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September 14, 2014

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A night of contrasts, statistics as Obama, Romney clash in first debate

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Charlie Neibergall / AP

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama wave to the audience during the first presidential debate at the University of Denver, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012, in Denver.

Updated Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012 | 9:30 p.m.

Las Vegans react to the presidential debate

KSNV reports the reactions of President Barack Obama supporters and presidential candidate Mitt Romney supporters during the debate, Oct. 3.

Presidential Debate: Oct. 3, 2012

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama talk after their first presidential debate at the University of Denver on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012. Launch slideshow »

In their first debate, President Barack Obama and presidential nominee Mitt Romney spared no charge in accusing each other of being uniquely out of touch, unprepared and even deceitful about their plans for the next four years.

On a night when they were nearly indiscernible in how they described themselves — each claiming to be a champion of educational investment, energy development and a fairer tax code — the two created much more of a contrast when talking about each other.

“How do we deal with our tax code — this is where there’s a difference,” Obama said during the opening segment on the economy. “Gov. Romney’s central economic plan calls for a $5 trillion tax cut on top of the extension of the Bush tax cuts, that’s another million, and $2 trilion in additional military spending that the military hasn’t asked for.

“How do you do that without dumping on the middle class?” Obama continued. “If you are lowering the rates as you describe, governor, it is not possible to come up with enough deductions and loopholes ... It’s math. It’s arithmetic.”

“I don’t have a $5 trillion tax cut. I don’t have a tax cut. My view is that we have to provide tax relief to people in the middle class,” Romney retorted. “Virtually everything he described of my plan is inaccurate ... There’s no economist that can say ‘Mitt Romney will add $5 trillion to the deficit’ if I say I will not add to the deficit with my tax plan.”

“For 18 months he’s been running on this tax plan and now five weeks before the election he’s saying that his big bold idea is: Nevermind,” Obama answered.

The volley went the other way when it came to energy.

“Gov. Romney and I agree that we’ve got to boost natural gas production ... but I also believe that we’ve got to look at the energy sources of the future, wind and solar, and make those investments,” Obama said, raising the subject of subsidies for oil and gas companies that he believes should be cut — normally a winning line for Democrats.

“In one year you provided $90 billion in breaks to the green energy world,” Romney shot back. “I like green energy as well, but that’s about 50 years worth of what the oil and gas industry receives ... $90 billion? That would have hired 2 million teachers.”

Obama and Romney were well-matched as they sparred largely unchecked, except for a few reminders about the clock, from moderator Jim Lehrer.

Romney appeared more relaxed than Obama, who was noticeably agitated by Romney’s characterization of his record and protestations.

Obama directed more than a few of his answers to the audience watching from home, encouraging them — at times with a hint of sarcasm — to choose between his plan and Romney’s plan, especially when it came to health care and banking regulation.

“At some point I think the American people have to ask themselves: Is the reason Gov. Romney is keeping all these plans … secret because they’re too good? Because somehow middle class families are going to benefit too much from them?” Obama asked.

Romney has come under fire on the campaign trail for failing to release detailed blueprints of how he would replace programs he has pledged to repeal, such as the “Obamacare” health care law and the banking regulation known as Dodd-Frank.

But it was Romney who delivered more of the night’s zingers.

“Mr. President, you’re entitled to your own airplane and your own house, but not your own facts,” Romney shot at Obama toward the end of the 90-minute debate.

Though the debate was the first time this election season that Obama and Romney have stood face-to-face, both were already well-rehearsed in campaigning against each other after nine months of competition.

Yet for all the substance in the debate, viewers who have been following this campaign likely learned little that was new — except, perhaps, how the candidates think under pressure.

Both candidates fell back on articulating their general economic philosophies, rather than providing new details on their proposed policies.

Obama accused Romney of floating the same trickle-down economics ideas “pitched in 2001 and 2003” by then-president George W. Bush.

“We had the slowest job growth and it all culminated in the greatest recession since the Great Depression,” Obama said.

Romney bristled at at Obama characterizing his economic “as a top-down cut taxes for the rich” approach.

“That’s not what we’re going to do,” Romney said.

He accused Obama of promoting a recipe of “big government taxing more, spending more — if you will, trickle-down government.”

Romney and Obama both came armed with numbers to bolster their cases.

When Romney accused Obama of nearly doubling the deficit, Obama let rip a tally sheet of his government-trimming activity while in office: 77 government programs cut, including 18 education programs, and $50 billion in wasteful spending “taken out of the system.”

“We all know that we’ve got to do more, so I put forward a specific $4 trillion deficit reduction plan,” Obama added.

“I love it — you found $4 trillion in ways to get closer to a balanced budget but we’re still a trillion in deficit every year,” Romney replied. “The economy is still growing slowly — in fact it’s growing more slowly now than when you made that statement ... you raise taxes and you kill jobs.”

Romney also stressed his numbers when it came to protecting Medicare.

“For current retirees, [Obama]’s cutting $716 billion from the program. Just going to (health care providers) and saying ‘we’re going to reduce the rates you get paid,’” Romney said. “Some 15 percent of hospitals and nursing homes say they won’t take anymore Medicare patients under that scenario.”

Obama fired back that the Republicans’ “voucher-style” Medicare program would put the burden of increasing health care costs on seniors instead.

“The problem is because the voucher wouldn’t necessarily keep up with health care inflation,” Obama said. “The estimate is that it would [force seniors to] come up with $6,000 a year.”

Perhaps the most noticeable dynamic of the debate was the lack of a strong moderator. Lehrer routinely let the candidates delve into the nitty-gritty of health care and taxes, largely ignoring their time constraints.

While the candidates blew their time limits, many other domestic policy questions never received a hearing.

Immigration, for example, was never brought up.

Housing was, but only in passing as the candidates discussed how subprime lending had contributed to the economic crisis. And how each candidate might approach replacing the two or three Supreme Court justices likely up for retirement? Nada.

The candidates have two more opportunities to debate. On Oct. 16 they will spar over both foreign and domestic policy. On Oct. 22, the debate will be focused solely on foreign policy.

The vice presidential candidates meet on Oct. 11.

But even with the additional debates on the calendar, not all Nevadans may actually tune in to hear the candidates’ closing arguments. Early voting will have already opened by the time they face off in their last debate.

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  1. ...all we got were live television commercials...very disappointed...

  2. Wow, I actually agree with Purgatory.

  3. I cannot get over how many times Romney referred to the "middle class" -- is that the same 47% he said would never vote for him OR the "middle" of the upper class that he belongs to?

    I'm sure the latter as THEY will benefit under his nefarious 'plans' that he could not define.

    Romney has more money off-shore than he does in the states. In Tampa Bay during their convention, his yacht was parked in the bay, flying a Bahamian flag and was filled with multi-millionaires and billionaires he was hosting.

    He was so rude to Jim Lehr and just as arrogant as Donald Trump! He was an embarrassment overseas and totally rude, arrogant, and evasive (as in tax evasive!) this evening.

  4. I know that there are some who post here who will say "President Obama hit it out o9f the park!" but even James Carville gave the debate to Romney.

    I think we will hear a lot more about "trickle-down government" in the days to come. If that doesn't describe QE-1, -2 and -3 I don't know what does.

  5. By the way, President Obama referred to President Lincoln early on. What Obama failed to mention is that of the projects he cited, at least one of them were explicitly opposed by the Democrats of the time to the point they actually put that opposition into their party platform.

    The strongest point in the debate came when Romney asked why did Obama focus on healthcare instead of jobs when he came into office. That is the very same question that many, many Americans have been asking.

  6. Plastic Man vs. Man of Substance...

    Mitt, our Plastic CEO Cutout, will make money flow to every nook & cranny. Everyone will have a great paying job. The Affordable Health Care Act will be repealed; to be replaced with...well, SOMETHING that promises to give you everything great about ACA without the associated costs, AND you keep your current private plan AND the cost will GO DOWN! 'Regulation' is STIFLING our economy...REPEAL! Coal should be burning from every home! (Green Energy is HOAX!)
    Special Needs students & their parents should have a bigger chunk of the ever-shrinking pie! (thanks in large part to the feds).
    Tax cuts for everyone! A chicken in every pot!
    And he will accomplish this AND cut the deficit!

    Oh...AND he is 'Mr. Partisanship'.

    He is truly a MIRACLE WORKER!!!
    Can ya say Hallelujah!

  7. I'm hoping for fisticuffs at Biden/Ryan. This one was a snoozer between wonks.

  8. CNN and MSNBC just came out with poll results on who won the debate. CNN had Romney at 65% and Obama at 25%. MSNBC had Romney at 45% and Obama at 22%.

  9. Bottom line is Romney will create jobs and Obama will not. Wouldn't it feel good to have a job and be able to get a nice car and house? Romney will help you get that. Obama will give you a couple dollars in food stamps, a 50 dollar a month credit towards your electric bill, off your apartment, (not a place you own), and a discounted buss pass. Romney will give us jobs so we can make money and have nice things.

  10. David Axlerod on CNN is setting the tone for what we will here from Democrats between now and the next debate: Romney lied through his teeth and Obama really won the debate.

    CNN's poll numbers are hard to argue with, coming from registered voters who watched the debate. Romney even scored one point higher than Obama on who was more likeable. Granted that is well within the margin of error, but it represents a huge difference from other polls.

    This is the perfect example of why I say early voting should be limited to just one week before the election so that people have time to actually hear the candidates face off against each other and then make up their minds.

  11. Mitt Romney....Change I can believe in.

  12. Comment removed by moderator. Inappropriate

  13. Romney, as usual, said what he thought people want to hear and the flock bleated in agreement.

    As usual he was arrogant, cocky, and dismissed everyone as subordinates to him. He wanted to talk and he did without consideration of the moderator. The moderator could not even say anything edgewise. Romney looked desperate to deliver a message his handlers wanted delivered.

    Wow! What a way to twist the truth. He should be a salesman, but an American president? Nah!

    Obama showed more class.

  14. The key question that needs to be asked is this: How many people who have already voted would have voted differently, or waited to hear the other debates, if they had not already voted based on what they heard tonight?

    Early voting makes a mockery of our democratic process!

  15. Nancy,

    You have to be kidding. Obama got about 5min extra time because he ran roughshod over the moderator. His arrogance was unbridled tonight. You could almost hear him thinking to himself "I am the Prez and don't need this sh*t. 'Nuff said!"

  16. This first debate does not change the facts. All those who have done their homework and know the truth will not change their decision.

    Tonight's debate was not a good debate for either side. Mitt Romney continued his attack with lies, distortions and misleading statement. What was puzzling, why didn't the President counter? The President could have put this election away tonight had he countered, and then attacked on all of Romney misleading comments and his lack of details. Plus Jim Lehrer was one of the worse moderators in recent debates. Jim Lehrer was not fair for either side.

    Americans like a fighter. Americans like to support an underdog. What Americans don't like is a person who does not stand up to a bully and a liar.

    President Obama in the eyes of millions of Americans did not to stand up the things he said fighting for the middle class.

    What happened to the man who give the order to take Bin Laden out? What happened to the man who championed the Lilly Ledbetter act? What happened to the man who push for the Dodd-Frank bill? What happened to the man who press for new fuel standards? What happened to the man who gave millions of American health care coverage? What happened to the man who is helping States to improve our education system? I'll stop here.

    This debate does not change the facts, but the President needed to stand up and fight for the facts. Tonight, Wednesday 10/03/12 it appeared to many people, with the help of a confused moderator, the President does not have the fight in him that Americans expect.

  17. Gov. Mitt Romney has claimed he was a successful governor of Massachusetts. My question would be why is he polling to lose his home state that he governed by 19 points, 56% for Obama -- 37% for Romney. That is very telling on what the people of Massachusetts think of Governor Romney. They clearly feel he was a failure as governor. Some will say it's a liberal state, but Reagan won California in 1984.

  18. Just think what this debate would have been like had it been Hillary instead of Obama. Face it, she has a lot more experience dealing with someone who depends upon definitions. :)

    (And yes, I still think Hillary should be President and would vote for her in a heartbeat.)

  19. @Heretic, there you go again!

    Narrow thinking, again. Failing to see the big picture, again. The bubble is your domain. Enjoy!

    Oh, many names are you posting under tonight? Again!

  20. Romney came off to me as an amped used car salesman pitching a hard-sell.

    Obama came off as a dignified statesman.

    I would agree Romney won the debate, if that was my first introduction to the opposing views. To anyone that has researched Romney's plans (and lack of details) this was nothing more than debunked talking points.

  21. CNN had one member of their focus group give her reaction to Romney's high point tonight (as measured by CNN) when he spoke about a phrase from the Constitution. She said that he really connected to her at that moment.

    What should be taken away from this is that Romney people do not need to see Romney as someone who identifies with them directly, but as someone who identifies with the same values that they have when it comes to what they think America is.

    Our American values transcend our economic position in society. That is why someone earning $45k/yr (a member of the 47%) will vote for Romney. President Obama is in for a real fight if he underestimates the power of that message.

  22. Comment removed by moderator. Personal Attack

  23. boftx,

    It wouldn't make any difference because those voting had already made up their minds.

    Nothing in the debates was different, except on the aggression of Romney which was more than normal.

    We already knew Romney was aggressive. So those voting for Romney did so with commitment.

    Those committed to Obama voting early would not have learned anything new that would change their minds.

    Those who waited to vote after the debates are not the fully committed at the moment. Some of those will base their early vote on this one debate.

    Why limit people's freedom to make a choice early, especially after 2 years of Republican campaigning and 3+ years of a Presidency.

    Do you really think people are so stupid that they can't be allowed to make a decision until they watch deceptive debates in any campaign?

    In the age of technology, there are many ways to get to know what candidates plan to do. At least, if they actually state some details. There are also ways to fact check them.

    I have said I will vote for Obama, and I will still vote for Obama, because there was nothing said in the debates that hasn't already been communicated or been demonstrated.

    If I had the ability, I could have voted before the debate, and after viewing the debate know I voted for the best person for the Presidency, and not on "likeability".

    If any changes should be made, it should be in the campaign financing and process, the PAC's and Super PAC's. It is getting out of hand, and has become abusive in that they are too long, and not factual, just propaganda with very specific purposes, many immoral.

    We should also require candidates to speak the truth and back up their statements by documented facts.

    The problem is the candidates and our political system, more than the voters.

    If you are voting on the basis of who won the debate, I am worried about you. Not a thing said was new, although it is clear that Romney changes positions like a chameleon, depending on who he is speaking to.

    Obama wasn't aggressive. Polite and politics don't seem to go together. I prefer people who are calm and thoughtful, but that doesn't influence my vote.

    I want facts and the only way I get them is on the Internet through many reliable sources, including fact checking both candidates. Because of that I know what they stand for and their plans and am qualified to vote early, even before the debates.

    Why prevent people from voting before the debates when they have decided who to vote for? Do you require a voter's test of who knows what?

    The debates are nothing but another campaign speech or soundbites. Nothing new. The candidates are not always factual so the debates can be confusing or misleading at best.

  24. peacelily,

    I think that debates bring to the surface information about a candidate that does not come out in ads or webpages.

    I am not against having a time period that is sufficient to allow everyone a chance to vote. I am against a practice that encourages the hyper-partisan behavior that dominates our political environment today.

    I believe one should be open to deciding factors for as long as possible given how important a vote is. It may be highly unlikely that events can occur that would change someone's inclination, but they *can* happen.

    I have already stated several times that I intend to vote "NOTA" this election. So far I have seen nothing to change that. But, that said, I am waiting until November 6 to cast my vote just in case.

    Those whose minds are already made up, based solely upon a candidate's political affiliation, are doing the country a great disservice.

    As an aside, I think it would be interesting to require all people who wish to register to vote to pass the same test that those who become naturalized citizens must take. I would like to think that anyone who votes has the same basic understanding of our history and government that an immigrant does.

  25. Jeff,

    To be honest, I was a bit surprised by some of Romney's words tonight. I would agree that there are some among the hard-right who were shaking their heads in disgust.

    At the same time, Romney tailored his remarks to resonate more with moderates. Those words might still be more conservative than some would like, but they *will* resonate just the same, more than the President did on some points.

    Neither Obama or Romney got nasty tonight. But you can be assured that moderates and independents will remember both the "47%" and "you didn't build that" remarks when digesting what was said.

    On a side note, CNN's poll numbers can be taken with a grain of salt since they already said that there were "slightly" more registered Republicans than Democrats in the sample. But one simply cannot ignore that MSNBC's poll showed even *fewer* people thought Obama won the debate, a mere 22%. (I have no idea what FOX says since I find the idea of listening to them talk about leg tingles even more repulsive than what I have heard on MSNBC.)

  26. boftx,

    "I think that debates bring to the surface information about a candidate that does not come out in ads or webpages."

    You would be surprised what you can learn on the Internet. I don't refer only to candidates webpages. I am talking about getting the numbers from various respected sources, and fact checking, and learning about issues in depth. Maybe I am a learning freak. OK, that is my standard. I am also responsible.

    As far as ads go, I don't pay any attention to them, if I happen to be on a channel that shows them. I don't see them on the Net because I have a ad blocker.

    "I believe one should be open to deciding factors for as long as possible given how important a vote is. It may be highly unlikely that events can occur that would change someone's inclination, but they *can* happen."

    Then, end all early voting and make election day a paid holiday to give all people and opportunity to vote.

    "Those whose minds are already made up, based solely upon a candidate's political affiliation, are doing the country a great disservice."

    If that is the way someone bases their vote, it makes no difference if they vote early or on election day.

    However, today's obstructive Congress makes it more difficult to vote for individuals, since the Tea/Republicans have vowed their allegiance to Grover Norquist rather than the People. Even the many of the experienced represented have left or will be leaving Congress because of the way Congress operates now.

    "...require all people who wish to register to vote to pass the same test that those who become naturalized citizens must take."

    I am in some agreement, but I think prior to that the educational system should have ongoing and specific Citizenship classes emphasizing each citizen's responsibility as a citizen. This covers the importance of voting, but a whole lot more.

    It could include a review of the Constitution and amendments, even if taught in American History class.

    We also need to find ways to prevent abuse by politicians and parties to manipulate the vote. It appears now we need our elections monitored by outside people to verify they are carried out without fraud by the politicians and parties.

    The growing blatant corruption to get power is astonishing. It must be ended. I am ashamed of our election process.

  27. Ask yourself this: If President Obama thinks that we should invest in our nation, that creating jobs and focusing on education and giving people the opportunity to succeed is so important, then why (as Romney asked) did he spend so much of his effort and political capital on healthcare when the American people are begging for jobs?

    Even if you think Romney was lying like a rug when he talked about Medicare or other entitlements (and I rolled my eyes at some of his lines) he hit solid points on the economy and trade that can not be set aside.

  28. teamster,

    You are putting the cart before the horse.

    If you are working then you can pay for healthcare one way or another. On the other hand, it doesn't matter how healthy you are if you can't find work, you will still starve to death.

  29. peacelily,

    You said a couple of things that I would agree with. I would have no problem at all with making election day a paid holiday. But I understand that even with that there are conditions that could prevent someone from voting on a single day, therefore I am willing to have a one week voting period.

    As far as people who vote based purely upon political party, while I agree that getting rid of early voting would not affect them, there are a number of people who might be part of a "mob mentality" for lack of a better phrase that might be affected by events *IF* given the chance.

    I understand and agree with the principle underlying early voting, but I think that having it start six weeks ahead of time is just too much! I also agree that you can learn a lot by doing serious research into a candidate's background by checking third party sources. But even that does not take the place of seeing an hearing the candidates face off in a live debate.

    It is my opinion (and experience) that reasonable people have BS detectors that function best when seeing a live interaction take place. No matter what we might learn from our research, most of us know when a salesperson is full of crap as soon as we shake hands with him (or her.)

  30. teamster,

    President Obama is trying to sell voodoo (trickle-down) government.

    It won't sell.

    In truth, voodoo anything won't sell. And that is the major problem Obama has to overcome. He has had almost four years to show America that if we are not better off now than we were four years ago, but we will be better off in four years than we are now.

    The stimulus plan, the Wall Street bailout and QE-1, QE-2 and now QE-3 have been nothing but trickle-down economics on a truly massive scale and people can see it didn't do a damn thing to help them, just government employees and fat cat bankers.

  31. boftx,

    "why (as Romney asked) did he spend so much of his effort and political capital on healthcare.."

    Because of the increasing, out of control costs of healthcare effect on the budget.

    Unfortunately, Obama went with Romneycare rather than a single payer universal healthcare plan.

    Let me ask you what are the deductions that Romney plans to remove? On who? How much?Does that include subsidies on oil & gas and agribusiness, or just the middle class and poor? What are the deductions he is going to end for the wealthy?

    Since Romney isn't going to raise taxes, but instead cut programs, which programs?

    If Romney sends the "programs" to the States, does that mean the States have to come up with taxes to pay for them or just simply be the scapegoat for ending them?

    Will it be a slow process of ending programs or a big crash? How will it effect people?

    Will NV have to initiate a State income tax to pay for the program shifts?

    Will the various states have different quality in the programs because of the level of incomes the people make? If so, then some states are better than others. Further increasing the inequality of the people of the US.

    And, of course, will bureaucracy in 50 states be less, cost less, and offer better control? What is that control?

    In Education, will the States have equal education quality?

    What happens to people who can't afford to pay the costs that exceed the vouchers for various programs from education to healthcare?

    What happens to all the people in nursing homes under Medicaid when there is no Medicaid or big cuts because the people decide they can't support them through taxes?

    Are you for abandoning people who have no ability to care for themselves because there aren't enough people willing to pay State taxes required because of not wanting to touch the healthcare businesses ever increasing and out of control costs?

    How do you deal with the differences in population and income levels in the individual states? What happens to equality? What do people do when their lifestyle dream cannot be had in their hometown? What happens to their hometown and state?

    Do you believe our economic system is just and working for the People?

    Do you believe that the businesses which have kept stagnant wage growth, while increasing productivity for decades are going to produce more jobs when they can just sit on their ever growing profits?

    Without significant wage growth, you reduce the ability of consumers to afford to buy the products.

    Small businesses, with 500 employees or less, are doing what? Are they producing jobs so they produce consumers?

    Tell me how people who live off their capital gains and dividends, without having businesses are going to motivated to create jobs?

    How do you think jobs will be created in companies who cannot export their goods or services because of the GLOBAL economic crisis?

  32. The voters deserve more specifics from Romney, especially in an economic crisis.

  33. peacelily,

    We need to have our own debate on all the questions you have raised (all of which are legitimate.) I would be happy to have such, one question at a time.

    I have no doubt it would be interesting and that both of us would come away with a different perspective. Hell, if others were to listen in they might do the same.

    One thing you did not mention is what impact our balance of trade has on every one of the issues you brought up.

    I could write a full essay on every one of your questions. And I'm sure you could do the same in rebuttal. And then the real discussion would begin.

    How many hours do you wish to spend on discussion and how can we bring as many Sun posters as possible into it? Who is up for a live round-table discussion?

  34. I'm watching the MSNBC recap (replay) now. Amazing, they are blaming the moderator for not enforcing the time limits on Romney, even though Obama spoke for more than four minutes more than Romney.

    Gotta love how MSNBC is doing everything they can to mitigate what was clearly a disappointing performance by the President. (Let's not talk about FOX and their on-camera, errr, ummm, no way to say what they experienced politely.)

  35. If Obama is "trickle down", Romney is a "gusher up". LOL

  36. I recommend C-SPAN.

  37. peacelily,

    By the way, I really HATE to type, hence my suggestion for a verbal discussion. I think far faster than I can keep up with the written word. That really sucks considering I am a programmer. :)

  38. boftx, I don't think you suggestion is possible.

    No, I didn't bring up balance of trade. Nor did the candidates. I know that mess as well, but only had 3000 words, and had to erase some.

    Since I am fading and having difficulty seeing as well, would you address that? It is important. I'm sure you could do an excellent job, even outside of a debate setting.

    I didn't really expect an answer to each question. It was more just writing about questions the candidates need to answer for the voters. I don't believe they will.

    Unfortunately, the time frame for the candidates in the the type of debate they participate in is insufficient.

    They do have the ability to address these thing throughout the campaigning since it is so long. They don't.

    So, it is up to the citizen's to ask questions of themselves and try to learn the answers for themselves.

    Then they judge the candidates on the basis of what they know, rather than accepting inadequate answers, IF the subject comes up.

    Of course, I don't believe people will do that, so we end up with leaders that keep the people in feudal or slave states.

    Sorry, but I don't have good thoughts about our processes or systems now. We are in are real deep mess.

  39. boftx,

    Maybe I need to learn code. LOL

  40. peacelily,

    What I would like to see is for the Sun to put together a round table with you, Casler, future (who really should be a "trusted user"), ksand99, and me. I think that would be a fair representation of the political spectrum as well as professional experience of those who post here.

    Even better would be if the candidates would actually read a transcript of our discussion. They might learn what the average American really thinks. :)

  41. <<Obama should do they patriot thing and cede to a far superior candidate>>

    You mean Bill Clinton is running again???

    <<This first debate does not change the facts. All those who have done their homework and know the truth will not change their decision>>

    Exactly. Most have already decided who they will vote for and last night didn't change that decision. Nothing new was really said. Everything has already been said. Last night was based more on on "performance" and not the issues. Sure, I even agree Romney was better but Obama wasn't as bad as some of the haters here are pontificating about.

    << Tonight was a game changer.>>

    I doubt it. Romney may gain a few points here and there, but he said NOTHING most who have a brain in their heads don't already know and that includes both Democrats and Republicans. .

    @Peacelilly and boftx:

    Good exchange of discussions between the two of you. An absolute pleasure to read!! No hate, no BS - just honest conversation. Kudos to you both.

    And boftx - like the "round table discussion" idea. I'd love to see that; or at least, a transcript of it!!

  42. BHO is really impaired without a written speach or his teleprompter...
    All Romney did was force him to talk about his record for the last three and a half years...

  43. @ peacelily...

    "Was Romney on coke, or something? He sure acted like it.

    Romney won on aggression. Obama won on substance."

    It sure SEEMED like Mitt was wired!
    Good observation. My thought exactly.

  44. Debate went just as I anticipated.

    President Obama dealt with reality. Romney dealt with spin.

    President Obama kept it to the facts. Romney chose to just play to the peanut gallery.

    With Romney every single thing is superficial. The President knows he can't play stupid games like that. Facts matter. Unlike Romney. Romney shows desperation, interrupting, bulling his way into the conversation, and at times, went off script during this debate. In short, he only tries to sell himself and stand for himself and his rich buddies only...and the truth simply just does not matter. He just wants to be elected and will tell anyone anything at anytime. And it don't have to be the truth at all. He could care less. Reality is secondary to the ultimate goal. The ends justify any and all means necessary to get that job. Snow the American people. That's his first task. He may get an uptick in the polls due to this debate performance, but I guarantee his tactics will come back to bite him. Voters don't like it when you try to fool them with stuff that don't stand up to what the actual reality is.

    What I think is going to be interesting is, in the next few days campaigning, I bet the ultra-conservative base he kowtows to will take him to task for trying to be moderate. Maybe Romney will hide from them or something. I bet Romney don't care. He just wants to be President so bad he can taste it.

    I am convinced that my vote will be cast to make sure I don't let him, his spoilt rotten rich wife, his horse, Rafalca, and his Ayn Rand clone, makers and takers, YOYO (Your On Your Own) Medicare destroying Vice President pick anywhere near the White House.

    Anyone who has the nerve to hug and love Big Bird, then calmly reach in their pocket, grab a big knife and stab him repeatedly...is not Presidential material at all.

  45. For readers uninterested in the babbling of right wing sycophants this reality based article is helpful:
    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/...

  46. The debate was a big let down compared to the build up. None of the important issues were discuss as one would expect. The moderator, Jim Lehrer, did the American people a dis-service by not pushing Mitt Romney and the President answer the questions.

    By going to the websites of Romney and Obama, you can will get a better picture of how these two will govern. Their plans are in detail. You can fact-check on your own. It's clear if you do your homework the President's plan is much better than Mitt Romney.

    The expectations before the debate were, we would see contrast between Romney and Obama on how they are going to govern this country under the rule of law with some details. Jim Lehrer let Romney ramble, at one point Romney appeared to go off the ledge.

    This debate this will not change the decisions of people who have decided to vote on November 6, 2012. Some people are now questioning the style and the approach of the President because he did not go after Romney on obvious statements made that should have been challenged.

    The President has done a lot to help America. We as Americans have not given the President credit for all that he has done. Much has been done without help from the Republican congress.

    This independent voter prefers the big picture vision of the President. In promoting Education, Energy, Technology, Infrastructure, and the approach of assisting other countries with freedom and democracy without placing American boots on the ground to achieve those ends.

    President Obama wins re-election by 6 to 8 points.

  47. In this debate, Jim Lehrer was not a good moderator. On the outset Mr. Lehrer set the rules, but he did not follow the rules that were set.

    I watched the debate for a second time, and Jim's handling of the debate was not as bad as watching the debate the first time.

    I then listened to the debate without the visual, and clearly President Obama made his points and Mitt Romney did not make his points. Based on the facts as the American people know the facts.

    Jim Lehrer could have done better. Candy Cowley will be a much better moderator in the second debate. She will learn from this first debate.

  48. <<And just where will the 12,000,000 new jobs be that Romney cited? Expanding fast food franchises? Gas stations? Bakeries? Manicurists? Don't most small businesses with fewer than 20 employees pay low wages? Where are those the 12,000,000 jobs he's talking about? Who knows because he surely did not say nor did he quote his plan to accomplish that>>

    Obama should have asked him about these "12,000,000" jobs - not just as President but as a curious citizen of this country. I'm sure many are wondering WHERE these jobs are going to come from, even those Republicans that have some smarts - and it's not going to come from those "job creators" Romney keeps pushing since none of them have created any jobs.

  49. Both guys are Presidential. Ryan is VPresidential. Biden? Nahhh.

  50. Obama without his teleprompter..I watched just to see that..
    Remember, you read it here first:
    The Las Vegas Sun quoted Obama a day or so ago saying "My aides are forcing me to do homework" And "it's a drag."
    The only regret I had during the debate was the moderator didn't let Romney finish about Dodd-Franks. I think Romney has read and understands Dodd-Frank, Simpson Bowles and the Obamacare..I think Romney not only reads and understands but LIKES to read and understand "the homework of the United States President." Obama likes the perks of President but he doesn't much like the actual job of being President..

  51. teamster say "PRESIDENT OBAMA created 5 million jobs AND HEALTH CARE."

    Actually, it's only 4.7 million and that's only if you count from the low point during his term and overlook the 4.4 million lost earlier in his term.

    Net job creation since Obama took office is under half a million.

    "However, CNN fact-checked that claim and found it to be "not the whole picture." Instead, CNN found that there has been a net increase of just 300,000 nonfarm payroll jobs since Obama took office. And if you count government jobs, there are actually 400,000 fewer people working today than in January 2009.

    When Democrats use the 4.5 million jobs number, they're referring to jobs created after the economy bottomed out in January 2010, one year after Obama took office."

  52. xtra: I agree that Pres O. doesn't seem to like being President--the actual job. Perhaps he's intentionally dumping his re-election chances so he can make more multi-millions selling books that say nothing.

  53. Comment removed by moderator. Religion is not an issue.

  54. It seemed to me that the aggression and speed that Romney revealed was an attempt to control the debate.

    Romney had to control it so he wouldn't have to deal with details or facts.

    Remember Ann's comment about why they wouldn't release more taxes? It was because it would give the other side more "ammunition".

    That explains all the secrecy on many things. If people knew the details they might not vote for Romney?

    Do we wait until after he is President to learn the facts? That strategy is rather dismissive of the voters, and can leave the people with 4 years of pretty bad news, resulting from a poorly informed vote.

    Many people will not really know what they are getting beyond the spin of lies, distortions, and misinformation, rather than facts with adequate details.

    However, some will do more extensive research on both candidates plans, learning much more about their proposals, and what they mean for the People. Those will make more knowledgeable decisions on who to vote for.

    It is also very advisable to get up to speed on global economic issues, since the impact the US, and vice versa.

    The candidates can talk fast or slow, but it is what they actually say, or don't say, that is more important than the strange behaviors, which both displayed in the first debate.