This is a summary of the second debate between former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama in a real-time diary format. For more reaction, check out The Detroit News’ live debate chat.
With an hour before the debate, Game 3 of the Tigers/Yankees begins. Verlander and Hughes face off in a similar manner as Romney and Obama, if you consider President Obama as the Yankees, and Governor Romney as the Tigers. Romney holds a 2-0 lead (the VP debate was a place where ties win), and the stakes are just as high as taking two away for the World Series.
I normally carouse on playoff game nights, but this debate is also important, and social media offers the ability to both watch the game, the debate, and blog on all of it. The good part is that from now until 9, it’s all Tigers.
My debate stream is C-SPAN. It’s good to get the live feed from them, because it’s really how it is in the debate forum, a disturbingly quiet and tense gathering, an occasional cough, and real silence prior to the debate.
Jobs are the first question from a college student. Romney delivers well, calls for increasing Pells and working on a similar idea for college students. Problem is, I thought we were already doing that, and also, we don’t need more federal programs when Mitt’s talking about cutting programs. Obama’s answer was perfectly designed and pre-planned for the debate. Point to the Tide. Roll ‘Bama Roll.
Romney puts in a big dig on the unemployment rate and brings up 12 million new jobs in 4 years. Long-term unemployment is something that will require new manufacturing, and a huge number of new industries that the private market likely can’t create without a massive government backstop. So conservatives are already trapped by Romney just minutes into the debate, unless someone not related to the candidate can produce a real document that shows the growth potential for his tax plan.
Energy Department and Obama. There are Solyndras, Keystones, and MMS that still haven’t gotten anything but a “My Bad” from the federal government. Obama’s answer is to invest in energy production of clean and renewables, but Romney pushes back with regulations and tries to bring up a criminal action to show up the president. It’s clear he just heard a little about it, but most people won’t realize the light stutter as Romney was trying to remember what the heck the researchers were talking about.
Obama and Romney get feisty. They are finally talking to each other, and not to focus groups, independent idiots, or low-information voters they haven’t annoyed yet with media. Romney is hyped, and he’s confident. And now we’re finally into tax details, and that’s the key, in my opinion. Tell the details, and Romney will probably pull ahead if they’re not ridiculous.
Interest, dividends, capital gains. Look, I know most of us dabble in the dark arts of investment, but I don’t want a prospectus where smash-mouth manufacturing is not required. The global economy is not prepared for a growth period without solving more than just your 401k statement, your IRA growth, or the calls you get from your broker asking for more money to play with.
Romney talks poverty, but his policies will directly remove all support for those who can’t turn on a dime (or a Benjamin). Taxes are the big deal here. The real issue is how to detail the tax plan. Romney finally starts to put in tax details, which pushes the voter to go find out (or trust Romney). That’s a big question for the voters who remain undecided, and I believe there are a lot more undecided voters than the polls indicate. Sure, they’ll respond to polls, but they’re not confident on either side.
A tirade of sorts on women’s rights leads into a question about jobs, but the general debate focus has been lost. Foreign policy almost made it, but it turned into soapboxing on both ends. I’m tuning out for a little bit, as the Tigers take a 2-0 lead.
Jobs and illegals. And while Romney says some things that support a generalized and broad program, he isn’t in on details that President Obama is describing, especially when trying to stir the Hispanic folks by scaring them with GOP policy stories.
Romney and Obama dig into Libya. It’s a big win for Obama, and makes Biden look even smarter after schooling Ryan in the last debate. The big thing here is foreign policy has changed so much from Bush to Romney. The GOP itself could stomach 1,800 suicide bombings in Iraq, but can’t wait to attack the president on Libya. The problem we face in foreign policy is that if we are going to have a free Middle East, of republics and democracies that support freedom and personal choice, we have to take casualties. The spine of the GOP is showing frail.
Obama on gun control. The Aurora shooting brings up a serious question about automatic weapons. We don’t need massive weapons of death, but we also should be provided the right to defend ourselves as we feel the need to. In the wake of a major disaster, having a peashooter won’t keep the raiders off the property.
And we might consider that the 2nd Amendment should be defended. I think we’re provided good reasons to ban certain weapons, but also in producing a ban on a specific class of weapon, we need the enforcement policy to reduce that weapon’s prevalence in the criminal world. Project Gunrunner was a poor plan taken from a local jurisdiction to a federal level. And we know how local plans taken to national levels can often malfunction on so many policy fronts…
Romney’s dream is to bring jobs back to America. I’d like to see the jobs come back, and moreso want to help myself and bring jobs back. Detroit is a great place to do it, but there’s a problem with the amount of revenue required in order to sustain any growth in any company. In the U.S., Romney’s plan is to take China and force them to play fair.
Romney… How? That’s what I’d like to know. China doesn’t care. And Romney’s foreign policy is killing any hope I have in a Romney administration who just whines about China, as China continues to benefit small businesses. Yes, small businesses make a lot of goods that help them by outsourcing manufacturing or supplies. The GOP needs to stop crying about China when they realize that their own country has the capability to produce the same products.
Obama’s vision has a problem. He encouraged everyone in 2008 to think that America could accomplish whatever they set their sights upon. He thought once people were charged up, they’d go off and do something.
But this problem is far removed from this administration or the past one. It’s a cumulative effect of decades. The American people need to step it up, and we all need to sit down together and hash out the things we can fix together, and leave all the shrill rhetoric behind. Maybe I’m just dreaming.
It’s over. Simply, a real debate. Romney and Obama shared many good points, and we’ll see how the public takes this from here. I think it doesn’t matter who won (I think a draw overall with Romney winning on economy (extra weighting), and Obama on foreign policy and social issues).
I hope voters on both ends really ask the questions we need answered before we start electing people. I’d like to see Romney’s tax plan in 2012 to the letter. In fact, if he produced one that wasn’t filled with fluff, I’d probably vote for him.
No one has taken the time to level with the American people in a long time. We need to cut spending, raise revenue, and start getting American again. We need jobs and industry, but we also need these jobs with a focus on bringing our country’s unemployed back. We can’t play the fear card on either side, whether GOPers in China or Dems in social issues.
At the end of this debate, we see that America is more divided by the party than the actual policy. Watching Romney centralize, celebrating 87% Dem control in Massachusetts is pretty impressive, because conservative ideals are being painted into a 40-corner room.
Sales time, folks. You sure you want to sell that with your reputation on the line?