(UPDATED) Why “FoxNews = Faux News”: Planned, Staged, Scripted Outrage “Breaking News” During Election Night Coverage
(4pm 11/8/12: Updated as apparently others are now questioning Karl Rove’s role in this on-air farce.)
Below is a clip of Rove from Election Night:
“The first thing that came to my mind, the first thing burned in everyone’s mind, is Florida 2000,” said Michael Clemente, the Fox News executive vice president for news. “And the minute you hear, ‘Hold the phone,’ you sort of get that oh-my-goodness feeling.”
So Mr. Clemente, who was one floor up in the control room, decided with his team of producers to allow Mr. Rove to say on television what he was finding and hearing from the Romney campaign: that the numbers coming out of Ohio were not necessarily adding up to an Obama victory.
Fox News then let its decision team respond, a logistically difficult task considering it was holed up in a room about 30 yards down the hall from the studio.
So at 11:33 p.m., Megyn Kelly, an anchor known for her no-nonsense style, began her walk down the hall and did the questioning.
The leader of the decision team, Arnon Mishkin, laid out its case, with some help from a more polished television presence, Chris Stirewalt.
“Arnon doesn’t do TV very often, and Megyn can be very pointed,” Mr. Clemente said. “So I said let’s have Arnon with the facts, and Chris — because he’s on TV every day — to put it in English.”
By that point Fox had already declared Mr. Obama not just the winner of Ohio, but the winner of the presidency. And when Mr. Rove next appeared on camera, his demeanor was more deflated.
So do we now have a FoxNews executive VP lying to cover up these misdeeds? At what point does their electioneering and blatant misinformation, given out to audiences when the polls were still open in some states, be seen as manipulative? Will the FCC investigate or other media outlets call Fox out?
Much still needs to be seen.
From the video clip’s description:
“Fox News called Ohio for Obama, Karl Rove challenged the decision on-air, causing what can only be described as a kernel panic. Fox News’ decision desk, its institutional center of authority for making sound election calls, had issued its decision. And Fox News, in its capacity as a newsgathering operation, had called the election for Obama. But Karl Rove, Fox News’ ideological paymaster, challenged the decision. So Megyn Kelly got out of her anchor chair, walked down the hall, and interrogated her own highly trained election analysts on Rove’s behalf.”
Okay, now let’s examine that tape a bit.
- (0:07-0:12) Apparently “Fair and Balanced” doesn’t apply to the riser nor stairs that the Fox News reporters navigate, as co-host Bret Baier escorts Ms. Kelley down the treacherous 2 steps on her way to confront the analysts.
(0:19 mark onward) FoxNews host Megan Kelley begins her now infamous “Walk of Shame” to “try to get to the bottom of this”.
(1:07)That awkward moment when Kelley, in a moment of unscripted ad-libbing, openly admits to the viewing audience that she- and others- had previously rehearsed and scripted this lil stunt.
We are watching the host, during Election Night coverage, get up and leave her seat, taking with her multiple camera and light crews, positioned in front and behind her. No one questions her doing this, nor seems even slightly surprised by her decision to stroll about the studio on a self-propelled field trip.
We later hear the host herself admit THAT THEY HAD REHEARSED THIS WALK BEFOREHAND, lamenting that same as before, her audio cuts out around a corner. An unidentified man speaks into the audio feed, asking if she can hear him and registers no surprise that she does not respond, nor has he spoken up questioning her before this point.
This photo found online was taken three days before the election. Note that Kelley is wearing jeans for the rehearsal but the same top as Election Night, all the better to let the audience focus on her gams.
(We’ll ignore the long established sexism within the entire network for the moment…)
What does this mean? How did the producers decide this stunt Megan Kelley pulled might prove to be necessary?
Fox News- and Karl Rove- knew the numbers in advance that they were reporting in the waning moments of the campaign season were NOT accurate and so were bracing for tremendous backlash with their audience and financial backers. They KNEW there was a strong possibility that they were going to lose- and big.
$390 MILLION dollars spent by TPTB- and they lost. Not just the White House but so many other races and decisions across the country.
So, Fox set up this ridiculous farce as CYA, damage control, a contingency plan- whatever you want to call it. The photo, dated November 4, is the smoking gun.
While others in media insist this was a moment of in-fighting, the fact remains that the photos show clearly that what happened on Election Night on FauxNews was calculated and planned.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )
Mitt Romney in 2011 GOP Primary Debate: Federal Disaster Relief For Tornado And Flood Victims Is ‘Immoral,’ ‘Makes No Sense At All’
Watch for yourself (h/t Think Progress).
KING: Governor Romney? You’ve been a chief executive of a state. I was just in Joplin, Missouri. I’ve been in Mississippi and Louisiana and Tennessee and other communities dealing with whether it’s the tornadoes, the flooding, and worse. FEMA is about to run out of money, and there are some people who say do it on a case-by-case basis and some people who say, you know, maybe we’re learning a lesson here that the states should take on more of this role. How do you deal with something like that?
ROMNEY: Absolutely. Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that’s the right direction. And if you can go even further and send it back to the private sector, that’s even better.
Instead of thinking in the federal budget, what we should cut — we should ask ourselves the opposite question. What should we keep? We should take all of what we’re doing at the federal level and say, what are the things we’re doing that we don’t have to do? And those things we’ve got to stop doing, because we’re borrowing $1.6 trillion more this year than we’re taking in. We cannot…
KING: Including disaster relief, though?
ROMNEY: We cannot — we cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids. It is simply immoral, in my view, for us to continue to rack up larger and larger debts and pass them on to our kids, knowing full well that we’ll all be dead and gone before it’s paid off. It makes no sense at all.
Via Obama for America press release:
Former Secretary of State, National Security Adviser, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell endorsed President Obama for re-election today. Powell cited the President’s leadership in bringing us back from the brink of economic collapse, ending the war in Iraq, his plan to end the war in Afghanistan, and his strong record of fighting terrorism as reasons for his endorsement.
ROSE: Will you endorse President Obama this race?
POWELL: Well, you know I voted for him in 2008 and I plan to stick with him in 2012, and I’ll be voting for he and for Vice President Joe Biden next month.
ROSE: That’s an endorsement for President Obama for re-election?
POWELL: Yes. And let me say why. When he took over the country was in very, very difficult straits, we were in one of the worst recessions we had seen in recent times, close to a depression. The fiscal system was collapsing. Wall Street was in chaos. We had 800,000 jobs lost in that first month of the Obama administration and unemployment would peak a few months later at 10%. So we were in real trouble. The auto industry was collapsing. The housing industry was starting to collapse, and we were in very difficult straits. And I saw over the next several years stabilization come back in the financial community, housing is now starting to pick up after four years, it’s starting to pick up. Consumer confidence is rising. So I think generally we’ve come out of the dive and we’re starting to gain altitude. It doesn’t mean we are problem solved, there are lots of problems still out there. The unemployment rate is too high. People are still hurting in housing. But I see that we are starting to rise up. I also saw the President get us out of one war, start to get us out of a second war and did not get us into any new wars. And finally, I think that the actions he’s taken with respect to protecting us from terrorism have been very, very solid. And so I think we ought to keep on the track that we are on. With respect to Governor Romney, I have the utmost respect to him but as I listen to what his proposals are especially with respect to dealing with our most significant issue, the economy, it’s essentially let’s cut taxes and compensate for that with other things. But that compensation does not cover all of the cuts intended or the new expenses associated with defense.
Transcript via New York Times. Here are the opening statements:
BOB SCHIEFFER: Good evening from the campus of Lynn University here in Boca Raton, Florida. This is the fourth and last debate of the 2012 campaign, brought to you by the Commission on Presidential Debates. This one’s on foreign policy. I’m Bob Schieffer of CBS News. The questions are mine, and I have not shared them with the candidates or their aides.
The audience has taken a vow of silence — no applause, no reaction of any kind except right now when we welcome President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney. (Sustained cheers, applause.) Gentlemen, your campaigns have agreed to certain rules and they are simple. They have asked me to divide the evening into segments. I’ll pose a question at the beginning of each segment. You will each have two minutes to respond, and then we will have a general discussion until we move to the next segment.
Tonight’s debate, as both of your know, comes on the 50th anniversary of the night that President Kennedy told the world that the Soviet Union had installed nuclear missiles in Cuba — perhaps the closest we’ve ever come to nuclear war. And it is a sobering reminder that every president faces at some point an unexpected threat to our national security from abroad. So let’s begin.
The first segment is the challenge of a changing Middle East and the new face of terrorism. I’m going to put this into two segments, so you’ll have two topic questions within this one segment on that subject. The first question, and it concerns Libya, the controversy over what happened there continues. Four Americans are dead, including an American ambassador. Questions remain. What happened? What caused it? Was it spontaneous?
Was it an intelligence failure? Was it a policy failure? Was there an attempt to mislead people about what really happened?
Governor Romney, you said this was an example of an American policy in the Middle East that is unraveling before our very eyes. I’d like to hear each of you give your thoughts on that.
Governor Romney, you won the toss. You go first.
MITT ROMNEY: Thank you, Bob, and thank you for agreeing to moderate this debate this evening. Thank you to Lynn University for welcoming us here, and Mr. President, it’s good to be with you again. We were together at a humorous event a little earlier, and it’s nice to maybe be funny this time not on purpose. We’ll see what happens. (Laughter.)
This is obviously an area of great concern to the entire world and to America in particular, which is to see a — a complete change in the — the — the structure and the — the environment in the Middle East. With the Arab Spring came a great deal of hope that there would be a change towards more moderation and opportunity for greater participation on the part of women and — and public life and in economic life in the Middle East. But instead we’ve seen in nation after nation a number of disturbing events. Of course, we see in Syria 30,000 civilians having been killed by the military there. We see in — in — in Libya an attack apparently by — well, I think we know now by terrorists of some kind against — against our people there, four people dead. Our hearts and minds go to them. Mali has been taken over, the northern part of Mali, by al-Qaida-type individuals. We have in — in Egypt a Muslim Brotherhood president.
And so what we’re seeing is a — a — a pretty dramatic reversal in the kind of hopes we had for that region. Of course, the greatest threat of all is Iran, four years closer to a nuclear weapon. And — and we’re going to have to recognize that we have to do as the president has done. I congratulate him on — on taking out Osama bin Laden and going after the leadership in al-Qaida. But we can’t kill our way out of this mess. We’re — we’re going to have to put in place a very comprehensive and robust strategy to help the — the world of Islam and — and other parts of the world reject this radical violent extremism which is — it’s really not on the run. It’s certainly not hiding. This is a group that is now involved in 10 or 12 countries, and it presents an enormous threat to our friends, to the world, to America long term, and we must have a comprehensive strategy to help reject this kind of extremism.
MR. SCHIEFFER: Mr. President.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, my first job as commander in chief, Bob, is to keep the American people safe, and that’s what we’ve done over the last four years. We ended the war in Iraq, refocused our attention on those who actually killed us on 9/11. And as a consequence, al-Qaida’s core leadership has been decimated.
In addition, we’re now able to transition out of Afghanistan in a responsible way, making sure that Afghans take responsibility for their own security, and that allows us also to rebuild alliances and make friends around the world to combat future threats. Now, with respect to Libya, as I indicated in the last debate, when we received that phone call, I immediately made sure that, number one, we did everything we could to secure those Americans who were still in harm’s way; number two, that we would investigate exactly what happened; and number three, most importantly, that we would go after those who killed Americans, and we would bring them to justice, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do.
But I think it’s important to step back and think about what happened in Libya. Now, keep in mind that I and Americans took leadership in organizing an international coalition that made sure that we were able to — without putting troops on the ground, at the cost of less than what we spent in two weeks in Iraq — liberate a country that had been under the yoke of dictatorship for 40 years, got rid of a despot who had killed Americans.
And as a consequence, despite this tragedy, you had tens of thousands of Libyans after the events in Benghazi marching and saying, America’s our friend. We stand with them. Now that represents the opportunity we have to take advantage of. And you know, Governor Romney, I’m glad that you agree that we have been successful in going after al-Qaida, but I have to tell you that, you know, your strategy previously has been one that has been all over the map and is not designed to keep Americans safe or to build on the opportunities that exist in the Middle East.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
(via press release)
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
AT A CAMPAIGN EVENT
George Mason University
11:55 A.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Hello, Virginia! (Applause.) Are you fired up? (Applause.) Are you ready to go? (Applause.) I can’t hear you! (Applause.) Well, it’s good to be back. Thank you.
AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years!
THE PRESIDENT: Can everybody please give Cecile a big round of applause for the great introduction and the work she does. (Applause.) We’ve got your Congressman here — Gerry Connolly in the house. (Applause.)
Eighteen days. Eighteen days, Virginia. Eighteen days and you’re going to step into a voting booth. And you’re going to have a very big choice to make — not just a choice between two candidates or two parties, but between two fundamentally different visions for this country that we love.
Governor Romney has got his sales pitch. We heard it the other night at the debate. He’s been running around talking about his five-point plan for the economy.
THE PRESIDENT: Don’t boo — vote. Vote! (Applause.)
He wants you to believe that somehow he’ll create 12 million jobs, cut taxes by $5 trillion, even though it favors the wealthiest Americans. None of this will add to the deficit.
When folks who don’t actually work for Governor Romney start crunching the numbers, it turns out the tax plan doesn’t add up, jobs plan doesn’t create jobs, deficit plan doesn’t reduce the deficit. An economist at the New York Times put it this morning, “There’s no jobs plan — there’s just a snow job on the American people.” (Applause.) A snow job.
And it’s really just a one-point plan, not a five-point plan. One point — folks at the very top play by a different set of rules than all of you.
AUDIENCE: Booo –
THE PRESIDENT: Listen, don’t boo — vote. (Laughter.)
If he offered you that deal when he was in corporate finance, you wouldn’t give him a dime. So why would you give him his vote?
This same philosophy that’s been squeezing the middle-class family for more than a decade — the same philosophy that got us into this mess. We can’t go back to that.
THE PRESIDENT: I’ve met too many good Americans who work so hard, show so much resilience, so much resolve — we have been fighting our way back from some of the same policies he’s advocating. We have been there. We have tried it. We can’t go back. (Applause.) We are moving forward. And that’s why I’m running for a second term as President of the United States. (Applause.)
Now, I believe that the biggest issue in this election is how do we rebuild a strong middle class and provide ladders for opportunity — all those who want to get into the middle class, who are willing to work hard, willing to take responsibility. Are we going to make sure that we’re a country where everybody gets a fair shot, and everybody is doing their fair share, and everybody is playing by the same rules? (Applause.)
So the economy is the dominant issue. But I want everybody to understand that that’s not the only place where Governor Romney is offering you a sketchy deal. It’s bad enough that my opponent wants to take us back to the failed economic policies of the past. But when it comes to issues critical to women — the right to make your own decision about your health — (applause) — the right to be treated fairly and equally in the workplace. (Applause.) Governor Romney wants to take us to policies more suited to the 1950s. Even his own running mate said he’s “kind of a throwback to the ‘50s.” That’s one thing we agree on. (Laughter.)
He may not have noticed, we’re in the 21st century. (Applause.) And in the 21st century, a woman deserves equal pay for equal work. (Applause.) This should be a no-brainer. But no matter how many times Governor Romney is asked whether or not he supports a law upholding that idea, he refuses to say. Why should this be hard? Are you for equal pay for equal work? Are you for making sure that laws enforce that basic principle?
He can’t tell you. I can. (Applause.) I support that law. In fact, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was the first law that I signed into office. (Applause.) And this isn’t just a women’s issue. No man should want his wife, or his daughters paid less than a man for doing the same job. (Applause.) This is a family issue. This is an economic issue. It’s one that we’ve got to fight for.
When Governor Romney says he’s going to get rid of funding for Planned Parenthood –
AUDIENCE: Booo –
THE PRESIDENT: Don’t boo –
THE PRESIDENT: — vote.
What he apparently doesn’t understand is that there are millions of women all across the country who rely on Planned Parenthood not just for contraceptive care, but for preventive care. That’s not just a health issue, it’s an economic issue.
When Governor Romney said he’d have supported an extreme measure in Massachusetts that could have outlawed some forms of contraception, when he joined the far right of his party to support a bill that would have allowed any employer to deny contraceptive care to their employees –
AUDIENCE: Booo –
THE PRESIDENT: Don’t boo –
THE PRESIDENT: — vote. (Laughter.)
What he didn’t get is that making sure your insurance policy covers contraceptive care is an economic issue also. I don’t think your boss should decide what’s best for your health and safety.
THE PRESIDENT: I don’t think your insurance company gets to decide what care you should get.
And, by the way, that’s why we fought so hard to pass health care reform, a.k.a. Obamacare. That’s why we pushed for it. (Applause.)
This law has secured new access to preventive care like mammograms and other cancer screenings for more than 20 million women, with no co-pay, no deductible, no out-of-pocket cost, because I do not believe a working mother should have to put off a mammogram just because money is tight. (Applause.)
This law means that most health plans are now beginning to cover the cost of contraceptive care because I don’t think a college student in Charlottesville or Blacksburg or Fairfax should have to choose between textbooks or the preventive care that she needs. (Applause.)
And, by the way for all the young people out here, Obamacare has already allowed nearly 7 million young adults under the age of 26 to sign up to stay on their parent’s plans. (Applause.)
For all those who are young at heart but not young in years, it’s already saved millions of seniors on Medicare hundreds of dollars on their prescription medicine. (Applause.)
Insurance companies can no longer put lifetime limits on your care or discriminate against children with preexisting conditions. (Applause.) And soon, they’ll no longer be able to charge women more for the same care just because they’re women. That’s what change looks like. (Applause.)
AUDIENCE MEMBER: We love you, Obama!
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. (Applause.)
Now, anybody who thinks that this election doesn’t matter, know this: My opponent has promised to repeal all of the things we just talked about as soon as he takes office, says he’d do it on day one. We know full well that if he gets the chance, he’ll rubber-stamp the agenda of this Republican Congress the second he takes office. Virginia, we can’t give him that chance.
THE PRESIDENT: I know he’s called him severely — he’s called himself “severely conservative,” but there’s nothing conservative about a government that prevents a woman from making her own health care decisions.
He talks about freedom, but freedom is the ability to choose the care you need when you need it. Freedom is the ability to change jobs or start your own business without the fear of losing your health insurance. Freedom is the knowledge that you’ll no longer be charged more than men for the same health care, or denied affordable coverage just because you beat cancer.
When the next President and Congress could tip the balance of the highest court in the land in a way that turns back the clock for women and families for decades to come, you don’t want someone who needs to ask for binders of women. (Applause.) You don’t want that guy. You want a President who has already appointed two unbelievable women to the Supreme Court of the United States. (Applause.)
So, Virginia, the choice –
AUDIENCE: Obama! Obama! Obama!
THE PRESIDENT: The choice between going backward and moving forward has never been so clear. But now that we’re 18 days out from the election, Mr. “Severely Conservative” — (laughter) — wants you to think he was severely kidding about everything he said over the last year. (Laughter.) He told folks he was “the ideal candidate” for the Tea Party. Now suddenly he’s saying, “what, who, me?” (Laughter.) He’s forgetting what his own positions are, and he’s betting that you will, too.
I mean, he’s changing up so much and backtracking and sidestepping — (laughter) — we’ve got to name this condition that he’s going through. I think it’s called “Romnesia.” (Laughter and applause.) That’s what it’s called. I think that’s what he’s going through.
Now, I’m not a medical doctor, but I do want to go over some of the symptoms with you — because I want to make sure nobody else catches it. (Laughter and applause.) If you say you’re for equal pay for equal work, but you keep refusing to say whether or not you’d sign a bill that protects equal pay for equal work — you might have Romnesia. (Laughter and applause.)
If you say women should have access to contraceptive care, but you support legislation that would let your employer deny you contraceptive care –- you might have a case of Romnesia. (Applause.)
If you say you’ll protect a woman’s right to choose, but you stand up at a primary debate and said that you’d be delighted to sign a law outlying — outlawing that right to choose in all cases -– man, you’ve definitely got Romnesia. (Applause.)
Now, this extends to other issues. If you say earlier in the year, I’m going to give a tax cut to the top 1 percent and then in a debate you say, I don’t know anything about giving tax cuts to rich folks — you need to get a thermometer, take your temperature, because you’ve probably got Romnesia. (Applause.)
If you say that you’re a champion of the coal industry when, while you were governor you stood in front of a coal plant and said, this plant will kill you — (laughter) –
THE PRESIDENT: — that’s some Romnesia. (Applause.)
So I think you’re being able — you’re beginning to be able to identify these symptoms. And if you come down with a case of Romnesia, and you can’t seem to remember the policies that are still on your website — (laughter) — or the promises you’ve made over the six years you’ve been running for President, here’s the good news: Obamacare covers preexisting conditions. (Laughter and applause.) We can fix you up. We’ve got a cure. We can make you well, Virginia. (Applause.) This is a curable disease. (Laughter.)
Women, men — all of you — these are family issues. These are economic issues. I want my daughters to have the same opportunities as anybody’s sons. I believe America does better — the economy grows more, we create more jobs — when everybody participates, when everyone is getting a fair shot, everybody is getting a fair shake, everybody is playing by the same rules, everybody is doing their fair share. That’s why I’m running for a second term for President of the United States. (Applause.) I need you to help me finish the job. (Applause.)
AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years!
THE PRESIDENT: Four years ago, I told you we’d end the war in Iraq, and we did. (Applause.) I said we’d end the war in Afghanistan — we are. I said we’d refocus on the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11, and we have. (Applause.) Al Qaeda is on the path to defeat. Osama bin Laden is dead. (Applause.)
Four years ago, I promised to cut taxes for middle-class families, and I have. (Applause.) I promised to cut taxes for small business owners — we have, 18 times. (Applause.)
We got every dime back from the banks that we used to rescue those banks. We passed laws to end taxpayer-funded Wall Street bailouts for good.
We repealed “don’t ask, don’t tell,” to make sure that nobody who wants to serve our country gets kicked out because of who they love. (Applause.)
When Governor Romney said we’d let — he’d let Detroit go bankrupt, we said, we’re not going to take your advice. We reinvented a dying auto industry that’s come roaring back to the top of the world. (Applause.)
Four years after the worst economic crisis of our lifetime, we’re moving. After losing 800,000 jobs a month when I took office, businesses have now added over 5 million new jobs. Unemployment has fallen from 10 percent to 7.8 percent. Home values are back on the rise. (Applause.) The stock market has nearly doubled — 401(k)s are starting to recover. Manufacturing is coming home. Assembly lines are humming again. We’ve got to keep moving forward. We’ve got to keep moving forward. (Applause.)
We’ve got more work to do. I’ve got a plan — and it’s a real plan, not a sales pitch — to grow the economy and create jobs and build more security for the middle class.
I want to send fewer jobs overseas and sell more products overseas. (Applause.) I want to invest in manufacturers and small businesses that create jobs right here in Virginia, right here in America.
I want us to control more of our own energy, cut oil imports in half, create thousands of clean energy jobs.
I want every child to have the same chance at a great education that Michelle and I received. (Applause.) I want to hire more teachers in math and science, train 2 million workers at community colleges, bring down the cost of college tuition. (Applause.)
I want to use the savings from ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to pay down our deficit, put our people back to work right here, doing some nation-building here at home. (Applause.)
That’s the agenda you need. That’s the agenda we need. That’s how we strengthen the middle class. That’s how we’ll keep moving forward. And in 18 days, you’re going to have a chance to say whether we keep moving forward.
In 18 days, you can choose a foreign policy that gets us into wars with no plan to get out, or you can say let’s end the Afghan war responsibly; let’s bring our troops home. (Applause.) Let’s focus on making sure that we’re building America.
In 18 days, you can let them turn back the clock 50 years for immigrants, and gays, and women, or we can stand up and say we are a country in which everybody has a place. (Applause.) A country where no matter where you are, no matter what you look like, no matter where you come from — black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, young, old, gay, straight, abled, disabled — we have a place for everybody. (Applause.) Everybody has got a chance to make it if you try.
That’s what’s at stake, Virginia. That’s why I’m asking for your vote. I believe in you. I need you to keep believing in me. I want to finish the job. And if you’re willing to stand with me, and make some phone calls with me, and knock on some doors with, get your friends to vote for me — we will win Fairfax County again. We will win Virginia again. (Applause.) We’ll finish what we started. And we’ll remind the world why the United States of America is the greatest nation on Earth.
God bless you. God bless the United States of America. (Applause.)
END 12:18 P.M. EDTRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Video via New York Times:
Washington Post has provided a full transcript. Here is a portion:
MODERATOR CANDY CROWLEY: … the candidates will oblige by keeping their answers concise and on point.
Each candidate has as much as two minutes to respond to a common question, and there will be a two-minute follow-up. The audience here in the hall has agreed to be polite and attentive — no cheering or booing or outbursts of any sort.
We will set aside that agreement just this once to welcome President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney.
Gentlemen, thank you both for joining us here tonight. We have a lot of folks who’ve been waiting all day to talk to you, so I want to get right to it.
Governor Romney, as you know, you won the coin toss, so the first question will go to you. And I want to turn to a first-time voter, Jeremy Epstein, who has a question for you.
QUESTION: Mr. President, Governor Romney, as a 20-year-old college student, all I hear from professors, neighbors and others is that when I graduate, I will have little chance to get employment. What can you say to reassure me, but more importantly my parents, that I will be able to sufficiently support myself after I graduate?
Click on the above links to watch and read the answers, as well as the rest of the debate.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Speaking to a crowd of 2,000 at a rally in Las Vegas, Nevada, former President Bill Clinton used his folksy orator skills to recharge the Democratic base and poke fun at Romney’s habitual flip-flopping. He pointed out that the views Romney expressed at the debate were much more centered than the far-right campaign he’s been pushing over the last year.
“I had a different reaction to that first debate than a lot of people did,” Clinton told nearly 2,000 supporters at a campaign rally for Obama and other Democrats. “I thought, ‘Wow, here’s old moderate Mitt. Where ya been, boy?'”
“It was like one of these Bain Capital deals, you know, where he’s the closer. So he shows up, doesn’t really know much about the deal and says, ‘Tell me what I’m supposed to say to close.’ The problem with this deal is the deal was made by severe conservative Mitt,” alluding to Romney’s description of himself in February as having been a “severely conservative” governor in Massachusetts.
The crowd fed right into Clinton’s funny attacks. Clinton also impersonated Romney, saying:
“I don’t have that tax plan I had for the last two years. Are you going to believe me or your lyin’ eyes here?”
“An animated short about the big choice in 2012’s presidential election
By Simpsons / Family Guy animator Lucas Gray. Also at http://whyobamanow.org. Make sure your registered and ready to vote at http://gottavote.com”
Via Daily Kos:
The three-minute video, narrated by a speech Obama delivered at the Associated Press Luncheon in April of 2012, rips apart the concept of “trickle-down” with swift, precise and visually-helpful animation. This is a video that is superbly animated, constructed and deserves a wide viewing audience.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
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,
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
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.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
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