Presidential Debate Makes Election Alternatives Clear

Forget all the pre-debate handicapping and advice about what Mitt Romney needed to do or what Barack Obama had to avoid. Last night’s debate clarified the stark choice facing American voters on November 6. On the one hand, we heard a candidate who endorses the limited government, individual rights and freedom, free market economic policies, and personal self-reliance and autonomy that the Constitution was created to protect. On the other hand, we heard a candidate who endorses big government, group rights, redistributionist economic policies, and the progressive ideal that limits freedom and empowers elites to run people’s lives. In this first debate, Romney and the Constitution clearly won, as the weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth emanating from the mainstream media prove.

First, many Americans were seeing the real Romney for the first time. Contrary to the fatcat caricature the Obama campaign and its media enablers have been peddling for months, Romney was warm and jocular, and sensitive to the plight of real people who have suffered under Obama’s policies. He easily had the best laugh lines: “Mr. President, you’re entitled to your own airplane and your own house, but not your own facts.” When Obama lied about lowering taxes for the rich, Romney answered, “I have five boys, and I’m used to people saying things over and over, thinking if they repeat it enough it will be true.” He slyly reminded everybody of Joe Biden’s gaffe that the “middle class has been buried the last four years” when he said, “Middle income Americans have been buried.” Romney responded to Obama’s complaint about $3 billion tax breaks for oil companies by contrasting it to the $90 billion for green energy, landing another punch with, “You don’t pick winners and losers, you just pick the losers.” When Romney was asked about spending cuts, he said he’d eliminate programs that are not “important enough to borrow money from China” to pay for them, like PBS, with an apology to moderator Jim Lehrer. And his early jab, “trickle down government,” should enter the political lexicon.

Second, Romney was obviously much more confident, prepared, and knowledgeable than Obama. He had a greater command of the facts, and often turned them against Obama’s claims. When Obama crowed about the federal government’s support for job training, Romney snapped back that it was spread over 47 training programs and 8 agencies. Obama’s accusation that Romney would cut funding for teachers was met with a devastating riposte: that $90 billion that went for “clean energy,” much of it, Romney reminded us, going to Obama’s supporters and friends, could have paid for 2 million more teachers. Romney’s reminder that 4 million seniors would lose their Advantage Medicare supplemental insurance demolished the President’s spin that his $716 billion in Medicare cuts was achieved by reducing “overpayments” to providers. Obama’s call for raising taxes on the “rich” was met with Romney’s reminder that Obama himself said you don’t raise taxes in a slow economy––and the economy is growing more slowly now than it was when Obama said it back in 2010. As for Obama, he just repeated campaign slogans that a few minutes of scrutiny could explode, like touting “investing” in more people going to college at a time when millions of college students can’t find work, or repeating the Tax Policy Institute claim that Romney would raise taxes on the middle class, an analysis the ITP no longer stands behind, or taking credit for increased oil and natural gas production, when that in fact occurred in spite of, not because of his policies, as Romney pointed out when he reminded us that permits for oil development on federal lands have been reduced by half under Obama.

Third, the demeanor of the two men was starkly different. Obama looked sour most of the time, scowling and smirking, and refusing to look at Romney when he spoke, and often looking down when Romney was talking, like a child who is being chastised. Romney was confident, eager, obviously charged up by the debate. Obama looked like he was in the dentist’s chair. The split-screen shots were particularly devastating, Obama looking old and tired, Romney actually looking much younger and more vigorous. Obama simply couldn’t handle his first formidable adversary, which should have been obvious from the start of his political career. His whole life he’s just had to show up and take a bow. The mainstream media, which have been his shills for four years, have worsened this arrogance. Obama is like a football team that is unbeaten during the exhibition season, but having grown flabby and complacent, is wiped out when the regular season starts. That’s why, as Charles Krauthammer said, Romney won by two touchdowns. Obama’s sorry performance should explode the media’s fairytale about Obama’s oratorical skills, intelligence, and likability, none of which was evident during the debate.

Finally, the difference between the political philosophies of the two candidates was made crystal clear in the question regarding the role of government. Romney asserted a limited role for the federal government, which exists to protect the inalienable rights with which we have been endowed by our creator, and which are codified in the Constitution. But power resides with the people that government is supposed to serve, and whose freedom to pursue happiness the government is supposed to protect. Obama believes, as Romney said, “government can do a better job than people pursuing their dreams.” Technocratic elites and bureaucracies should have the power to “solve problems” and achieve dubious “social welfare” goals such as income redistribution or egalitarianism. This is the progressive ideology, which is very different from the ideals that created our government.

Romney won this debate not because of optics, or even a greater command of the facts. He won because he has the better argument: free individuals and their work, initiative, and creativity are better than government at managing their lives, pursuing their happiness, and creating prosperity.

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  • SHmuel HaLevi

    Mr. Romney was well rounded, solid and funny as needed be.
    Without teleprompters Mr. Obama showed that his Chicago job was as good as it should have been for him.
    Lets pray for a US voter realization and awakening.

    G.d Bless America

    • Asher

      Did you watch as Romney spoke how Obama looked down and looked surley? When Obama spoke, Romney was smilling and attentive and very pleasant. The President is too arrogant to admit than anyone else has great ideas!

      • SHmuel HaLevi

        In a way I felt sorry for Mr. Obama but not that much… He has been playing the stage for far too long riding on teleprompters and Mr. Romney showed clearly that in that mode the game is over. I must say that all of those that watched the debate with us felt very pleased with the anchor and the setting also.
        I would suggest to Mr. Romney to be cautious about the next two encounters because I know in person the Chicago pretend to be Democratic Party folk. They will not take easily the whooping that Mr. Obama took

  • objectivefactsmatter

    I was pleased. For months I kept wondering where Romney's explanations were, and he saved them for the debate. I can't wait for the last debate when foreign policy is discussed. I say we launch a Mohammed cartoon fest between now and then to see who speaks up for our freedom of speech at the debate. Truly, conservatives could directly influence the outcome in this case by such an effort.

    Obama choked. Please keep choking sir.

  • ze-ev ben jehuda

    M. Romney clearly won this first debate. And Oh boy did I love to see and hear it.
    Mr Barack Hussein Obama this was your first nock down with a lot more to come I hope
    So exit for you ? I'll hold the door.

    • Asher

      Hussein showed who he really is last night…he doesn't have positive accomplishments to brag about..and Romney made him look inefficient last night!

  • kafir4life

    That Stinky (BO) sure does NOT like not being in charge! Stinks couldn't even look at the man who created a second anal orfice for him. I loved it that he frowned looking down, like the spoiled little brat that is Stinky.

    Aww…..Poor Stinky. The big bad white man made him mad!! How does that make you feel Stinks?
    Next, a cage match??

  • kafir4life

    The MSM is blaming the moderator!!!!

    But Stinky (BO) won time of possession! But you don't score by punting every set of downs!

    • Asher

      The media is responsible for the state of our nation…they have blacked out what the public needed to know about the President's record and failed policies.

  • davarino

    Wow, obama couldnt refute the facts. This was beautiful. I'm a Mitt fan and am going to go contribute to the campaign, right now : )

  • MaryS, CA

    I tell you I was praying before the debate that Romney would do well, he exceeded my expectations and praise the Lord. I pray that he keeps it up, and that Paul Ryan shows Biden for who he is. There are two more Presidential debates and if Romney does as well in those as he did tonight it will make a difference. Continuing to pray till the election and I suggest everyone else do the same… it isn't over till November 6th. Mary, CA

    • mlcblog

      I can hardly wait to see Ryan clean Biden's clock.

  • Asher

    Romney knows his stuff, he showed the student Obama he can go One on One and Win with ideas and accomplishments. Evidence of the last 4 years is 23 million people out of work, 47 million on food stamps, 50% of graduates can't find jobs, and above 8% unemployment. 97% of businesses employ half of America, and small businesses have been hit the hardest. Obama wants the tax rate to go from 35 to 45%, how will that stimulate growth? Obama says budgets do matter, then why haven't you had one in 4 years? Obama put 90 billion into Green energy, such as Solyndra and Tesla, that money could have created 2 million jobs for teachers. Mr. Obama was really exposed last night.

  • Schlomotion

    Mr. Thornton is hard pressed to show the "stark difference" between these rotten tomato and rotten tomahto sellers. We have two candidates, one who endorses limited government, and one who makes an appeal to the safety net, but both of whom in actuality endorse the same compulsory medical reforms, the same big government, the same oligopoly, and who both give the same half-hearted lip service to green energy.

    The claims that Romney "won" began with Ron Fournier and Matthew Dowd proclaiming that Tweedle Dee won, and continued with the rest of the "right" trying to place him in stark relief against Tweedle Dum. Americans know gas prices will continue to soar, debt will continue to grow, the nation will be roped into Obamacare, invasion of privacy will continue, and we will still languish under bank fraud and domestic oil cartel price rigging no matter which of these men wins. Mr. Thornton supports Tweedle Dee, however, because Tweedle Dee kissed the ring of Benjamin Netanyahu.

    • Touchstone

      You say he kissed Netanyahu's ring, but in fact they would see eye to eye even if Romney wasn't running for office. Romney considers Israel a true ally of the USA whose head of state deserves more respect than Obama has shown him. Romney can be accused of falsity or inconsistency when it comes to other issues, but there's no reason to think his support for Israel, including its leader, isn't genuine.

      • Schlomotion

        In America, where the needs of America should come first, your average American should not give a flying fig what direction Benjamin Netanyahu's eye sees in. Romney is practiced at simply saying in business meetings what the financiers want to hear. Netanyahu has presented himself as a vote-financier, and Romney has done the obligatory thing that he has done since prep-school. Smile, nod, say what wants to be heard and wait for the money and power to come.

        • Stephen_Brady

          Upset that Romney won and Comrade Zero blew it?

          • Schlomotion

            Absolutely not. I am not voting for either of them.

          • Zionista

            incarcerated losers like you can't vote – stay in your cell with your hitler posters

          • Omar

            Then who are you voting for, Schlomotion? Are you voting for the lunatic Roseanne Barr?

          • 11bravo

            Geez; then shut up and get the eff off the boards!! etimes-itnA

          • trickyblain

            Romney hasn't won a thing. True, he was more energetic than the President while he spouted lie after lie after lie. He was on-point in radically adjusting his entire message/persona to fit yet another audience — this one being moderate undecideds.

            I especially like that doting, deer-like look he gave Obama throughout the debate. It looked like he wanted a kiss.

            On a pure style-over-substance basis, he outperformed Obama. But the winning/losing thing doesn't happen until November 12.

          • trickyblain

            er, Nov 6….

          • reader

            It's Nov 12 for you

    • BS77

      Keep whining and blubbering…..there might be a few jerks out there that care what you say.

    • reader

      You're an Obama voter, a lying troll. We already know that. But you're stuck in it just like Obama got stuck on his "5 trillion dollar tax cut" talking point.

      • Zionista

        don't feed the envious Jew hating troll

      • Schlomotion

        Actually, my voting record has been: Clinton, Bradley, Nader, Huckabee, McCain, Paul.

        • reader

          Actually, you are a liar, so who cares what you actually say you actually do.

    • Mo Schlotion

      What kind of ring does Benjamin Netanyahu have? is it a secret decoder ring? Does it light up in the dark?

    • nightspore

      Does it ever occur to you not to respond when the situation is so contrary to what you are saying? Oh, I forgot, that's not possible for someone suffering from this form of Liberal Derangement Syndrome.

      • Schlomotion

        I am always amused when you people read expressions like the one you just used and herniate yourselves trying to lug them into a conversation and "throw" them. Did it take you 9 years to get it to this thread from when Charles Krauthammer said it?

    • Omar

      Schlomotion, you just repeated the New Left radical Todd Gitlin's words about the two-party system. As early as 1964, Gitlin stopped voting in the elections because he called the two classical liberal parties (before Gitlin's comrades took over the Democratic Party later that decade) as the "Tweedledum and Tweedledee of the corporate ruling class". You sound just like Gitlin and the New Left's propaganda against American democracy. Nobody wants to hear you totalitarian propaganda, Schlomotion.

      • Schlomotion

        I am perfectly familiar with the writing of Todd Gitlin, and my statement is not drawn from his. Nevertheless, he is right about that. I am glad it bothers you. To tell the truth, I think Gitlin is a little soft-core. Letters to a Young Activist is kind of an example of erectile fallout.

    • Ghostwriter

      Here's your typical Schlomotion rant:

      "The Jews are to blame for everything!!!!" "Israel should be destroyed!" "Jews are vermin!" "Israel has no right to exist!" "Jews are evil!" Even when the post has NOTHING whatsoever to do with Jewish people,you know that Schlobrain will find any excuse to attack them.

      • Schlomotion

        I disagree. I think you merely have unsavory ideas and wish to camouflage yourself with all Jews.

  • Rev. Roy Trepanier

    Aw, c'mon Shlomt:
    You have to admit that it was extremely gratiying to see O'Bummer on the ropes trying to block all those solid jabs. He never landed a glove on Mitt, but Barack is "Black and Blue" all over today from the pummeling he got last night. There wasn't any "Knockout", but Mitt won handily on points, landing a left hook here and a right jab there, so many and so often that O'Bummer was off balance the whole time. The difference between a pro and an amateur glared through the TV set and I pray that Mitt will continue to take him down to what he truly is….an "empty chair", a vacuous void, an imposter, weak and impotent !!
    Rev. Roy….<><

    • Schlomotion

      I would not say "gratifying." How can it be gratifying to see a political leader who, smug and atrophied, is being narrowly bested by a carbon copy of himself with even less foreign policy experience and no plan? How can anyone be gratified by a battle between two lame ducks?

  • Youssef

    In last month there was an incident whereby a film was made to bring controversy in the Muslim world by producing an anti-Islamic movie which resulted in an up roar across the Muslim world today. Algeria has now asked in the United Nations to limit the freedom of expression

    Read more:


  • tagalog

    Romney did well in the first debate. It's not over yet. Keep your fingers crossed.

  • Andy

    One has to give credit to Obama. He was more realistic than his blind devotees in the comment columns of the New York Times. He knew he was outclassed and that he had lost. The NY Times readers are rationalizing, deluding themselves and even laying blame on the moderator. Romney is the first presidential candidate in my life time – and I'm years past normal life expectancy figures – who has class and looks like a professional manager as opposed to grandstanding politicians who too often have been embarrassments and disappointments to us all. If there are a sufficient number of intelligent Americans who can see this, we'll get perhaps the first man in a century who really belongs in the White House.

  • jacob

    Schlomotion :
    I wish I would have your crystal ball and be able to foretell the future but not the way you do…
    I do believe that once OBAMA & Co. out of the way, the EPA returned to its original functions and the
    administration purged of all the idiocy this Manchurian Candidate brought along and implanted, gas
    prices will come down, USA will make great and important strides towards energy independency
    and be able to dictate oil prices or else, let the Arabs and the other oil producers take it and shove it…
    Just as simple as that….
    What last night debate shows is that OBAMA is nobody without his teleprompter…
    That he failed miserably trying to justify his "achievements" that is, if the mess he has us into can be
    called as such and, as someone said, away from the servile, biased, leftist and rotten media who
    shamelessly sings his praises and asks him "selected" questions, he is as lost as anyone in the
    middle of the Sahara without a compass…
    He has proven without doubt that the American people presidential choice was worst than electing
    JIMMY WHO, but then again, asides from how infinite human stupidity might be, man (and woman)
    are the only animals in the whole creation that make the same mistake twice and often even more….
    I firmly believe the grip ISLAM has on America under this Muslim lover President will be eliminated,
    the riot act read to them in an unmistakably way and the international position of the US will cease
    to be a floor mat to every banana republic dictator as it is now….

    • Schlomotion

      Manchurian Candidate is a pretty hefty accusation to be slinging around. I saw that movie. I don't see how Obama compares very well to Raymond Shaw.

  • Kenneth Calcut

    My opinion of the best line of the night spoken by Romney"Your entitled to your own house, your own plane but not your own facts". Ken

    • Mike in VA

      That was a good one, Ken.

      My favorite line was "trickle-down government".

      Romney did a great job last night.

  • george

    truth will always stand the light but lies and subversion does it's best in the darkness ! , that fraud got his ass kicked !!!!!!

  • Iratus Vulgas

    Allow me to break down the elemental differences into their basic atomic structures: Romney: over-achiever; Obama: anti-achiever.

  • pierce

    And now Obama has awakened, he is resorting to the mud slinging Obama that learned it all from Jeremiah Wright, you know the reverend who said "Don't God Bless America, God Dam America. For the next 30 or so days, Barack, who came to last nights debate unprepared, is going to try and shame the American People into voting for him, that all knowing President, that has gotten us into one hell of a pickle, and it will take Mitt Romney to get us out of it.
    Some one once said Garbage in, Garbage out. Well it is time to get rid of the garbage.

  • watsa46

    The day after, the demo continue their campaign of defamation. They have nothing to stand ON.
    Pr. O. had nothing to defend!
    MR was a gentleman.
    With the demo the chances are that the economy will get worst and with Romney the reverse. He can't do worst than Pr. O. The demo must have been chocked to see the real Romney so different from the false demo narrative Pr. O. fabricated his own narrative and the demo want to fabricate one for Romney!! This is "democratic fairness!!!!"

  • Ghostwriter

    It's not surprising that Schlomotion would bash Jews even when here,Jews aren't even mentioned once. He is a Jew hating piece of garbage. The only reason that I don't ignore that creep is because his much of his stuff DESERVES to be attacked. He's only barely human and a heartless nothing to boot.

  • Fred Starkey

    What we saw was a demonstation of what Matthews calls American Exceptionalism. But, Matthews, known as
    Porky Pig of the AirWaves, saw his hero fall in the septic tank where he comes from. Romney slaughtered this
    Mental lightweight. It was very funny. O'bama was idiot, just like Matthews.

  • jacob

    Well, OBAMA proved last night to be precisely what has been mentioned "ad nauseam"
    A Manchurian Candidate, worth nothing without his teleprompter and away from his servile media…
    Because if he expected to be met by a copy of "Shlimazel" McCAIN, whose poor debates performance made
    me puke then, he was vastly overrun by ROMNEY….
    I wouldn't expect any different than what happened last night from a President that doesn't know how many
    states are there in the Union….
    Imagine GWB being caught in such gaffe, what wouldn't our rotten media made out of it ?????
    Needles to say, there is nothing in Obama;s record and administration achievements he can defend and it
    was thrown to his face by ROMNEY without any even lame excuse form Obama.
    Let the legion of morons who elected him see what they saddled ALL of us with and lets watch the next
    debates, to see what kind of ammunition his Merchant of Lies AXELROD will provide him with.
    Shame ROMNEY didn't ask him what has he being doing about what the GOP's commercial says about
    what CHINA is doing to us and lets hope and pray a ROMNEY administration brings back the MADE IN
    USA tag, as scarce nowadays as hen's teeth

  • 11bravo

    The socialists yet agin…overplayed their hand. Demonizing Mitt too much made a lot of people think the ads were all lies. They kept talking about the 5trillion dollar tax cut to the wealthy and they got schooled on that too.
    They think everyone knows what they talk about, and think what they think. I had never heard of a 5 trillion dollar cut, and I AM PRETTY POLITICAL. They will do it again if they keep whinning, and have Obama bring up the war on women-47% etc…

  • Jon_Babtist

    No matter how much you prepare, one can't defend the indefensible.  4 years ago he could wax eloquent with his mendacious BS and it was hard to challenge. Now Romney will shoot it out of the air like a clay pigeon.