Campfire Blog

DEBATE RECAP: Obama ‘Frazzled by the Facts’

Romney, looking presidential, dominates–but does it warmly and calmly. America’s got herself a choice now

Romney killed it tonight. Obama couldn’t answer Romney’s strongest points—and notably when Romney was strongest, Obama, who is oth

erwise quite loquacious, didn’t even try to respond. Jim Lehrer couldn’t even redirect the debate to help Obama out.

Just forty minutes in, BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith—no Romney fan himself—had declared the former Massachusetts governor the winner, under the headline, “How Mitt Romney Won the First Debate.” Smith gave Romney credit for “addressing Obama respectfully, even warmly — but then tangling with a sometimes hazy and professorial Obama on taxes and deficits.”

Thanks in fact to the moderator being quiet, we actually had a great debate tonight. The American people saw facts versus fiction, leadership versus lethargy.

Some of my favorite lines:

Romney called out the president for wasting $90 billion on green energy investments, most of them failed. He said that’s like 50 years worth of the type of tax breaks that oil companies–mostly small businesses–have enjoyed. Then the governor said: ‘You don’t just pick the winners and losers, you pick the losers!” And, Romney later noted, with that $90 billion, 2 million teachers could have been hired!

Romney: ‘I have been in business for 25 years, I have no idea what you’re talking about’

Romney: “One of the magnificaient things about this country is that states are the laborartories of democracy”

Romney: “What things will I cut from spending? Well, first of all I will eliminate all programs by this test, if they don’t pass it. Is the program so critical it’s worth borrowing money from China to pay for it? And if not, I’ll get rid of it.”

Or how about when Romney said that though he likes Big Bird and Jim Lehrer (much of a difference?), he will cut PBS funding.

Obama’s only decent line was when he said maybe the Democrats in the Massachusetts General Assembly under Mitt Romney could have taught the Republicans in Congress something about bipartisanship. But that line was off point and had nothing to do with Mitt Romney. But it’s the best I could find.

President Obama also said Romney’s first day will be too busy given everything Romney has promised to repeal. That’s because Obama doesn’t have busy days: He skips intel briefings and golfs a lot and goes on The View. So yes Romney’s 1st day will be busy.

A few highlights from Twitter:

Bill Maher ‏@billmaher

Obama made a lot of great points tonight. Unfortunately, most of them were for Romney

John McCormack ‏@McCormackJohn

Liberals very upset Jim Lehrer allowing Obama and Romney to have an actual debate.

cptime ‏@cptime

Romney score: Undecideds may not know what Dodd-Frank is, but they know they don’t like banks.#debate

Robert Costa ‏@robertcostaNRO

42 minutes in. I can’t name one exchange that Obama has won. I really can’t. And I’ve been keeping a ton of notes and an open mind.

Matt K. Lewis ‏@mattklewis

Romney doing a great job explaining conservative philosophy in a positive, common sense, semi-populist manner. Almost…Rubio-esque.

Michael Biundo ‏@MichaelBiundo

The President looks frazzled by the facts #debate

Michael B Dougherty ‏@michaelbd

The liberals in my feed are not thrilled. They’ve just flipped from disappointment with Leher to disappointment with Obama.

And the funniest tweet, I thought:

Joseph Lawler ‏@josephlawler

Now Romney just dancing on Perry’s grave as he moves on to point #4


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