10:27 Q to Romney: offshoring jobs.
“We’ve made it more attractive to move jobs offshore.” Chinese cheating on currency. “On day 1, I will label China a currency manipulator.” [$10,000 the WSJ has no objection to protectionism in this particular case.] “The rate of regulations has quadrupled.” Obamacare is a deterrent to hiring.
Obama: change the tax code; no breaks for offshoring, no tax breaks for overseas earnings. Romney is against that. “That will create 800,000 new jobs, but not here.”
Romney repeats himself. “The President’s charming erization of my tax plan is not true.”
O has the nerve to say that some low-wage, low-skill jobs are not coming back.
Romney interrupts again.
Final question to R: what do people misunderstand about you?
R: Obama has been mean to me. I care about 100%. I believe in God. I served as a missionary. I was a pastor. When I was governor, I got people health insurance. “We don’t have to settle.” Preserve Medicare and Social Security.
O: I don’t believe government creates jobs. Free enterprise engine of prosperity. But everyone has to play by the same rules. I believe Gov. Romney is a good man. Forty-seven percent, behind closed doors. Those are hard-working people. I want to fight for them. That’s why I ask for your vote.
Huge win for Obama, I think. But what matter is still what the Village Idiots think.
10:19 Q to Obama: AK47s and gun control. Ans: Enforce the law we have respect for gun rights, but “Weapons that were meant for soldiers don’t belong on the street.” Would like to restore assault weapons ban. “What can we do to intervene?”
Romney is against gun control and premarital sex. Fast and Furious. Pretends not to understand what a sting operation is, but of course everyone has been pretending the same thing.
Moderator points out that R signed an assault-weapons ban in Mass. Why did he change his mind. “Mutually agreed-on legislation.” Bipartisanship. Obama is laughing again.
“Gov. Romney was for an assault-weapons ban before he was against it.” Yes, I’m partisan, but it looks to me as if O is wiping the floor with R.
10:11 Q. to Obama can on Benghazi, somewhat hostile. Obama: investigation, accountability, revenge. Romney is trying to use this for partisan gain.
Romney responds by continuing to use this for partisan gain. Why did O go to a fundraiser? “Apology tour* Leading from behind*
Will Obama come back and thank R for making his point? Yes he does: “the suggestion is offensive.” Romney challenges Obama on “act of terror,” and the moderator steps in to point out that Romney is wrong. Big win for O. Maybe a crucial moment. He looked coldly furious, and Romney looked just a tad abashed.
10pm finally an immigration question. Romney*: “We’re a nation of immigrants. He loves “legal immigation” and wants to give green cards to people with engineering degrees. You shouldn’t need a lawyer to get a visa. Employer sanctions. No amnesty. No driver’s licenses. Endorses, more or less, the Dream Act, without mentioning he opposed it. Why did Obama fail to keep his promise to introduce an immigration bill?
Obama: I streamlined processes. We deported people. Focus on gangbangers, don’t worry about people who come to work. Reminds Romney that he promised that veto the DREAM Act, loves the Arizona law. Hits him on self-deportation. Says again of a Romney statement, “That just isn’t true.”
Romney says he didn’t support the “your papers, please” part of Arizona; just the employer verification part. Cheats by going back to the investment-in-China question: “Have you looked at your pension?”
Obama comes back hard on immigration: R’s adviser is the guy who wrote the Arizona law: “the whole thing, not just e-verify.”
9:51 AA questioner wants to know what Obama has done to earn getting his vote again. Good recitition of his record. Hits Romney with his “me toos” to Republican Congress.
R tells the 5.4%* again, keeps pointing out that things aren’t great. Another * about O not having a plan to control Medicare. President is a good speaker, but “We have a record to look at.”
9:46 Questioner wants to know why Romney isn’t Bush. Romney cheats again, tells another * about access to contraception: “I don’t want bureaucrats in Washington deciding whether women have contraceptiive care, or business owners.”
Finally gets to the question: energy, Latin America, small business, deficit, small business, small business, small business.
O: “Keep in mind that Gov. Romney pioneered outsourcing jobs to China.” Ties R to B tax cuts. Finally hits on the social issues. “There are difference between Gov. Romney and George Bush,” but they’re not about economics. Another round to Obama.
9:41 Romney brags about affirmative action for women in his Massachusetts cabinet. Keeps reciting attacks on Obama’s economic record, promises that his Brave New Economy employers are going to be begging for women to work for them. Obama responds that Romney never backed the Lily Ledbetter act. Branches out to women’s health care, specifically contraception. Says Romney wants employers to decide about contraception. Finally hits Planned Parenthood. Round to Obama.
9:15 If questioner #2 is an undecided voter, I’m for Queen of Hearts.
Asks a question about gas prices borrowed from Fox News. Obama mostly ignores the
question, attacks Romney for unbalanced energy plan. Romney accuses Obama of tyring to criminalize oil production and wanting to make it impossible to burn coal. Attacks Obama on pipeline.
Crowley comes back on price of oil. Is $4 the new normal? Obama calls Romney a *er instead, recites a story about Romney calling a coal plant (accurately) a killer, and (properly) shutting it down. Romney attacks Obama directly, Obama comes back with a strong answer about making oil companies drill rather than sitting on the leases.
Romney says if the President’s policies were working, gas prices wouldn’t be higher than when he took office. Obama responds that Romney could indeed bring gasoline prices down, by plunging us back into a deep recession. Romney flat-out defies the moderator by taking an extra answer, and she lets him get away with it. No doubt the Village Idiots will say he was forceful.
Tought Q to Romney about eliminating deductions, which he ducks. *I-lost-count says he won’t change the revenue share from the top, then talk about a cap on total deductions, and a promise to eliminate all capital taxation on those below $250,000. Quotes another invented “study.”
Obama talks about his “vision” but doesn’t come back at Romney on ducking the question about deductions. “Governor Romney’s allies in Congress are holding tax cuts for the 98% hostage because they want cuts for the top 2%.” Quotes Romney’s promise to cut taxes for the top 1%. Romney responds by ignoring the point.
Obama laughs as Romney threatens to “crack down on China when they cheat.” Hits back hard on the math that doesn’t add up. Romney says “Of course they add up; I ran a business.” Obama laughs when Romney says his description of Romney’s plan is false.
Romney keeps interrupting.
Next Q is a softball to Obama: reducing inequality between men’s and women’s incomes. Obama tells the story about his grandmother hitting the glass ceiling, switches smoothly to the Lily Ledbetter story. But he doesn’t make it a partisan issue.
8:30 And hoping that Barack Obama decides to give Reality some help.
I’ll be watching with a group of UVa Batten School students.
If you’re planning to take a drink every Slinky tells a lie, please consider the risks of alcohol poisoning.
Pre-debate: I’d thought that the CNN crew was as bad as possible, but that’s before I heard Sam Donaldson pretending to be the Village Idiot, channelling what the rest of the idiots in the Media Village are saying. He expressed gratitude for what the fact-checkers did after the first debate without mentioning any of the facts. Even Jeff Greenfield, who ought to know better, is praising Romney’s “very good performance” rather than criticizing his mendacity. Somehow it’s “objective” to talk about performance but wouldn’t be “impartial” to talk about substance.
Nobody is allowed to say that Romney’s willingness to lie is his key advantage, and that Obama’s problem is how to call him out on his lies without seeming mean.
Starting up. I don’t want to wear out the “L” key on my borrowed laptop, so I’ll just use an asterisk for each Romney lie, and keep count by fives.
Q1 to Romney: what can the candidates tell a college graduate about his prospects of finding a job. *1: Slinky talks about a scholarship program in Massachusetts and promises to maintain Pell grants, without mentioning that the Ryan budget would slash Pell grants.
Obama gives an answer about manufacturing jobs: pretty effective, but I doubt the kid wants a job on the GM line. Ignores Romney. Draws no distinction. Mistake?
Follow-up from moderator on long-term unemployment. Romney hits Obama. *2 “Twelve million new jobs.” *3 Romney tries to explain that when he said he wanted to take the auto industry bankrupt, he didn’t mean he wanted to put them out of business. Obama hits back: “That just isn’t true.” “Governor Romney doesn’t have a five-point-plan; he has a one-point plan: to make sure the people at the top play by a different set of rules.” Very strong response, and Romney does himself no favor trying to defy the moderator to get an extra response.