fill in at the McCrory gubernatorial victory celebration.

Rick Henderson - 7:13 PM

CBS exit poll of Va Independents mirrors Fox: 53-41 for Romney.

Dan E. Way - 7:13 PM

NPR is calling Georgia and South Carolina for Romney.

Dan E. Way - 7:12 PM

NC General Assembly gets in Twitter to reassure voters they will have a chance to cast ballots. This is the Tweet:

“If you’re still waiting in line, you’ll vote tonight. If you’re on your way, you must speak w/ poll workers to make sure you count.”

Dan E. Way - 7:09 PM

Fox has reported heavy turnout in Wisconsin. Big vote in GOP precincts, and Madison officials say the vote more closely mirrors the Scott Walker recall victory than Obama’s win there in 2008.

Terry Stoops - 7:01 PM

Breaking: ‘The Onion’ Calls Florida, Ohio, Colorado, Pennsylvania For John Edwards

Rick Henderson - 7:01 PM

Fox not calling Virginia either way. Kentucky to Romney. Indiana to Romney (an Obama state in 2008). Vermont to Obama.

Dan E. Way - 7:01 PM

CBS says Indiana and Kentucky go to Romney. Projects Obama winning Vermont.

Rick Henderson - 7:00 PM

Fox getting ready to call … wait for it …

Mitch Kokai - 6:58 PM

One group of people who are elated that this day has arrived: Ohio residents. My unscientific survey of Ohioans, the Kokai family of Reynoldsburg, reveals that all of the speeches, ads, and phone calls this campaign season have generated a response similar to the one experienced by the little girl who’s sick of Mitt Romney and Bronco Bama.

Rick Henderson - 6:49 PM

Make of it what you will, but via Mary Katharine Ham, bellwether Vigo County, Ind., is reporting Romney 5o, Obama 48; 69 percent of the vote in.

Michael Lowrey - 6:46 PM

The key election issue in 150 words or less: How accurate are the polls? If you look at the survey data, it’s pretty clear that Barack Obama will be reelected as he’s ahead in most of the key battleground states. Republicans argue that the polls overstate how many people will vote for Democrats, as traditional Democratic groups simply will not turn out at the same level as they did in 2008. The GOP claim is not a yes/no proposition though — supposing the polls are off, the question then becomes by how much. If they’re wrong enough so it cuts Obama’s lead by two percentage points in key states, then Obama very likely still wins. If it’s more like four percentage points, then Romeny wins. And if it’s around three percentage points, then we won’t know the outcome until the rooster down the street from me starts crowing tomorrow morning. At best.

Becki Gray - 6:40 PM

I’m at WPTF.  Indiana and Kentucky results coming in.  Kentucky has Obama 30%; Romney 68%. In Indiana Obama at 35% to Romney 63%.  Early, early.  but the excitement begins!

Rick Henderson - 6:10 PM

Greetings! The polls have closed in the portions of Indiana and Kentucky that are in the Eastern time zone. None of the networks will call those states until the counties in the Central time zone close at 7.


This morning, National Review’s Jim Geraghty posted a list of 50 counties to watch tonight — three of them are in North Carolina (Forsyth, Pitt, and Wake). The first one to look for is Vigo County, Indiana, where Terre Haute is located. It has voted for the winning candidate every year since 1956. Alas, we’ll have no results from there before 7, so remain patient!

Becki Gray - 8:04 PM

McCrory brought it home.  Positive, thoughtful, well prepared. Someone who can make big things happen as governor.  Reform and revive.  His poll numbers should be even better after this. Looks gubernatorial and like a leader.

Dalton was probably the best of the three debates for him.  Was more direct, not too much rattling around in his head but still devolved into committee-speak on occasion. No bizarre moments like the racially charged you tube clip from #1 or the eminent domain case accusations in #2.  Still tried to get jabs in at McCrory that seemed small, awkward and petty.  Better performance tonight but too little too late.

Rick Henderson - 8:01 PM

AAAND, now it’s time for the World Serious.


Thanks for joining us!

Terry Stoops - 8:01 PM

World Series, Game 1 prediction:

Giants 2

Tigers 1


Dan E. Way - 7:59 PM

Crabtree with another weird question. How hard is it to tell the truth as a politician. Say what? Should we wait for them to incriminate themselves with a comment like, “yeah, it’s hard for me to tell the truth.”

McCrory tells nice anecdote about his dying father telling him to do what’s right.

Dalton said McCrory’s veracity has been challenged by at least one court.

Terry Stoops - 7:58 PM

Dalton: It is never too late to dig McCrory.

Rick Henderson - 7:58 PM

Surprisingly enough, the best of all the debates. Kudos to WRAL.

Becki Gray - 7:58 PM

How hard is it tell the truth?

McCrory: Do what’s right. Not hard to tell the truth.

WaltDalt: Jabs at McCrory – wastes opportunity. Leaves with negative impression.

Rick Henderson - 7:57 PM

Final question: How difficult is it to tell the truth in politics?

McC: Not hard at all.

Dalton: It’s tough but McCrory has been admonished by Supreme Court.

Barry Smith - 7:57 PM

I actually liked this debate more than the previous two. Both candidates made their points well. Neither scored a knock-out punch. McCrory didn’t have to. Dalton probably did.

Dan E. Way - 7:57 PM

Closing statements.

Dalton: “Do you want big corporations paying zero tax” and take money from public schools to give to private and home schools? Then he’s not your candidate.

McCrory: “We’ve got  broken government in NC, we’ve got a broken economy in NC” and we need to unleash the private sector and its resources. “It’s time for a Carolina Comeback.” He tells of same problems with getting a driver’s license at DMV now as when he got his first one in 1973. “Nothing’s changed.”

Becki Gray - 7:56 PM

Why elect you for governor?

WaltDalt: Do you want big corporations to pay 0 taxes, take money from public schools and give to private schools?   I’ll work for you and we’ll build a bright future.

McCrory: Nightmare experience at DMV – nothing has changed in 30 years. I have to run for governor to fix NC, broken economy. Unleash our resources.  Time for a Carolina Comeback.

Terry Stoops - 7:56 PM

McCrory: Time for a “Carolina comeback”

Rick Henderson - 7:56 PM

Closing statement:

Dalton: I’m not the candidate of big business and I support public schools and women.

McC: Nothing has changed since I got my first driver’s license at DMV. We have a broken government and broken economy. We have to unleash our people and our resources.

Terry Stoops - 7:55 PM

Dalton does it again – mentions using public funds for private schools…something that our pre-K and higher education systems do already.

Becki Gray - 7:54 PM

Video gaming – tax it?

Both say, if legal tax it.

Dan E. Way - 7:54 PM

Internet gaming and sweepstakes:

Dalton opposes, but if court allows he would want to tax it. McCrory agrees.

Rick Henderson - 7:54 PM

Leslie: Video gaming: outlaw or tax?

Dalton: I oppose but if it’s upheld I’ll tax.

McC: agree.

Becki Gray - 7:53 PM

Any Republicans you’d bring in your administration?

WaltDalt: sure,  But not giving names

McCrory: Not promising anything before the election. Likes Conti, David Hoyle, Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco.

Barry Smith - 7:53 PM

McCrory says he’ll seek the advice of DOT Secretary Gene Conti and Revenue Secretary David Hoyle.

Would they want to stay on?

Terry Stoops - 7:53 PM

Dalton: Any Republicans?  No names.

McCrory: Any Democrats? No names…but Conti and Hoyle are cool with me.

Dan E. Way - 7:53 PM

Would Dalton bring Republicans into his cabinet. Yes, he says.

Would McCrory consider keeping Democrats? He said he isn’t promising anyone a job, but he would consult with existing people for their assistance.

Rick Henderson - 7:53 PM

Crabtree: What Republicans would you bring into admin.

Dalton: I won’t even give you Democratic names.

McC: I don’t promise anyone anything. I like Gene Conti at DOT and David Hoyle at Revenue and will consult Commerce Secy

Dan E. Way - 7:52 PM

Laura Leslie on right-to-work state status. Should state consider changes to labor laws to make them more union friendly.

McCrory says no. Dalton has called him “the Scott Walker of North Carolina.”It’s important to remain right to work state “for ongoing economic development” to occur. Collective bargaining would be bad move because it would create problems for police chiefs, fire chiefs, etc.

Dalton said he would have a labor advisory group as governor.

Barry Smith - 7:52 PM

Should state lawmakers consider changes to our labor laws?

McCrory: “No.” Right-to-work is extremely important for ongoing economic development. He says we cannot have collective bargaining.

I assume he’s referring to collective bargaining among government employees.

Dalton: I have no agenda to change labor laws.

Rick Henderson - 7:52 PM

Leslie: Right to work state. Is that OK?

McC: Yes. Misidentifies ACLU, meaning SEIU. Happy to be considered  along with Scott Walker. Collective bargaining for public employees should not be allowed.

Dalton: No agenda to change collective bargaining or right-to-work.

Becki Gray - 7:51 PM

Lightening Round:

What impresses you about the other guy?

McCrory likes @ WaltDalt: College prep programs, great family man

WaltDalt likes @ McCrory:  Public servant

Terry Stoops - 7:51 PM

Dalton hasn’t mentioned his website in a while…


Rick Henderson - 7:50 PM

Crabtree: Lightning round —

Smith: What impresses you about opponent?

Dalton: Anyone in public service should be commended.

McC: College prep in community college a good idea. A great family man who’s liked in his hometown.


Barry Smith - 7:50 PM

Say something good about your opponent.

Dalton: McCrory is a dedicated public servant.

McCrory: He likes Dalton’s college prep program, and he respects him.

Dan E. Way - 7:50 PM

Ken Smith with an odd question: What impresses you about your opponent. Is that strains of Kumbaya in the background?

Dan E. Way - 7:49 PM

Illegal immigration is the question. McCrory said as mayor and governor he would be sworn to uphold laws of state and federal governments, constitutions of both. There needs to be state-fed cooperation. He supports 287g program. It’s hard to know identity of people in the state and 287g allows law enforcement to weed through the multiple names offenders can have to know if they have outstanding warrants. He’s disappointed Obama opposes immigration enforcement.

Becki Gray - 7:49 PM

Immigration:  Would you sign similar law to Arizona’s?

WaltDalt: he’d check with law enforcement.  It;s a federal issue.  Would have to look at law but he would consider it.

McCrory: based on decisions coming out of courts, wait and see what the courts decide.  As governor, obligation to enforce the law. Strong supporter of 287G program.  Disappointed in President’s position on this.

Terry Stoops - 7:49 PM

McCrory: It’s the “287 G” program [cough, cough] and I supported it as mayor.

Rick Henderson - 7:49 PM

Leslie: Q about Arizona “show your papers” law. Would you sign one if passed?

Dalton: Would talk to Highway Patrol. Don’t like idea of unfunded mandates. Would consider. We’ve cut law enforcement under GOP leadership.

McC: I don’t think law is needed until the Supreme Court decides. Governor is sworn to uphold state and federal laws. I support 287g program and am disappointed Obama is discouraging that.

Barry Smith - 7:49 PM

Now we go to immigration. Would they sign an Arizona-type immigration law?

Dalton says he’d have to talk to law enforcement officers in the state. He says he’d consider it, noting that law enforcement budgets have been cut. “I’m not going to give you a definitive answer right now.”

McCrory says he doesn’t think it’s needed right now. “I’m a big supporter of what’s called the 287(g) program.”

Terry Stoops - 7:47 PM

Dalton: Let me get back to you on immigration reform.

Dan E. Way - 7:47 PM

McCrory said he is troubled over accusations against auditor candidate Debra Goldman and his endorsement of her is now in question, though he has no personal information to know whether allegations have merit.

Becki Gray - 7:46 PM

Debra Goldman question.  McCrory concerned about family members, police reports show problems.  Unfounded allegations? Current auditor is doing a good job – stood up to Perdue and Easley.

Wait and see on the allegations @ Goldman.

Rick Henderson - 7:46 PM

Crabtree: Do  you support Debra Goldman for auditor?

McC: I’m concerned, especially for the family members affected. If we keep hearing information about false police reports, that’s a problem. Current auditor is only member of Council of State who stood up to Perdue administration and she deserves credit for that.

Dan E. Way - 7:46 PM

Dalton said “you make of the office what you can” as lieutenant governor because it has little statutory authority. He said he conducted a small business listening tour. He takes credit for helping to launch early college high schools that have been lauded by New York Times and Southern Republican governors.

Dalton said McCrory has been called a “rainmaker.” Does he have clients waiting at the door if he gets elected.

McCrory has strong comeback, makes no apologies. Says this is what is wrong with North Carolina, that businesses are being vilified. He said he is in the private sector and there is nothing wrong with his work in trying to bring business to the state.

Barry Smith - 7:45 PM

David Crabtree wants to know if Debra Goldman still has his support for state auditor.

Does anyone really care? Come on!

Terry Stoops - 7:45 PM

Debra Goldman?  Many viewers have no idea who she is.

Terry Stoops - 7:44 PM

Wow, McCrory is having a really good night.


Becki Gray - 7:44 PM

Walt Dalt into committee-speak.  He’s been transparent.  McCrory hasn’t.

McCrory needs someone who can sell.  Sell NC needed.  Should build private sector, not tear it down. Businesses are not the enemy.  Private sector is who pays the bills.

Barry Smith - 7:44 PM

Dalton says McCrory supported special interest over a farm family.

McCrory says he’s in the private sector right now. “If I don’t win this election, I’m going to stay in the private sector.” He says the private sector shouldn’t be treated as the enemy.

Rick Henderson - 7:44 PM

McC: We shouldn’t treat business as the enemy. The private sector pays the taxes to let government operate.

Rick Henderson - 7:44 PM

Dalton going back to eminent domain case. Is he a rainmaker?

McC: I like making the sale. I like making rain. North Carolina needs a salesman.

Barry Smith - 7:43 PM

McCrory says who he works for, but says he’s going to follow a family tradition and not tell his salary.

Dalton talks about his role as lieutenant governor in North Carolina, and that there are only a few defined roles.

Should the lieutenant governor be a full-time job in North Carolina? Maybe not.

Rick Henderson - 7:42 PM

Smith: You’ve said time and again you’re not at the wheel. What qualifies you to be the governor?

Dalton: I don’t have many duties, so I went around and talked to businesses and got them money from Golden LEAF [not a popular response among JLFers]

Becki Gray - 7:42 PM

What is a typical day like for you?  How much do you make?

McCrory: I’ve submitted everything, stock ownerships, cars, house to Board of Elections. No pension, no government pension.  I work with law firm, sometimes lawyers need advice from non-layers.  works with his brother – strategic planning,  Need business and leadership experience in governor’s office.  His mom and dad didn’t disclose salaries and he’s not going to either.

Dan E. Way - 7:41 PM

Goofy question by Crabtree. What’s a typical day look like, how much does he get paid for doing his work for “fine companies.”

McCrory said he has provided all items necessary. Said he provides business expertise, consultation and strategic planning to lawyers. He has no pension so he will probably not retire. A problem in the executive branch is that it hasn’t had a governor with a business background who understands what effect policies have. Said he grew up in a family where they didn’t share their salary information, and he’s not going to break his parents’ code.

Rick Henderson - 7:41 PM

Crabtree: Voters want more transparency from everyone. Why not be more specific about your income, mayor?

McC: I’ve met the standards for disclosure. I own two 12-y.o. paid-for cars and a paid-for house and no pension. I’ll be working the rest of my life. I’ve done consulting to help reorganize businesses. I grew up in a home where we didn’t talk about how much money we made and I’m not going to break that promise.

Dan E. Way - 7:39 PM

Laura Leslie wants to know what further restrictions the candidates would put on abortion.

“None,” McCrory says in one-word response.

Dalton said he would add none, and didn’t agree with changes that were made.

Audience gets a chuckle over the short answers, coming right after Crabtree asked the candidates to keep answers brief.

Becki Gray - 7:39 PM

Laura Leslie:  What further restrictions on abortion would you agree to sign?

McCrory: None

WaltDalt: no further restrictions, here.

Well at least they are complying with Crabtree’s request to be brief…

Terry Stoops - 7:39 PM

I like Crabtree’s tie best.


Barry Smith - 7:38 PM

Further restrictions on abortion?

McCrory: “None.”

Dalton: “I would put no further restrictions on a woman’s right.”

There, they were both concise.

Rick Henderson - 7:38 PM

Leslie: Any further restriction on abortions?


McC: No.

Dalton: No.

Dan E. Way - 7:37 PM

McCrory said he does oppose Obamacare, which Dalton and Perdue support. They didn’t challenge the federal legislation and its impact “will be dramatic.” He said many businesses will pay the penalty rather than provide insurance and let workers go to federal plan. Costs will be “staggering.”

Dalton said Affordable Care Act does need some revisions. First three years are without cost to the state. The courts have held state can opt out at any time. “All in all I think it will help create jobs” and bring some of NC’s federal tax dollars back to the state. Keeping a child on insurance plan till 26 years old is a good benefit. Being a woman “will no longer be a pre-existing condition.”

Barry Smith - 7:37 PM

McCrory says the states ought to come up with their own plan.

OK, what is his plan?

Dalton says there should be some amendments. Then he says federal tax dollars will come back into the state.

David Crabtree then asks for them to condense their comments.

Rick Henderson - 7:37 PM

Dalton: Obamacare will not cost us anything for first three years. Keep kids on parents’ insurance til age 26.

Rick Henderson - 7:36 PM

Dalton: I heart Obamacare. This will help with case management.

McC: Should have challenged the law; will encourage small biz to drop health insurance.


Barry Smith - 7:36 PM

On mental health, McCrory says, “Come January, we could have a major catastrophe.” He won’t support immediately getting rid of the Dix hospital property. “There is no easy answer.”

Dalton chides McCrory for opposing the Affordable Care Act. On the mental health system, Dalton says, “It has not gone well.” He says we need to listen to providers. He brings up case management, which was hurt.

McCrory hits Dalton for his support of Obamacare. “The impact this is going to have on North Carolina is going to be dramatic.”

Becki Gray - 7:35 PM

Crabtree says be succinct and stay on topic.


McCrory wants to re-vamp equity formula and user pay.

Mental health:  McCrory:  not support getting rid of land at Dorthea Dix, repeal Perdue deal with feds to move people out of long term care.  Opposes ObamaCare – strongly.

Walt Dalt:  ObamaCare would help mental health issues, privatizing services didn’t work.

Dan E. Way - 7:35 PM

Mental health reform the question.

McCrory said he would undo Perdue policies that push elderly and mentally ill into the street. Homes in rural areas could close down under those policies. He will not support “right now” getting rid of land at Dix. Change to new hospital added practically no new beds. “This has got to be a comprehensive plan, there is no easy answer.” It will rival Obamacare for the next governor to deal with.

Dalton said McCrory opposes Obamacare, which would address some of the mental health problem. Affordable Care Act would provide more managed care in mental health arena. “These people can become a threat to the public if they’re not taking their medication” and doing what they need to stay well.

Rick Henderson - 7:33 PM

Crabtree: Mental health question. How will you target resources more effectively?

McC: Rescind rule from Perdue that would close rural facilities. Would not support getting rid of land at Dix.

Dr. Stoops?

Terry Stoops - 7:33 PM

Henderson: “Halfway through debate, I’ll give WRAL credit: It’s the meatiest debate we’ve had yet.”

Stoops: Agreed.


Terry Stoops - 7:32 PM

McCrory is smart to mention major highways – voters along those busy roads will take notice.

Dan E. Way - 7:32 PM

Dalton said tolls should be last choice for existing roads such as I-95. Some bonds have been passed. We need more federal tax dollars back from Washington instead of being a donor state that sends more to feds than it gets back. Lease-purchase is another way to get transportation dollars. Tax benefits should be given to people who live inside the beltline.

McCrory said he would look at other roads being considered for construction that some areas don’t even want and shift that to I-95. The existing equity formula doesn’t take into consideration safety, congestion and environment, among other items. It’s unfair for towns and cities along interstate corridors to pay for interstates that run through their municipalities when many more people use them. That makes hosting an interstate a punishment

Rick Henderson - 7:31 PM

Halfway through debate, I’ll give WRAL credit: It’s the meatiest debate we’ve had yet.

Smith: How will we pay for I-95 updates?

Dalton: Get more fed $$ back, tolling for new avenues, refers to logistics task force, urban growth boundaries(?)

McC: Look at all scheduled construction, redirect funding when possible to I-95. We need to get away from Equity Formula and go to a system that benefits construction priorities. PPPs OK and pay-go funding too.

Barry Smith - 7:31 PM

What about I-95?

Dalton suggests public-private partnerships and bonds. “We need to get more of our federal tax dollars back from the federal government.”

David Crabtree asks Dalton to stay on topic. He wants to give incentives for people to live inside beltlines.

McCrory says we should look at other roads being considered for construction, which some people don’t even want. Use that money to build major roads. He also says the state should take a look at the DOT’s equity formula.

Terry Stoops - 7:29 PM

I like Dalton’s tie.

Dan E. Way - 7:28 PM

Leslie said 60 cents on every dollar in state budget comes from corporate and personal income taxes that McCrory wants to eliminate, so where will he get more money.

McCrory said at least those taxes should be competitive with neighboring states. Current revenue chairman a big proponent on updating and reforming our outdated tax system. “It is so confusing now who gets tax credits who doesn’t get tax credits,” he says, so a comprehensive reform needed, not piecemeal measures that Dalton proposes. McCrory said he’s not asking for more money to pour into a government system that’s broken. He hopes to get money from gas exploration. States that have that are increasing tax revenue on that consumption. Perdue increased corporate and personal income tax and requested sales tax hike immediately after taking office, with Dalton’s support, and the economy tanked.

Terry Stoops - 7:28 PM

McCrory has a very appealing, pro-growth approach.

Becki Gray - 7:27 PM

Now to McCrory:  where would you find funding to cut corporate and other taxes?

Update tax system, make tax rates competitive, outdated. No more piecemeal tax credits, comprehensive bi-partisan effort that he’ll lead.

Revenue neutral, gas exploration, internet sales. Goal of tax reform is to grow business, grow reveneue and jobs.  Won’t have to ask for tax increases.  Not good leadership.


Rick Henderson - 7:27 PM

Q: How would you abolish corporate taxes and reduce personal income taxes and raise enough money?

McC: Want to update 60 y.o. tax system. First, let’s make corporate tax system competitive with neighboring states. David Hoyle (Democrat) wants to update system. We don’t need piecemeal tax credits but comprehensive reform.

Follow: How would it bring in more money?

McC: Internet sales tax OK. Energy exploration taxes are bringing in money. Growth will bring in more revenue.

Barry Smith - 7:27 PM

Laura Leslie asks McCrory to detail his tax plan. McCrory says he’d like to have our income tax rates at least competitive with neighboring states. “What we don’t need is piecemeal tax credits anymore, that he’s recommending in his plan.” He says his plan “should be revenue neutral.”

McCrory says he agrees with Dalton that we should look at taxes on Internet sales to out-of-state companies.

Terry Stoops - 7:26 PM

McCrory: Comprehensive reform of the tax code, a bipartisan effort

Becki Gray - 7:24 PM

Taking questions from a 9 year old now:

Tax increases to WaltDalt:  where would you find extra money for more education spending?

Responds:  Go to my website. Talks about education, economic development funds.  Talks about small business tax breaks.  Whoa!   Charge taxes for internet sales.


Rick Henderson - 7:24 PM

Follow: Where would billion come from?

Dalton: 0 million from ending tax break; taxes on logos; growth; aggressively collect taxes owed; collect Internet/catalogue sales tax.

Dan E. Way - 7:24 PM

Panel member Laura Leslie said Dalton supported 3/4 cent sales tax increase for education but now doesn’t. Where’s he going to get the money now.

Dalton said he has not changed stance on the 34 cent sales tax. He said there is 1 billion dollars available to fund education without a sales tax increase. When governor vetoed budget it was because of need for education dollars. Dalton supported that and said GOP should have put more money towards it. The 1 billion dollars comes from projected growth of taxes from better business climate, out-of-state companies get tax exemptions that he would eliminate, and there’s tax money still outstanding that could be collected. He wants to catalog and internet companies to collect taxes. He said he has detailed plans but has seen nothing from McCrory.

Terry Stoops - 7:23 PM

I’m confused by Dalton’s answer/plan.


Barry Smith - 7:21 PM

Laura Leslie asks Dalton about his support of a 3/4 cent sales tax increase, and now he doesn’t support a tax increase.

“I’ve always said as governor, I would not raise that sales tax.” For about the third of fourth time (I’m losing count) he refers people to his web page.

Rick Henderson - 7:21 PM

WRAL panel being very tough on Dalton. Wonder if they figure who’s going to win.

Terry Stoops - 7:21 PM

Dalton: I supported the extension of the sales tax but I did not support raising the sales tax.

Rick Henderson - 7:21 PM

Leslie: You supported a tax increase before you opposed it.

Dalton: Did not. Dissembles.


Dan E. Way - 7:20 PM

McCrory said the largest cuts in education occurred when Easley was governor, Perdue was lieutenant governor and Dalton was head of budget committee. Dalton’s attendance rate was about 40 percent as lt. gov. on ed. committee. McCrory said he will make sure his lieutenant governor will be more engaged.

Dalton said lieutenant governor and treasurer may appoint a sworn designee. He did that and had a near 100 percent attendance when the surrogate was included. Called McCrory’s characterization “a bogus hit.”

Rick Henderson - 7:20 PM

Dalton: Law says Lt Gov and Treas can appoint proxy for those meetings. Made almost every vote. We have other duties.

Becki Gray - 7:20 PM

Thank you David Crabtree:  McCrory can hardly rubber-stamp any ideas – He’s not governor. How do you know what he’ll do?

WaltDalt: McCrory talks to Tillis everyday.

McCrory:  Lt Gov is supposed to attend Community College Board meetings. Why haven’t you Walt?

Dalton defends his absence at Community College mtgs:  Lt. Gov.  may appoint a sworn designee and that’;s what I did.

Rick Henderson - 7:18 PM

McC hitting Dalton on missing legislative sessions and other community college board meetings, etc.

Terry Stoops - 7:18 PM

Holy cow!  Crabtree does a “Crowley” on Dalton.

Rick Henderson - 7:18 PM

Crabtree: McC isn’t governor yet. He can’t be a rubber-stamp.

Dalton: He talks to Tillis every day. He’s been running for four years.

McC: Apparently, I had more power not being governor than he had as Lt. Gov. [zing!]

Terry Stoops - 7:17 PM

Dalton: “Invest” in education.  Describes billions of dollars in spending.

Becki Gray - 7:17 PM

McCrory: Walt Dalt and state Senate buds spent all the surplus when they had it, now left NC in a fine mess.  Have to find better ways to do things.

Dalton: Ratings, Forbes says 3rd best, Site Selection other rate NC high.  Says PM is wrong on unemployment insurance numbers.  Rubber-stamp cuts to education. Walt Dalt wants to “invest” in education.

PM: new and creative ideas for education. v. WD: same old, same old, throw more money at education.

Dan E. Way - 7:16 PM

Panel member David Crabtree wants to know whether the state has ever spent too much for education and whether there is enough money for education.

McCrory said we owe 2.8 billion dollars to feds for unemployment. Dalton and other Democrats spent highway trust fund, reserves and a 3 billion dollar surplus. There is no money right now to expand education spending  Technology will help provide urban and rural areas with better educatoin at lower cost.

Dalton says “we’ve never spent too much” for education. Dalton said Forbes has NC as No. 3 best state in economic rankings. The 3 billion dollar surplus spending accusation by McCrory is wrong, he said, though 800 million of it was spent on Hurricane Floyd recovery. “We have to invest in education, I have  a specific plan.” He said he puts money back in Smart Start and More at Four. Court said that was unconstitutional cut, Dalton said. “We will respect teachers” and get them back to national average on pay. Will align education to needs of the student and the workforce of the future.

Rick Henderson - 7:16 PM

Crabtree: We’re not spending enough on schools. How much more should we spend?

McC: We owe .8 billion in unemployment insurance. There’s no money right now. Technology will help improve education in rural areas. Better ideas will provide better quality.

Dalton: We’ve never spent too much. Cites business ratings from Forbes, Site Selection, etc. We spent 0 million on Hurricane Floyd relief. We have to spend more on education. Cuts will not help.

Tracking system will force 15-y.o.s into a career track they may not want.

We need to spend more on Pre-K [repeating canard that’s gospel on the Left]

Barry Smith - 7:16 PM

McCrory puts in a plug for the iPad, saying it will provide better technology.

Dalton: “We’ve never spent too much. Money is finite.” He says we have to “out-educate” other states. He pushes Smart Start and pre-K programs. He wants to gets teachers back to the national average on pay.

Terry Stoops - 7:14 PM

Learn more about vocational education:

Terry Stoops - 7:14 PM

McCrory: Vocational education!  An “elitism” in education produced opposition to vocational education.

Dan E. Way - 7:12 PM

Panel member Ken Smith asks where unemployment will be a year from now.

Dalton said his plan would reduce unemployement 2.5 to 3 percent. Lots of health-related fields. There are lots of military jobs that could be created. High-tech and bio-tech can be grown. Entrepreneurship is ripe to cultivate among long-term unemployed who may now have a chance to launch their ideas.

McCrory said, “My gosh, we should at least be beating South Carolina, shouldn’t we?” This is a non-business friendly state under provisions Dalton has supported and helped to pass. His goal is to compete and beat Virginia and Tennessee, not just South Carolina. “We’re forcing way too many people to go into college curriculum” under elitism in education, old-style policies rather than tapping into their skills to build and invent things.

Rick Henderson - 7:12 PM

Ken Smith: 400K people unemployed. Where will unemp. rate be a year ago?

Dalton: 2.5% – 3% reduction. We need more health care workers. Workers from military.

McC: Measure as benchmark against competitors. We should beat SC and then Tenn. and Va. We should use our neighbors as the basemark.

We need two pathways in ed. Vocational and college. Don’t force kids into college curriculum if they’re not going to thrive in college.

It’s foolish to predict how national and international trends will work. [Very smart response.]

Barry Smith - 7:12 PM

McCrory: “We’re forcing way too many people to go into a college curriculum.” The goal is to be beating our neighboring states.

Barry Smith - 7:11 PM

Dalton says he plan puts people back to work now, and would reduce the unemployment rate by 2 to 3 percent in a year.

His plan seems to call for more government participation in business and the economy. McCrory keeps saying that government needs to leave business alone.

Terry Stoops - 7:11 PM

Dalton: Earmark tax growth for biotech?  Sounds like an economic incentives scheme.

Becki Gray - 7:10 PM

Dalton:  Says McCrory’s ides won;t work: Fracking offshore  oil take too long, tax reform only for rich.  His plan: re-invent our economy.  it’s on his website (there’s the answer – who knew?), build jobs for the future, expand military economy, encourage creativity and entrepreneurship.

McCrory:  You sound like Perdue 4 years ago.  Get started now.

Dalton distances himself from Perdue.  Not based on talk points, but on research and best practices.  Have to wonder why he didn’t do this when he was in state Senate or as Lt Gov.

Terry Stoops - 7:09 PM

McCrory is pretty sharp tonight – much improved from the second debate.

Rick Henderson - 7:09 PM

McC: If we had started on oil exploration 4 years ago, we’d be close to drilling now. We can’t keep delaying this forever.

Dalton: It’s my plan, not Bev’s.

Dan E. Way - 7:09 PM

McCrory said Gov. Perdue advanced the same policies in 2008 that Dalton now champions and they haven’t worked.

Dalton said those are his ideas, not Perdue’s policies.

Barry Smith - 7:09 PM

McCrory starts out supporting drilling for energy as a means to help the state’s economy. He wants to reform the tax system and work on regulations. He says he’s told that regulations are “strangling” business. He also wants to reform the education system, to make it more “market-oriented.” On follow-up, everything is long-term. “We’re in the pits right now regarding our economy in North Carolina.”

Dalton starts out by criticizing McCrory. He’s coming out swinging. Finally he gets into his own plan, saying we have to get things done “very quickly.” “We have to reinvent our economy.” He supports tax credits for putting people back to work. There are provisions for manufacturing, expanding the military economy and revitalizing the rural areas.

McCrory ties Dalton to current Gov. Bev Perdue, saying Dalton’s proposals are similar to Perdue’s. Dalton says, no, they’re not Perdue’s policies, they’re his.

Rick Henderson - 7:08 PM

1st Q from Leslie about unemployment: What can governor do?

McCrory: NC has to get into energy business. We’re falling behind other nearby states. Reform tax system. Streamline regulations; state regulators need to treat small/medium size businesses as partners not adversaries. Reform education.

Follow: Is there a smaller-scale proposal you can offer?

McC: This takes a big plan. We’re in the pits in NC and we need to look at long-term solutions.

Dalton: Fracking/oil 6-10 years out. Cites lefty Budget & Tax Center for McC’s tax plan. We have to reinvent our economy [can a governor do that?] Tax credit for hiring long-term unemployed. Builds jobs for the future. Cites website for details.

Revitalize rural areas. [Maybe some of them should not be revitalized]

McC: Perdue ran on same platform 4 years ago and it failed.

Dan E. Way - 7:08 PM

Dalton says fracking and energy jobs are 6-10 years out. He said McCrory’s tax reform would raise taxes on 80 percent of North Carolinians. He said his plan brings the economy back very quickly. He invokes his roots in a textile town where jobs went away. “We have to reinvent our economy.” He has 2,000 tax credit for businesses to hire long-term unemployed. Other states have done well with that tax break. He also has provision to expand military economy and manufacturing sector, all visible on his web site. New economies follow new inventions and innovations, he said.

Terry Stoops - 7:07 PM

Whoops!  Should be “McCrory: Here is what I will do…”

Terry Stoops - 7:06 PM

Dalton is positively glowing tonight.

Terry Stoops - 7:05 PM

McCrory: He’s what I will do…

Dalton: Here is why what he will do is bad…

Becki Gray - 7:05 PM

First question is what would you do @ unemployment?

McCrory: regulations, energy independence, tax reform and “completely reform our education system” so they can get a job.  Leslie: what would you do in first month?  short term remedies won’t fix it, need solutions that will address complex problems

Dan E. Way - 7:05 PM

Panel member Laura Leslie wants to know what candidates would do to create jobs.

McCrory said first thing is to open up more energy production. Second thing is to reform tax system to make it more competitive with other states. Third thing is to reform regulations that “strangle small businesses.” He also wants to reform education from K-12 through community college and university to make education more market-ready.

Leslie wants to know what short-term solutions McCrory might have. The GOP candidate responds that quick fixes don’t work, but long-term solutions needed to complex problems the state faces.

Becki Gray - 7:02 PM

Here we go….  Final NC gubernatorial debate from Rocky Mount.  WRAL team David Crabtree. Ken Smith and Laura Leslie will be asking the questions tonight.  Intros of both candidates.

Terry Stoops - 7:01 PM

Holy cow, where did they find this trio of crazy, right-wing panelists?

Rick Henderson - 7:01 PM

Here we go … at the Rocky Mount Chamber of Commerce.

David Crabtree, Laura Leslie, and Ken Smith of WRAL will ask questions.

Becki Gray - 7:00 PM

Okay – technical difficulties – Walt Dalt wants ten dollars.  Sorry!

Terry Stoops - 7:00 PM

Pre-debate email from Dalton says, “I’ll be fighting for the middle class while my opponent stands up for special interests.”  Okey Dokey.

Becki Gray - 6:58 PM


On last post – Walt Dalt wants me to send him .  No can do – but will be live blogging here with CJ staff.

Priceless. Right?

Becki Gray - 6:55 PM

Gearing up for the final gubernatorial debate.

Just got a fundraising email from Walt Dalt – wants me to do three things  1. send in , 2. make GOTV calls and 3. watch the debate.  I can do # 3.

Barry Smith - 6:53 PM

The final gubernatorial debate comes one week into early voting. Nearly a million North Carolinians have already cast their ballots. What happens during tonight’s debate won’t change any of their minds.

That can’t be good news for Democratic candidate Walter Dalton, who trails Republican Pat McCrory by double digits in the polls.

Becki Gray - 10:51 PM

Wrap Up:

The round table was a good format and Shieffer gave them a lot of room to talk.

I thought Obama was petty and condescending. “I’m glad you recognize Al Qaeda is a threat”  Romney was well prepared and thoughtful.  Both were serious.  President argued his points well but his record didn’t stand up to his rhetoric.  It’s difficult for anyone to defend his policies. Romney came across with big ideas with  persuasive conviction.

This debate was supposed to be about foreign policy. We heard about the auto industry bailouts, the deficit, the economy, energy and education as well.

At the end of the day, who do you want at the end of that red phone when it rings at 2:00 in the morning?  Go vote.


Rick Henderson - 10:40 PM

Don’t forget: We’ll be back Wednesday at 7 for the (whew) final gubernatorial debate. Y’all come back now, y’hear?


Becki Gray - 10:38 PM

Per Fox News the time allocation for the debate was as follows:

Obama: 42 minutes; 11 seconds

Romney: 41 minutes; 30 seconds

Rick Henderson - 10:36 PM

Debates one and three merely reinforce the lameness of the town hall format. Get rid of it!

Becki Gray - 10:35 PM

Shieffer ends it withe the words of his mom: Go vote. Makes you feel big and strong.

Wives and Romney family join the candidates on stage.

Rick Henderson - 10:34 PM

They meet at center stage, shake hands and laugh. Debates are over. Two weeks to go …

Barry Smith - 10:34 PM

It was a vigorous debate.

Romney did more than hold his own in this debate. He was quite assertive, and could give details about how he’d handle foreign policy, particularly in the Middle East.

Obama tried to attack Romney’s foreign policy acumen. He had to resort to the killing of bin Laden.

While Obama’s performance was better than his first debate, Romney seemed to be a bit more assertive.

By the way, Bob Schieffer’s performance was light years better than Candy Crowley’s performance last week. At least he didn’t try to join the debate the way she did.

Becki Gray - 10:33 PM

Closing statements:

Obama: It’s Bush’s fault. Rich people should pay more.  He;ll bring manufactruing jobs back, best education system int he world, control energy sources, wants wealthy to do a little bit more, maintain strong military. We’ve beent hrough tough times but we can get through this together, Give me four more years.

Romney:  Excited and optimistic, wants peace, real leadership, promote principles of peace, get the economy going with a balanced budget (not deficit), people back to work (not his record unemployment) I can work across the aisle.  Now it’s our turn to take the torch to make the great nation as the hope of the earth.

Dan E. Way - 10:33 PM

Romney closing statement: he’s optimistic about our future. He wants to see growing peace. He will be leader who can make Americans more confident their future is more secure. Two paths before people. Obama will get us to 20 trillion in debt. Romney will get people off food stamps not by cutting them but by creating jobs. America needs a president who can work across the aisle. “Washington is broken.” He worked with bipartisan methods as governor. We need strong leadership. He will lead in an open and honest way.

Rick Henderson - 10:33 PM

Romney: I’m optimistic about our future. Leadership will promote peace and make us more secure. We have two distinct paths. I want to turn around the country. It’s our turn to take the torch from the greatest generation to a new generation of freedom.

Rick Henderson - 10:31 PM

Obama’s rambling through a series of talking points. Really disjointed.

Dan E. Way - 10:31 PM

Obama gets first closing statement. Over last four years we’ve made “real progress” getting out of two wars and worst economic situation since Great Depression. Says Romney foreign policy wrong and reckless. His plan would bring manufacturing jobs back to our shores. Wants best education system in the world. Wants to control our own energy by developing oil and gas but also energy of the future. He will maintain strongest military in the world. We need to nation build at home. As a country we bounce back because of the American character.

Rick Henderson - 10:29 PM

Closing statements:

Obama first. We’ve made real progress getting over BUSH!


Becki Gray - 10:29 PM

Romney on auto industry:  would do nothing to hurt the industry.  Not writing checks – need to go through a managed bankruptcy so they can get management back under control.  Would not liquidate the industry.  Calls O out on Solyndra, gov’t should not invest in companies, but invest in ideas.  Would invest in think tanks!!

Obama: accuses Romney of lying, says R wouldn’t bail out auto industry even if they went through bankruptcy.  Expect Fact Check reports right after the debate.

Obama says he’s made progress.  Can’t go back to the policies that got us into this mess.  Where have we heard this before?

Romney: goes over Obama’s list of failures of the last four years. Can’t afford another four years of failed policies.  And he loves teachers.

Ends with Shieffer: We all love teachers.

Dan E. Way - 10:29 PM

Romney said he doesn’t want to go back to the plan of the lat four years. Incomes in America decline every year, 4,300 dollars less in family income. 10 trillion national debt now 16 trillion. we’re not at 5.4 percent unemployment as Obama promised, but 9 million jobs short of that. Obama’s policies haven’t worked. Romney said he doesn’t want federal government push deeper and deeper into schools. “I love teachers,” he said, and we need to get economy moving

Barry Smith - 10:28 PM

Obama tries to butt-in while Romney explains his plan to help the auto industry recover. Romney keeps talking and doesn’t allow Obama to do so.

Rick Henderson - 10:28 PM

Romney: Don’t want to go back to policies of past four years. Recites stats about economic decline.

Dan E. Way - 10:27 PM

Obama said Romney tries to “airbrush history.” Now Romney interrupts and said Obama wrong, but people can look it up. He said cutting education budget, investments in research and technology will not help us compete with China. Having a tax code that rewards shipping jobs overseas won’t help us. He said after a decade of drift in which nobody championed businesses, we can’t go back to what got us in trouble in the first place.

Rick Henderson - 10:26 PM

Obama: Romney keeps trying to airbrush history. He said he wouldn’t provide govt help to car companies.

Romney: Look it up.

Dan E. Way - 10:25 PM

Romney said Obama attacking him is not the same as having an effective policy. He would do nothing to hurt the auto industry. Romney said auto companies needed to go through a managed bankruptcy. Obama starts interrupting. Romney said companies could have been helped with government programs through a structured bankruptcy. Obama keeps interrupting. Obama keeps investing in failed electric car companies, Solyndra and other failed industries. Obama tries interrupting yet again. “I’m still speaking” Romney says. Obama still interrupting.

Rick Henderson - 10:25 PM

Romney: Attacking me isn’t an agenda. As for autos, I’m a son of Detroit. My plan isn’t to write checks to Detroit, a process Bush started. These companies needed to shed debt. Government investing in companies isn’t an answer to the economy.


Becki Gray - 10:23 PM

What is the biggest threat to national security?

O: Terrorist networks, China not playing by the rules, Throws in education and technology and research here at home so he can get in that Romney’s budget wouldn’t do this.

R: Nuclear Iran, keeping China responsible, we have to stay strong (he’ll keep us strong), making China play by the rules, calls them currency manipulators on day one.  Will this start a trade war?  They sell us more stuff than they get from us – can’t keep it up if China doesn’t play by the rules. “I want a great relationship with China” but they have to play fair.

O: accuses Romney of shipping jobs to China, bailing on the auto industry, says we’ll loose the lead in clean energy technology.   America is a Pacific power so China will play nice.

Dan E. Way - 10:23 PM

Obama says Romney invested in companies that do business in China. This is the issue that Romney hit back on in last debate, noting Obama’s pension also invests in China.

U.S. exports have doubled to China since he took office, Obama said. Part of the reason were able to pivot to Asia-Pacific region after pulling out of Iraq is because that is a major growth area in the future. Are making sure trips can pass through the area, and are meeting with other countries for trade as well.

Rick Henderson - 10:21 PM

Obama: Romney knows about jobs being shipped overseas because of your investments in companies that do business in China or something.

Dan E. Way - 10:21 PM

Romney asked if labeling China a currency manipulator would start a trade war. Romney says China exports far more to us than we export to them, so they would be hurt more by a trade war. “I want a great relationship with China’ but that doesn’t mean they can steal our ideas, products and trade.

Rick Henderson - 10:20 PM

Romney talking currency manipulation, hacking, copyright theft.

Schieffer: Isn’t that risking a trade war?

Romney: They don’t want a trade war because they risk a lot more than we do.


Dan E. Way - 10:19 PM

Romney said government does not make businesses grow or jobs appear.

Iran is biggest threat in the world, he said. China wants its economy to work and the world to be free and open. We can be a partner with China, we can work and collaborate with them. But China is questioning whether we would be a good ally. They realize we owe them 1 trillion dollars. Secretary of Defense called trillion-dollar cuts to military devastating and China takes note of that. China can look at our commitments around the world and question whether we are a nation of its word. At the same time, China has not played by the rules and it has devalued its currency to give it an advantage in the world market. It is hacking our computers, pirating our goods. They must know that is not acceptable. And he would label the country a currency manipulator.

Barry Smith - 10:18 PM

Obama: “Terrorist networks” are the biggest threats. Then he jumps to China, and making them play by fair trade rules.

Romney: “The greatest national security threat is a nuclear Iran.” Romney follows suit and talks about China too.

Rick Henderson - 10:18 PM

Next segment: China and future challenges to US.

What is greatest future threat to US?

Obama: Terrorist networks. China is both adversary and potential partner if it follows rules. I set up a task force to handle trade violations! We filed more cases! Better living through litigation …

Romney: Government doesn’t make businesses successful. Nuclear Iran is our greatest threat. China wants a peaceful world and they want a prosperous world. We don’t have to be an adversary if they’re willing to be responsible.

Dan E. Way - 10:17 PM

The rise of China prefaces the next question. What do you believe is greatest national threat to our country.

Obama said rise of terrorism is the greatest threat. As economic power, China must play by the same rules as everyone else, he said. He said he set up task force to go after nations that cheat in trade. Have won about every case that’s been filed, and have filed more than the previous president did in two terms.

Becki Gray - 10:14 PM

Obama: Afghans are perfectly capable of taking care of themselves. Time to do some nation building here at home.  Make sure our veterans are taken care of.

Romney: Pakistan question – should we divorce them? R says no way.  If it falls apart, they have nuclear weapons that could fall to terrorists.  We can’t just walk away – too dangerous.  Drones?  R says we should use anything at our disposal to go after any threats to our nation and our friends.  We have not done enough to move the world away from islam extremists and terrorists.

Obama: Our strategy was not to just go after Bin Laden, make sure they have free markets, women’s rights.  “Me, my administration, this nation stood on the side of democracy.” Says Al Qeada is weaker than they were 4 years ago.

Dan E. Way - 10:14 PM

Somalia, Yemen and Pakistan are among countries where U.S. has tried to make reforms, to treat women with respect and dignity, to root out government corruption, to make sure is a free market that works, Obama said. “This nation, me” stood by the side of people in countries where governments were overthrown, he said. We need to shrink networks of people that exist in every country who would engage in terror.

Rick Henderson - 10:14 PM

Obama: We’re helping other nations build free-market system.

What about US, Mr. President?

Rick Henderson - 10:13 PM

Obama: We did more than go after OBL.

Dan E. Way - 10:12 PM

Romney is asked for his position on drones. “I support that entirely” and Obama is right to use that power. But as important as killing “bad guys” is we need much more effective strategy to deal with problems in the world. Al Qaeda is not harmed, and that is among the many weaknesses of our leadership around the world, he said.

Rick Henderson - 10:12 PM

Question about drones.

Romney: Drone strikes OK. We must do more than going after leaders and killing bad guys. A far more effective strategy does more than that. Move people away from extremism. AQ is not on its heels. Israel/Palestine no closer to peace.

Barry Smith - 10:12 PM

Romney says the president was right to use drones.

Dan E. Way - 10:11 PM

Pakistan continues to give safe haven to terrorists, arrested doctor that gave us intel on Osama bin Laden (Schieffer stumbles and says Obama). Is it time to walk away from Pakistan?

Romney said no, because of the nukes that Pakistan has. It is “technically an ally,” but is not acting much like an ally. Pakistan was angry with us before and after we went in to get bin Laden. Inside Pakistan are many Pashtuns who are Taliban, and they will come “rushing back in” if U.S. withdraws when Afghanistan not prepared to protect itself.

Rick Henderson - 10:10 PM

Romney: Pakistan must not fall apart. There are nukes there. Intel agency is strongest part of govt.

Rick Henderson - 10:09 PM

Schieffer wants to talk about Afghanistan. He’s doing a very good job letting them talk when they should and putting them back on topic when they veer off-topic.

Barry Smith - 10:09 PM

Obama keeps talking about doing “nation-building” here at home. Bad choice of words. It has negative connotations.

Dan E. Way - 10:08 PM

Obama said we ended war in Iraq and refocused attention on Afghanistan. We forgot why we went to war there, and that was 3,000 American deaths. “We’re now in a position where we can transition out.” No more Americans should die when Afghanis can handle their own security. But we need to pull out responsibly by giving Afghanis what they need. After a decade of war, it’s time to rebuild our own country. Veterans can rebuild roads, bridges and schools, and need to make sure veterans get medical care they need. He injects another anecdote about a veteran having difficulty getting jobs when he returned home.

Rick Henderson - 10:08 PM

Obama now talking about certfication for nurses. … OK …

Rick Henderson - 10:06 PM

Romney: Pakistan is an important nation to pay heed to. Taliban, nuclear weapons. We should not allow it to fall apart. We must help it move to more stability. Aid must be conditioned on benchmarks. We must move Paks in right direction and stay on course with Afghanistan.

Dan E. Way - 10:06 PM

U.S. scheduled to hand over security to Afghanistan in 2014, leaving training corps behind. What do you do if deadline arrives and Afghanis can’t protect themselves.

Romney said commanders and generals on track to get out in 2014. Surge was successful. Afghan forces ready to step in and transition by 2014 is on track. At same time we must look at Pakistan and realize what happens there has a major impact on what happens in Afghanistan. Pakistan is important to region, the world and us. Pakistan will have more nukes than Great Britain in the future, and a Pakistan that becomes a failed state would be a danger to Afghanistan and us. We must make sure it has a more stable government. Aid to Pakistan must be preconditioned to them meeting certain standards.

Rick Henderson - 10:05 PM

Next segment: Afghanistan. What happens if 2014 comes and we’re not done?

Romney: We’ll be done.

Becki Gray - 10:04 PM

Romney scores points on Israel discussion.

Obama accuses Romney of “being all over the map”  Debate prep trumps making sense.  When in doubt, attack.  Oh yeah, mention that “you” killed Bin Laden.  “I look at what we need to keep America safe and that’s what I do.”

Dan E. Way - 10:03 PM

Obama tries to paint Romney as a flip-flopper on foreign policy. “It was worth moving heaven and earth to get him,” he said of killing bin Laden. But Romney said in 2008 campaign we shouldn’t spend all our focus on one man. “Those decisions are not always popular,” but he said he does what moves our interests forward.

Rick Henderson - 10:02 PM

Obama: I killed Bin Laden. And I pronounce PAHK-i-STAHN correctly.

Rick Henderson - 10:01 PM

Obama: Romney’s a flip-flopper.

Dan E. Way - 10:01 PM

Question is what would candidates do if there was a call from Israel that its bombers were on the way to Iran. Romney said it is not good policy to talk about hypothetical situations. Instead he talks about poor policy towards China, Russia, North Korea, the withdrawal of support for our military. He said 38 members of his own party in Congress have asked him to repair relations.

Rick Henderson - 10:01 PM

Romney: 38 Democrat senators asked Obama to repair damage with Israel.

Rick Henderson - 10:00 PM

Q: What if Israeli PM called you and said our bombers are on the way?

Romney: It wouldn’t happen because we’d be talking long before that.

I see ME with rising chaos, tumult. Jihadists rising, spreading. Syria: 30k civilians dead and Assad still in power. I see Norks exporting nukes, Russia backing away from nuke agreements. I don’t see our influence growing but receiving.

Dan E. Way - 9:59 PM

Obama said he went to border towns and saw damage from missiles launched by Hamas, and he was reminded how that would be if it were his children that close to being bombed.

Becki Gray - 9:59 PM

Obama calls R a liar – biggest shopper told during this election. Seems to be referring to apologizing in middle east.  Says Romney had invested in a chinese oil company so can’t talk about imposing sanctions.

Romney: You went on a tour of middle east but you skipped Israel.

Obama: he visited Middle East region and Israel as a candidate.  Question will be who is to be trusted, who has credibility.  O thinks he does.

Rick Henderson - 9:58 PM

Obama: Question is who’s credible to all parties abroad.

Dan E. Way - 9:57 PM

“We’re four years closer to a nuclear Iran,” Romney said. Reason he called Obama’s trip after taking office an apology tour was that he went to other nations — while skipping Israel, our closest ally — and he went on Arab TV and was derisive about the U.S.

Barry Smith - 9:57 PM

And Romney is getting a bit testy too.

Rick Henderson - 9:57 PM

Romney: It’s an apology tour because you went everywhere but Israel; in Arab world, you apologized for our actions. We have dictated to other nations.

Rick Henderson - 9:56 PM

Obama: Iran at its weakest point in many years.

Romney: We’re four years closer to a nuclear Iran.

Dan E. Way - 9:56 PM

Obama calls Romney characterization of an apology tour “the biggest whopper” of the campaign, and that fact checkers have said so. Iran was resurgent when he came into office, he said, and that no longer is the case.

Rick Henderson - 9:55 PM

Obama just said “very clear” for at least third time. It’s his version of Biden’s “literally.”

Barry Smith - 9:55 PM

Obama looks like he’s mad.

Rick Henderson - 9:55 PM

Romney: Obama said he would create distance between US and Israel. Mullahs said, great.

We should have shown more strength from the beginning.


Obama: Romney lies! Apology tour is a huge whopper. Fact-checkers say so!

Becki Gray - 9:54 PM

Obama: says reports in newspapers about Iran deal are not true.  Deal we’ll accept are that they lose their nuclear weapons.

Romney: Iran has seen weakness in America. President has been on a Apology tour.  Create daylight between ourselves and Israel was alarming message.  Essential for an American to show strength from the very beginning.

Dan E. Way - 9:54 PM

Romney said Iran views U.S. as a weak nation. When he took office he engaged in “an apology tour” by talking down about the U.S. to Middle East leaders. Romney said it was noticed that Obama said he wanted to create daylight between U.S. and Israel. Centrifuges are spinning en route to a nuclear weapon. A U.S. president must show strength. Sanctions need to be tightened, and put pressure on Iran “as hard as we possibly can.”

Rick Henderson - 9:53 PM

Romney: Iran has looked at Obama admin and seen weakness when they thought they would see strength. He promised from the start to meet with the worst actors face-to-face and then began an apology tour.

That’s getting under Obama’s skin. You can tell.

Dan E. Way - 9:52 PM

What deal with Iran would you accept, candidates are asked.

Obama said Iran must give up its nuclear program. They have opportunity to re-enter community of nations and we welcome that, he said. We hope their leadership takes advantage of that. Romney tries to say thing Obama does, but only louder, as if that makes a difference. We need to make sure all countries participate, including Russia and China. “There is a deal to be had” and that is that Iran abides by established rules and convince international community that it is abandoning its nuclear program. “The clock is ticking. We’re not going to allow to perpetually engage in negotiations that go nowhere.” He said there is a timetable when U.S. will take “all options necessary.”

Rick Henderson - 9:52 PM

What is the deal you would accept with Iran?

Obama: Reports aren’t true. Iran must give up nuke program.

A lot of noise back and forth right now.

Becki Gray - 9:50 PM

Romney says he will stand with Israel. If they are attacked, we’ll have their back.  For Iraq: crippling sanctions and tighten them, diplomatic isolationism, increase pressure time and time again, military action as a last resort.

Rick Henderson - 9:49 PM

Romney: If Israel is attacked, we have their back, militarily.

Iran: a nuclear-capable Iran is not acceptable. I called for crippling sanctions five years ago. They’re working now, but I would have done more earlier. Tighten oil sanctions. Indict Ahmedinejad under genocide. Treat him like we treated South Africa under apartheid.

Dan E. Way - 9:49 PM

Romney said nuclear capable Iran is a threat to America. It’s essential to understand what our mission is. That is to make sure they don’t get a nuke. Romney said he supported “crippling sanctions” years ago and we should have done it sooner. We should do more, such as not allowing ships moving Iran oil into their ports. He would indict Iran under World Court genocide rules similar to what U.S. did in South Africa in ratcheting up sanctions.

Dan E. Way - 9:47 PM

Obama said if Israel is attacked we will defend it. He said we have largest military and intelligence cooperation in history with Israel. He said Iran won’t get a nuclear weapon. We have strongest alliance against Iran in history, he said. Iran’s economy is in shambles due to sanctions. We can’t afford a nuclear arms race in the most volatile region in the world. Iran has said it wants Israel wiped off the map. He said we won’t take any options off the table. Said Romney supports premature military action. When Obama sends young troops into battle he understands that is a last resort, not a first resort.

Becki Gray - 9:47 PM

Obama says Romney hasn’t spent enough time understanding how our military works.  Just a little condesending.

O: As long as I am president, Iran will not get a nuclear weapon.


Rick Henderson - 9:46 PM

Next segment: Red lines — Israel and Iran.

Is an attack on Israel an attack on US?

Obama: Israel is our greatest ally in the region. If attacked, US will stand with Israel if attacked. Iran will not get a nuke.

Barry Smith - 9:46 PM

Obama is actually making an interesting point on military spending. Adding to the Defense budget doesn’t equate to adding to Defense capabilities.

Dan E. Way - 9:45 PM

Obama said his budget doesn’t reduce military spending, it maintains it. This isn’t a game of battleship where we see who has the most, but to see that we have what we need. He gets condescending, saying we now no longer have classes in bayonets, we have things called aircraft carriers on which planes land, and we have ships that can go underwater. I guess it’s an attempt to make Romney look old and out of touch.

Rick Henderson - 9:44 PM

Romney: Our Navy is smaller now than in 1917. Unacceptable. Air Force is older and smaller than in 1947. We can no longer fight in two conflicts at once. I will not cut military by trillion.

Obama: Sequester will not happen. We have fewer ships than in 1916. We also have fewer horses. This isn’t a game of Battleship.

Barry Smith - 9:43 PM

Obama hits Romney for not specifying which loopholes and deductions he’ll close or eliminate.

Maybe he’s taking the Nancy Pelosi approach… We need to pass it so we can find out what’s in it.

Becki Gray - 9:43 PM

Shieffer trying to get back to foreign policy.  So Romney will get rid of ObamaCare.  Obama says R wants to spend money the military hasn’t asked for.  Can’t spend Trillion on military,  tax cuts and plug the deficit (that he’s increased, by the way) and make the math come out right.  O claims he’ll keep America safe.

Romney has balanced budgets in private market, Olympics and as a governor.  O has never balanced a budget.  Nice hit.

Romney makes the case for more military spending, highest responsibility of the President is to keep this country safe.


Dan E. Way - 9:43 PM

Romney said he balanced budget four years in a row with bipartisan support, cut taxes 19 times. He balanced budget of Olympics. Obama has never balanced a budget. Navy is not getting ships required. Air Force older and smaller since its founding. Since FDR always had strategy to fight two conflicts at once. No longer. “I will not cut our military budget by a trillion dollars” That makes our future “less secure.”

Rick Henderson - 9:42 PM

Obama admits deficit is a national security concern.

Romney: Balanced budgets in business, Olympics, in state government. This isn’t a strong point for Obama.

Dan E. Way - 9:42 PM

Obama says Romney’s math doesn’t work to close loopholes and deductions and raise military spending. U.S. spends more on military than the next 10 countries combined. Obama said his budget looks at keeping only what is required. We need to think about cybersecurity and space. Obama budget does that, and it isn’t driven by politics. That allows us to reduce deficit, which is a national security concern.

Rick Henderson - 9:41 PM

Obama: trillion in tax cuts doesn’t work. trillion on military spending. Etc. Etc.

If repetition is effective, he’s knocking this out of the park.

Dan E. Way - 9:40 PM

Question is where Romney would get money to build military. He said would cut 5 percent of discretionary spending. Getting rid of Obamacare priority. “We take program after program that we don’t absolutely have to have.” Take things like Medicaid and give it to the states to run because they run the programs more efficiently. States are already proving that, he said. Would be more cost-effective. Obama tries to cut in.

Rick Henderson - 9:39 PM

Question: How will we come up with the money to pay for a larger military?

Romney: We’ll cut discretionary spending 5%, turn some programs over to states.


Barry Smith - 9:39 PM

Schieffer must want to talk about domestic issues too. He wants to know how Romney will balance the budget.

Rick Henderson - 9:38 PM

Romney smiling, Obama scowling.

Dan E. Way - 9:38 PM

Romney said 4th and 8th graders were tested and came out No. 1 in reading and math when he was Mass. governor. Was No. 1 state in the nation. Kept schools No 1 in nation. Obama keeps trying to interrupt.

Rick Henderson - 9:38 PM

Obama: Education policy, touting Race to the Top. Want to hire more STEM teachers. Says we need to raise taxes on the rich.

Romney’s already taken a shot at teachers unions. Says he’s proud of record on education as governor. Had top test scores in country thanks to bipartisan ed reforms. Obama interrupting now. Not sure that’s a good idea.

Becki Gray - 9:37 PM

Here we go..O is asking the rich just to pay a little bit more.  Blaming Bush and Chaney for, well, everything,

Romney calls O out – Touts 5 step plan: Energy independence, increase trade, training workers, school choice, champion small business.

Obama says he’s reformed education where schools are finally making progress, wants to hire more teachers, reduce class sizes cause teachers say it makes a difference.

Dan E. Way - 9:37 PM

Obama said when Romney was in Massachusetts the state ranked at bottom for creating small businesses. “That’s not the kind of small business promotion we need.” Education policy under Obama leadership has created progress in schools. Now he wants to hire more teachers, especially in math and science. Romney said class sizes don’t make a difference and more teachers and better education won’t help the economy grow, Obama says. Romney would slash funding for education.

Rick Henderson - 9:35 PM

We’ve completely veered off topic …


Dan E. Way - 9:35 PM

Romney said we would be at 5.4 percent unemployment. We’re 9 million jobs short of that. He has a plan to create North American energy independence, and with coal, oil, gas and renewables. Latin America is a huge opportunity for us to take advantage of. We need training programs for workers and schools that put students and teachers and parents first and put teacher unions behind those. We’re on the road to Greece if we don’t get off spending and borrowing binge. We must champion small business from which two-thirds of our jobs come.

Barry Smith - 9:34 PM

Leave it to Obama to bring class envy into a foreign policy debate. He mentions how he wants to increase taxes on the wealthy.

Romney goes on to repeat his five-point plan for economic recovery.

I guess debating foreign policy must have gotten boring for both of them.

Rick Henderson - 9:34 PM

Romney given opportunity to restate domestic policy agenda. Both guys don’t want to talk FP.

Rick Henderson - 9:33 PM

Obama wants to run against GWB and Cheney again.

Romney: I have an agenda for the future. I don’t want to see past four years repeated.

Dan E. Way - 9:33 PM

Obama said getting out of Iraq allowed U.S. to focus attention elsewhere, and insists our alliances have never been stronger. We also have positioned the country to rebuild America, to make sure we rebuild manufacturing, not sending jobs overseas. Again hits the note about creating lots of jobs in saving the auto industry. We must reduce deficit, but Romney’s plan doesn’t do it. Need to make wealthy give more. There’s the class warfare ticket. Says Romney would take us back to Bush-Cheney years.

Barry Smith - 9:32 PM

This is supposed to be a foreign policy debate. Both Obama and Romney have managed to bring domestic issues into the mix.

Rick Henderson - 9:32 PM

Obama: Our alliances have never been stronger. And we can start rebuilding America, as with auto industry.


It’s clear both of them would rather talk about domestic policy, despite the format of this debate.

Becki Gray - 9:32 PM

What is America’s role int he world?

R says we have to defend our principles: freedom.  Have to be strong and must lead. Have to strengthen our economy.  Nice segue back to what voters care about.

Rick Henderson - 9:31 PM

Not a football score.

Barry Smith - 9:31 PM

I just noticed that Romney is wearing a (mostly) red tie. Obama is wearing a blue one.

Dan E. Way - 9:31 PM

Schieffer wants to know what candidates think U.S. role in the world is.

Romney: To promote principles of peace around the world. To end conflicts around the world to the extent possible. We have to strengthen our economy at home to lead. Can’t have economy whose growth rate continually slows, with 23 million people out of work, half of college graduates unable to find work. “I will not cut our military budget.” and we need to stand by our allies. He hits pulling missile defense out of Poland was a mistake, and we’ve not treated Israel well. Obama was silent when the Green Revolution occurred in Iran, with 1 million people protesting in support of U.S.

Rick Henderson - 9:31 PM

SF 7, Cardinals 0.

Rick Henderson - 9:30 PM

Romney: Tensions with Israel unfortunate, so was pulling missile defense from Poland.

Rick Henderson - 9:30 PM

Quick diversion: Chicago 10, Detroit 0, start of second half.

Rick Henderson - 9:30 PM

Next segment: What is America’s role in the world?

Romney: We must promote principles that make world a better place. To fulfill our role in world, we must be strong, and that starts at home.

Barry Smith - 9:28 PM

Romney is talking about peace. It looks lie he’s trying to head off any potential portrayal by Obama as a warmonger.

Dan E. Way - 9:28 PM

Romney said he wouldn’t have continued to support Mubarak, either, but that the way it was handled allowed the situation to explode instead of having a more controlled, peaceful transition. The mantle of leadership for promoting the principles of peace falls on America, and that requires us to have a strong economy at home. When president of Iran says our debt makes us not a strong country that is a problem. We need strong military, but 1 trillion dollars in cuts through sequestration is unthinkable. We have to stand by our principles and if we’re strong on each of those our influence will grow, but we’re not as strong as we need to be.

Rick Henderson - 9:28 PM

Obama: To be successful in region, we must do things here at home. Nation-building at home. This isn’t going to work.

Romney: Standing against Mubarak was the way to go, and even before O was in place, we should have helped transition to freer Egypt.

Our mission is to work for a more peaceful planet. Mantle to do this has fallen to America. We didn’t ask for it, but we have it. It starts with a strong economy at home. Our debt is our biggest national security threat. Next is military and sequestration is unconscionable. In nowhere in world is our influence greater than it was four years ago.

Becki Gray - 9:28 PM

O likes to talk about countries taking responsibility for themselves.  Organizing entrepreneurship conferences in Middle East.

Romney wished we’d recognized that there was a passion for freedom in Middle East. Freedom voices in Egypt.

R says our vision is a peaceful world.  Responsibility is ours, we have to be strong.  Must have strong economy here at home, a strong military and strong allies and stand by our principles.

Barry Smith - 9:27 PM

Romney says he supports the president on Mubarak and Egypt, but hey, he could have done it better.

Dan E. Way - 9:26 PM

Schieffer asks whether Obama has any regrets over backing ouster of Egyptian leader Mubarak when some believe we did it too soon Obama said no, likens himself to JFK in the process. He said giving Egyptians self-determination is important. We will help them to develop their own economy, give women more equality. “Their aspirations are similar to young people’s here” in terms of job prospects and better life in the future. U.S. organizing entrepreneurial conferences with Egyptians, he said. We need to do things at home to help others abroad, Obama said, such as building the economy.

Rick Henderson - 9:25 PM

Do you regret telling Mubarak to go in Egypt?

Obama: No.

Barry Smith - 9:24 PM

Obama doesn’t have any regrets about saying that Mubarak needed to go.

Does he have any regrets about anything?

Becki Gray - 9:24 PM

Romney looks like he wants to punch O out.

Romney doesn’t want our military in Syria.  This should have been a time for leadership to bring parties together.  Insurgants need to come together.

O says he’s promoting getting Assad out and is providing plenty of leadership, thank you very much.

Barry Smith - 9:23 PM

Romney doesn’t want to put our military in Syria. He questions Obama’s leadership in the area.

Obama says Romney doesn’t have different ideas.

Rick Henderson - 9:23 PM

Rommey: Not a no-fly zone in Syria. No U.S. military action for now. We’d rather arm rebels who would defeat Assad. This should have been a time for US leadership, organizationally.

Obama: He doesn’t have different ideas because we’re doing what we’re supposed to be doing.

Dan E. Way - 9:23 PM

Romney said objectives are to replace Assad with someone who is friendly to U.S. interests. Partners in the area can be supported to help that occur without moving the American military into the country, he said. America should have been helping to establish a council of nations that could remove Assad.

Barry Smith - 9:21 PM

Both want Assad out of Syria.

If Romney is lacking on foreign policy issues, especially when it comes to Syria, he isn’t showing it.

Obama goes back to Libya. He credits Romney with supporting going into Libya. “We were going to make sure that we finished the job.”

Dan E. Way - 9:21 PM

Obama said Libya is an example “of how we make choices.” It allowed U.S. and a coalition to take out Moammar Ghaddafi. He said Ghadaffi had more American blood on his hands than anyone other than Saddam Hussein.

Rick Henderson - 9:20 PM

Romney: Allies there want to work with us. We want to make sure that Assad’s successors are our friends. Obama was letting others take the lead.


Obama: We are taking the lead there. Now let’s go back to Libya.

Becki Gray - 9:20 PM

O brings up Israel.  “What is happening in Syria is heart-breaking.”  Assad’s days are numbered.

Romney:  30,000 people killed by Syrian government, Iran’s only ally, Right course is to find responsible parties within Syria and take lead, give them the arms to defend themselves. Co-ordinate with Israel.  Need strong leadership so insurgents are armed and can defend themselves.  Assad needs to go.

O says we are providing leadership.

Dan E. Way - 9:20 PM

Romney said it is a “humanitarian disaster” because of the killings, but it also is critical as a strategic issue because Syria is only ally of Iran in the area and is Iran’s gateway to the sea. In arming rebels, we must make sure we do not arm the wrong people, he said. Romney said U.S. should be playing the leadership role there, not necessarily a military role.

Rick Henderson - 9:19 PM

Obama: blah blah

Romney: 30k people killed is a humanitarian disaster. Syria is Iran’s only ally in the region. Removing Assad a high priority. We don’t want to get drawn into a military conflict. Bring together responsible parties who can replace Assad.

Dan E. Way - 9:18 PM

It’s been a year since Obama told Assad he must go, yet the Syrian dictator remains in power, has killed more of his own people and has created more refugees, Schieffer says, asking what strategy should be. Obama said Syria must determine it own interest. U.S. must coordinate with Turkey and Israel. He calls situation in Syria “heartbreaking,” but for U.S. to get more entangled there is “a serious step,” and we need to make sure we do not put arms into the hands of people who do not have our best interests at heart.

Rick Henderson - 9:17 PM

Next question on Syria. It’s been more than a year since Obama told Assad he had to go. Should we reassess our policy?

Obama: We have isolated Assad, implemented sanctions. Syrians must determine own future. (How do they do that under a dictatorship?)

Dan E. Way - 9:16 PM

Obama said it is necessary to be clear in telling the world what U.S. policy is. “What I’ve done throughout my presidency” is to make sure these countries are against terror. U.S. can’t do nation building abroad, and needs to do more of that at home.

Rick Henderson - 9:15 PM

Obama: we must to nation-building here at home. Huh?

Becki Gray - 9:14 PM

Obama says Romney wants to bring back policies of decades ago.  “You haven’t been in the position to execute foreign policy. ”

Romney fires back, “Attacking me is not an agenda”  Russia is a geo-political foe and Iran is national security risk we face.  After the election Putin will bet more back bone.

Heated exchange.  Who thought a seated debate would be less confrontational?

Dan E. Way - 9:14 PM

Obama starts getting testy and interrupting already. That didn’t take long.

Dan E. Way - 9:14 PM

“Attacking me is not an agenda” or telling how the U.S. will stem the tide of violence, Obama said. Said Russia is a geopolitical foe but Iran is the biggest threat in the Middle East. Hits Obama on his open mic gaffe about waiting until after the election to have more flexibility with Russia.

Barry Smith - 9:14 PM

Obama brings up treaties with Russia. Is Romney going to hit him on his comment he made to the Russian PM, when he said he would have more flexibility after the election?

Yes, he does.

Rick Henderson - 9:13 PM

Romney hits Obama on telling Putin he’d be more flexible after the election.

Rick Henderson - 9:13 PM

Obama: Strong, steady leadership vs. wrong, reckless leadership.

Romney: Goal is to get rid of extremists in Middle East, not attacking me.

Dan E. Way - 9:12 PM

“Strong, steady leadership” needed in the Middle East, not reckless leadership, Obama said.

Dan E. Way - 9:12 PM

Obama said the Cold War has been over for 20 years yet Romney has said a few months ago that Russia was our biggest threat. He said Romney has been wrong every time he voices his opinion on how to handle foreign policy.

Rick Henderson - 9:11 PM

Obama: The 1980s are calling for their foreign policy back.


Line falling flat. Needed a laugh track.

Barry Smith - 9:11 PM

Romney: We’re seeing a reversal of the hope of the Arab strength. “We can’t kill our way” out of this mess.

Obama: al Qaeda’s leadership has been decimated. He takes credit for the U.S. role in Libya.

I still don’t understand why we played a role in Libya. Libya posed no threat to our security.

Romney says we have to help these nations “create civil societies.”

It looks like we’ll have more interventionism no matter who gets elected.

Dan E. Way - 9:10 PM

The key is to get the Middle East to reject anti-American extremists on its own, Romney said. “We should key our foreign aid, our direct foreign investment” in those nations to help them develop civil societies. But he said there is a “rising tide” of terror and unrest in a “region of tumult” as Iran gets closer to having nuclear weapons


Becki Gray - 9:10 PM

Romney gets first Q, disturbing events in Libya, terrorist attacks, four Americans dead.  Greatest threat is Iran.  Diffuses Obama’s claims of killing Bin Laden by giving him credit and mentioning it first.

Obama says he’s kept America safe, Al Qaeda’s core leadership is gone. Says Libya stands with US.  Accuses Romney of not keeping US safe.

Romney says his strategy is to go after the bad guys, don’t want another Iraq or Afganistan.  More economic development is key, better education, gender equality is key to building Middle East.

Rick Henderson - 9:10 PM

Romney: Economic development, rule of law (creation of civil society), gender equality, all the key to long-term success.

Rick Henderson - 9:09 PM

Obama’s replies that we’ve moved out of Iraq and we’re making transition out of Afghanistan. Turning to Libya: We did all we could to keep people out of harm’s way and go after those who killed our people.

I and America took leadership in Libya and liberated country; got rid of despot. Tens of thousands of Libyans marching saying America is our friend. Your strategy has been all over the place.


Romney: My strategy is broader than killing bad guys. We don’t want another Iraq or Afghanistan.

Dan E. Way - 9:07 PM

Obama says al Qaeda has been decimated and that allows U.S. to combat future threats while making situation ripe for U.S. to strengthen its position in the world.

Dan E. Way - 9:06 PM

“We can’t kill our way out of this mess,” Romney says of the situation in the Middle East, while recognizing Osama bin Liden was killed under Obama’s watch.

Rick Henderson - 9:06 PM

1st segment: Challenge of a changing Middle East.

Q regarding Libya

Romney goes first. A pretty dramatic reversal in the hopes we had for the region. Congratulate Obama for taking out OBL and leadership of AQ.

We can’t kill our way out of this problem. Good line.


Dan E. Way - 9:04 PM

Schieffer starts by reminding this is the 50th anniversary of JFK’s showdown with the Soviet Union over nuclear missiles in Cuba.

Becki Gray - 9:04 PM

CBS’s Shieffer kicks off the debate.  Candidates enter to enthusiastic applause as debate begins on the 50th anniversary of Cuban missile crisis.  First question about Libya.

Rick Henderson - 9:02 PM

Show time! CBS News’ Bob Schieffer welcomes the audience.

Rick Henderson - 9:01 PM

Crist, a Republican, supported President Obama’s stimulus plan and lost to Marco Rubio for the GOP Senate nomination in 2010.

Becki Gray - 9:00 PM

10 million tweets during the first debate.  How many tonight?

Rick Henderson - 8:59 PM

Kiss of Death: Former Fla. Gov. Charlie Crist is sitting in the box with Michelle Obama.

Becki Gray - 8:56 PM

Obama’s pre-debate power meal:  steak and potatoes

Who will wear a purple tie?  Besides Shieffer.

Bill O’Reilly says if Romney is the winner tonight, he’ll be the next President.

One thing we’ve learned this election cycle:  debates matter.


Rick Henderson - 8:45 PM

Excuse me — Bears/Lions.

Rick Henderson - 8:42 PM

With Game 7 of the NLCS and the Packers-Bears Monday Night Football game as competition, how many people will tune in to this debate? The first debate drew about 68 million viewers, according to Nielsen (viewership was certainly larger, as Nielsen doesn’t include C-Span watchers); the second attracted roughly 66 million. With a focus on foreign policy, and other competing attractions, the numbers will be interesting. I’d be surprised if it’s much more than 50 million.

Becki Gray - 10:50 PM

Final thoughts:

Confrontational from the get-go.  Only one question on foreign policy – about Libya and whether or when terrorism was brought up.  Obama showed up this time but so did Mitt Romney.  Pandering by both to women.  Romney’s recitation of failed Obama policies during four years was powerful.  All in all I give Romney the win on # 2.

Rick Henderson - 10:42 PM

Crowley wins award for worst moderator, by far.

Town hall format stinks, but I guess we’re stuck with it.

Obama was more energetic than the first time. Romney still relaxed. He didn’t handle Libya or gun question as well as he could have, but had no major flubs.

Will Fast & Furious comments by Romney have any legs? Obama ducked that one entirely.

Becki Gray - 10:42 PM

Question – what is the biggest mis-perception about you and try to change our minds.

R says I care @ 100% of the American people, i believe we’re children of God and we’re here to help each other.  i can get this country back on track. We don’t have to settle.  I’ve done these things.

O says he believes in the free market.  (fact check, please)  Proceeds to bring up Romney’s 47% comments.

Barry Smith - 10:39 PM

Obama gets the award for most improved. He definitely performed better than he did during the first debate. He was more engaged and didn’t look like he was out of it.

Romney looked engaged with the audience, and more than held his own. I don’t think Obama was able to stop his momentum.

And please tell me that Candy Crowley won’t moderate any more debates.

Rick Henderson - 10:39 PM

Last question: What is biggest misperception about you as a man and a candidate?

Romney: I feel your pain. My passion flows from my faith. Makes a pitch for how he’ll be a better president.

Obama: I don’t believe that government creates jobs. Free enterprise and self-reliance and individual initiative and risk rewarded. [I must have misperceived him, too]

47 percent reference!

That’s the end of the debate. Again, wonder who got more time.

Dan E. Way - 10:38 PM

Obama said free enterprise system is greatest engine of prosperity world has ever know. He believes in risk takers being rewarded. But also that everybody should get a fair shot and play by the same rules. That’s how we built our middle class. Is a “fundamentally different vision” of how to move the country forward. Said he believes Romney a good man, but he said behind closed doors 47 percent of Americans don’t pull their weight. There it is. The zinger his handlers and advocates wanted him to use in the last debate.

Dan E. Way - 10:37 PM

Odd question. Tell us something people should know about you.

Romney said Obama has mischaracterized him continuously. He said he cares about 100 percent of people and wants everyone to have bright and prosperous future. He wants same for children. He believes in God and that we’re all children of the same God. Served as missionary and pastor in his church. Worked with the jobless to help them. Worked with Olympics without pay to get it on track. Worked as governor to make Mass. education system No. 1 in nation.

Said he’s already done the things that need to be done nationally.

Dan E. Way - 10:34 PM

Question: how do you bring workers back if costs lower elsewhere.

Romney said answer is simple. Hold China and other countries accountable for stealing intellectual property, currency manipulation. Reduce regulatory burdens here.

Obama said need to train engineers or companies won’t come here. Romney’s policies won’t make that happen.

“Government does not create jobs,” Romney said.

Rick Henderson - 10:34 PM

Crowley: How do you convince a company to bring manufacturing jobs back?

Romney: China steals from us. We have to make America more attractive for investment.

Obama: Some jobs won’t come back. I want high wage, high skilled jobs. Talking deficits again. (Seriously?)


It’ll be interesting to see who got more time.

Barry Smith - 10:32 PM

So why hasn’t Obama already worked with Congress to close those loopholes that are associated with moving companies offshore? I mean, he’s president, right? His first two years he had a Democratic Congress.

Rick Henderson - 10:32 PM

Question about outsourcing American jobs.

Romney: We have to make it more attractive to create businesses here. More government won’t grow economy. China must stop manipulating currency. TARIFFS?!?

Key to bringing back jobs is not to punish other countries but to make US more attractive for investment. Corporate tax rates are higher here than anywhere else. Regulators must encourage business, not crush it.

Obama: We need to lower corp. taxes, we agree. We should stop offshore profits. Export more stuff.

Dan E. Way - 10:32 PM

Obama said he agrees need to lower corporate tax rate. He wants to close loopholes that allow companies to profit offshore, where they get tax advantages. “Gov. Romney actually wants to expand those tax breaks” for profit-making ventures overseas. But small business or mom-and-pop stores will still be here paying those rates. Need to double exports. “We are on pace” to do that, and are creating tens of thousands of jobs as a result. Romney’s company was pioneer in outsourcing, according to media, Obama said.

Dan E. Way - 10:29 PM

Question is how to stem outsourcing U.S. jobs.

Romney said half a million jobs lost in last four years under Obama. “We have made it less attractive” to keep jobs here. Creating jobs “is not by trickle-down government . . . it’s never worked here, it’s never worked anywhere.” It has too many regulations and disincentives for businesses. China not playing fair because they undervalued their currency. U.S. companies can’t compete with that currency manipulation. Obama refuses to label China a currency manipulator. Romney said he would do that on day one, which would allow him to impose tariffs. U.S. must be able to compete fairly. Canada tax rate 15 percent, ours is 35 percent. Rate of regulations quadrupled under Obama. Small businesses tell him “we feel like we’re under attack from our own government.” Obamacare “an extraordinary deterrent” to hiring more workers.

Dan E. Way - 10:26 PM

Obama said Romney was for assault weapons ban before he was against it, and reason is he wanted NRA endorsement. He said it is important to understand Obama plans in working with 46 states around nation to improve education, to retrain workers who may have dropped out of school but now have second chance, are matching up employers who need workers with those seeking work.

Obama cuts off moderator. She says question is guns, not Romney’s stance on hiring teachers.


Rick Henderson - 10:25 PM

Will Obama answer Fast and Furious?

Nope, he’s going straight to Race to the Top.

Obama’s running right over Crowley here. Pathetic.

Becki Gray - 10:25 PM

Romney changed his mind on this?  Assault weapon ban – anti and pro guns folks came together.  Need leadership to bring both sides together – he’ll do it.

O accuses R of changing his mind to get NRA endorsement.  Then agrees with R on education and moms and dads raising kids to address violence.  Goes on to talk about education and job training

Rick Henderson - 10:24 PM

Obama: Romney was for assault weapons ban before he was against it. We agree parents and schools are important. And puppies.

Dan E. Way - 10:23 PM

Romney said he does not favor more guns laws, and should enforce those on the books. Assault weapons already are illegal, he noted correctly.

He said president on right track to help bring culture away from violence. Greatest failure on gun violence was Fast and Furious under this administration. Thousands of automatic and AK-47 type weapons were given to drug lords in Mexico who used them to kill their own citizens and to kill Americans. He can’t imagine why Obama administration would do that. Hit Obama on exerting executive privilege over Fast and Furious documents that would help get to root of the problem.

Obama pleads with moderator to get Romney off that subject, another area where he is particularly vulnerable.

Rick Henderson - 10:23 PM

Crowley is becoming more obnoxious than Raddatz.

Rick Henderson - 10:22 PM

Question about gun control.

Obama: Weapons designed for soldiers don’t belong on our streets. Need a ban on assault weapons. A lot of violence in Chicago and they’re using handguns.

Romney: Not favor new legislation on guns. Enforce existing laws. Need moms and dads help raise kids. Two-parent families are a great remedy for poverty and violence. Greatest failure in gun violence was Fast and Furious. Obama’s plan gave weapons to drug lords. It was a policy that administration has blocked. American people need to know more about it.


Becki Gray - 10:22 PM

Limit assault rifles question.  O says he believes in 2nd amendment but…..have to enforce laws, keep guns out of hands of criminals and mentally ill.  Weapons designed for soldiers don’t belong on our streets.  We need to look violence, work with faith groups, law enforcement, catch violence before it happens.

R says automatic weapons already outlawed.  Enforce gun laws. Change culture of violence, improve education, need moms and dads to raise kids.  Tell our kids that before they have kids, ought to get married.  Critizes Fast and Furious, great tragedy under this administration.

Dan E. Way - 10:20 PM

Question about gun violence and assault weapons.

Obama said we are a nation that believes in a Second Amendment. We have a hunting  and self-defense tradition. But are too many instances where he had to comfort families who lost someone due to gun violence.

President said he would explore reintroducing assault weapons ban. He wants comprehensive strategy to get automatic weapons out of hands of criminals and mentally ill, and getting to root causes of violence in communities.

Dan E. Way - 10:19 PM

Romney scored large on catching Obama on the terror remark. Obama was squirming and asking to hear the transcript. He looked very bad on this one.


Dan E. Way - 10:17 PM

“The suggestion that anybody on my team . . .would play politics or mislead …. is offensive.”

Romney pounds Obama on what he said, that day after attack Obama said he went to Rose Garden and said it was an act of terror. Yet the story line was for days it was a protest.

Obama jumps in and tries to move conversation along. He was caught with his pants around his ankles on this one.

Barry Smith - 10:17 PM

Hey Candy, this is a big deal. She wants to move on.

Becki Gray - 10:17 PM

Question about Hillary saying she was responsible. O says Sec. Clinton works for me.  I’m responsible.  He did not play politics – “Not what we do”  R calls O on his claim that he went to the Rose Garden as called it an act of terror.  But took 2 weeks for them to say it was a terrorist act committed by terrorists.

Another altercation with the moderator.

Rick Henderson - 10:17 PM

Crowley: Hillary takes responsbility. Where does the buck stop?

Obama: She works for me and I’m always responsible. I called it an act of terror the day later. Suggesting anyone on our team would play politics is offensive.

Romney: Ambassador was still talking spontaneous demonstration days later.

Crowley: We’ll move on.

Obama: Good.

Barry Smith - 10:15 PM

It’s Hillary’s fault?

Obama says, “I’m always responsible.”

Good to hear him say that, finally.

He says he doesn’t play politics. Really.

Dan E. Way - 10:15 PM

Obama now said Hillary Clinton works for him, and he is responsible for Libya. It’s first time we’ve heard that.

Dan E. Way - 10:14 PM

Romney said President Obama now admits buck stops with him and president is responsible for lack of security. He said nation still grieves over those deaths. But he said it is troubling that story line five days after Benghazi attack was still that the killings were part of a protest. He said actions by president have symbolic and perhaps material impact. “It was very clear this was not a demonstration, this was an attack by terrorists, and this calls into question the president’s whole policy in the Middle East.” President said he would put daylight between us and Israel, Romney said, and Iran now closer to nukes. Obama “began with an apology tour . . .this strategy is unraveling before our very eyes,” Romney said.

Becki Gray - 10:14 PM

Romney says it was a terrorist attack and why didn’t we know?  First time since 1979, ambassador killed.  President flying around the country to fundraisers.  What up with that?  Problems started with President’s apology tour in middle east.

Rick Henderson - 10:14 PM

Rommey: “leading from behind,” apology tour.

Barry Smith - 10:14 PM

Good question. Who DID refuse extra security to our diplomats in Libya?

Obama responds, that he tried to beef up security after the fact. That’s pretty weak. Then he tries to blame Romney for his response.

Let’s see, it’s Romney’s fault?

Romney responds. It was a terrorist attack. “How could we have not known?” He says it calls into question the president’s whole policy in the Middle East.

Rick Henderson - 10:13 PM

Question about Libya: Who denied enhanced security in Libya prior to 9/11?

Obama: No one more concerned about their safety/security than I am. When I heard consulate was under attack, we beefed up security. (That was not prior to 9/11.) We’ll find who did this and hunt them down. Romney politicized the issue. National security is not a political issue.

I’m ultimately responsible.

Romney: The buck does stop at his desk and he does take responsibility for the failure. Many days passed before we were told there was no spontaneous demonstration. Was this misleading or was it bad information? I’m more troubled that day after assassination of ambassador, the president went to a fundraiser in Las Vegas. ZING!


Becki Gray - 10:12 PM

Libya question.  State department denied extra security.  Who denied it and why? Obama dances, he’s concerned about ambassadors.  “When we learned things were heating up in Libya, called in more security, we’ll find out who did this and hunt them down.”  Wasn’t it a bit late at that point?  Accuses R of turning a national security issue into political points.  Says we’ll find out what happened.

Either doesn’t  know or doesn’t want to answer the question.

Dan E. Way - 10:11 PM

Question about Libya security, and State Department refusing to add security. Who denied it and why?

Obama said diplomats around the world are dispatched by him. “NObody is more concerned about their safety and security than I am.” He said he gave orders to beef up security at all missions around the world. Investigate and hold people accountable. We’ll hunt them down. “When folks mess with Americans, we go after them.” Obama said while U.S. still dealing with diplomats being threatened Romney put out a press release. “You don’t turn national security” into a political situation. Romney didn’t act presidential with his reaction, Obama said. “I am ultimately responsible for what’s taking place there because these are my folks and I’m the one who has to greet those coffins.”

Barry Smith - 10:08 PM

Of course now Romney feels a need to interrupt too.

Dan E. Way - 10:08 PM

Obama said he can deliver a lot of Democrats to reform immigration. Romney said he would have legislation on the table his first year in office.

Becki Gray - 10:08 PM

Sparring with the moderator.  Romney scores points and gets to talk.  O interrupts again. Things getting testy. Coming to blows with Candy?  At least Obama’s awake this time around.

Barry Smith - 10:07 PM

Candy Crowley just told Gov. Romney to sit down.

Dan E. Way - 10:07 PM

Romney: “I did not say the Arizona law was a model for the nation,” but rather its e-verify law was a model to verify citizenship status. Obama said he would file immigration legislation in his first year in office but didn’t. Self-deportation revolves around the notion that you can’t round up 12 million people and move them out of the country. But if they can’t find jobs here they will go somewhere else that they can find jobs. He agrees with Obama that those committing crimes should be deported. Obama is interrupting. He goes back to Obama line about China. He said his investment is in blind trust. He asked Obama if he has looked at his pension lately. He said Obama’s pension has investments in China and other foreign nations. Obama keeps interrupting, said let’s move on, we’re off topic. He got hammered on this one.

Rick Henderson - 10:07 PM

Romney: Mr. President, you have investments in China, too. Just check your pension.

Rick Henderson - 10:06 PM

Question about immigration re: DREAM act.

Romney: wants to streamline system, give green cards to skilled graduates; DREAM kids should have a pathway to permanent residency. Obama promised comprehensive reform in first year and didn’t do it.

Obama: I’ve done all I can on my own to fix system. We’ve improved border controls. Said he tried to fix system first year but Republicans wouldn’t go along.

Romney: Still didn’t answer question.

Barry Smith - 10:06 PM

Romney likes e-verify as a model for the nation. Is that another regulation on businesses?

Barry Smith - 10:04 PM

Immigration comes up. It didn’t come up in the first debate.

He won’t help people who came here illegally. He brings up the “amnesty” word. He does want to help their children.

It doesn’t sound like he has a plan for comprehensive immigration reform.

Obama talks about what he’s done to try to streamline legal immigration.

He’s not mentioning how many unauthorized immigrants he’s deporting. He hits on Romney’s opposition to the Dream Act during the GOP debates.

Dan E. Way - 10:04 PM

Obama said he did all he could to fix illegal immigration, but didn’t get help from Congress. It’s good for our economic growth to have immigration. Border security is beefed up, and flow across border at its lowest point in years. It makes sense to crack down on violent immigrants, “gang bangers,” not on students. Romney said during GOP convention he would veto Dream Act. Romney said he would encourage self-deportation by making conditions so miserable they would leave. He said Romney believes Arizona immigration law is a model for the nation. “We can fix this system in a comprehensive way.” Said it’s not true that Obama didn’t try to fix the system.

Dan E. Way - 10:01 PM

Illegal immigration is question. Romney said he won’t give amnesty. Would create pathway for children who were brought here by their parents. He believes green cards should come with education for illegal immigrants to help them help our economy. “We are a nation of immigrants.” But he won’t keep in place magnets that draw illegals here — social services, driver’s license, etc.

Dan E. Way - 9:59 PM

Romney told questioner you know what you’re going to get if re-electing Obama. He broke promise to reduce unemployment to 5.4 percent. Obama hasn’t even made a proposal to save Medicare or Social Security, which he promised to do. He didn’t put immigration reform proposal forward after promising to fix it. Obama said he would cut in half the deficit but doubled it. Families would have 2,500 dollar a year health insurance reduction, Obama promised, but costs have gone up by that much instead. Families have lost 4,300 dollars in income under Obama. Obama lost 5 million jobs in his economy, so the 5 million that were created are a wash. The 5 million jobs Obama says he created barely keeps up with population growth. 1 in 6 people now living in poverty. Food stamp participants went from 32 million to 47 million. Economy growing more slowly this year than last year, and more slowly last year than the year before. His policies have prevented growth from occurring. IN Regan recession unemployment was over 10 percent. But Reagan’s recovery created twice as many jobs.

Barry Smith - 9:58 PM

At least Obama isn’t laughing while his opponent speaks, as Joe Biden did. You think they learned their lesson?

Rick Henderson - 9:57 PM

Obama: I’ve kept my commitments and those I haven’t kept I’ve tried real hard to do! Promise! He’ll be a rubber-stamp for GOP Congress.

Romney: If you elect Obama, you’re going to get a repeat of past four years. Unemployment rate isn’t where he promised. Hasn’t put forward plan to reform entitlements. Hasn’t filed immigration plan. Hasn’t cut deficit. Hasn’t reduced health care premiums. The jobs created only make up for the ones lost. He means well, but his policies aren’t working. Vision is fine, but his record is lousy.

Becki Gray - 9:57 PM

Former Obama supporter asks why should I support you again?  O says he cut taxes for middle class and small business, stopped war in Iraq, could get affordable insurance, reined in Wall Street, created 5m jobs, saved an auto industry. And he’ll do more if re-elected like “invest in education”.

Romney responds – the past 4 years haven’t been great. If you re-elect him, you’ll get more of the same thing.  Broken promises, no SS reform, no immigration, double deficit, no reduction in health care costs, middle class is crushed.  O doesn’t understand what it takes to get the economy going again.  More people on food stamps, economy growing slower than last year.

Dan E. Way - 9:54 PM

Michael Jones not as optimistic as he was in 2008. He asks Obama what he will do in next four years to help him. Obama said he would end war in Iraq and did, would refocus on leadership of al Qaeda and bin Laden is dead. Has made health insurance reforms, and toughest Wall Street reforms since the 1930s. Saved an auto industry on brink of collapse. Still a lot of people are struggling. He will use savings from ending wars to put people back to work. Will create energy of the future. “The commitments I’ve made, I’ve kept.” those he didn’t keep are not for lack of trying. Romney’s is “not the kind of leadership you need” when he says he will eliminate Obamacare, which is the same program Romney used successfully in Massachusetts.

Rick Henderson - 9:53 PM

The Yankees have kept their word and not scored during the debate.

Rick Henderson - 9:52 PM

Question: What have you done to earn my vote a second time?

Obama: It’s been tough four years [not heard that one before]

OBL is dead! [so is ambasssador stevens]


Becki Gray - 9:51 PM

Question about Bush policies – what is biggest difference w Romney?

Times are different, challenges and answers are different.  Romney’s plan (get tough w China, more trade, tax cuts) will work for now.  Obama jumps into Bush bashing, claims he’s created bunch of new jobs, saved jobs. Says Romney is more extreme on social policies like immigration and health care.

Terry Stoops - 9:51 PM

Detroit – 2

New York – 0

Dan E. Way - 9:51 PM

Obama said his administration is digging out of policies that were skewed to upper earners. Said his plans will create more jobs than they already created. But centerpiece of Romney’s plan is tax cuts, which got recession started. “Governor, you’re the last person who’s going to get tough on China” he said, turning to look at Romey, because Romney has had business dealings with China. Romney said Obama was being protectionist by trying to keep it from flooding market with tires. Bush didn’t suggest eliminating funding for Planned Parenthood, or deporting illegal immigrants, so, yes, president said, they are different.

Rick Henderson - 9:51 PM

Question: Bush failed us so why should I vote Republican?

Romney: Does address contraception question. Obama tries to interrupt.

We have better technology to develop energy domestically that we couldn’t when Bush was in charge. I’ll be tougher on China. I’ll balance budget. Obama was right to chastise Bush for deficits, but his were worse. I’ll champion small business. Our party has focused on big business too long. We need to support small business. Obamacare prevents small businesses from hiring people. Bush’s path was for his time. Mine is for our time.

Obama: We came in during tough times. You’re the last person who will get tough on China. Bush didn’t voucherize Medicare. He backed comprehensive immigration reform. Romney’s more extreme than Bush!

Barry Smith - 9:50 PM

Tax cuts didn’t take us from surpluses to deficits, Mr. President. Increased spending did.

Dan E. Way - 9:48 PM

Susan Katz, an undecided voter, is unhappy with last four years. But she attributes part of the problem to Bush, and fears a return to the Bush policies. What are differences between Romney and Bush?

Romney said he doesn’t think bureaucrats should control women’s health or employers should tell women whether they can have contraception, and Obama mischaracterized his plans.

Said he and Bush are very different. He would add more free trade agreements, would get to balanced budget “President Bush didn’t.” Obama was right that it was outrageous for Bush to have half-trillion-dollar deficits, Romney said. But problem is Obama doubled those. He said GOP has focused too long on large business. He would concentrate on small businesses. Obamacare prevents employers from hiring more people. Bush had a different path for a different time.

Barry Smith - 9:47 PM

A difference in philosophy is clear. Obama offers government solutions for helping women compete in the workplace. Romney says that growing businesses in a growing economy will seek out quality women workers.

Becki Gray - 9:45 PM

Mitt’s response on women in the workforce include flexible hours, finding qualified women for high level positions.  A strong economy is the best road to employment for women.  He’s done this and he can do it again.

Obama’s answer seems to be he’ll give more student loans.  He talks about health care choices, contraceptive coverage for everyone whether employer likes it or not, planned parenthood funding – he says these are the nswers to whether women can go out there and earn a living.

Difference is clear between these two,

Rick Henderson - 9:45 PM

Obama: Planned Parenthood now. Which makes a big difference in your take home pay. He’s playing the gender card completely. Going for the base. Romney could swat this down but he doesn’t get the chance.

Dan E. Way - 9:44 PM

Obama said his campaign was asked whether it supported Lillie Ledbetter Law “and they said we’ll get back to you.” A major difference in the campaign is Romney feels comfortable having politicians in Washington deciding health care for women. Obama wants to provide contraception for women. “This is money out of that family’s pocket.” Romney not only opposed contraception, but said employers should decide what is offered in their plans. Women rely on Planned Parenthood but Romney would pull funding for it. Childcare credits make a difference. “These are not just women issues. These are family issues, these are economic issues.” Wants to make sure his daughters get same opportunities “anybody’s son gets.”

Rick Henderson - 9:43 PM

Question on inequalities in workplace. 72% of wages in workplace. Phony math, but who cares?

Obama: I was raised by a single mom. My grandmother hit the glass ceiling. Signed fair pay act. This is a family issue. We have to fight for it. We have to make sure education is accessible. [how that helps break glass ceiling is anyone’s guess]

Now giving talking points about his higher ed agenda, not really answering question

Romney: Pulling together Cabinet in Massachusetts, all applicants were men. We reached out to find candidates who were women. We also had to provide more flexibility for women in work force. I know how to make an economy work.

Obama: Romney’s indifferent about fair pay bill. Is he going to play the abortion/contraception card? Yes, he is.

Dan E. Way - 9:42 PM

Romney said pay equity “an important topic.” He pulled together a cabinet but all applicants were men. So he made concerted effort to go out and recruit women. “They brought us whole binders full of women.” His Cabinet and senior staff had more women in senior leadership positions than any other state in America, studies showed. He understood women needed flexibility to take care of children. “We said fine, let’s have a flexible schedule.” Employers in the economy he will create they “will be anxious to hire women.” Women have lost 580,000 jobs under Obama. “I know what it takes to make an economy work.” An economy with 23 million people looking for work, with 50 percent of college grads looking for work is not a good economy.

Dan E. Way - 9:39 PM

Question is how to create workplace equality when women don’t earn as much as men. Obama talks about his single mom working hard and making sacrifices. Grandmother worked as secretary in bank and became vice president in local bank but hit “the glass ceiling.” She trained people who got better jobs. “The first bill I signed was something called the Lillie Ledbetter Law.” Involved a woman who got paid less for the same work. “Women are increasingly the breadwinners in the family.” It’s a family issue. Need to ensure young people can afford a college education. “We’ve expanded Pell grants for millions of young people” by removing banks and lenders as middle men and lending money directly to students. Need to make sure “we do not tolerate discrimination” in every walk of life.

Becki Gray - 9:38 PM

I like the town hall format for this presidential debate – nice switch.  Wish the NC Broadcasters’ Association would reconsider their format for the next gubernatorial debate.  We’ve had two – same moderator for both (and 6 white male questioners) with same format.  Let’s shake it up a bit for the third.

Dan E. Way - 9:37 PM

Romney asked what would happen if numbers didn’t add up once he got in office. “Of course they add up,” Romney said. He balanced budget in Massachusetts, of the Olympics, etc. “How about 4 trillion dollars in deficits over four years?” he said. That doesn’t add up. Have gone from 10 trillion to 16 trillion dollars in national debt under Obama, and if Obama re-elected would go to 20 trillion dollars in debt and put us on a path to Greece.

Rick Henderson - 9:36 PM

Crowley: If numbers don’t add up, would you reconsider tax hikes?

Romney: They add up. I’ve run Olympics, run Massachusetts. It added up. 4 trillion in deficits over his term of office doesn’t add up. Who you gonna believe, him or your lying eyes?

Barry Smith - 9:35 PM

Candy Crowley is taking over this “town hall” debate.

Dan E. Way - 9:35 PM

Obama said cost of lowering rates for everyone, along with lowering estate tax and corporate tax code would cost 5 trillion dollars, and would add 2 trillion in military spending, plus another 1 trillion in Bush tax cut continuance. “He can’t tell you” which tax loopholes he will close to make up that difference. “We haven’t heard from the governor any specifics beyond Big Bird.” Romney was successful investor. “You wouldn’t have taken such a sketchy deal” as an investor as he is pitching to American public, president said. “You’ll lose some deductions and you can’t buy this sales pitch,” Obama told the audience.

Rick Henderson - 9:34 PM

5 trillion in deficits

Rick Henderson - 9:34 PM

Obama lecturing Romney on debt his tax plan would cause. The guy who ran trillion in deficits.

Dan E. Way - 9:32 PM

Top 5 percent will continue to pay 60 percent of all taxes, Romney said again. Bringing rates down make it easier for small business to keep their capital and create jobs. 54 percent of Americans work in jobs that are taxed as individuals. Bringing rates down helps them. Last four years have been a disappointment. Said 23 million American looking for jobs, 3.5 million more women in poverty today than when Obama took office. Need to fix training programs and help small businesses. “I spent my life in the private sector, I know why jobs come and jobs go” and they’re going away due to Obama policies.

Rick Henderson - 9:31 PM

Obama flashes his first Biden grin.

Rick Henderson - 9:31 PM

Romney: Rate cuts will lead to economic growth. Small businesses pay rates that are too high and can’t hire people.

We don’t have to live like this.

Barry Smith - 9:30 PM

Romney says he won’t have people at the high end pay less than they’re paying now. There won’t be a tax on interest for the middle class.

Obama also says he wants to give middle class families some relief. He wants to “make sure that the wealthy do a little bit more.” He says that tax increases brought about the 1990s balanced budget.

What grew our economy in the 1990s was the tech boom, not tax increases.

Rick Henderson - 9:30 PM

Obama still playing the class warfare card with Romney.

Tax credits grow the economy, like gimmicks giving companies a little money when they hire veterans. A firm believer in a centrally planned economy.

Dan E. Way - 9:30 PM

Obama said middle class has been hit hard over last decade, last 20 years. He said 3 thousand 6 hundred dollars is the tax cut on middle class. Have been 18 tax cuts during his term, he said. “If we’re serious about reducing the deficit, if this is genuinely a moral obligation” to next generation, wealthy must do more. So he would have no change on first 250 thousand dollars of income. He would go back to tax rates of Bill Clinton era. Said Romney said on 60 Minutes it’s fair for someone like him to pay lower tax rate than middle class. Said during GOP primary Romney said he would give everyone a tax cut, and that’s kind of top-down economics that won’t work.

Rick Henderson - 9:28 PM

Question on taxes: Which credits and deductions would you reduce?

Romney: Rates down, esp. for middle class, buried for past 4 years. Top 5% will continue to pay 60% of tax burden. Place a numerical limit on deductions, choose your deductions. No more taxes on savings or investments.

If we don’t stop spending too much, everyone’s taxes will go up.

Obama: Middle class families need relief. They’ve been hit hard for past 20 years. (Another swipe at Clinton admin!) Upper class has a moral obligation to the next generation.

Dan E. Way - 9:27 PM

Question is about Romney saying he would cut taxes and work with Congress to close tax deductions. What is his position on those deductions important to middle income earners.

Bring rate down, simplify tax code and drop middle class tax rates because middle income people buried. Gas, health insurance premiums up, utility prices up. He wants relief for middle class. “I am not going to have people at the high end paying less than they are paying now.” He said one plan might be to give everyone a set number of deductions and they can decide which ones they prefer. There will be no tax on interest, dividends or capital gains. “I will not under any circumstances reduce the share that’s being paid by the highest earners” or raise them on middle class. Obama’s economic policies are making it necessary to raise taxes on middle class to pay for exorbitant spending.

Dan E. Way - 9:23 PM

“I don’t have a policy of stopping wind jobs in Iowa,” Romney said. 3.5 million jobs will be created through his energy policy, he said.

Barry Smith - 9:23 PM

Romney and Obama go at it. Romney says Obama has cut production on federal lands. Obama says that’s not true.

Romney says the president’s energy policies aren’t working. If so, the price of gasoline wouldn’t be so high.

Obama says that the price of gas was low because we were on the verge of economic collapse. He doesn’t have a good answer for stooping the Keystone pipeline though.

Dan E. Way - 9:22 PM

Obama said gas prices were low because the economy was on verge of collapse. Romney could bring down gas prices because he would have same policies that got country into a recession. Obama said he’s all for pipelines and production, but that’s only part of the equation. Wind power is creating thousands of jobs in Colorado, he said.

Rick Henderson - 9:22 PM

Obama is really stuck on renewables. Romney could hit him hard on Solyndra if he chooses.

Rick Henderson - 9:21 PM

Crowley: Why is gas a gallon?

Obama: It’s Bush’s fault!

Rick Henderson - 9:21 PM

Crowley: Is this the new normal regarding gas prices?

Obama: nothing Romney says is true. I’ve tried to be consistent.

[Obama campaigned big time against fossil fuels in 2008. Old statements may haunt him.]

Romney: Your strategy hasn’t worked. You cut permits by half on federal lands.

Obama: did not.

Romney: answer question.

Obama: not true.

Romney: Nobody believes Obama will support fossil fuel production. Price sends a signal about how well policy is working.


Dan E. Way - 9:21 PM

Obama said companies must drill on public lands or lose their permits. And Romney said oil and gas production down on federal lands. Coal production and jobs are not up, Romney said. “I don’t think anyone really believes that you are a person who’s going to be pushing for oil or gas and coal.” Obama tries again to interrupt. Must be taking a page from Joe Biden. Gas was .86 a gallon in Nassau County when Obama took office, now is a gallon, Romney said, illustrating Obama’s policies did not work.

Dan E. Way - 9:19 PM

“IN the last four years you cut licenses and permits on federal lands in half,” Romney said, and Obama starts arguing. THey approach one another at center stage.

Dan E. Way - 9:18 PM

Obama said world demand has gone up, and very little of what Romney said is true. Again he said he is encouraging exploration and production. Said Romney stood in front of coal plant in Massachusetts and said “This plant kills.” Obama said oil imports down to lowest level in 20 years, oil and gas production up, more efficient cars being built. All that saves money in the pocketbook.

Barry Smith - 9:18 PM

Romney talks about Obama’s policies vs. his rhetoric. He criticizes Obama for attacking oil and coal. Having energy independence will result in jobs coming back.

Candy Crowley asks if we’re looking at the new normal.

Obama says we’re encouraging natural gas, says Romney was against coal when he was Massachusetts governor.

Terry Stoops - 9:17 PM

Detroit – 1

New York – 0

Dan E. Way - 9:16 PM

Romney said oil production down 14 percent, gas down 9 percent because Obama cut back number of permits feds issued. Obama administration brought lawsuit against large oil field. “This has not been Mr. Oil, Mr. Gas or Mr. Coal,” Romney said, noting workers in those industries are begging him to save their jobs. “Let’s take advantage of the energy resources we have” and plan for the future to gain North American energy independence in eight years. Jobs already are coming back. More drilling, more permits and licenses and bringing Keystone Pipeline into the U.S. will be part of his agenda.

Rick Henderson - 9:16 PM

Question about gas prices: Is it the role of the Energy Department to lower gas prices?

Obama: We must control our energy. Natural gas and oil production up. Coal production up. We have to mandate clean energy and fuel-efficient cars.

Hasn’t answered question. Renewables aren’t price-competitive, especially when it comes to transportation. Romney’s plan is to let oil companies write policy. He doesn’t have clean energy policy down. We won’t control our own economic future. Germany’s investing now.

[Germany’s already facing blackouts because of reliance on renewables]


Romney: Most energy production from private lands; Obama admin tried to block development. I believe renewables are part of mix but should not prevent development of fossil fuels. Obama said anyone building coal plant would go bankrupt. Going to bring pipeline from Canada

Dan E. Way - 9:14 PM

Question is whether it is the job of the Energy Department to lower gas prices. Obama said natural gas production is highest it’s been in decades, oil production higher, coal production higher. But must look to future. That’s why doubled fuel efficiency standards on cars. Wind, solar, and biofuels are important parts of the equation and are getting more money. Are 600,000 jobs and 100 years of energy in the ground, he said. Said Romney’s plan is to let oil companies write energy policies. “He doesn’t have the clean energy part.” That plan won’t allow U.S. to control its own economic future, but make us dependent on countries running to green energy.

Barry Smith - 9:13 PM

Ahh, lowering gas prices. That’s a tough one for Obama. He’s really talking about wind energy? How much will electricity cost under that plan?

Dan E. Way - 9:11 PM

“We have fought back for four years to get out of that mess,” Obama said of Romney’s plan for the economy. Really? We’re out of that mess with four consecutive trillion deficits?

Barry Smith - 9:11 PM

Both candidates are already on the attack. So far, we’re keeping it civil.

Rick Henderson - 9:11 PM

Crowley asks follow-up: How do we deal with people who are out of work now?

Romney: Obama’s policies have failed. Real unemployment rate is 10.7%. I’ll create 12 million new jobs at higher pay. When Obama said I wanted to make Detroit bankrupt. Obama did that.

Obama: He’s not right. He wanted to take Detroit bankrupt without protecting workers. He’s in favor of fat cats and people who ship jobs overseas and put all the workers on the streets.

Dan E. Way - 9:11 PM

Obama says Romney would have cost 1 million jobs by allowing auto industry to go bankrupt. “Governor Romney doesn’t have a five-point plan, he has a one-point plan” — to have a different set of rules for those at the top. Sigh. More class warfare.

Dan E. Way - 9:09 PM

Romney says America hasn’t made the progress it needs to make. Says real unemployment number is over 10 percent when counting people who have dropped out of the work force. Romney said 7-11, Macy’s, Continental Airlines and others went through bankruptcy and came out stronger. He said the process was necessary to get companies back on their feet.

Dan E. Way - 9:08 PM

Only takes one question for Obama to use the class warfare. Says should ask the rich to pay more. Only takes one question for Candy Crowley to assert her desire to throw out a question of her own. Did she just call the GOP candidate Mr. Rombley?

Barry Smith - 9:08 PM

Romney talks about jobs to a college student. Obama follows, “Your future is bright.”

Obama says he wants to build on what he’s done. He refers to the auto industry.

Please tell me, Mr. President, that the future is going to be better than what you’ve done with GM. Please tell me that this young man’s future job won’t have to be propped up by federal bailouts.

Rick Henderson - 9:08 PM

Romney gets first question from 20-year-old college student. How will I know I get a job when I graduate?

We have to make college more affordable and we have to make sure there are jobs when you get out. Last four years have been hard for young people. I’m going to change dynamic. Less debt and more jobs. Economy will come back and you’ll have a job when you get out in 2014.

Obama: we must create not only jobs but good paying jobs. We have to build a mfg economy and not let Detroit go bankrupt (which Romney didn’t say). We have to have best education system in world. We have to control own energy (renewables).

[first question: Obama has more energy than last time but pretty intense]

Dan E. Way - 9:07 PM

Obama tells Epstein his future is bright. He wants to build manufacturing jobs in the country again. President says Romney wanted to let car industry go bankrupt. One wonders if bankruptcy, a common and legally acceptable process passed by lawmakers, wouldn’t have been a better option than the disastrous bailouts.

Dan E. Way - 9:05 PM

First question is from Jeremy Epstein, who wants to know what candidates can tell him about the likelihood of finding work after college.

Rick Henderson - 9:03 PM

Here we go. The candidates meet at center stage. Romney got a haircut.

Rick Henderson - 8:42 PM

Useless trivia: Hofstra University, host of the second presidential debate, played a role in one of Bill Cosby’s early (as in early 1960s) standup routines. Cosby played football at Temple. The team they hated playing was Hofstra, who he said beat Temple “900 to nothing … in their street clothes.” That is all.

Rick Henderson - 8:00 PM


Dalton was forcing his talking points no matter what the questions happened to be. McCrory was more relaxed. Not a lot of substance from either side.


Barry Smith - 7:59 PM

Dalton went on the attack big time in this debate. Nearly every answer took a jab at McCrory. I’m not sure how many of those jabs connected.

McCrory took a more positive approach. He tried to stay above the fray. I think he succeeded.

A final note: The debates continue to exclude one person on the ballot, Libertarian Barbara Howe. I’d like to see her included and hear her answers. The state’s two major political parties continue to make things difficult for other parties make headway. That’s not a service to the state.

Rick Henderson - 7:57 PM


Dalton: We have different visions. McCrory likes the fat cats and special interests. I’ll fight for you. I’ll respect teachers. Vote for me.

McCrory: We need positive leadership that’s ethical. We’re in the best state in the country. Positive campaign will lead to constructive governance. We need to encourage next generation to be involved in public service.

That’s it for tonight.

Terry Stoops - 7:57 PM

McCrory: I am running a constructive, visionary, positive campaign

Terry Stoops - 7:56 PM

Dalton continues to mention the “public money for private schools” charge but never develops it.

Rick Henderson - 7:55 PM

Q: What to cut from state budget?

McCrory: PBS may be on the list but it’s not a big item. That’s where we need to look. Universities need to control costs better. We owe .8 billion for unemployment insurance.

Dalton: Need to see whole picture before saying what to cut. UNC-TV is awesome and I’ll keep it. Give money to public TV. (OK …)

Terry Stoops - 7:53 PM

Last question!  Booya!

Barry Smith - 7:53 PM

Dalton says he doesn’t not like third-party ads. He says he has the facts on his negative ads.

Back on the attack, here.

McCrory says on the money he controls, he has not shown one negative ad. “Every one of my ads are positive.”

Dalton says he is not a part of any culture of corruption.

Rick Henderson - 7:53 PM

Q from Stogner: tone of campaign and negative ads. Have third party ads gotten out of control?

Dalton: Don’t like third party ads. We use the facts. If they’re perceived as negative, that’s because the record is negative. (Dislikes tone of campaign but goes on attack. OK …)

McCrory hits him back on it. Some of the ads are so bad I almost wouldn’t vote for myself. I won’t mention my opponent, I talk about what I want to do.

Dalton: Culture of corruption in his talks. Implies I’m part of it.

Bottom line: Negative ads work. ….

Terry Stoops - 7:52 PM

McCrory on Dalton’s response to the question about negative ads: “…a negative attack about negative ads.”

Terry Stoops - 7:51 PM

Dalton: “I do not like third-party ads” [but I ain’t gonna say no to them]


Terry Stoops - 7:50 PM

FYI: I hate the beach.

Barry Smith - 7:50 PM

What’s the states responsibility to hell build up beaches?

McCrory says use energy exploration revenues (a portion) for beach renourishment.

Dalton sAys it has to be part of a comprehensive plan. “It’s a greater issue than just beach renourishment.”

On follow up, McCrory says there are major issues with dredging.

Dalton says, yes, we need to do it. It has to be part of a balancing orocess.

Rick Henderson - 7:50 PM

Q from Jon Evans: Rebuilding beaches — fed $$ going away. how do you replace it?

McCrory: We can implement more strategic plan on travel & tourism. Use some of money from natural gas exploration for beach renourishment. Need to use state to promote tourism.

Dalton: Tourism is a great industry. Agribusiness, tourism, military are our top three industries. We have to push all three.

(Every governor promotes tourism. It’s a zero-sum game.)

Follow-up on renourishment. Should state pick up funding?

McCrory: Dredging causes some of erosion. We need to make sure feds aren’t causing problem.

Dalton: Yes, state needs to do more but there’s plenty of other needs, too.

Terry Stoops - 7:49 PM

One of the candidates should have mentioned Billy Graham re the faith question.

Barry Smith - 7:46 PM

How does faith play out in your everyday life?

Dalton shares personal experiences about losing his father at an early age.

McCrory says he agrees with Dalton. “It brings serenity to my life.”

Rick Henderson - 7:46 PM

Q from Cameron: How does faith play a role in your everyday life?

Dalton: I’m a Methodist lay speaker. Faith helps through loss and hardship.

McCrory: I agree that faith is important. Brings serenity and helps me get priorities in place. The world doesn’t revolve around us as individuals.

Terry Stoops - 7:45 PM

McCrory goes off topic – energy and water plans

Rick Henderson - 7:45 PM

Q from Stogner: How can 95 be repaired without a toll?

McCrory: Putting tolls on an existing road is a bad idea. DOT is too politicized and needs to be cleaned up.

Dalton: Tolls should be a last resort and you must have parallel nontolled corridor. New toll roads better than adding them to old ones. You have to prioritize DOT funding. Talks a lot about ports (inland, too).

McCrory: We also need an energy plan to reduce costs to consumers and a state water plan.

Barry Smith - 7:44 PM

McCrory says the toll road idea for I-95 is a bad idea. “We’ve politicized DOT for too long.”

Dalton says tolls should be a last resort. “You have to prioritize.” He reemphasizes that we need help from Washington.

Wow! Dalton didn’t say anything bad about McCrory!

Terry Stoops - 7:44 PM

Dalton: Public/private partnerships a good idea


Barry Smith - 7:41 PM

McCrory says the Racial Justice Act is a delay tactic.

Dalton says McCrory is insensitive.

Rick Henderson - 7:41 PM

RJA: Do you support?

Dalton: Yes. Race should not be an issue in death penalty cases.

McCrory: Fix SBI lab; in CLT we had to set up our own crime lab. DA’s think RJA is a lousy law.

Dalton: That proves McCrory is insensitive to blacks!

Barry Smith - 7:37 PM

Can we all get along?

McCrory says he did so as mayor. He worked in a bipartisan way.

Dalton says he’s shown he can work in a bipartisan way. He says we don’t need a rubber stamp, suggesting that McCrory would be.

Terry Stoops - 7:37 PM

Has Dalton provided an answer that did not include a jab at McCrory?

Rick Henderson - 7:37 PM

Q from Paul Cameron on veto power. (Man loves to hear his own voice.)

McCrory: I’ve worked with Democrats, 12 of 14 years they were in majority on council. Worked well with Jim Hunt on transportation.

Dalton: You want someone who can bring people together. Jobs Council passed 9 bills under Democratic and Republican leadership. We don’t need a rubber stamp for GOP General Assembly. We need an independent non-ideologue.

McCrory: Dalton and Perdue cut education when Dems were in charge of General Assembly. (correct)

Terry Stoops - 7:36 PM

Dalton: weaving the fabric of something or other.

Terry Stoops - 7:34 PM

Dalton trying to explain a complicated court case about condemnation.  McCrory gets plenty of time to respond.

Rick Henderson - 7:34 PM

Halftime is over!

Q from Stogner about McCrory’s role with law firm. Do voters care?

Dalton: They should. McCrory represented special interests when he worked for Duke Energy. I’ll work for the little people.

McCrory: Dalton’s attacking the private sector. I worked for a law firm that Dalton tried to shake down for money. I had 30 years with Duke Energy and I’m proud of my time there. We need private sector experience in the executive branch along with leadership from the public sector.

Dalton: Revisits eminent domain case with Duke in an indirect way.

McCrory: Dalton again treats private sector as an adversary.

Barry Smith - 7:34 PM

Do voters really care about private business lives?

Dalton says they should. He says Dalton was looking after special interest.

Attack, attack, attack.

McCrory says Dalton is attacking the private sector. “Never was there a question of ethical indiscretion,” he replies.

Dalton attacks again.

Terry Stoops - 7:30 PM

Time for another brew…

Barry Smith - 7:29 PM

Now it’s break time, and a time for the broadcasters to pat themselves on the back.

Terry Stoops - 7:29 PM

Dalton: Early college high schools.  As I said during the last debate, the early college concept is not widely known.  On the other hand, people understand vocational education and generally agree that we need more of it.

Barry Smith - 7:28 PM

What are the education initiatives?

McCrory wants two pathways to success. One concentrates on vocational, the other on college prep.

Dalton criticizes McCrory, then talks about early college programs.

Rick Henderson - 7:28 PM

Q on education performance:

McCrory: Need two pathways to high school degrees — vocational and college prep. We’ve been preparing everyone for college for too long.

Dalton: Early college is the way to go to let HS students take college courses. Career tech (not clear if he’s for or against, but he says Perdue likes it).

Terry Stoops - 7:26 PM

Dalton insists that he has never “had the wheel.”  That is a curious claim.  It begs the question – what have you been doing?


Rick Henderson - 7:25 PM

Q: 1st time in a long time we’ve had two candidates from western part of state. How will you level playing field?

Dalton: Every region thinks it’s shortchanged. We need to consolidate DOT offices, which were situated 100 years ago and were close to prisons.

McCrory: Why didn’t he do something about this from the legislature? We need to revamp the equity formula for highway funding.

Dalton: I’ve never had the wheel! (sounds whiny)

Barry Smith - 7:23 PM

Inequal? Is that a word?

Rick Henderson - 7:22 PM

Q from Stogner about transparency (Yay, Larry!)

McCrory: Transparency comes from your record. I was mayor for 14 years of a city renowned as clean government. My emails were always available for review.

Dalton: I have run bills for the NC Press Association. I’ll run open government. Why hasn’t McCrory released his tax returns? How is he a rainmaker if he’s not a lawyer? Has he catered strictly to the special interests? I will represent all North Carolinians.

McCrory got no chance to respond. Vickery’s really destroying the format.

Barry Smith - 7:22 PM

McCrory says he was transparent as mayor. Dalton says he’s supported open government, then goes on the attack again. He’s looking straight into the camera.

Terry Stoops - 7:22 PM

Ok, the ca-ching, ca-ching thing is a bit much.

Terry Stoops - 7:22 PM

Dalton: “I support open government”; “Where are McCrory’s tax records?”

Terry Stoops - 7:20 PM

Dalton: “I’ve never had the steering wheel.”


Rick Henderson - 7:20 PM

Q: Do we have too many boards and commissions?

Dalton: Way too many. Cabinet needs to review them all and identify efficiencies. Let’s draw up a list and put some on the chopping block in an orderly manner.

McCrory: Why didn’t he do anything about it when he was head of Senate Budget Commitee or Lt. Gov.? An outsider needed to break up the system.

Dalton: Real leadership would explain his tax reductions. (I think the needle’s stuck in the groove.) I’ve never had any authority anyway.

Barry Smith - 7:19 PM

On Dalton’s “where’s the beef” rhetorical question, that didn’t work well for Walter Mondale in 1984. I’m not sure how well it’ll work now.

Terry Stoops - 7:19 PM

Dalton: Too many boards and commissions


Barry Smith - 7:18 PM

McCrory says our high taxes are hurting us. He wants to reduce the personal income tax and the corporate taxes. He wants energy exploration.

Dalton continues on the offense, questioning McCrory’s plan to cut taxes.

He’s been we’ll prepared to attack.

Rick Henderson - 7:17 PM

Q about taxes that are lower in SC than NC. What to do?

McCrory: Taxes in NC are too high across the board. Cut income taxes and produce energy here at home.

Dalton: There he went again about corporate and personal taxes. Where is he finding the billion he’ll need? It’s not at all clear energy production will create jobs. I have a real plan to create jobs.

Terry Stoops - 7:16 PM

Dalton: “where is the beef?”

Terry Stoops - 7:15 PM

McCrory: reduce income tax

Barry Smith - 7:14 PM

Dalton uses the Budget and Tax Center’s analysis of McCrory’s tax plan. Then McCrory says Dalton’s ads are untrue. Then Dalton says McCrory’s ads are false.

Can the cameras swing down to see if their pants are on fire?

Rick Henderson - 7:14 PM

McCrory: Growing economy and growing jobs will get revenues growing.

Rick Henderson - 7:13 PM

McCrory: Dalton’s repeating what’s in his inaccurate ads. Only person seeking sales tax increase is Dalton/Perdue. Sales tax increase has big effect on middle class.

Dalton: Even 15% is less than a penny. (OK …) Budget & Tax Center (left-wing outfit) did the math?

Terry Stoops - 7:12 PM

Hey, Dalton gives a shout-out to the Budget and Tax Center, a project of the left-wing NC Justice Center.

Rick Henderson - 7:12 PM

Dalton: Budget & Tax Center says McCrory’s plan doesn’t add up.

(Did Shannon Vickery cut Dalton off early?)

Barry Smith - 7:11 PM

The next question is on budgets and government efficiency.

McCrory says he’s not taking the race for granted. He’ll look at eliminating committees, keep them vacant.

Not sure how much that will save though.

Dalton says McCrory is already measuring the carpet.

Huh. Not sure.

Then Dalton suggests savings can be found in the state motor pool.

Good idea, but I doubt those suggestions would save hundreds of millions of dollars.

Rick Henderson - 7:11 PM

Q:Dalton said you’d push for four weeks of paid leave for teachers and state employees. How can we afford that?

Dalton: Tax break for rich. Runs out of time.

Rick Henderson - 7:10 PM

Q from Jon Evans: What part of state government needs tightening up? What needs expanding?

McCrory: There are 30 committees in state government. Rather than make appointments, let’s keep some vacant or consolidate them.

Dalton. He’s already measuring the curtains. He could have gone to that debate instead. (Roll eyes.) We can deal with motor pool. Privatize some technology. We can make tax collection more efficient.

McCrory: Not my goal to live in the Executive Mansion.

Terry Stoops - 7:10 PM

Dalton: Savings in the motor pool; technology/privative the “cloud”; collect bad debt

Terry Stoops - 7:09 PM

McCrory: Too many committees in state government.

Rick Henderson - 7:07 PM

Dalton: I am for the death penalty.

Rick Henderson - 7:07 PM

McCrory: I spent day with ag commissioner Steve Troxler and with patients in a nursing home.

The empty chair did well in the debate.

I oppose Racial Justice Act because it’s a bad piece of legislation.

I’m for protecting the ballot box, not for suppressing votes.

Barry Smith - 7:07 PM

The first question is about the NAACP convention and gets into race. Is it inflaming racial passion to get votes.

Dalton says no. He says he wants to represent 100 percent of the people.

I don’t think this tactic is working for Dalton.

McCrory doesn’t dwell on it, and tells what he did instead. Then he turns the empty chair use by Dalton against him.

Rick Henderson - 7:06 PM

1st Q: Rasmussen has McCrory up 14 points but avoided NAACP meeting. Rambling question. Anchor seems to enjoy his own voice. Finally: Do you think McCrory doesn’t care about black people?


Dalton: Of course I don’t. I went to convention and to state fair. McCrory just went to fair. McCrory will raise taxes and he hangs around with divisive people like Scott Walker. (Of course, if elected, Dalton will have to work with Walker.)

Terry Stoops - 7:04 PM

Dalton looks to go really, really negative.

Barry Smith - 7:03 PM

Pat McCrory gives a nod to Bill Friday. So does Walter Dalton, but then he goes on to make a campaign statement.

Interesting difference in their opening statements.

Rick Henderson - 7:03 PM

McCrory gets first opening statement and starts by paying tribute to the late Bill Friday. Says he can’t be replaced but we can learn from him.


Dalton thanks everyone for watching and immediately hits McCrory and Republican General Assembly.

Rick Henderson - 7:00 PM

And here we go …

Rick Henderson - 6:47 PM

Much like President Obama, Lt. Gov. Dalton faces a lot of pressure to be memorable tonight. Dalton continues trailing by double digits in the polls. What does he need to do to prevail tonight?

Rick Henderson - 10:40 PM

Thanks again for joining us. We’ll be back for the second presidential debate, a town hall, Tuesday night!

Rick Henderson - 10:38 PM

My take: Biden was aggressive, speaking over Ryan and sometimes Raddatz. If that’s what Dems wanted, they got it. How it’ll affect undecideds is anyone’s guess. Ryan was civil throughout and not too wonkish. Was he persuasive? No idea. He got in some good lines in the end about Obama failing to live up to his promise and promises and that Romney/Ryan would not blame their predecessors if they ran into trouble.

On Twitter, lefties loved Raddatz because she interrupted the candidates. Conservatives loved Lehrer because he let them talk. Interesting.

Becki Gray - 10:33 PM

Ryan and Biden shake hands.  Biden laughs.


Barry Smith - 10:33 PM

My take: Biden’s performance definitely outpaced Obama’s from last week. He was more forceful, possibly overly-so. At times he appeared arrogant and didn’t come across we’ll when he laughed while Ryan was talking. His interruptions were irritating.

Ryan was more respectful and listened intently when his opponent was speaking. I should noted that he did his share of interruptions also. His answers were more concise, and did a good job at drawing distinctions between the Romney/Ryan ticket and the Obama/Biden ticket.

Dan E. Way - 10:33 PM

Ryan closing statement: Obama had his chance, and his ideas are not working. “This is not what a real recovery looks like. You deserve better.” They’re offering real reform for everybody. Romney “uniquely qualified to get this done.” Romney proven job creator, and that’s what is needed in White House. Right now we have stagnant economy that’s leading to more government dependency. Will not try to replace founding principles will reassert them. They won’t blame others for their failure to make things happen, but will take responsibility.

Becki Gray - 10:32 PM

Closing statements:

Biden: Have a problem with the way R/R treats the middle class.  Playing field is level and everyone has a shot. That;s what this is all about.

Ryan: Face a big choice. What kind of country will we be? Obama;s had his chance, it;s not working, you deserve better. Romney and I want to earn your support. Need a job creator in the WH.  We’ll take responsibilities. Choice is clear and it rests with you.

Dan E. Way - 10:31 PM

Biden closing statement: Said he’s frustrated with opponents attitude towards American people. When they talk about 47 percent, they’re talking about his mother and father when he does that, talking about the people who built this country. President and I not going to rest until that playing field is leveled, they have a clear shot, can tell their children it’s going to be OK.

Rick Henderson - 10:30 PM

Biden suggests that Romney and Ryan hate his mother. What?

Becki Gray - 10:29 PM

Personal character?

Ryan: Honesty. Getting people out of poverty and in the middle class

Biden: My record stands for itself.  Treating wall street and main street the same.


Dan E. Way - 10:29 PM

Biden: My record stands for itself. I say what I mean. His whole life has been spent trying to give middle class an even break. “they’re the people who grow this country.”

Dan E. Way - 10:28 PM

Ryan said we’re not getting people offering solutions to problems. That’s what Romney will do. Proven, pro-growth policies, putting ideas on table. working bi-partisan

Becki Gray - 10:27 PM

Decorated soldier comments on negative ads and tone of this campaign…

Biden: equip those who serve and take care of those who come home.  Outside groups in campaigns are “an abomination”  Then proceeds to make negative comments about Romney/Ryan.

Ryan: Thank you for your service, we’ll give resources to our military.  Obama is no longer hope and change, broken promises on taxes, deficit and other stuff. Leaders run to problems to fix problems – not getting leadership from Obama.

Biden: Ryan budgets would eviserate the middle class – increases tax cuts for the very wealthy.

Dan E. Way - 10:27 PM

Ryan: Not raising taxes is not cutting taxes.

Dan E. Way - 10:27 PM

Closing question. Are candidates embarrassed about the tone of campaign rhetoric?

Biden: only one truly sacred obligation of the government, to equip military properly and bring them home safely. Military personnel shouldn’t be thrown into 47 percent of those not paying taxes (another jab at the Romney quote). Biden hits PAC money and “scurrilous” things they say as an “abomination.” Romney takes care of only the wealthy, and not middle class. “There are things that have been said in campaigns that I think are not very appealing.”

Ryan: Obama promised hope and change but has delivered attack blame and defame instead. “you see if you don’t have a good record to run on, then you paint your opponent’s campaign as something to run from.” Obama has 12 of 21 tax increases hitting middle class under Obamacare. He promised to cut deficit in half but has piled up four consecutive trillion debts. We are heading to fiscal crisis. Obama has put forth no credible plan to prevent debt crisis. Under Obama get speeches, not plans. Obama broke his biggest promise of bringing country together.


Rick Henderson - 10:27 PM

Ryan using the great line that Obama didn’t offer a budget, he offered a speech; when the CBO was asked to evaluate the plan, it said, “we can’t evaluate a speech.”

Barry Smith - 10:22 PM

Ryan: Unelected judges shouldn’t make the decision on abortion. Elected legislators should.

Biden: Next president will have one to two appointments on the Supreme Court, and Roe v. Wade hangs by a thread.

Becki Gray - 10:21 PM

Catholic question – how does your religion factor in, position on abortion.

Ryan: can’t seperate faith from who you are. First born Liza (bean) made him understand when life begins. Oppose abortion except in case of rape incest life of mother.  opposes regulations in ObamaCare thae impose on religious freedoms.

Biden: his religion defines who he is, formed his social doctrine – take care of those who can’t help themselves, life begins at conception but won’t impose it on others.

Ryan: unelected officials shouldn’t make decisions on legality of abortion. Biden says next president will appoint Supreme Court judges who won;t overrule Roe v Wade

Dan E. Way - 10:20 PM

Ryan said exceptions of rape, incest and life of mother are inherent in Romney policy.


Rick Henderson - 10:20 PM

Raddatz asking both how their Catholicism played roles in their positions on abortion. Good question.

Ryan goes after religious freedom infringements in Obamacare. Hits Biden for his “not second guessing” China on one-child policy.

Biden: I refuse to impose my religion’s position on abortion on others. Re: Obamacare — there’s no infringement on religious freedom. Said “my friend” again.

Barry Smith - 10:20 PM

Social issues coming up. What roles have your religion played in your view of abortion?
Ryan: “It’s not simply because of my faith.” “I respect people who don’t agree with me on this.” Administration would oppose abortion, with few exception. Ryan hits on Obama administration about attacks on religious freedoms.

Biden: Accepts church’s position on abortion for his personal life, but not for others. Says no churches have to pay for contraception.

Really? You mean they’re going to be free?

Dan E. Way - 10:19 PM

Raddatz asks what role their personal, Catholic views have on abortion. “Please talk personally about this if you could.”

Ryan: “I don’t see how a person can separate their personal life from their public life.” He’s not pro-life only because of his Catholic faith. But also due to reason and science. When saw 7-week ultrasound of their baby 10 years ago they were happy. He believes in sanctity of life, and life begins at conception. Obamacare assaults religious liberties of the country, “they’re infringing on our first freedom. . . our church should not have to sue the federal government” to protect religious liberty. VP went to China and said he wouldn’t second guess their policy of forced abortions and one-child only and that is “pretty extreme.”

Biden said Catholic social doctrine talks about taking care of those who can’t take care of self. He supports in his personal life life begins at conception. But refuses to impose that on others. He said no religious institution has to refer contraception, pay for it, or be vehicle to dispense contraception in any policy they provide.

Barry Smith - 10:14 PM

Ryan again hits on America’s credibility. “We should not have waited for Arusha to give us the green light.” It’s got to be in the national interest of the American people for intervention.

Dan E. Way - 10:14 PM

What happens if Assad does not fall:

Ryan: U.S. will lose credibility, Iran will maintain it greatest ally. Should have worked with dissidents in Syria early on instead of calling Assad a reformer, shouldn’t have waited for Russia to give us green light to do anything. Embargos and sanctions would be effective.


Becki Gray - 10:13 PM

Questions about Syria..

Biden says it’s bigger, heavily populated, wrong people get control could cause regional war. Attempting to identify who deserves help. Last thing we need is another war in the middle east. Romney says he wouldn’t do anything different.

Ryan says no one is proposing to send our troops to Syria.  The longer it goes on, the worse it gets, more Syrians are dead.

Biden says all our allies on the same page, reset is working.


Dan E. Way - 10:12 PM

Civil war in Syria now on the table.

Biden said war there would seep into regional war. If it blows up and wrong people gain control, will have dangerous consequences. “Assad will go” as leader. He called it “loose talk” by Romney and Ryan that U.S. should be doing more. Would need to be ground war to make a difference. “Are they proposing putting American troops on the ground . . . if they do they should say so.”

Ryan: “Nobody is proposing to send troops to Syria, American troops.” Assad not reformer by killing his own people with Russian weapons. Syria  turned Hillary Clinton aside when she came there. Now more foreign fighters are flooding into Syria. Lack of a better plan in working with allies, giving veto power to Russians, has resulted in tens of thousands more Syrians dead. We shouldn’t have gone through U.N. while killings took place.

Barry Smith - 10:12 PM

Why not treat Syria they way we did Libya?
Biden: “Because it is a different country.” Then he uses the phrase “loose talk” again.
Ryan: “Nobody is proposing to send troops to Syria, American forces.” Ryan says we would not go through the UN.

Rick Henderson - 10:09 PM

Biden really wants to let an F-bomb fly.

Rick Henderson - 10:09 PM

Ryan chiding Biden for leaving Afghan troops instead of U.S. forces in hot spots. Afghans are shooting U.S. soldiers.

Becki Gray - 10:07 PM

Biden and Raddutz arguing over surge and withdrawal of forces in Afghanistan.

Ryan steps in, fighting season is in warm weather, fewer people to hot spots, putting out troops in danger.  Biden says it’s Afghans’ responsibility, not ours.

Barry Smith - 10:07 PM

Ryan criticizes pulling troops out.
Biden says that was because the Afghanis have been trained to fight.

Becki Gray - 10:04 PM

Afghanistan now…

Ryan says what they’ve accomplished is amazing, can’t lose ground. 2014 transition must be successful so terrorism does not grow again. Commanders must have what they need to be successful. Shouldn’t put a date on the calender for our enemies to be emboldened.

Biden says it’s up to the Afghans to take care of their own security, We are leaving in 2014 period. It’s their responsibility, not ours.

Is taliban taking advantage of us?  Biden says we have to step up and leave.


Dan E. Way - 10:03 PM

Biden says without a timeline, others in the region won’t step up. “That’s the only way it works,” is by demanding Afghans stand up and take accountability.

Barry Smith - 10:03 PM

Biden: unless you set a timeline, Afghanistan won’t step up.

Rick Henderson - 10:03 PM

Ryan: We don’t want to broadcast a departure date and let our enemies wait us out. Biden: We’re leaving. Bank on it.

Dan E. Way - 10:02 PM

Ryan said they don’t want to go beyond 2014. But don’t want to put date on calendar to allow enemies to wait out the timeline, emboldening them.

Barry Smith - 10:01 PM

Biden: “We are leaving in 2014, period.”
Ryan: “We want to make sure 2014 is successful.”

Dan E. Way - 10:00 PM

Question moves to Afghanistan. More than 2,000 dead. Is it worth more American lives to stay there?

Ryan said don’t want to lose gains that were made. Troops have done “an incredible job.” Are skeptical about negotiations with Taliban, especially when they are shooting at U.S. troops. Don’t want to see Afghanistan become launching pad for terrorists again.

Biden said we went to Afghanistan for one reason: to get al Qaeda and eliminate bin Laden, while helping to train Afghan security. Have agreed to gradual drawdown by 2014. Romney-Ryan want conditions on withdrawal, Obama-Biden say it’s Afghan problem and responsibility to solve. “We are leaving in 2014, period.”

Becki Gray - 9:57 PM

On to defense.

Ryan says cuts to defense invites weakness. Don;t cut it by a trillion dollars

Biden says this was part of a debt deal.  Joint chiefs of staff said they wanted a smaller, leaner military.

Barry Smith - 9:57 PM

Biden is trying to be more aggressive, possibly to compensate for Obama’s lackluster performance last week.
Not sure it’s working.

Dan E. Way - 9:56 PM

Question now defense. Ryan said if Obama defense cuts go through our Navy will be smallest it’s been since WW I.

Biden said Obama doesn’t cut defense budget.

Becki Gray - 9:55 PM

Ryan running circles around Biden on tax policy.

Biden says numbers don;t add up.  Ryan says they do and explains how it works. Biden laughs.

Biden says millionaires don’t need their money – middle class does – give it to them.

Ryan says their taxes affect millions of small businesses, families making 0,000.

Biden laughs.

Barry Smith - 9:54 PM

Biden says that the more wealthy “do not need” their own money.
Bit it’s their money, Joe.

Dan E. Way - 9:54 PM

This is starting to sound like Crossfire, or one of those annoying screamathon shows, not a vice presidential debate. Biden won’t let Ryan talk, talks over him, not allowing this to be a debate.

Rick Henderson - 9:53 PM

Raddatz: What would you propose besides higher taxes on the rich?

Biden: That’s pretty much it.

Barry Smith - 9:53 PM

Ryan talks about bipartisanship, telling Biden that they aren’t used to working in a bipartisan way.

Dan E. Way - 9:53 PM

Biden said Romney won’t cut loopholes. He said health care deduction, mortgage tax deduction will be eliminated to meet Romney budget plan.

Rick Henderson - 9:52 PM

Biden is such a jerk. I said it.

Dan E. Way - 9:50 PM

Ryan said 28 percent tax on families and businesses is enough. Obama thinks 48 percent is enough. There aren’t enough rich people and small businesses to tax to pay for all of their spending. . .  Watch out middle class, the tax bill is coming to you.” Average tax in industrialized world is 25 percent. Obama tax will cost 710,000 jobs and doesn’t pay for 10 percent of proposed deficit increases.

There are several studies that disprove Biden’s continued reference to a trillion tax cut, as well as campaign managers admitting it, Ryan said.

Ryan said Romney has plan that six studies verify the math will work out.

Rick Henderson - 9:49 PM

Raddatz asks for specifics from Ryan. Biden laughs again.

Becki Gray - 9:49 PM

Taxes now.

Biden says middle class will get tax breaks. R/R will have tax cuts for “super wealthy” and tax increases on the middle class.

Ryan’s plan will create jobs, leave small business income in small business, quit spending so much. Don;t raise the deficit.

Biden continues with the smirking and laughing. Out loud.

Barry Smith - 9:49 PM

Biden says the middle class will pay less in taxes and the rich will pay more.
Does anyone really believe that the middle class won’t pay more taxes? What about the Obamacare mandate?
Ryan says they think that the government taking 28 percent of income is enough.

Rick Henderson - 9:49 PM

Ryan: Obama wants to raise tax rate on successful small biz about 40%; most other countries tax at 25%.

Rick Henderson - 9:48 PM

Biden: Tax cuts for wealthy are unconscionable.

Ryan: If you tax top earners at 100% you still can’t balance the budget. Tax bill will come to you if tax rates go up.

Dan E. Way - 9:47 PM

Biden said middle class will pay less and those making million or more will pay more under second term. 0 billion of continued tax cuts go to those making million or more. Want to extend permanently middle-class tax cut, but Republicans “are holding hostage the middle class tax cut to the super wealthy.”

“The middle class got knocked on their heels, the great recession crushed them” and rich don’t need more tax cuts.

Rick Henderson - 9:45 PM

Biden now interrupting Raddatz.

Becki Gray - 9:45 PM

Biden says they made system solvent til 2033.  Will not be part of any voucher program – won’t keep pace with health care cost.  Or privitize social security.

Ryan says no changes for seniors now, phase in changes for those in 40s now.

Biden looks at camera, asks who ya gonna trust?  Laughs some more.

Ryan says we’re not going to jepordize the program.

Biden laughs.

Barry Smith - 9:45 PM

Ryan accuses Biden of scare tactics.
Not the first time that’s ever happened.

Dan E. Way - 9:45 PM

Biden effectively talking to people by staring directly into camera and inviting seniors to listen to him.

Ryan said “we are not going to jeopardize this program.”

Rick Henderson - 9:44 PM

Ryan running against Mediscare tactics, and Biden keeps trying to interrupt. Coming off like a jackass.

Barry Smith - 9:43 PM

Ryan wants younger Americans to have choices, such as in Medicre.
Biden says it will cut benefits.

Rick Henderson - 9:43 PM

Ryan: Using one of Obama’s statements from 2008 about stale ideas against Biden.

Biden keeps trying to interrupt. Don’t know how that’s playing with the public.

Dan E. Way - 9:43 PM

Ryan said Obama’s own words were if you don’t have fresh ideas you bring out old scare tactics, hitting Biden on his remarks.

Dan E. Way - 9:42 PM

Why not raise Medicare age by two years, slowly as Ryan suggests, Raddatz asks Biden.

Biden said won’t be part of any voucher plan for Medicare or privatization of Social Security.

Barry Smith - 9:41 PM

Of course Ryan is doing his share of interrupting too.

Becki Gray - 9:41 PM

Ryan explaining reform of medicare and ObamaCare.  Says there is democrats’ support.

Biden laughs.

Biden says seniors aren’t losing choices. Laughs.


Dan E. Way - 9:40 PM

Biden still interrupting. Poor form.

Becki Gray - 9:40 PM

Biden says ObamaCare extends life of medicare to 2024, more benefits for seniors. Says Romney/Ryan plan is a voucher plan. “Folks folllow your instincts” says Biden.  In other words, let government take care of you.

Ryan comes back with figures on R/R proposals to fix medicare.

Biden laughs.

Dan E. Way - 9:39 PM

Ryan said Obama’s own actuary said 1 of 6 hospitals and nursing homes will go out of business under Obamacare. Biden keeps interrupting and Ryan calls him out on it. Biden looks bad.

Barry Smith - 9:39 PM

Biden keeps interruption. Ryan says Bidenisunder duress.

Rick Henderson - 9:39 PM

Ryan: They got caught with their hands in the cookie jar, taking money from Medicare to Obamacare.

Biden trying to talk over him.

Dan E. Way - 9:38 PM

Biden said seniors have more benefits today than before, and Romney-Ryan wipe that all out.

CBO said ,400 more per year will be paid by seniors under voucher system, Biden says.

Who you going to believe? Biden asks.

Regarding Social Security: We will not privatize. “Their ideas are old and their ideas are bad.”

Barry Smith - 9:38 PM

Biden brings up “that death panel argument.” Then he talks about AARP supporting Obamacare.
Yeah they did, and they have a financial interest in it.

Rick Henderson - 9:37 PM

Ryan: Rather have 50 million seniors determine their medical plans than 15 bureaucrats.

Dan E. Way - 9:36 PM

Question is whether Medicare and Social Security will have to change to survive.

Ryan says “absolutely.” But they need reform to survive. He said his family has benefited from them. “We will honor” them, he said. People close to retirement will not lose Medicare. Obama will rifle 6 billion from Medicare, and will install board of 15 people who aren’t even required to have medical training who will make decisions for healthcare. Ryan says people should be able to choose plans: choice and competition. Should have 50 million seniors choosing their own care, not 15 unelected people on a board telling them what their options are.

Becki Gray - 9:36 PM

Ryan talking about medicare, helped family members, have to reform so it will be there in the future and seniors now.  Cites harm to medicare in ObamaCare, Wants choice and competition to make it better.

Biden laughs.

Barry Smith - 9:36 PM

Ryan: “Absolutely” Medicare and Social Security will have to change. He advocates reforming it for his generation. Ryan says Obamacare board will figure out how to cut Medicare more.

Rick Henderson - 9:36 PM

Now it’s on to Medicare: Ryan bring up 6 billion, IPAB, inevitable cuts in Medicare if system goes broke. Focus on reforms for younger people.

Becki Gray - 9:34 PM

Ryan talking about wasted stimulus money, cronyism.  Biden laughs, accuses Ryan of asking for stimulus $, laughs some more.  WIndmills in China, borrow from China, good ideas?  Biden says it created green jobs, laughs again.

Dan E. Way - 9:33 PM

Ryan asks whether it was good idea to borrow money from China to pay for stimulus, and pay for projects overseas with that money?

Rick Henderson - 9:33 PM

Ryan coming back hard on cronyism. Biden said the stimulus was needed.

Dan E. Way - 9:33 PM

Biden scores on point that Ryan asked for stimulus program money for state of Wisconsin.

Barry Smith - 9:33 PM

What Joe? No evidence of cronyism.
Ryan admits to advocates for stimulus money for constituents.

Rick Henderson - 9:32 PM

Biden pulls the “my friend” trick again. Starting to sound condesending.

Dan E. Way - 9:32 PM

Ryan said Obama-Biden had control of both houses of Congress for two years, passed the plans it wanted and they promised would fix economy, and it hasn’t worked.

Becki Gray - 9:31 PM

Ryan says Romney is a good person. Says Biden, if anyone, knows sometimes the words don’t come out of your mouth the way you intended.  Biden and the audience laugh.  First time Biden’s laughter is appropriate.

Rick Henderson - 9:31 PM

Ryan: Dems controlled everything for the first two years they were in office and look what happened.

Dan E. Way - 9:31 PM

Biden said he’s never seen two people more down on the U.S. than Romney and Ryan. Insists Obama saved auto industry. “Show me a policy where you take responsibility.” Says Ryan voted on tax cut for wealthy, two wars on a credit card, prescription drug plan that blew budget out.

Dan E. Way - 9:29 PM

Ryan said unemployment in Biden’s hometown went from 8.5 percent to 10 percent since Obama took office. Economy growing at 1.3 percent, which is slower than last year, which was lower than year before. 15 percent of Americans living in poverty. Deficit and debt need to be brought under control. Don’t raise taxes in recession. Ryan said Romney is a car guy and knows about Detroit. “Mitt Romney is a good man,” and cares about all Americans. Ryan gets big audience chuckle in responding to Biden’s 47 percent reference”I think the vice president knows sometimes the words don’t come out the right way.”

Barry Smith - 9:29 PM

Ryan: “I think the Vice President very well knows that the words don’t always come out the right way.”

Rick Henderson - 9:29 PM

Good zinger from Ryan: The vice president knows, sometimes the words don’t come out of your mouth the way that you seem.

Barry Smith - 9:27 PM

Now on the economy.
Biden brings up the 47 percent comment. He says it’s about time they take some responsibility.
What has the administration taken responsibility for?
Biden butts-in again.
Ryan says, “The economy is barely limping along… This is not what a real recovery looks like.”

Becki Gray - 9:27 PM

Biden saved people’s homes and the automobile industry.  Going off on the 47% comments, Romney’s taxes and taxing the middle class – he rehearsed this one – more than once.

Ryan says unemployment is worse now than four years ago.  Biden says unemployment is going down and ready? laughs.

Rick Henderson - 9:27 PM

Ryan: Unemployment rate in Biden’s home town is worse than it was when Biden took office. Biden keeps laughing at Ryan. Wonder if that’ll play like Gore’s sighs did in 2000.

Rick Henderson - 9:26 PM

OK, who had Grover Norquist mention in 1st 20 minutes of debate?

Meantime, Biden pulling out  all the Dem talking points in one response. Impressive.

Dan E. Way - 9:25 PM

Question is whether can lower unemployment to under 6 percent.

Biden says economy was in freefall when they took office. Rescued GM, cut taxes for middle class, helped people refinance their homes. He brings up the Romney 47 percent quote. He said elderly people pay more effective tax rate than Romney. Said he’s had it up to here with talk about people not paying their fair share.

Rick Henderson - 9:25 PM

Biden calling Ryan “my friend,” pulling the Senate snark.

Becki Gray - 9:24 PM

Moving on to jobs.  Waiting to see if Biden thinks the economy is as funny as he thinks national security is.

Rick Henderson - 9:24 PM

Whoa. Raddatz dropping the 6% line on Biden and Ryan (projected by Obama in 2009).

Biden saying ‘we inherited a huge mess.’

Barry Smith - 9:23 PM

Biden keeps trying to butt-in. Ryan doesn’t let him.
Biden says was should be a last resort.

Dan E. Way - 9:23 PM

Biden continues saying Iran crippled, and can’t bluff Obama.

Rick Henderson - 9:23 PM

Biden: Dropping “Bibi” again. This president doesn’t bluff.

Dan E. Way - 9:22 PM

Nuclear-armed Iran will lead to nuke race in Middle East, Ryan says.

Dan E. Way - 9:22 PM

Ryan says Obama administration displays equivocation, which gives encouragement to ayatollahs to continue.

Barry Smith - 9:21 PM

Biden’s reference about “loose talk” isn’t convincing.

Becki Gray - 9:21 PM

Again with Biden and the big smirks as Ryan talks about real threats to our country’s security.  Biden apparently thinks nuclear threats are a drinking game or a big joke.

Bibi has been Biden’s friend for 30 years so…not to worry, everything’s okay. Biden tells everybody to settle down.

Rick Henderson - 9:21 PM

Raddatz says Biden’s acting as if Iran doesn’t want a nuke. Good one.

Barry Smith - 9:21 PM

Biden: We will not allow the Iranians to get a nuclear weapon.”

Dan E. Way - 9:21 PM

Biden says ayatollahs see world united in opposition against Iran, and that he and Obama have met with Netanyahu several times. Iran more isolated today than when Obama took office.

Rick Henderson - 9:19 PM

Biden: Obama’s spoken to Bibi as much as he’s spoken to anybody. Fact check?

It’s a bunch of stuff. Irish call it malarkey.

Rick Henderson - 9:18 PM

Biden laughs way too much.

Dan E. Way - 9:18 PM

Ryan said ayatollahs moving faster towards nuclear weapon, see administration watering down sanctions in Congress, see president going on talk show instead of meeting with PM Netanyahu, hear president talking about putting space between U.S. and Israel, so they don’t take U.S. threats seriously.

Rick Henderson - 9:18 PM

Ryan hits Obama for blowing off Netanyahu and going on a talk show. Zing!

Barry Smith - 9:17 PM

Biden refers to talk about Iran as “loose talk.”

Rick Henderson - 9:17 PM

Biden promises not to disclose classified info during the debate, which may be a sound idea.

Dan E. Way - 9:17 PM

Biden says “we feel quite confident we could deal a serious blow to the Iranians.” But military intelligence says Iran “a good bit away” from having nukes. “There is no weapon that the Iranians have at this point” and Israel agrees, he said. “We will not let them acquire a nuclear weapon, period.”

Becki Gray - 9:17 PM

Ryan is very serious about his responses in how to prevent war..  Biden smirks, laughs, goofy grins as Ryan answers questions in thoughtful manner.  Ryan is the guy I want in charge if there is a crisis in this country.

Biden “can’t talk about classified information”  Who the hell would tell this guy any secrets?

Barry Smith - 9:16 PM

On Iran and nuclear weapons:
Ryan says the administration has delayed sanctions and “has no credibility on this issue.”
Biden refers to the Republican Congress. Doesn’t he realize that the Senate has a majority of Democrats?

Dan E. Way - 9:15 PM

How effective would military strike be against Iran, is the quetion. Ryan said sanctions against Iran total 7, Iran closer to nukes still. Ryan said he’s pushed in Congress for higher sanctions. Administration says all options on the table, but send mixed signals. Goal is to change direction peacefully, but administration watered down sanctions and lacks credibility because mullahs don’t believe U.S. will use military force.

Rick Henderson - 9:15 PM

Biden: Smiles at Ryan, says his claims are incredible.

Dan E. Way - 9:13 PM

Ryan says U.S. knew 9/11 anniversary was a high-risk date, that Libya was a haven for al Qaeda, and yet Obama administration rejected appeals for more security.

Barry Smith - 9:12 PM

Ryan says Obama is making us look weak.
Biden says it’s “a bunch of malarkey.” Then he says Ryan’s budget would cut security.
Biden says the intelligence told the that it was a protest. “We did not know they wanted more security.” Then he says “we will get to the bottom of this.”
Ryan says yes we should apologize for desecrating corpses, but not for our values.

Rick Henderson - 9:12 PM

Ryan: This was the anniversary of 9/11, we knew there were AQ cells in Libya and we didn’t give our ambassador more support.

Dan E. Way - 9:12 PM

Raddatz hammers Biden on why Obama administration stuck to the video excuse when it was apparent from the start there was no protest. Biden blames intelligence community, and Obama administration only passed out what they were told by intelligence officials. Said Romney took political advantage of a situation when the country should have been coming together.

Rick Henderson - 9:11 PM

Biden: We weren’t told the embassy wanted more security. We said what intel community said they knew. We made it clear what we knew when we knew it.

Rick Henderson - 9:10 PM

Biden: Intel community told us there were protesters. The view evolved!

Rick Henderson - 9:10 PM

Biden calling Obama “this guy.”

Dan E. Way - 9:10 PM

Biden said Ryan cut embassy security 0 million less than Obama administration wanted, so Ryan shouldn’t be lecturing. He said he doesn’t understand what Ryan refers to as weaknesses in foreign policy, and that Obama has repaired relations around the world.

Rick Henderson - 9:09 PM

Ryan: It’s never too early to speak up for our values. Romney was not out of line for putting out a statement when he did.

Biden: That’s a bunch of malarkey. It’s all inaccurate.


Dan E. Way - 9:08 PM

Biden’s goofy grin again.

Barry Smith - 9:08 PM

Libya is the first question. Was it a massive intelligence failure?
Biden briefly somewhat addresses the question, but spends most of the time talking about Iraq and bin Laden.
Ryan hits on the initial government report saying it was because of the YouTube video. It took two weeks to acknowledge it was a terrorist attack. “It’s indicative of a broader problem.”

Dan E. Way - 9:07 PM

“It took the president two weeks to acknowledge this a terrorist attack,” Ryan said. Obama went to U.N. and six times blamed the YouTube video, now blaming Romney-Ryan ticket for the Libyan disaster. Biden grins goofily over Ryan’s remarks. Ryan said we owe gratitude to military. Said he and Romney agree with 2014 timeline, but don’t want to project weakness. Obama foreign policy is unraveling, and making Americans less safe, Ryan said.

Rick Henderson - 9:07 PM

Ryan: Benghazi is a tragedy on itself, but now it’s suggesting US weakness.

Rick Henderson - 9:06 PM

Ryan: Obama blamed video for two weeks, including before the UN. First they blamed YouTube for Benghazi, now they’re blaming us.

Rick Henderson - 9:06 PM

Biden: Obama killed OBL. Romney’s done bupkis.

Dan E. Way - 9:05 PM

Raddatz goes for the gold right from the start. Asks Biden if this wasn’t a policy disaster. Biden says it was a tragedy. Will find those responsible and get them, make clear to American public that whatever mistakes were made won’t be made again. President’s most important job is security of country, he says. Biden says Obama got us out of Iraq. Will get us out of Afghanistan. President made getting Osama bin Laden highest priority. Romney was on wrong side of all those issues, Biden says. He says Obama has steady hand and clear vision, and insinuated Romney a warmonger: “The last thing we need is another war.”

Rick Henderson - 9:05 PM

Raddatz begins with Libya. Biden up first. Wasn’t this a massive intel failure?

Biden: True it was a tragedy. Two commitments: 1) We’ll bring perps to justice. 2) Wherever facts lead us, we’ll level with the American public. Obama ended war in Iraq.

Biden not answering question but reading laundry list of Obama’s FP accomplishments.

Rick Henderson - 9:03 PM

And here  they come, both smiling as they shake hands at center stage.

Dan E. Way - 9:03 PM

Candidates meet center stage, shake hands and grin widely.


Dan E. Way - 9:02 PM

Martha Raddatz lays out the ground rules for the debate. Foreign and domestic policy, 9 segments.

Rick Henderson - 9:01 PM

OK, my suggested drinking game: Take a swig every time Biden says “Joey,” and every time Ryan reflexively reaches for a white board eraser.

Barry Smith - 8:57 PM

We’re ready for another debate, this one between the two men who aspire to be a heartbeat from the presidency. I’ll listen, blog, and on occasion sneak a peak at the MLB playoff game between the Orioles and the Yankees.

Rick Henderson - 8:40 PM

A lot of pre-debate comparisons with the 1998 Bentsen-Quayle debate, with the roles reversed: the elder Biden is considered the Quayle in this contest. That’s wishful thinking by conservatives. Biden has performed well in earlier debates, even though he’s been factually challenged. If anything, the demeanor of the candidates may determine the winner, at least in the eyes of those who don’t follow presidential politics obsessively.

Rick Henderson - 10:40 PM

And with that, we’re done liveblogging until the next one, which I believe is Oct. 11, the vice presidential debate. Thanks for joining us!

Rick Henderson - 10:36 PM

BTW, Lehrer stayed out of their way. Did really well, in my view, and let them address each other directly.

Dan E. Way - 10:33 PM

Romney’s summation is that he is concerned about the direction of America, and two paths “that lead in very different directions” If president re-elected Americans will continue to see “middle-class squeeze.” More jobs lost. “If I’m elected we won’t have Obamacare.” Will focus on getting costs of health care down. 4 million people will lose Medicare Advantage under Obama and health care premiums will rise. Military jobs will be lost if Obama re-elected. Romney will not cut military.

Barry Smith - 10:33 PM

My take: Obama struggled and struggled a bit. Romney seemed to be the aggressor.

Becki Gray - 10:32 PM

Obama’s closing remarks:  If you vote for me, I promise I’ll fight just as hard during a second term.

Romney’s: Promises to get incomes up, help create 12M jobs, no ObamaCare, more states’ rights, military strength.

There you go.

Rick Henderson - 10:32 PM

Obama’s closing statement is becoming a laundry list, not delivered very well. Sounds like he’s ticking off a list.


Romney’s closing argument: Election is bigger than just two men. What kind of America do you want for you and your children? Two paths leading in different directions. We’ll see lower unemployment and less of a middle class squeeze. Romney’s also giving a laundry list. Not sure his approach worked any better than Obama’s.

Barry Smith - 10:32 PM

Closing statements.

Obama: He brings up someone he met in a few battleground states, including North Carolina. Efforts are designed to make sure the American people have an opportunity to succeed and play by the same rules.

Romney: It’s an election about the course of America. The two paths lead in very different direction. He lists off examples of economic woes, problems with Obamacare.

Dan E. Way - 10:30 PM

In summation, Obama again emphasizes he inherited a bad economy, but that he has faith in the “genius, grit and determination” of American people. Everybody needs a fair share and to play under the same rules. he said he’s kept the promise to fight every single day for American people. From the golf course, one might suppose.

Becki Gray - 10:28 PM

Obama repealed Don’t ask, Don’t tell.  Romney will repeal ObamaCare.  Clear difference in leadership and governing.

Dan E. Way - 10:28 PM

Legislative paralysis has nation in gridlock Lehrer wants to know how the candidates would handle that.

Romney: Worked with 87 percent Democratic legislature. He would meet every week with legislative leaders. “we have to work on a collaborative basis,” not to abandon principles, but to find common ground. “We need to have leadership in Washington that will actually bring people together. .. I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again.”

Obama: Romney will have trouble getting bipartisan help if he kills Obamacare because many Democrats support it.” Said there has been progress even under GOP leadership of House. “Occasionally you have to say no” to both parties.

Rick Henderson - 10:27 PM

Shorter Obama: I’ll listen to anybody, but if I don’t like it, then too bad.

Rick Henderson - 10:27 PM

How will you work across the aisle?


Romney: I’ll meet with leaders from both parties every week, not to compromise principles, but to find issues that must be settled.

Obama: I’ll take ideas from anybody.

Barry Smith - 10:27 PM

Now we get into gridlock. That’s not a bad word for me.

Romney says he’ll sit down with leaders of both parties. “We have to work on a collaborative basis.”

Obama: “I will take ideas from anybody.” The caveat: as long as it’s advancing the cause of the middle class.

Becki Gray - 10:25 PM

Has Romney been reading JLF?  School choice, money follows the child, government should not pick winners and losers.

Dan E. Way - 10:24 PM

Romney tells Obama he’s entitled to his own airplane and house, but not to his own facts. He said hs plan does not include education cuts. Throws budget choices back at Obama, sayng the billion he spent on failed green energy companies would have done a lot for education. Obama looks miffed at Romney’s line of attack. Romney again notes Mass. schools are No. 1 in the nation.

Barry Smith - 10:23 PM

Romney’s not going to cut education funding.

That seems a bit inconsistent with his assertion that education is primarily the responsibility of the states and local governments.

Rick Henderson - 10:23 PM

Romney: The billion you’ve put into green jobs could have hired a lot of teachers, esp. when the money gets to your contributors.

Dan E. Way - 10:22 PM

Obama again says “budgets reflect choices.” Cutting taxes for people like him and Romney affects education budgets.

Rick Henderson - 10:20 PM

Romney: Federal govt to have a role. Kids getting federal funds because they’re low income should have school choice.


Obama: Federal government has a significant role to play. Budgets reflect choices, cuts to taxes for the rich will cut federal education spending. Dodging question.

Dan E. Way - 10:19 PM

Romney supports school choice. Money should follow the child to school of their choice.

Dan E. Way - 10:18 PM

Romney rejects Obama’s notion that he doesn’t support education — Mass. ranked No. 1 in nation.

He talks about Constitution and Declaration of Independence. Romney doesn’t believe in cutting military but maintaining its strength. He said need to maintain commitment to religious tolerance and freedom. Talks about “endowed by Creator” and how Americans care for one another.

“It’s not working” to have federal government central planners make decisions that individuals should make. Outcome of that is 1 in 6 Americans now in poverty, food stamp participation escalating, 23 million Americans out of work . . . .

Barry Smith - 10:18 PM

Romney’s doing well on taking the Declaration of Independence’s inalienable rights.

Rick Henderson - 10:17 PM

Obama: blah blah blah

Romney: Look at the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Life. liberty — we must retain our commitment to religious tolerance. And care for those who have problems and challenges, to preserve the pursuit of happiness and to pursue their dreams. Trickle down government is not better than individuals pursuing their own dreams. Too many unemployed, on food stamps, with college degrees and not working.

Barry Smith - 10:16 PM

Obama says we need more teachers, and that is where the federal government could help.

Romney says the states can do that better.

Dan E. Way - 10:15 PM

On the question of the proper role of government, Obama said genius of America is free enterprise system. But he said even in middle of Civil War Abraham Lincoln started land grant colleges, continential railroad and National Academy of Sciences because America does some things better together. He segues into the need to hire more teachers, something Romney opposes.

Barry Smith - 10:14 PM

Obama: first role of the federal government is to keep the American people safe.

Dan E. Way - 10:13 PM

Romney invokes the Tenth Amendment over the issue of federal government taking over health care. Kudos. Respect for the Constitution.

Rick Henderson - 10:13 PM

Obama question on role of government: 1st role is to keep people safe (and then, not mentioning Benghazi, moves on)

Rick Henderson - 10:13 PM

Romney: sweeping aside the 10th Amendment is a bad model for the nation. Paul supporters swoon again.

Barry Smith - 10:12 PM

The Gorman Street Pub has almost emptied out. Obama and Romney couldn’t hold their attention, I guess. There are still a few political junkies here.

Rick Henderson - 10:11 PM

Romney: My way or the highway won’t work. Basic principles are better when you work out the details later.


Rick Henderson - 10:10 PM

Obama hitting Romney on absence of details on policies. This may work if people think Obama’s answers are better than Romney’s uncertainty.

Barry Smith - 10:10 PM

Obama says Romney is wrong on Preexisting conditions. “That doesn’t help the millions out there that already have Preexisting conditions.”

Dan E. Way - 10:09 PM

Romey said pre-existing conditions are covered under his plan, and young people could stay on parents’ plan, something already available in private market without government mandate. “In my opinion, the government is not effective in bringing down the cost of anything” and private market does that best. He used Obama’s own example of Cleveland Clinic against him, saying that was the free market at work. “THe right answer is not to have the federal government take over health care” and mandate to doctors and hospitals the type of treatment they must provide.

Barry Smith - 10:09 PM

Obama: Romney says replace it, but he hasn’t said what he’ll replace it with.

Romney: Preexisting conditions would be covered.  Private market competing with each other will be better. “The right answer is not to have the federal government take over health care.”

Rick Henderson - 10:08 PM

Romney: Federal government should not mandate this.


Obama still on defensive about IPAB.

Rick Henderson - 10:08 PM

Romney: Young people can stay on parents’ plans if private sector says OK.


But the government board will decide what treatments can be offered. Free people and free enterprise brings down the cost; private market figures this out much better than government. American people can decide better than a government board of 15 people.


Dan E. Way - 10:06 PM

Obama said he used the same advisers and came up with the same plan for Obamacare that Romney implemented when he was governor. President said the unelected panel will come up with best practices. Increase in health care premiums is rising, he admitted, but said it is lower increase than at any time in recent history.

Rick Henderson - 10:06 PM

Obama’s stumbling in his defense of IPAB. He’s not doing well here.

Rick Henderson - 10:04 PM

Obama: This board (IPAB) will figure out how to reduce the cost of care in the system. Is he going to defend death panels?

Barry Smith - 10:03 PM

Romney notes bipartisanship, saying Obama didn’t. “We worked together,” Romney says.

“Something this big, this important has to be done on a bipartisan basis.”

Dan E. Way - 10:03 PM

Romney said in Massachusetts there was a bipartisan effort to approve health care reform. Obama didn’t do that, but rammed it down our throats instead. Romney said his plan didn’t raise taxes as Obama’s plan does, and didn’t cut money from Medicare. CBO says 20 million people will lost insurance next year due to Obamacare. Republicans put out a bipartisan plan to reform health care but it was swept aside.

Rick Henderson - 10:03 PM

Romney: Something this big should be done on a bipartisan basis.

Rick Henderson - 10:02 PM

Romney: My plan didn’t raise taxes by trillion or set up death panels or force 20 million people lose their own health plans.

Rick Henderson - 10:02 PM

Romney: Obamacare was a partisan bill that led to the election of a Republican senator.

Barry Smith - 10:01 PM

Romney: companies less likely to hire employees. “It has killed jobs.”

Obama: Families err worried about going bankrupt if they got sick. He hits on pre-existing conditions, limits. Insurance companies can’t jerk you around. “we’ve seen this model work really well, in Massachusetts.”

OK Romney, respond to that.

Dan E. Way - 10:01 PM

Obama said families told him they feared not having enough money to pay bills because insurance companies limit benefits, feared bankruptcy if faced by a major illness. Under Obamacare, people can keep their own plans. It limits administrative costs, and penalizes those who spend above a certain formula for administrative costs beyond actual health care payments.

Rick Henderson - 10:00 PM

Obama’s getting testy when Lehrer tried to cut him off. Says Romneycare is identical to Obamacare.

Dan E. Way - 9:58 PM

Romney again pledges to kill Obamacare. CBO said Obamacare will add to costs of insurance, not cut it. health costs already are rising. It cuts 6 billion from Medicare, which he would restore. Romney doesn’t like the unelected panel that would make decisions for everyone. Obamacare “has killed jobs,” and he doesn’t understand how Obama spent his first two years expending all his energies to pass the Affordable Care Act instead of helping the millions of American families financially ailing and out of work.

Rick Henderson - 9:58 PM

Romney wants to put money back in Medicare. IPAB is bad. Obamacare was a bad choice compared with jobs for Americans.

Dan E. Way - 9:56 PM

Dodd-Frank “is killing regional and small banks,” Romney said. Dodd-Frank said, correctly, qualified mortgages are essential, and Romney agrees. But two years later no definition has been given on what a qualified mortgage is, so lending is not happening, and that is an unintended consequence of the regulation that is harming the economy.

Barry Smith - 9:56 PM

Romney: No blank checks To banks.

Why should the banks be bailed out? They need to know if they make bad decisions, they’ll pay, not the taxpayers.

Rick Henderson - 9:55 PM

Obama defends Dodd-Frank all the way. We need more regulation of Wall Street.

Romney: I would never designate five banks as too big to fail and give them a blank check. The Ron Paul supporters hit the fainting check.

Unintended consequences of big policies. Great point for Romney.

Dan E. Way - 9:55 PM

Obama: reason we’re in such enormous economic difficulty is because of reckless actions by financial institutions. Banks made money “hand over fist” churning out products bankers didn’t even understand, which made entire system vulnerable. He made sure all loans to those banks will be paid back to the penny.

Barry Smith - 9:54 PM

Obama on the financial crisis: Banks were making loans they shouldn’t have made.

True that. And they were encouraged to do so by the federal government.

Dan E. Way - 9:52 PM

Question is candidates’ view on the level of regulation of the economy.

Romney said regulation “is essential.” “Every free economy” has good regulation. But legislation passed under Obama has become excessive and hurts the economy. Dodd-Frank says some banks are too big to fail, “the biggest kiss” to big banks he’s ever seen. Some parts of Dodd-Frank make sense: leverage limits and transparency among them.

Rick Henderson - 9:52 PM

Romney: Regulation essential for a free market to work properly. Regulation is excessive and out of date in some places. Dodd-Frank designates a number of banks as too big to fail. HE SAYS BANKS SHOULD NOT BE TOO BIG TO FAIL!!!

Barry Smith - 9:52 PM

Romney: “You can’t have a free market if you don’t have regulation.”


Barry Smith - 9:51 PM

Obama says Romney’s plan would put seniors at the mercy of insurance companies. He talks about AARP’s opposition to it.

Of course AARP has a financial stake in Obamacare.

Rick Henderson - 9:50 PM

Obama: Medicare has lower administrative costs (because Medicare has no incentive to deal with fraud, which is where private sector “profits” come from.)

Dan E. Way - 9:49 PM

Romney said he supports no change in Mediare and Obama supports removing 6 billion to prop up Obamacare. He supports two plans being offered to younger people. Romney said he’d rather not having government telling him what he can and can’t do with his medical benefits, so he wold choose a private plan that he could switch out if he’s unhappy. Getting competition into Medicare not a new concept. It was promoted by Bill Clinton’s chief of staff. Bam!

Rick Henderson - 9:49 PM

Romney: We need to means test for high income seniors. Competition for Medicare came from Bill Clinton’s chief of staff (Erskine Bowles!)

Barry Smith - 9:48 PM

A coupe of guys at the Gorman Street Pub are playing the drinking game, and turned their glasses up when “Obamacare” was mentioned.

Dan E. Way - 9:47 PM

Obama mentions Medicare voucher system proposed by Romney running mate Paul Ryan. He said insurers will not take on sickest patients, so Medicare will collapse under weight of flight of healthier seniors using vouchers. If you repeal Obamacare, seniors will pay 0 more for prescriptions and more for medical check-ups, and insurance companies will get billions back when they aren’t making seniors any healthier.

Rick Henderson - 9:47 PM

716 billion. Word Press is not cooperating.

Barry Smith - 9:47 PM

Romney: On Medicare, Obama is cutting 0M. Some hospitals/doctors won’t take more patients, rates will be lowered. He says it’s a mistake.

Obama: “He’d turn Medicare into a voucher plan.”

Is “voucher” a bad word?

“I don’t think vouchers are the way to go,” Ocar essays.

Rick Henderson - 9:46 PM

Obama: Voucher won’t keep up with health care inflation; but he’ll maintain traditional Medicare alongside voucher. You’ll have cherry-picking by insurance companies. My grandmother will be at mercy of private health care system.

Dan E. Way - 9:45 PM

Romney said neither he nor president is changing rules for those on Medicare or nearing Medicare age. Then he corrects himself. He referred to the 6 billion. Some 15 percent of hospitals and medical providers said they will take no more Medicare patients because that reduction is actually cuts in reimbursement rates. Romney would put that 6 billion back in Medicare. Using that money to float Obamacare is the wrong approach, and that’s what Obama is proposing, Romney said.

Rick Henderson - 9:45 PM

Obama: Romney’s premium support program is a voucher affecting people 55 or older.

Rick Henderson - 9:44 PM

Medicare cuts 6 billion

Rick Henderson - 9:44 PM

Romney: Seniors depend on entitlements. Neither of us are proposing any changes to any program that affects any current retiree or near-retirees. Medicare, though, Obama is cutting 6 billion in cuts to providers in Medicare, which will cut number of providers who will take Medicare patients. Medicare advantage gutted. This will affect current recipients.

Dan E. Way - 9:42 PM

Obama spins family story about a grandmother who was a vice president of a bank, but could live independently only because of Social Security and Medicare, so that flavors his view on what are called entitlements. He said were able to save 6 billion from Mediare by not overpaying insurance companies. This is the spin on his administration cutting 6 billion from Medicare, which they’ve denied.

Rick Henderson - 9:42 PM

Entitlements: (OH BOY)

Social Security?

Obama: Social Security will have to be tweaked but I want to talk about Medicare.


Barry Smith - 9:41 PM

Now we’re on Social Security.

Obama: “The basic structure is sound.”

What? How can you say that?

Dan E. Way - 9:40 PM

Romney said tax break for oil companies has been in place 100 years and is actually .8 billion. Obama has given some billion to green energy companies, “50 years worth” in solar and wind. Obama not just picking winners and losers, he’s just picking the losers. “The idea that you get a break for shipping jobs overseas is simply not the case.” Romney said he’s been in business long time and never heard of such a thing. Governors across political spectrum want Medicaid put back into states, not allowing central federal governemnt dictate. “The right approach” is allowing “the brilliance” of people and states to find solutions. Romney’s mastery of facts is beginning to show.

Rick Henderson - 9:39 PM

Romney: Governors can care for their own poor much better than federal bureaucrats. States are the labs of democracy. He’s on a roll here.

Barry Smith - 9:39 PM

Another Romney zinger: “You don’t just pick the wins and losers, you pick the losers.”

Rick Henderson - 9:38 PM

Romney: Solyndra, Tesla — you don’t just pick the winners and losers, you pick the losers.

Rick Henderson - 9:38 PM

Romney: Obama provided billion in breaks to green energy but big oil gets only .8 billion. Zing!

Dan E. Way - 9:37 PM

Obama says oil industry gets billion a year in corporate welfare, subsidies small businesses Romney champions don’t receive. “Why wouldn’t we want to eliminate that.” If you own a corporate jet, you should pay full freight not get a tax loophole. Again he hits Romney for not identifying specific tax loopholes he would close. He said most Americans would agree American companies shouldn’t get tax cuts for moving jobs overseas, as is now possible. “Budgets reflect choices.” If not asking for more taxes, need to come up with many cuts. “Severe hardship for people” that would not help America grow would be the outcome of not raising taxes, he said.

Rick Henderson - 9:37 PM

Now talking Medicaid policy.

Rick Henderson - 9:36 PM

Obama’s now talking about class size and textbooks, which has no correlation to federal tax policy.

Rick Henderson - 9:36 PM

You can eliminate a lot of corporate tax breaks and raise a lot of revenue, but not the ones Obama’s talking about.

Rick Henderson - 9:35 PM

Obama: Eliminate corporate tax breaks. Jets. (No money there.) Exxon. (Same tax breaks every other company gets.) Pure demagoguery.

Barry Smith - 9:35 PM

Romney seems to be doing a good job of explains basic economics, that if you have growth you get more revenue.

Obama calls his plan to reduce the budget a “balanced approach.” Then he hits on corporate welfare.

Dan E. Way - 9:34 PM

“The idea of taxing people more, putting more people out of work” will fail, Romney said. We are headed down the same path as Spain, a failing economy.

Rick Henderson - 9:34 PM

Romney: Revenue I get is from economic growth. You don’t get growth through higher tax rates.


Dan E. Way - 9:33 PM

Romney on Simpson-Bowles: “In my view the president should have grabbed that.” Romney said he has his own plan so he doesn’t need to embrace Simpson-Bowles. “We still show trillion deficits every year” after four years of Obama saying he has solutions. Romney reminds that Obama himself said “When you’re in a recession you shouldn’t raise taxes on anyone,” and economy growing more slowly now than when he made that statement and yet Obama wants to raise taxes.

Rick Henderson - 9:33 PM

Romney: You said when economy was in trouble, you shouldn’t raise taxes. Well, economy is doing worse than when you said that. Raising taxes kills jobs.

Barry Smith - 9:32 PM

Romney reminds Obama that he’s been president for four years and hasn’t cut the deficit like he said he would.

Rick Henderson - 9:32 PM

Romney: Even with trillion in cuts, we still have trillion annual deficits.

Rick Henderson - 9:32 PM

Obama: We put forward a trillion deficit reduction program ( trillion of it came from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that were never going to be spent to begin with, but never mind).


We need a balanced approach, meaning spending cuts that will never materialize.


Romney: President should have grabbed Simpson-Bowles. Obama: We made adjustments to it. Romney: If you did, you didn’t cut the debt.

Barry Smith - 9:31 PM

Obama: he reminds us that he walked into a mess when he walked into the White House. “We all know that we’ve got to do more.” He wants cuts and taxes.

He went way over the 2 minutes.

Dan E. Way - 9:31 PM

Obama plays his trump csrd: blame game over what he inherited. Two wars not paid for, tax cuts, recession. “We all know that we’ve got to do more,” and he has trillion reduction plan. .50 for every cut accompanied by of new revenue. Bowles-Simpson plan invoked, an odd choice by Obama, since he formed that commission and did absolutely nothing with its recommendations.

Rick Henderson - 9:29 PM

Obama: I inherited a mess. Cut out things that aren’t helping. We cut back a lot of programs that spend almost no money but sound good on paper.

Barry Smith - 9:29 PM

What to do about the federal debt?

Romney: It’s a moral issue. You can cut it 3 ways: Cut taxes, lower taxes, economic growth. He explains that if you have growth, you have more people paying taxes. He’ll cut money to PBS.

They said that back in the 1990s.