Romney Hammers Obama in First Presidential Debate

"Patch Back" columnist Lisa Bigelow says Republican nominee Governor Mitt Romney handily defeated President Barack Obama in the first presidential debate.


He was clear. He was (almost) concise. He was specific and he was energized.

In what can only be described as a brilliant performance, Republican nominee Mitt Romney dominated President Barack Obama in Wednesday evening’s first debate, when the questions pertained to domestic policy, specifically the economy, health care and the role of government.

President Obama appeared lackluster while speaking and did not project confidence, even as he described his vision for a “new economic patriotism” while attempting to scare undecided voters by stating that “the only way” to cut taxes — as Governor Romney plans through tax reform — is by cutting education and other important domestic programs.

While Obama gazed at the ground or spoke directly to moderator Jim Lehrer, Romney projected enthusiasm as he directed his answers directly to Obama.

Romney clearly and unequivocally denied Obama’s assertion that his tax reform plan would do anything other than help the middle class. Although Obama did not offer any specifics to improve the American economy, Romney pointed to his five-point plan, which, he claims, will broaden the tax base by putting more Americans back in the workforce.

Energy independence is Romney’s first economic goal, which he believes will create four million jobs. He also wants to open up Latin American trade, eliminate Chinese “cheating,” improve skills training and education, balance the budget and “champion” small business.

'Trickle Down Government'

Romney observed that new business startups under Obama are down to a 30-year low.

“Trickle down government is not the answer for America,” Romney said, thus spinning a well-worn liberal slogan to a conservative advantage.

Romney expressed disbelief, and rightfully so, that President Obama would choose to focus the first two years of his presidency on passing health care reform, which Romney noted did not receive one Republican vote, instead of working to put Americans back on the job — and on the tax rolls.

President Obama appeared tired and nearly disinterested as he repeated worn and inaccurate Democratic talking points pertaining to tax policy, education and entitlement programs.

Romney, on the other hand, appeared presidential, energized, knowledgeable and forthright — especially during the countless number of times he pointed to putting people back to work as his top priority: “this is about jobs”, “my priority is jobs”, “create more jobs” and “putting people back to work” were heard consistently throughout the evening from Romney.

Obama mentioned his desire to hire 100,000 math and science teachers; to this point, Romney retorted that with Obama’s green jobs plan, he could have hired two million teachers.

“My friend told me, [Obama] doesn’t pick the winners and the losers, [he] just picks the losers,” when it comes to investing in green jobs, Romney said, referring to Solyndra and other failed taxpayer-funded green business initiatives.

The Middle Class

For the most part, Obama refrained from blaming the George W. Bush administration for the failures of the past three-and-a-half years. But he was unable to refute Romney’s observations that the economy is growing more slowly now than it was last year or the year before that and that gas, food, energy and health care costs — important issues to middle class voters — have all risen under Obama.

“I call it ‘the economy tax,’” Romney said.

Romney also criticized Obama for failing to reduce the deficit as promised and for failing to take advantage of the reforms suggested by the Simpson-Bowles fiscal commission.

“You should have jumped on that” recommended bipartisan reform, Romney said.

Obama’s response that his new plan would take into account elements of Simpson-Bowles felt too little, too late. And Obama’s claim that he listens to all ideas regardless from whom they come rings false, as any close observer of the 2009 stimulus package knows.

In fact, each of Obama’s “plans” are warmed over talking points from 2008. The difference is, he’s had 3.5 years to deliver and has failed to do so. And all we have left is a higher cost of living, a stagnant job market, a precarious foreign affairs predicament and a tarnished international reputation.

Obama performed better when he spoke about entitlements, such as Obamacare, Medicare and Social Security, although Romney won the point when he said his entitlement policy would be, “I would ask myself, ‘is the program so critical that we have to borrow money from China to pay for it?’”

Ultimately, the difference between the two candidates was most stark near the end of the debate when Lehrer asked about the role of government in society.

Obama noted that he believes government offers people a “ladder of opportunity” and that “some things we do better together.”

Romney, on the other hand, pointed to the words written on the backdrop behind the candidates from the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

The president should “promote and protect the principles of those documents,” Romney said.

“We are seeing a belief that government can do a better job than the individual,” he continued. Yet “college graduates can’t find work, more Americans are on food stamps.”

Obama also noted his responsibility to keep Americans safe.

I can’t help but wonder what the diplomatic staff in Libya thinks about that. 

p October 04, 2012 at 01:15 PM
Hard to debate someone who lies as easily and as often as Romney did last night.
cheers October 04, 2012 at 01:20 PM
You live with media, you die with the media. Obama has been coddled and created a scenario where he believes he is a movie star and is treated like one, meaning everyone around him adores him and kisses up to him including the media. No press conferences for a long time and when they did happen no tough questions. The guy is in a bubble of his own making. Last night he a dose of reality. No writers to bail him out with scripts. Even Lehrer couldn't save him with his leading follow up questions to help him out. Romney cleaned his clock. It becomes more obvious that Romney has proven leadership capabilities with a successful track record and Obama is a poor manager with a failed record.
Concerned Parent October 04, 2012 at 01:21 PM
If people tuned into last night's debate to truly listen what Romney had to say, it would be clear on where he stands on the various issue facing our nation. This debate was not geared toward the DEM base, that was clear to me...It was geared towards INDS, who by the way choose to be unaffiliated due to hardline DEM/REP childish attitudes towards one another. This could not be more clear by the lame comebacks coming from liberals twits who only seem to being focusing on tweeting about Big Bird
Creeky October 04, 2012 at 01:28 PM
Ed, I share your views. Nothing keeps me away from either party more than the divisiveness. Here is an interesting perspective on polls: http://www.mclaughlinonline.com/6?article=87
Kevin J. Lennon October 04, 2012 at 03:52 PM
Based on this article has the time not come for Ms. Bigelow to concede that her so called "rhetoric-free conservative/independent " tagline is about as truthful as Mr. Romney's contentions regarding his tax policy? I have no problem with partisanship as that is how we differentiate views and make decisisons on which horse to back in any given race. I do have a problem with deceptive practices and this column should be more appropriately described as a conservative column. All that said I agree Mr. Romney won the debate on style which is more important than substance. On substance I'd say it was a tie. On truthfulness I'd say Mr. Romney got a free pass from the President, the moderator and the so-called liberal media.
momofone October 04, 2012 at 04:33 PM
Agree, Kevin. She's gotta get rid of that rhetoric-free tagline.
p October 04, 2012 at 10:40 PM
Romney’s Successful Debate Plan: Lying "Romney won the debate in no small part because he adopted a policy of simply lying about his policies. Probably the best way to understand Obama’s listless performance is that he was prepared to debate the claims Romney has been making for the entire campaign, and Romney switched up and started making different and utterly bogus ones. Obama, perhaps, was not prepared for that, and he certainly didn’t think quickly enough on his feet to adjust to it." http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2012/10/romneys-successful-debate-plan-lying.html?imw=Y
MAC October 04, 2012 at 11:02 PM
Don't feel bad, Barack--you're not the first man who could not perform on his 20th anniversary. (A caller on the Dennis Miller show this afternoon told that--and I could not stop laughing!!) Your assessment is spot on, Justin! And Obama did not help himself with his lazy and narcissistic attitude, reflected in his advance statement that "Debate prep is a DRAG." He actually does not do the JOB he was elected to--working from about 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and missing 60 % of his PDBs!!! Sadly, most voters are very uninformed and vote based on emotional or identity politics reasons. A few of those include: family tradition with a party, race-based decisions, class envy--which is Obama's specialty!--anti-Mormon animus, or being gullible and believing all the LIES told about Republicans, and about Romney and his economic plans and the effects thereof. Then you have the welfare and other DEPENDENTS who want the government to be their "Daddy," who are never going to vote for Romney. (And no, that's not 47 %, and I wish Romney had not used the word "victim" about them, because he certainly knows, as do I, that not all of the 47 % want to be dependent or are lazy or want the government providing for them.) Of course the lamestream media are hand in glove with Obama, promoting the "LIES" about Romney and pretending that Obama is not a FAILURE as a Leader, and ^^especially in the most essential responsibility of keeping Americans SAFE^^!
iamspartacus October 05, 2012 at 10:19 AM
Who wants to bet that if Romney gets a bump in the polls, that all of the sudden all the Republican hacks who didn't believe in polls last week cite them non stop next week...like Lisa and Mac. And if Romney loses the next debate that any reporting on it will be "liberal bias". It will demonstrate the difference between progressives and conservatives.....progressives believe in: science, math and the truth, whereas conservatives believe in...well...it depends on the day, what spin they want and the audience that happens to be in front of them.
MAC October 05, 2012 at 09:27 PM
I AM a Common Sense Conservative, first of all. We believe in "Ordered Liberty" and the Rule of Law--most of all Limited Government, Personal Responsibility, and the FREEDOM to pursue our lives, and "Happiness" as WE see fit. You evidently believe in Big "Trickle down government" centered lives, and are content to have the government and bureaucrat over REGULATING just about every aspect of your life!! The lamestream media is in the pocket of Obama, and are his cheerleaders--so most of it and a lot of the polls are designed to discourage us common sense Americans, who hold time-honored traditional VALUES, like SAVING before you buy--and not BORROWING AND SPENDING trillions of $$$ you don't have--like Obama does (along with career politicians in congress, of both parties!)!!
Yooper October 07, 2012 at 02:55 AM
I have been saying that for months. It rings as true as Fair and Balanced.
Yooper October 07, 2012 at 03:02 AM
Excellent analysis. It also explains why Romney changed his position on so many things in the debate. Just say whatever will appeal to my audience of the moment. If I change what I said many times before, don't worry because I'm appealing to voters who refuse to be inconvenienced with facts.
Kevin October 15, 2012 at 10:13 PM
does the p stand for pea brain?
Kevin October 15, 2012 at 10:17 PM
please p,your stupidity is showing.a ten year old could tell you that romney kicked the jug eared clowns ass. maybe you are nine?


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »