Wasn’t sure I’d be home in time, but since I am I’m going to do it. I don’t drunkblog, but I promise to get plastered if Obama says “There you go again.”
8:55 CNN starts out on a low note with some phony fact-checking. They score Obama’s claim that Romney plans to cut taxes for the rich “false” because Romney says that he intends to offer unspecified offsets. Yech!
8:59 Not clear whether CNN’s reporters are more annoying than the spinmeisters, or the other way around. Wish I were watching C-SPAN.
The CNN fools are even doing dial-twist, despite its demonstrated irrelevance to outcomes.
First Q to Obama: differences about creating new jobs.
Starts by greeting his wife on their anniversary. Good move, I think.
Romney wearing what looks to me like a smirk as he listens to Obama, but I don’t claim to be impartial.
Obama uses the question to contrast “the new American patriotism” with “doubling down on top-down.”
Lehrer invites Romney to question Obama. Romney denounces tax cuts for the rich and says he’s for the middle class.
Obama starts listening to Romney with a more attentive and pleasant demeanor than vice-versa,bthen starts to scowl. I don’t think Romney’s response does much for him.
Of course “jobs” is a fairly dumb question, and attracts the expected economic-nationalist answers from both candidates.
Obama hits Romney hard on the deficit. Romney denies he wants to cut taxes for the rich, and paints himself as the tribune of the middle class.
Lehrer invites Romney to directly question Obama. Good idea, but Romney makes a speech instead. “No tax cut that adds to the deficit.” Is Lehrer going to challenge him on the arithmetic?
9:16 Obama does the arithmetic, and does it pretty well. Romney keeps insisting that if he says 2 + 2 is 5, and calls Obama a liar for doubting it. Lies about the studies. Now Obama is smirking. “For eighteeen months he’s been running on his tax plan. Now, five weeks before the election, he says that his big, bold idea is ‘Never mind.’ ” I think that scored.
Interesting choice on Obama’s part not to respond to Romney’s insult.
This is supposed to be about domestic policy generally. Are we eventually going to get to reprodutive freedom?
9:22 Seems to me Romney is tying himself in knots. He denies he wants to cut rates on the rich, but specifies he wants to cut the rates paid by the owners of the 3% largest “small” businesses. But my debate-watching buddy thinks Obama sounds tentative and that Romney is “kicking his @ss.”
Obama says Romney wants to go back to Bush policies, while Obama wants to go back to Clinton policies.
I think he’s scoring, but my friend says “Why doesn’t he mention 47%? Too many specifics, not enough values.”
Romney says deficits are immoral on an intergenerational basis. Accuses Obama of “wanting to raise taxes.” Proposes “the China test.” My friend says Romney looks engaged, while Obama’s answers seem canned.
Romney says Obama should have grabbed Simpson-Bowles. Is Obama going to say that Paul Ryan killed Simpson-Bowles?
9:33 Romney keeps saying “no taxes, because taxes kill jobs.” I think Obama’s more convincing, but my friend thinks that Obama’s “getting his clock cleaned.” Obama denounces “corporate welfare.” “Right now, you can take a deduction for moving jobs overseas.”
Romney hits Obama on tax breaks for solar and wind.
Romney says Obama needs to get a new accountant. Talk about leading with your chin! Will Obama launch the haymaker?
Nope. O concedes that he and Romney have the same ideas on Social Security, rather than nailing Romney on Ryan’s attack on it as “collectivist.”
Romney tells the $716 billion Medicare lie. Obama hits back on voucherizing Medicare. Romney promises fairy dust. Will Obama say, “If vouchers are so good, why don’t you want them for current retirees?” Probably not.
Now on regulation. Obama “Does anyone believe that the problem we had was too much regulation of Wall Street? If so, Gov. Romney is your candidate.”
Now on Obamacare. Another $716 billion lie. Is Obama just going to take it? Still no 47%. Pretty good pitch for Obamacare, but no hit-back.
Now Romney is hitting Obama on partisanship, as if it were his fault that Republicans in Congress didn’t want to help. Romney is lying shamelessly – the b.s. McKinsey “study” – and Obama won’t hit back.
Romney refuses to say what he’d replace Obamacare with.
Finally, Obama hits back: Romney won’t say what he’s actually going to do. “Is the reason Gov. Romney is keeping all these plans secret is because they’re too good?”
“Gov.Romney doesn’t think we need more teachers. I do.” Romney comes back by saying he loves teachers, but that every state should make its own choices.
Romney hits Obama hard on poor economic performance. Obama won’t hit back. Not a good night. Intrade and Iowa agree Romney’s odds have shorened from 3:1 to 2:1.
Romney accouses Obama of making up facts, keeps denying he’s going to cut anything in particular. More or less accuses Obama of corruption on energy loans. Goddammit, is Obama a potted plant?
Finally, Obama draws some contrasts, in particular Romney’s unwillingness to challenge the extremists in his own party.But then he goes on to thank Romney for a fine debate, as if Romney hadn’t spent all his time on lies and insults.
Romney uses his final statement to keep on lying. Obama has no chance to respond. Yechhh!