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Kaulay: The debate rages on

By Jonathan Kaulay
On October 4, 2012

  • President Barack Obama and presidential hopeful Mitt Romney engage in a game of verbal one-upmanship Wednesday night at the University of Denver. PBS NewsHour’s Jim Lehrer was the moderator. The Huffington Post

Here are a handful of Mitt Romney's big ideas presented during the debate:

We need to bring back coal. While Romney is at it, he should bring back shoe repairmen and scribes as well.
He is going to cut the deficit by cutting programs. You know, programs such as subsidies for PBS.  The Corporation for Public Broadcasting in total gets $422 million from the federal government.
To put that in perspective, we spend nearly $1.5 trillion on defense alone. Cutting CPB spending will not fix the deficit. In fact the deficit can only be addressed if we cut some defense spending, which Romney wants to increase.
Romney had been touting a tax plan for more than a year. He found out during the debate that his plan made no sense mathematically. He decided in that moment, it seemed, to drop the plan.  
Romney also said, "We have best health record in the world." I suppose he is setting aside the obesity epidemic and the fact that the World Health Organization ranks us 37th in the world in healthcare.  

I would also be interested to see how Romney will pay for "all the good parts" of the Affordable Care Act he wants to keep without an individual mandate to pay for those good things.

Putting the silly things Romney said aside, what we saw during the debate was Romney finally shaking the Etch A Sketch. He has left his base behind and moved into a more moderate stance, and it worked. He will now gain some points in the polls, and the race will tighten up.
Obama had facts on his side, but Romney came out looking better. Romney controlled the tone, energy and moderator during the debate.
Obama never mentioned the "47 percent," women's rights, immigration, unions, the auto industry or anything else that could have put him at an advantage.
Obama was calm, quiet, passive, never personally attacked Romney and acted as the adult in the room. This was very frustrating.
Just this once he could have been the liberal his base wants him to be and Republicans pretend he is.  This was Obama's opportunity to put the Romney campaign in disarray, and he failed to do so because he took the high road.
For the next debate I hope Obama comes off as less presidential and more like a guy who is fighting for his job.

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