It Should Have Been a Knockout.

As great as the President did in the second debate, it should have been a knockout.  The case for four more years is rock solid. Yet the Dems don’t seem able to match Repubs when it comes to pithy sound bites.

Here’s what I mean about going for knockout punches. At one point Mitt turned to the President and asked about oil production on Federal lands. (Yawn.)

In the same way, President Obama should have asked these questions…

“Governor Romney, thanks to the Bush tax cuts you paid only 14% in Federal taxes. That saved you millions of dollars. Please tell us how many jobs you created with those extra millions? How did your personal savings – much of which you sent overseas – help America in any way? “

“Governor Romney, when you ran for office in Massachusetts you campaigned as a ‘moderate.’ During the primaries you said you are ‘severely’ conservative. Which are we to believe?”

“Governor Romney, your position on abortion changed so many times that Ted Kennedy labeled you ‘multiple choice’ and you have continued to bounce from one position to another. Isn’t it true that you change your position just to get elected?”

“Governor Romney, the non-partisan Tax Policy Center said your tax cuts will cost the government $5 trillion over the coming ten years. You say you will offset those colossal tax cuts mainly by eliminating deductions and closing loopholes. That would be a massive shift in tax policy and vast numbers of Americans must feel the pain of those changes. Tell us specifically, who will feel the pain?  Homeowners? Students? Business owners? Charities? The middle class? WHO?”

“Governor Romney, for the past six years you have done nothing other than campaign for president. You had plenty of time to form your thoughts. Yet a few months ago, when you were speaking to other wealthy people, you disrespected almost half of all Americans.  That was no quick flub — you spoke at length about how you can’t be concerned with those people. Since you didn’t know you were being recorded, wasn’t speaking dismissively of 47% of Americans how you really felt?”

“Governor Romney, the main thrust of your campaign is that you know how to create jobs. Yet when you ended your one term as governor (with very low approval ratings) why was your state ranked third worst in the nation for job creation?”  (All fact checkers confirm that Mass. ranked 47th. Why is that not hammered home?!)

“Governor Romney, one of the TV ads your campaign runs the most claims that I gutted welfare reform. You approved that message. But governor, every fact checker in the country has said that ad is blatantly false. Why do you keep lying to the American public? How can we believe anything you say if you personally approve an ad that is 100% false?”

 President Obama, and all the other Dem talking heads, should be labeling Mitt a “Master Flip-Flopper.”  That phrase should have been repeated thousands of times. Mitt says only what needs to be said at the moment. He has no core beliefs. He has flipped on abortion, gun control, Afghanistan, healthcare, access to contraception, tax policy, and on and on.

And the President should come out aggressively and say, “Yes, as a matter of fact, you are much better offtoday. “ And then he should elaborate…

  • The stock market is up strongly and interest rates are down sharply.
  • Before any of my policies could take effect unemployment went all the way up to 10%. Now it is down to 7.8%.
  • Hundreds of thousands of our soldiers and their families are together tonight because I ended the war in Iraq … and we are winding down the war in Afghanistan.
  • Millions of students have (or will have) more financial help, at lower rates, than ever before.
  • Millions more Americans will have health insurance, and none of you will get jerked around by insurance companies.
  • As Joe Biden says, General Motors is alive and Bin Laden is dead!

And above all, the President and all Democrats must pound home the message that the Romney/Ryan plan of lower taxes for the rich and reduced regulation is exactly the same as George Bush and ALL Republicans – and those are the policies that brought us to the brink of a second Great Depression.  We CANNOT go back to those disastrous policies!

Romney Debates Himself

Character counts.

During the debate last week Mitt Romney looked into the camera and flat out lied. That is not an opinion.  During the entire campaign, Mitt has been saying over and over that he will reduce taxes for everyone. Obama must have been flabbergasted to hear his opponent suddenly declare “I will not reduce the taxes paid by high income Americans.”

The following video has been viewed more than a million times.  It would be funny if the stakes were not so serious.

Watch the one minute video.  Then come back and read the transcript. Both the video and transcript are from the wonderful Daily Kos web site. And because you’re busy, I’ve added my own emphasis.

Mitt Romney, 10/3/12: I will not reduce the taxes paid by high income Americans.

Mitt Romney, 2/22/12: There were so many misrepresentations in there it’s going to take me a little while. Number one, I said today that we’re going to cut taxes on everyone across the country by twenty percent—including the top one percent.

Mitt Romney, 10/3/12: The key to great schools? Great teachers. So I reject the idea that I don’t believe in great teachers or more teachers.

Mitt Romney, 6/8/12: He says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It’s time for us to cut back on government.

Mitt Romney, 10/3/12: Actually, it’s a lengthy description, but number one, pre-existing conditions are covered under my plan.

Mitt Romney, 3/27/12: If they’re 45 years old and they show up and they say I want insurance because I’ve got heart disease, it’s like: “Hey guys, we can’t play the game like that.” You’ve got to get insurance when you’re well, and then if you get ill, then you’re going to be covered.

It’s mind boggling. This man is running for U.S. President. I have no idea how any of this is defensible.

Mitt vs. Mitt is a recurring theme. He was a “moderate Republican” when he ran in Massachusetts, but now he swears he is “severely conservative.” He spoke back then with passion about a woman’s right to choose; now he holds a radical right anti-abortion stance.  And of course, he argued with skill about the merits of Obamacare, back when it was Romneycare.

Character counts. He won’t release his tax returns because, as Ann Romney said, it will provide “ammunition” to his opponents. (The gold-standard for transparency regarding tax returns when running for president was set by Gov. George Romney, Mitt’s father. George released 12 years of returns.)

Please, please pass this on to others. Or at least send the video link to people you know who will vote. Here’s the link again…

Thanks for caring about the truth.


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Do The Math!

Ah, the debate. Those of us who support Mr. Obama were shocked by his apparent lack of combativeness in the first debate. But then I thought back to what I learned when going for my Master’s degree in Communication years ago: at the time of the very first televised debates, voters who watched on TV (the majority) gave the clear victory to Kennedy. Those, however, who listened on radio gave the edge to Nixon.

Now, I am not going to compare our current president with Tricky Dickey. But in reading excerpts of the recent debate, it becomes clear that Mr. Obama did land some body blows.

Specifically,  let’s focus on the sword play around the “$5 trillion tax cut.” The president said that’s how much Mitt’s tax cut plan would reduce revenue over the next decade, and independent non-partisan studies back up that claim (well, they actually come up with “only” $4.8 trillion, but a little rounding is permissible).

The former governor says his proposal is “revenue neutral.” That means while the federal government would be taking in much less money via taxes, his plan will “pay for” those reduced revenues by having the government spend much less. In other words, one dollar less in tax will be offset by one dollar not spent. This is the crux of the issue.  But HOW will he pay for those tax cuts? If he cannot offset those tax cuts, he explodes the deficit.

Mr. Obama pounced: “He is saying that he is going to pay for it by closing loopholes and deductions. The problem is that he’s been asked over 100 times how you would close those deductions and loopholes, and he hasn’t been able to identify them.”

That is correct. In TV and radio interviews, in press interviews, both Mr. Romney and Rep. Ryan sidestep the specifics. They want us to trust them. They have some secret sauce that will magically close deductions and loopholes, and the Congress will happily go along.

For anyone who knows anything about real-world politics, this is insane.  Armies of lobbyists would swamp Capitol Hill fighting furiously to preserve their favorite tax break.  And they will win many of those fights, just as they always have in the past.

Mitt gave a great performance at the first debate. But that’s all it was – a performance.  The more his script is analyzed, the more we see that it was a sad charade.

For a balanced look at how the math does and doesn’t add up, check out this article from Bloomberg News.

Thanks for caring about the truth.