Welcome back! John Locke Foundation and Carolina Journal staff will offer live commentary of the presidential debate between President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney from Hofstra University, Long Island, NY.
As always, any opinion stated belongs to the writer. Thanks!
Becki Gray - 10:50 PM
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 - 10:22 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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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 - 9:52 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.
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?
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
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
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: 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.
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?
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 - 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.