Published On: Thu, Oct 4th, 2012

Highlights and opinions from the first Obama Romney debate

President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney met in the first debate in Denver Wednesday night, attempting to win over undecided voters and solidify support among the party faithful.

Mitt Romney wins round one?
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Romney’s strongest moments came in repeating his frequent criticism of Obama’s record, saying the nation’s high unemployment and sluggish economic recovery showed the president’s policies haven’t worked.

“There’s no question in my mind if the president is re-elected, you’ll continue to see a middle-class squeeze,” Romney said, adding that another term for Obama also will mean the 2010 Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, “will be fully installed.”

At another point, he noted how $90 billion spent on programs and policies to develop alternative energy sources could have been devoted to hiring teachers or other needs that would bring down unemployment.

“If the tax plan he described were a tax plan I was asked to support, I’d say, ‘Absolutely not,'” Romney said. “I’m not asking for a $5 trillion tax cut. What I’ve said is I won’t put in place a tax cut that adds to the deficit. … I’ve got five boys. I’m used to people saying something that’s not always true, but just keep on repeating it and ultimately hoping I’ll believe it.”

Obama struck back.

“Now … he is saying that his big bold idea is ‘never mind.’ The fact is, if you are lowering the rates the way you describe, governor, it is not possible to come up with enough deductions or loopholes,” Obama said. “It is math. It is arithmetic.”

Healthcare became a topic but likely left voters uncertain what each candidate wants to do.

“I would be hard-pressed to think that anyone watching would come away with a clear sense, either of what each candidate would do, or what the implications of those policies would be,” said Dr. Arthur Kellermann, a health policy expert at the Rand Corporation.

What do the critics and analysts say about the debate?

“A week ago, people were saying this was over. We’ve got a horse race,” said CNN Senior Political Analyst David Gergen, who called the debate Romney’s best so far.

“…the president failed to respond effectively, drifting into his professorial demeanor and barely attempting to veil his annoyance with Romney. It wasn’t pretty, but Romney won, according to the general consensus among reporters and political operatives,” writes HuffPo’s Elise Foley.

“It looked like Romney wanted to be there and President Obama didn’t want to be there,” noted Democratic strategist and CNN contributor James Carville. “The president didn’t bring his ‘A’ game.”

Former Obama advisor, Green Czar Van Jones said “Romney was able to ‘out-Obama’ Obama. On the connection piece, on the authenticity piece, on the being able to tell the story.”

Jones said Obama’s game-plan set him up for failure.

“Where was Obama tonight?” Chris Matthews wailed. “Why didn’t the president probe him aggressively on all the recent points of information?”

Obama Romney caricature cartoon


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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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