Flash Commentary on the First Debate (UPDATED)
At this writing, the first presidential debate has just ended and the early opinion is that Romney did better (whether than translates into a “win” only the polls will tell).
The biggest disappointment was the number of openings President Obama let slip by that he could have hammered Governor Romney on, yet didn’t. NO mention of the “47%” comment (or Ryan’s own similar “30%” comment), one tepid allusion to “GOP obstruction” in response to Romney patting himself on the back for “working with Democrats” while governor, almost no pushback when Romney repeatedly claimed Obama was “cutting $716-Billion from Medicare”, no mention of the economic consequences of Romney’s immigration policies, and so on. If I were a cartoonist, the image I’d draw would be of Obama pre-debate presented with a table full of weapons to choose from, and he picks the penknife.
The President was at a disadvantage by being strapped by an actual record, whereas Romney could propose every pipe-dream he wanted while providing few details on how to achieve them. But most notably, Romney clearly threw the GOP under the bus, praising “RomneyCare”… embracing government reform of healthcare in general, and repeatedly disavowing tax cuts for the wealthy.
Expect a flood of new TV ads of Romney reversing course on a dozen issues.
List of issues that President Obama left on the table (expect this list to grow):
- Romney’s “47%” comment and now Ryan’s “30%” comment showing a disdain for “the working poor”.
- Economic consequences of Romney’s immigration policies
- How do you cover “pre-existing conditions” without “Mandates”? (Obama did point out that Romney’s competition-based solution for controlling costs while keeping Medicare in place would mean insurance companies would “cherry-pick” the healthiest customers, dump the sickest off on Medicare, and bankrupt the system.)
- Romney’s claim that “Middle Class is $200,000 per year”. (So firefighters, cops & teachers make A QUARTER of a ‘Middle Class wage”? Wouldn’t that place most of America in EXTREME poverty?)
- The Stock Market (which has DOUBLED since just after Obama took office).
- GOP obstruction
- Romney’s claim of wanting to cut taxes yet close loopholes for net loss of zero (yet somehow still boosts the economy?)
- Romney defending oil subsidies while criticizing investment in Green Energy.
Expect more as I think of them. Consider this all fodder for a swarm of TV ads in the coming weeks.