Archive for October 4th, 2012

(UPDATED) Wonkette Scores Exclusive on SD25 Candidate Colleen Lachowicz: “STUNNING MAINE GOP DISCOVERY: DEM CHALLENGER IS SOCIALIST VIDEO GAME PSYCHO”

Posted on October 4, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

(5:30pm update: Politico now has the story as well)

Cross posted from Wonkette with permission:

    Citizens of Maine State Senate District 25, some grave news today: your Democratic candidate for office… has been on the computer. Possibly every day. Possibly… having a good time.

    She plays World of Warcraft, you see. She plays it so good. And you know what THAT means: serious, disturbing sociopathic tendencies, obviously.

    From the Maine GOP, which appears to be totally serious:

      Colleen Lachowicz, the Democratic candidate for State Senate District 25 (Waterville), has been living a time-consuming double life as a member of the World of Warcraft community. World of Warcraft is an online gaming network where people play a fantasy role-playing game in an imaginary world called “Azeroth.”

    OH LORD, she plays a video game? Be still my heart! And to think, we almost elected her to office in the 41st most populous state in These Uniteds. Surely no Maine Republican would stoop so low as to have hobbies.

    Oh, wait, the INCUMBENT REPUBLICAN has hobbies?

Click on over to read the rest of the lurid details! ZOMG!!!11!!

An Act Blue link here: Support a Gamer Who’s Under Attack

Colleen’s press release:

    Statement from Maine State Senate Candidate Colleen Lachowicz

    Waterville, ME—State Senate candidate Colleen Lachowicz released the following statement in response to an attack piece sent out by the Maine Republican Party.

    Colleen Lachowicz says, “I think it’s weird that I’m being targeted for playing online games. Apparently I’m in good company since there are 183 million other Americans who also enjoy online games. What’s next? Will I be ostracized for playing Angry Birds or Words with Friends? If so, guilty as charged!”

    Lachowicz added, “What’s really weird is that the Republicans are going after my hobbies instead of talking about their record while they’ve been running Augusta for the last two years. Instead of talking about what they’re doing for Maine people, they’re making fun of me for playing video games. Did you know that more people over the age of 50 play video games than under the age of 18? As a gamer, I’m in good company with folks like Jodie Foster, Vin Diesel, Mike Myers, and Robin Williams. Maybe it’s the Republican Party that is out of touch.”

    According to the Entertainment Software Rating Board, here’s a break down and profile of a gamer in the United States:

  • 65% of U.S. households
  • 49% of 18 – 49 year olds
  • 26% over the age of 50
  • 25% under the age of 18
  • 2 out of 5 people are female
  • average age of a gamer is 34
  • $24.8 billion industry

    According to the Christian Science Monitor, 183 million Americans play video games.

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(UPDATED) Romney’s Debate Lies, Er, Performance: “Mostly Fiction”

Posted on October 4, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

New video released this morning by President Obama’s campaign, going over last night’s debate. Give it a look:

From the accompanying Team Obama email blast:

On Wednesday night, some saw Mitt Romney sounding polished. Many saw Romney avoid specifics at every turn, as Americans have come to expect. And the sharpest observers saw beyond Romney’s “zingers” and witnessed him looking in the eye of those he expects to elect him and tell outright lies about his record on several occasions – at least 12 times.

But when the dust settles, Romney’s dozen flat-out falsehoods will be the only thing remaining from his debate performance – because avoiding the truth has been the very definition of Romney’s candidacy, and he can’t escape that with a single smooth appearance.

To replay some of Romney’s lies, OFA has released a new web video – and the facts below tell the truth about Romney’s devastating record for the middle class that he avoided tonight. Those facts matter, and Romney tonight showed once again that he’s simply unwilling to give them to the American people.

    Here are the facts:

    ROMNEY LIE #1: ROMNEY SAYS HIS FIVE POINT PLAN WILL LEAD US TOPROSPERITY, BUT INDEPENDENT ANALYSTS SAY IT WOULD ACTUALLY HURT THE ECONOMY

    Romney: “My Plan Has Five Basic Parts. … I’ll Restore The Vitality That Gets America Working Again.” [Romney, Denver Presidential Debate, 10/3/12]

    Washington Post Headline: “Economists: Romney’s Ideas Wouldn’t Fix Short-Term Crisis, And Could Make Things Worse.” [Greg Sargent, Washington Post, 6/7/12]

    Senior Adviser At Moody’s Analytics Mark Hopkins: Romney’s Policies “Would Do More Harm In The Short Term” And “If We Implemented All Of His Policies, It Would Push Us Deeper Into Recession And Make The Recovery Slower.” Asking whether Romney’s economic policy ideas would create jobs in the short-term: “‘On net, all of these policies would do more harm in the short term,’ added Mark Hopkins, a senior adviser at Moody’s Analytics. ‘If we implemented all of his policies, it would push us deeper into recession and make the recovery slower.’” [Greg Sargent, Washington Post, 6/7/12]

    Nobel Prize-Winning Economist Joseph Stiglitz: “The Romney Plan Is Going To Slow Down The Economy, Worsen The Jobs Deficit And Significantly Increase The Likelihood Of A Recession.” [Bloomberg, 6/5/12]

    ROMNEY LIE #2: ROMNEY SAID HIS TAX PLAN WOULDN’T HURT THE MIDDLE CLASS, BUT IT WILL RAISE TAXES ON THE MIDDLE CLASS WHILE CUTTING THEM FOR MULTIMILLIONAIRES AND BILLIONAIRES

    Romney: “I Will Not, Under Any Circumstances, Raise Taxes On Middle-Income Families.” ROMNEY: “And number three, I will not under any circumstances raise taxes on middle-income families. I will lower taxes on middle-income families. Now, you cite a study. There are six other studies that looked at the study you describe and say it’s completely wrong. I saw a study that came out today that said you’re going to raise taxes by $3,000 to $4,000 on middle-income families.“ [Denver Presidential Debate, 10/3/12]

    If Romney’s Tax Plan Was Paid For, Families With Kids Who Make Less Than $200,000 Would See An Average Tax Increase Of $2,041. [Tax Policy Center, On The Distributional Effects Of Base-Broadening Income Tax Reform, p. 18, 8/1/12]

    If Romney’s Tax Plan Was Paid For, The Top 0.1% Would See An Average Tax Cut Of $246,652. [Tax Policy Center, On The Distributional Effects Of Base-Broadening Income Tax Reform, p. 19, 8/1/12]

    Reuters Headline:
    “Romney Tax Plan Helps Rich, Hurts Middle Class-Study.” [Reuters, 8/1/12]

    Boston Globe Headline: “Mitt Romney’s Tax Plan Would Offer Big Cuts To Millionaires, Raise Taxes On Middle Class, Brookings Analysts Say.” [Boston Globe, 8/1/12]

    Washington Post Editorial: The Tax Policy Center Found That Under The Romney Plan “Even If Every Loophole For The Top Brackets Were Closed, There Wouldn’t Be Enough Revenue. The Middle Class Would Have To Pay More.” “The Tax Policy Center (TPC), a joint venture of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution, examined Mr. Romney’s claim and found that, even if every loophole for the top brackets were closed, there wouldn’t be enough revenue. The middle class would have to pay more.” [Editorial, Washington Post, 8/21/12]

    ROMNEY LIE #3: ROMNEY WOULDN’T REDUCE TAX CUTS FOR THE WEALTHY – BUT IN FACT, THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT HIS PLAN DOES

    Romney: “I’m Not Going To Reduce The Share Of Taxes Paid By High-Income People.” ROMNEY: “First of all, I don’t have a $5 trillion tax cut. I don’t have a tax cut of a scale that you’re talking about. My view is that we ought to provide tax relief to people in the middle class. But I’m not going to reduce the share of taxes paid by high-income people. High-income people are doing just fine in this economy. They’ll do fine whether you’re president or I am.” [Denver Presidential Debate, 10/3/12]

    · Reuters Headline: “Romney Tax Plan Helps Rich, Hurts Middle Class-Study.” [Reuters, 8/1/12]

    · Boston Globe Headline: “Mitt Romney’s Tax Plan Would Offer Big Cuts To Millionaires, Raise Taxes On Middle Class, Brookings Analysts Say.” [Boston Globe, 8/1/12]

    · Washington Post Editorial: The Tax Policy Center Found That Under The Romney Plan “Even If Every Loophole For The Top Brackets Were Closed, There Wouldn’t Be Enough Revenue. The Middle Class Would Have To Pay More.” “The Tax Policy Center (TPC), a joint venture of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution, examined Mr. Romney’s claim and found that, even if every loophole for the top brackets were closed, there wouldn’t be enough revenue. The middle class would have to pay more.” [Editorial, Washington Post, 8/21/12]

    If Romney’s Tax Plan Was Paid For, The Top 0.1% Would See An Average Tax Cut Of $246,652. [Tax Policy Center, On The Distributional Effects Of Base-Broadening Income Tax Reform, p. 19, 8/1/12<http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/publications/url.cfm?ID=1001628>%5D

    · If Romney’s Tax Plan Was Paid For, Families With Kids Who Make Less Than $200,000 Would See An Average Tax Increase Of $2,041. [Tax Policy Center, On The Distributional Effects Of Base-Broadening Income Tax Reform, p. 18, 8/1/12<http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/publications/url.cfm?ID=1001628>%5D

    ROMNEY LIE #4: ROMNEY CLAIMS HIS TAX PLAN ISN’T LIKE ANYTHING WE’VE TRIED BEFORE – BUT IT’S THE SAME TRICKLE-DOWN SCHEME WE’VE SEEN BEFORE

    Romney: My Tax Plan “Is Not Like Anything That’s Been Tried Before.” ROMNEY: “My plan is not like anything that’s been tried before. My plan is to bring down rates, but also bring down deductions and exemptions and credits at the same time so the revenue stays in, but that we bring down rates to get more people working.” [Denver Presidential Debate, 10/3/12]

    Romney On Making The Bush Tax Cuts Permanent: “I Will Make Today’s Low Individual Tax Rates Permanent.” Romney: “As president, I will firmly oppose tax increases. I will make today’s low individual tax rates permanent, cut business taxes, and make the tough calls necessary to bring spending back in line with what we can afford. I will cap spending at 20% of GDP by 2016, which will require between $400 billion and $500 billion in cuts.” [Romney op-ed, USA Today, 2/8/12<http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/story/2012-02-07/romney-balance-budget-no-taxes/53003298/1>%5D

    · Romney’s 59 Point Plan: Make The Bush Tax Cuts Permanent. “As with the marginal income tax rates, Mitt Romney will seek to make permanent the lower tax rates for investment income put in place by President Bush.” [Romney’s Plan For Jobs And Economic Growth, 9/6/11<http://www.mittromney.com/blogs/mitts-view/2011/09/believe-america-mitt-romneys-plan-jobs-and-economic-growth>%5D

    Washington Post’s Ezra Klein: “Romney Can’t Explain How His Policies Differ From That Of George W. Bush.” “Lower taxes, fewer regulations, more domestic energy production, promises of deficit reduction that are quickly overwhelmed by increased defense spending and reduced tax revenues, and glossy rhetoric about economic freedom pretty much defined the Bush administration’s economic policy. And how did that economic policy work out? … Bush has the worst record since Herbert Hoover. Every single measure we might want to track — jobs, growth, median household income, poverty, uninsurance, new firm creation, participation in the labor force — goes in the wrong direction. And yet Romney can’t explain how his policies differ from that of George W. Bush. One of my frustrations with campaign coverage is there’s a tendency to look at substantive deficiencies in ideas as political problems. So this gets talked about as a messaging issue: Romney needs a better answer to the question, ‘how do you differ from Bush?’ But it’s not a messaging problem. Romney doesn’t need a better answer to how are your policies different than Bush’s. He needs policies that are actually different.” [Ezra Klein, Washington Post, 7/27/12<http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/07/27/what-did-mitt-romney-learn-from-the-bush-years/>%5D

    Romney’s Tax Proposal Is The “Bush Tax Cuts On Steroids” Cutting Taxes For Americans Making Over $1 Million And Raising Taxes On Those Making Less Than $10,000. “The simplest way to conceive of Mitt Romney’s tax proposal is the Bush Tax Cuts on steroids. It’s not sweeping tax reform. The rates don’t change. The deductions stay put. Instead, it’s a time machine back to 2008 … with a big pair of scissors to make some additional cuts.The GOP frontrunner would permanently extend the Bush/Obama tax cuts in addition to eliminating both the estate tax and the tax on capital gains for ‘non-rich’ families. He would not extend the majority of the tax cuts and tax hikes passed in the Obama administration… For a family making less than $10,000 a year, the average tax bill would go up by $112. For a family making more than $1,000,000 a year, the average tax bill would go down by about $145,000.” [Thompson, Atlantic, 1/5/12<http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/01/romneys-plan-100-tax-hike-for-the-poor-100-000-tax-cut-for-the-rich/250947/>%5D

    Center On Budget And Policy Priorities: Romney’s New Tax Cuts Would Cost $4.9 Trillion Over A Decade, On Top Of The Cost Of Extending The Bush Tax Cuts. “The Tax Policy Center estimates that the Romney tax plan would lose about $480 billion in tax revenue in calendar year 2015, beyond the revenues losses inherent in maintaining current policy (such as continuing all of the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts). Over the 2014-2022 period, that implies a total reduction in revenues of about $4.9 trillion, relative to current tax policy.” [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 5/21/12<http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3658>%5D

    ROMNEY LIE #5: ROMNEY’S PLAN WOULDN’T AFFECT CURRENT SENIORS’ SOCIAL SECURITY, BUT HIS TAX PLAN WOULD TAX SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS

    Romney Said His Plan Wouldn’t Change Social Security For Current Retirees. Romney: “And the answer is neither the president nor I are proposing any changes for any current retirees or near retirees, either to Social Security or Medicare. So if you’re 60 or around 60 or older, you don’t need to listen any further.” [Denver Presidential Debate,
    10/3/12]

    Tax Policy Center: Assuming Romney Pays For His Tax Plan By Cutting Deductions Would Put On The Table Provisions Like The “The Partial Exclusion Of Social Security Benefits.” [Tax Policy Center, On The Distributional Effects Of Base-Broadening Income Tax Reform, 8/1/12<http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/publications/url.cfm?ID=1001628>%5D

    Under Romney's Plan, If Tax Rates Were Cut 20% Across The Board And Deductions For The Middle Class Were Cut By 58% — The Limitation Of The Exclusion For Social Security Benefits Would Result In An Average Tax Increase Of $458. In 2010, the average tax benefit from untaxed Social Security benefits was $987. Because Romney cuts taxes across the board by 20%, the value of the tax benefit would be $789. If Romney cuts deductions by 58% for those making less than $200,000, that means he would be reducing the average tax benefit from the exclusion from $789 to $331, the equivalent of a $458 tax increase.

    · 2010: The Average Benefit Received From Untaxed Social Security Benefits Was $987.In 2010, there were 29,239,000 income tax returns with untaxed Social Security and Railroad Retirement Benefits from individuals making $200,000 or less – for a total of and $28,861,000,000 in total benefits. That means the average benefit was $987. [Joint Committee on Taxation, Estimates Of Federal Tax Expenditures For Fiscal Years 2011-2015, Table 3 – Distribution by Income Class of Selected Individual Tax Expenditure Items, at 2010 Rates and 2010 Income Levels, p. 51, 1/17/12<https://www.jct.gov/publications.html?func=startdown&id=4385>%5D

    · Romney Proposed Cutting All Marginal Tax Rates By 20 Percent. [Tax Policy Center, The Romney Plan (updated), 3/1/12<http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxtopics/romney-plan.cfm>%5D

    · Tax Policy Center: Assuming Romney Pays For His Tax Plan By Limiting Deductions Would Require Eliminating 58 Percent Of Total Tax Deductions For Households Making Less Than $200,000. [Tax Policy Center, On The Distributional Effects Of Base-Broadening Income Tax Reform, p. 6, 8/1/12<http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/publications/url.cfm?ID=1001628>%5D

    ROMNEY LIE #6: ROMNEY SAID HIS TAX PLAN WON’T COST $5 TRILLION, BUT HIS PLAN HAS BEEN SCORED AT $5 TRILLION – IN ADDITION TO THE COST OF EXTENDING THE BUSH TAX CUTS

    Romney: “I’m Not Looking For A $5 Trillion Tax Cut.” ROMNEY: “So if the tax plan he described were a tax plan I was asked to support, I’d say absolutely not. I’m not looking 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. That’s part one. So there’s no economist that can say Mitt Romney’s tax plan adds $5 trillion if I say I will not add to the deficit with my tax plan.” [Denver Presidential Debate, 10/3/12]

    · Romney: “I’m Not In Favor Of A $5 Trillion Tax Cut. That’s Not My Plan.” ROMNEY: “I think first of all, let me — let me repeat — let me repeat what I said. I’m not in favor of a $5 trillion tax cut. That’s not my plan. My plan is not to put in place any tax cut that will add to the deficit. That’s point one. So you may keep referring to it as a $5 trillion tax cut, but that’s not my plan.” [Denver Presidential Debate, 10/3/12]

    Center On Budget And Policy Priorities: Romney’s New Tax Cuts Would Cost $4.9 Trillion Over A Decade, On Top Of The Cost Of Extending The Bush Tax Cuts. “The Tax Policy Center estimates that the Romney tax plan would lose about $480
    billion in tax revenue in calendar year 2015, beyond the revenues losses inherent in maintaining current policy (such as continuing all of the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts). Over the 2014-2022 period, that implies a total reduction in revenues of about $4.9 trillion, relative to current tax policy.”
    [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 5/21/12<http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:sT0ZdZ6ABH8J:www.cbpp.org/cms/%3Ffa%3Dview%26id%3D3658+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us>%5D

    ROMNEY LIE #7: HE CLAIMED HIS PLAN WOULDN’T ADD TO THE DEFICIT

    Romney: “My Number One Principle Is There’ll Be No Tax Cut That Adds To The Deficit.” ROMNEY: “And finally, with regards to that tax cut, look, I’m not looking to cut massive taxes and to reduce the — the revenues going to
    the government. My — my number one principle is there’ll be no tax cut that adds to the deficit. I want to underline that — no tax cut that adds to the deficit.”
    [Romney, Denver Presidential Debate, 10/3/12]

    Center On Budget And Policy Priorities: Romney’s New Tax Cuts Would Cost $4.9 Trillion Over A Decade, On Top Of The Cost Of Extending The Bush Tax Cuts. “The Tax Policy Center estimates that the Romney tax plan would lose about $480 billion in tax revenue in calendar year 2015, beyond the revenues losses inherent in maintaining current policy (such as continuing all of the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts). Over the 2014-2022 period, that implies a total reduction in revenues of about $4.9 trillion, relative to current tax policy.” [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 5/21/12<http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:sT0ZdZ6ABH8J:www.cbpp.org/cms/%3Ffa%3Dview%26id%3D3658+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us>%5D

    Tax Policy Center: Romney’s Tax Plan Would Drive Up The Deficit By $480 Billion In 2015 Alone. “Because Gov. Romney has not specified how he would increase the tax base, it is impossible to determine how the plan would affect federal tax revenues or the distribution of the tax burden. TPC has analyzed instead the effects of the specified proposals in the Romney plan. These estimates provide a guide as to how much the base broadening would need to raise taxes in different income groups to achieve the plan’s targets… in the absence of such base broadening, TPC estimates that on a static basis, the Romney plan would lower federal tax liability by about $900 billion in calendar year 2015 compared with current law, roughly a 24 percent cut in total projected revenue. Relative to a current policy baseline, the reduction in liability would be about $480 billion in calendar year 2015.” [Tax Policy Center, The Romney Plan (updated), 3/1/12<http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxtopics/romney-plan.cfm>%5D

    ROMNEY LIE #8: ROMNEY CLAIMED THERE ARE SIX STUDIES THAT CALLED HIS PLAN REVENUE NEUTRAL BUT FACT CHECKERS SAY HE’S FLAT WRONG

    Romney At Denver Debate: “Now, You Cite A Study, There’s 6 Other Studies That Looked At The Study Described And Say It’s Completely Wrong.” “Now, you cite a study, there’s 6 other studies that looked at the study described and say it’s completely wrong. I saw a study that came out today that said you’re going to raise taxes by 3 to $4,000 on middle class families. There are all of these studies out there but the bottom line is want to the bring down rates, I want to bring rates down at the same time lower deductions and exceptions and credits anding so forth we keep getting the revenue we need and you think well why lower the rates and the reason is because small business pays that individual rate.” [Denver Presidential Debate, 10/3/12]

    Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler: “Romney Has Countered That “Six Other Studies” Have Found That The Plan Can Be Revenue Neutral, But He’s Wrong About That.” Romney has countered that “six other studies” have found that the plan can be revenue neutral, but he’s wrong about that. Those studies actually do not provide much evidence that Romney’s proposal — as sketchy as it is — would be revenue neutral without making unrealistic assumptions. [Glenn Kessler, Washington Post, 10/3/12<http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/election-2012/wp/2012/10/03/fact-check-the-tax-fight/>%5D

    ROMNEY LIE #9: ROMNEY ARGUED THAT HIS PLAN WOULDN’T CUT EDUCATION, BUT IT COULD MEAN A CUT OF MORE THAN $115 BILLION OVER THE NEXT DECADE

    Romney: “All Right, I’m Not Going To Cut Education Funding. I Don’t Have Any Plan To Cut Education Funding And — And Grants That Go To People Going To College.” [Denver Presidential Debate, 10/3/12]

    If Cuts Were Applied Across The Board, Ryan’s Budget Would Cut “The Department Of Education … By More Than $115 Billion Over A Decade.” “Yesterday, House Republicans released their budget resolution for FY 2013 … On top of the roughly $1 trillion in cuts in the Budget Control Act, it would be difficult to overstate the radicalism of the domestic cuts proposed by the House budget resolution. In 2013, it
    would cut annual non-defense funding by 5 percent. By 2014, the resolution would cut this funding by 19 percent in purely nominal terms… The Department of Education would be cut by more than $115 billion over a decade.”
    [Jeff Zients, Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget, WH.gov, 3/21/12<http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/03/21/ryan-republican-budget-consequences-imbalance>%5D

    If Cuts Were Applied Across The Board, The Ryan Budget Would Cut Elementary And Secondary Education Funding By $4.8 Billion. According to the White House, cuts to elementary and secondary education, special education funding would total $4,847,000,000 under the Ryan Budget. [White House, 4/6/12<http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/consequences_of_ryan_republican_budget_for_education_4-6-12.pdf>%5D

    If Cuts Were Applied Across The Board, The Ryan Budget Would Slash Education, Meaning “9.6 Million Students Would See Their Pell Grants Fall By More Than $1,000 In 2014, And, Over The Next Decade, Over One Million Students Would Lose Support Altogether.” “Yesterday, House Republicans released their budget resolution for FY 2013… On top of the roughly $1 trillion in cuts in the Budget Control Act, it would be difficult to overstate the radicalism of the domestic cuts proposed by the House budget resolution. In 2013, it would cut annual non-defense funding by 5 percent. By 2014, the resolution would cut this funding by 19 percent in purely nominal terms… 9.6 million students would see their Pell Grants fall by more than $1000 in 2014, and, over the next decade, over one million students would lose support altogether.” [Jeff Zients, Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget, WH.gov, 3/21/12<http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/03/21/ryan-republican-budget-consequences-imbalance>%5D

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First 2012 Presidential Debate (Full Video and Transcript)

Posted on October 4, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

Video via New York Times:

Full transcript via National Journal. Here are their opening remarks:

MODERATOR JIM LEHRER: Gentlemen, welcome to you both. Let’s start with the economy, segment one, and let’s begin with jobs. What are the major differences between the two of you about how you would go about creating new jobs? You have two minutes — each of you have two minutes to start. A coin toss has determined, Mr. President, you go first.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you very much, Jim, for this opportunity. I want to thank Governor Romney, and the University of Denver for your hospitality.

There are a lot of points I want to make tonight, but the most important one is that 20 years ago I became the luckiest man on Earth because Michelle Obama agreed to marry me. (Laughter.) And so I just want to wish, sweetie, you happy anniversary, and let you know that a year from now we will not be celebrating it in front of 40 million people. (Laughter.)

Four years ago, we went through the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Millions of jobs were lost. The auto industry was on the brink of collapse. The financial system had frozen up. And because of the resilience and the determination of the American people, we’ve begun to fight our way back. Over the last 30 months, we’ve seen 5 million jobs in the private sector created. The auto industry has come roaring back and housing has begun to rise.
But we all know that we’ve still got a lot of work to do. And so the question here tonight is not where we’ve been, but where we’re going.

Governor Romney has a perspective that says if we cut taxes skewed towards the wealthy and roll back regulations that we’ll be better off. I’ve got a different view. I think we’ve got to invest in education and training. I think it’s important for us to develop new sources of energy here in America; that we change our tax code to make sure that we’re helping small businesses and companies that are investing here in the United States; that we take some of the money that we’re saving as we wind down two wars to rebuild America; and that we reduce our deficit in a balanced way that allows us to make these critical investments.

Now, ultimately, it’s going to be up to the voters — to you — which path we should take. Are we going to double down on the top-down economic policies that helped to get us into this mess? Or do we embrace a new economic patriotism that says America does best when the middle class does best? And I’m looking forward to having that debate.

MR. LEHRER: Governor Romney, two minutes.

GOVERNOR ROMNEY: Thank you, Jim. It’s an honor to be here with you, and I appreciate the chance to be with the President. I’m pleased to be at the University of Denver. I appreciate their welcome, and also the Presidential Commission on these debates.

And congratulations to you, Mr. President, on your anniversary. I’m sure this was the most romantic place you could imagine, here with me. (Laughter.) Congratulations.

This is obviously a very tender topic. I’ve had the occasion over the last couple of years of meeting people across the country — I was in Dayton, Ohio, and a woman grabbed my arm and she said, I’ve been out of work since May, can you help me? Ann yesterday was at a rally in Denver and a woman came up to her with a baby in her arms and said, Ann, my husband has had four jobs in three years, part-time jobs. He’s lost his most recent job and we’ve now just lost our home. Can you help us?

And the answer is, yes, we can help, but it’s going to take a different path — not the one we’ve been on, not the one the President describes as a top-down, cut taxes for the rich. That’s not what I’m going to do. My plan has five basic parts: One, get us energy independent — North America energy independent. That creates about 4 million jobs. Number two, open up more trade, particularly in Latin America; crack down on China if and when they cheat. Number three, make sure our people have the skills they need to succeed and the best schools in the world — we are far away from that now. Number four, get us to a balanced budget. Number five, champion small business.

It’s small business that creates the jobs in America. And over the last four years, small business people have decided that America may not be the place to open a new business, because new business startups are down to a 30-year low. I know what it takes to get small business growing again, to hire people.

Now, I’m concerned that the path that we’re on has just been unsuccessful. The President has a view very similar to the view he had when he ran four years ago, that a bigger government spending more, taxing more, regulating more — if you will, trickle-down government — would work. That’s not the right answer for America. I’ll restore the vitality that gets America working again. Thank you.

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