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Author: Subject: Ghost of George W. Bush Haunts Romney in Second Debate

Ultimate Peach





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  posted on 10/17/2012 at 09:55 AM
GHOST OF GEORGE W. BUSH HAUNTS ROMNEY IN SECOND DEBATE

By John Nichols
Published Wednesday, October 17, 2012 by The Nation

Mitt Romney's first name is Willard, which means he is actually "W. Mitt Romney."

And it was a "W" that did him in on Tuesday night.

In the middle of the second presidential debate, the one where Barack Obama had to do better and did, moderator Candy Crowley invited a question from Susan Katz, an undecided voter.

Katz admitted that she was "disappointed with the lack of progress I've seen in the last four years." That sounded good for Romney, but then Katz added the "however..."

"However, I do attribute much of America's economic and international problems to the failings and missteps of the Bush Administration. Since both you and President Bush are Republicans, I fear a return to the policies of those years should you win this election. What is the biggest difference between you and George W. Bush, and how do you differentiate yourself from George W. Bush?"

There was never any question that Mitt Romney---who long ago abandoned the liberal Republican values of his parents---would throw the most recent Republican president under the bus.

That's how Mitt rolls.

Unfortunately, he was so busy tossing Bush under the bus that he did not notice that it was dragging him down as well.

After being forced to answer the question by Crowley, Romney finally said that "President Bush and I are different people, and these are different times."

For instance, Romney said, "I'll crack down on China. President Bush didn't."

That was all that Barack Obama needed.

"When [Governor Romney] talks about getting tough on China, keep in mind that Governor Romney invested in companies that were pioneers of outsourcing to China and is currently investing in...companies that are building surveillance equipment for China to spy on its own folks," announced Obama. "Governor, you're the last person who's going to get tough with China."

In the parlance of the Romney campaign, that was a "zinger."

It stung because it had the ring of truth.

Again and again, on a night that saw Romney match the aggressiveness of his first debate performance, Obama stepped up. Instead of the listless performance that cost him so dearly in their initial encounter, this time the president was fighting.

Obama was not just fighting back, however. He was playing offense. On pay equity and immigration and tax policy, Obama called Romney out. And on the inevitable Libya question, he caught Romney out, explaining that he had from the beginning described the Benghazi attack as terrorism -- and getting a confirmation from Crowley that left the Republican candidate sputtering.

When Romney abandoned the truth, as he did on a question about energy production, Obama abandoned the deference that had served him so poorly in the first debate.

"It's just not true," the president said of his challenger's assertion.

Referencing his challenger's ever-changing positions on central issues of the campaign--such as tax cuts for the rich--Obama recalled the right-wing stances on economic and social issues that Romney so ardently embraced during the Republican primary campaign. "When Governor Romney stands here, a year after campaigning, when during Republican primary he stood on stage and said 'I'm going to give tax cuts'--he didn't say tax-rate cuts, he said tax cuts--to everybody, including the top 1 percent, you should believe him because that's been his history," Obama said.

"And," he continued, "that's exactly the kind of top-down economics that is not going to work if we want a strong middle class and an economy that's thriving for everybody."

Obama was not always the debater that some of his supporters would have preferred. He did not, for instance, mount the sort of muscular defenses of Social Security and Medicare that Democrats such as Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown and Wisconsin Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin have made centerpieces of their campaigns this fall. That was politically tone-deaf, and practically worrying for progressives who fear that this president might be inclined to compromise on issues where he needs to fight.

The medium-cool president---who will never be confused with a full-on economic populist---did not begin to rip Romney as aggressively as he could have on the matter of the Republican nominee's overseas investments and on Romney's continued ties to the outsourcing machine that is Bain Capital.

Would that Obama had mentioned the circumstance in Freeport, Illinois, where Bain is this fall shuttering the advanced-technology Sensta plant and shipping the jobs to a client state in China.

But when Obama was on, he was very on.

In that same answer to the "W" question, Obama nailed it.

"When I said that we had to make sure that China was not flooding our domestic market with cheap tires, Governor Romney said I was being protectionist and that it wouldn't be helpful to American workers," said the president. "Well, in fact we saved a thousand jobs, and that's the kind of tough trade actions that are required."

That was a direct hit.

But the president was not done swinging.

"[The] last point I want make is this: You know, there are some things where Governor Romney's differ from George Bush. George Bush didn't propose turning Medicare into a voucher. George Bush embraced comprehensive immigration reform. He didn't call for self-deportation. George Bush never suggested that we eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood.

So there are differences between Governor Romney and George Bush, but they're not on economic policy. In some ways, he's gone to a more extreme place when it comes to social policy, and I think that's a mistake. That's not how we're going to move our economy forward."

It was a theme that Obama would return to again and again on a night where the president was talking to voters in swing states, such as Ohio, which have been so hard hit by outsourcing.

After Romney made his big job-creation pitch, Obama acknowledged that "it's estimated that that will create 800,000 new jobs."

Then, with a smile, he added, "Problem is, they'll be in China or India or Germany. That's not the way we're going to create jobs here."

Obama was not speaking to Romney, or to Candy Crowley on that one.

He was talking to Toledo.

That's Politics.

Smart Politics.

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/10/17

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 10/17/2012 at 10:22 AM
Mrs. Katz is from my town, and she is about as undecided as you and I are. ;-)

BY the way, its funny to see Obama attack Romney on China, although when Romney asked him about his pension, he didn't want to talk about it. That's odd, I wonder why. It also begs the question if the President doesn't keep track of his own finances and pension, why would we want him in charge during difficult economic times? And, GM, his great bailout success, is outsourcing jobs to China and Mexico to keep labor costs down. Oh well.

Last night solidified one thing for me, I won't be voting for either of them.

 

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  posted on 10/17/2012 at 11:09 AM
quote:
And it was a "W" that did him in on Tuesday night.


Who said anything did Romney in? He gave another strong performance, as did Obama last night. Getting Barack out of the high altitude must have been a game changer.

 

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  posted on 10/17/2012 at 11:21 AM
I don't think Romney handled that George W. question very well.

He could have said that W was a big govt R, and after seeing the results, R's now have to return to being limited govt advocates. That would have given him a wealth of avenues to pursue rhetorically as contrasts between him and W.

But he blew the chance.

 

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  posted on 10/17/2012 at 11:28 AM
Thing is, if Mitt is serious about adding $150 Billion to the defense budget in year one as he's claimed, he's also a "big gov't R." On top of that Mitt has stated that the Defense Budget should be taken right off the table with regard to cutbacks. The Dept. of Defense is the biggest branch of the federal gov't with nearly 3.3 million employees.
 

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  posted on 10/17/2012 at 11:42 AM
quote:
quote:
And it was a "W" that did him in on Tuesday night.


Who said anything did Romney in? He gave another strong performance, as did Obama last night. Getting Barack out of the high altitude must have been a game changer.


President Obama was in much finer form than in his last outing, but I couldn't give the knockout to either candidate in this bout.

For agreeing to a "debate" in New York - moderated by a CNN anchor, Romney should get some sort of medal of valor. Ms. Candy at least appeared to be trying to defend the President during the Libyan "terror" question. I don't know if questions were "planted" or not, but why ask Romney to differentiate between himself and "W"? Why not ask President Obama to separate himself from Jimmy Carter? Either way - just irrelevant.

I don't think either candidate "won" any new voters in last night's show.

 

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  posted on 10/17/2012 at 11:49 AM
quote:
Ms. Candy at least appeared to be trying to defend the President during the Libyan "terror" question. I don't know if questions were "planted" or not, but why ask Romney to differentiate between himself and "W"? Why not ask President Obama to separate himself from Jimmy Carter?



If that's the way it's going to be, why not bring in Sean Hannity to do the next one? That should be the last debate Crowley is ever allowed to moderate.

 

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  posted on 10/17/2012 at 11:50 AM

Nothing screams big bloated government growth and spending more than another multiple-deferment republican president talking tough about launching another middle eastern invasion over some "perceived" threat.

 

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  posted on 10/17/2012 at 12:17 PM
quote:
He gave another strong performance, as did Obama last night.

True enough.

quote:
I don't think Romney handled that George W. question very well.

I agree. It didn't appear he anticipated that question.

quote:
Thing is, if Mitt is serious about adding $150 Billion to the defense budget in year one as he's claimed, he's also a "big gov't R."

Exactly right!

quote:
Nothing screams big bloated government growth and spending more than another multiple-deferment republican president talking tough about launching another middle eastern invasion over some "perceived" threat.

You'd think we all would have learned that lesson by now.

quote:
It also begs the question if the President doesn't keep track of his own finances and pension, why would we want him in charge during difficult economic times?

Good question!

quote:
I don't think either candidate "won" any new voters in last night's show.

That's a fair assessment.

quote:
Last night solidified one thing for me, I won't be voting for either of them.

That's a reasonable conclusion and one that I agree with. In my State of NC there are 3 names on the ballot. I'll be casting a vote for the third one on the list, Gary Johnson.




 

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  posted on 10/17/2012 at 12:43 PM
quote:
In my State of NC there are 3 names on the ballot. I'll be casting a vote for the third one on the list, Gary Johnson.



Why do you feel Obama deserves a second term?

 

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  posted on 10/17/2012 at 01:00 PM
Sums things up pretty well, IMO. And the reason I will not vote for Obama.

quote:
I think you know better. I think you know that these
last four years haven't been so good as the president just described
and that you don't feel like your confident that the next four years
are going to be much better either.

I can tell you that if you were to elect President Obama, you
know what you're going to get. You're going to get a repeat of the
last four years. We just can't afford four more years like the last
four years.

He said that by now we'd have unemployment at 5.4 percent. The
difference between where it is and 5.4 percent is 9 million Americans
without work.

I wasn't the one that said 5.4 percent. This was the president's
plan. Didn't get there.

He said he would have by now put forward a plan to reform
Medicare and Social Security, because he pointed out they're on the
road to bankruptcy. He would reform them. He'd get that done. He
hasn't even made a proposal on either one.

He said in his first year he'd put out an immigration plan that
would deal with our immigration challenges. Didn't even file it.

This is a president who has not been able to do what he said he'd
do. He said that he'd cut in half the deficit. He hasn't done that
either. In fact, he doubled it. He said that by now middle-income
families would have a reduction in their health insurance premiums by
$2,500 a year. It's gone up by $2,500 a year. And if Obamacare is
passed, or implemented - it's already been passed - if it's
implemented fully, it'll be another $2,500 on top.

ROMNEY: The middle class is getting crushed under the policies
of a president who has not understood what it takes to get the economy
working again. He keeps saying, "Look, I've created 5 million jobs."
That's after losing 5 million jobs. The entire record is such that
the unemployment has not been reduced in this country. The
unemployment, the number of people who are still looking for work, is
still 23 million Americans.

There are more people in poverty, one out of six people in
poverty.

How about food stamps? When he took office, 32 million people
were on food stamps. Today, 47 million people are on food stamps.
How about the growth of the economy? It's growing more slowly this
year than last year, and more slowly last year than the year before.

The president wants to do well. I understand. But the policies
he's put in place from Obamacare to Dodd-Frank to his tax policies to
his regulatory policies, these policies combined have not let this
economy take off and grow like it could have.

You might say, "Well, you got an example of one that worked
better?" Yeah, in the Reagan recession where unemployment hit 10.8
percent, between that period - the end of that recession and the
equivalent of time to today, Ronald Reagan's recovery created twice as
many jobs as this president's recovery. Five million jobs doesn't
even keep up with our population growth. And the only reason the
unemployment rate seems a little lower today is because of all the
people that have dropped out of the workforce.

The president has tried, but his policies haven't worked. He's
great as a - as a - as a speaker and describing his plans and his
vision. That's wonderful, except we have a record to look at. And
that record shows he just hasn't been able to cut the deficit, to put
in place reforms for Medicare and Social Security to preserve them, to
get us the rising incomes we need. Median income is down $4,300 a
family and 23 million Americans out of work. That's what this
election is about. It's about who can get the middle class in this
country a bright and prosperous future and assure our kids the kind of
hope and optimism they deserve.

 

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  posted on 10/17/2012 at 01:22 PM
quote:
quote:
In my State of NC there are 3 names on the ballot. I'll be casting a vote for the third one on the list, Gary Johnson.



Why do you feel Obama deserves a second term?

I don't. And I don't believe Romney deserves a first term.

I don't ascribe to the notion that a vote for a 3rd party candidate is a vote for or against one of the major party candidates. It is a vote against business as usual. I don't see how someone who believes the federal government has grown beyond the powers granted in our founding documents, who believes that deficit spending must stop, who believes that we no longer need, or can afford, to have an overwhelming military presence on every continent, who believes that the federal government has proven itself incompetent of managing finances, strategies, programs, and it's own organization, I don't see how someone who believes these things, as I do, can vote for either major party candidate in good conscience.

My guy will not win. I know that. I don't care which of the other two win. Makes not a whit of difference to me. Read through these threads with a clear and open mind and you'll see what silly and insignificant arguments are being passionately made in favor of one guy or against the other. That's because there really is no meaningful fundemental difference between them at all.

So I am voting for a change. I hope enough people do that there is at least a small blip on the radar screen. And I hope some people notice that blip and start to think about things in a new light. If nothing changes maybe next time the blip will be larger and more people will take notice. It has to start somewhere. It's not my goal to have a 3rd party candidate win, ever. I won't live that long. But I do hope to someday see a significant enough number of people vote for change that one or both parties begin to realize they are losing an ever-increasing voting block. Until then there is no incentive for anything to change.

If Obama wins the world will not end. If Romney wins the world will not end. But in either case it will not significantly change for the better.

"Why do I feel Obama deserves a second term?" I don't agree with the premise of that question. My question for you is, "Why don't you vote for the change we need?"

Edit: I should add that I have nothing against either of these men. Both appear to me to be honest, intellegent, hard-working men. Both appear to be excellent husbands and fathers. These are not bad men. But both represent the continuation of an ever increasing and powerful government system that sucks up our nations precious resources and, yes, gives some services in return. But it is operating in a very inefficient manner and way beyond limits the Constitution enumerates. It's not a personal matter of liking Romney, Obama, or even Gary Johnson.

[Edited on 10/17/2012 by bob1954]

 

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  posted on 10/17/2012 at 02:09 PM
quote:
My guy will not win. I know that. I don't care which of the other two win. Makes not a whit of difference to me. Read through these threads with a clear and open mind and you'll see what silly and insignificant arguments are being passionately made in favor of one guy or against the other. That's because there really is no meaningful fundemental difference between them at all.



I respectfully disagree. I believe there's a BIG difference between the two. Romney has vastly more administrative, budgetary, and executive real world experience than Obama. That's one of the reasons he was so effective last night. He was repeatedly able to list proven, measurable attributes he's put into practice throughout his career and connect them to what he would accomplish in office.

Based on energy policy alone he separates himself because I'm a firm believer, and have stated here before, that the energy sector can go a long way toward leading us back to meaningful economic growth.

And how did Obama react? He tried to pass himself off a big Oil and Gas proponent though, in reality, has demonstrated his aversion to it countless different ways. Nobody's going to believe that nonsense, and if his plan was to ever increase production we would have heard about it in his '08 campaign.

 

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  posted on 10/17/2012 at 02:11 PM
quote:
quote:
My guy will not win. I know that. I don't care which of the other two win. Makes not a whit of difference to me. Read through these threads with a clear and open mind and you'll see what silly and insignificant arguments are being passionately made in favor of one guy or against the other. That's because there really is no meaningful fundemental difference between them at all.



I respectfully disagree. I believe there's a BIG difference between the two. Romney has vastly more administrative, budgetary, and executive real world experience than Obama. That's one of the reasons he was so effective last night. He was repeatedly able to list proven, measurable attributes he's put into practice throughout his career and connect them to what he would accomplish in office.

Based on energy policy alone he separates himself because I'm a firm believer, and have stated here before, that the energy sector can go a long way toward leading us back to meaningful economic growth.

And how did Obama react? He tried to pass himself off a big Oil and Gas proponent though, in reality, has demonstrated his aversion to it countless different ways. Nobody's going to believe that nonsense, and if his plan was to ever increase production we would have heard about it in his '08 campaign.

Respectful disagreements make America a great place to live.

 

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  posted on 10/17/2012 at 02:14 PM
quote:
quote:
quote:
My guy will not win. I know that. I don't care which of the other two win. Makes not a whit of difference to me. Read through these threads with a clear and open mind and you'll see what silly and insignificant arguments are being passionately made in favor of one guy or against the other. That's because there really is no meaningful fundemental difference between them at all.



I respectfully disagree. I believe there's a BIG difference between the two. Romney has vastly more administrative, budgetary, and executive real world experience than Obama. That's one of the reasons he was so effective last night. He was repeatedly able to list proven, measurable attributes he's put into practice throughout his career and connect them to what he would accomplish in office.

Based on energy policy alone he separates himself because I'm a firm believer, and have stated here before, that the energy sector can go a long way toward leading us back to meaningful economic growth.

And how did Obama react? He tried to pass himself off a big Oil and Gas proponent though, in reality, has demonstrated his aversion to it countless different ways. Nobody's going to believe that nonsense, and if his plan was to ever increase production we would have heard about it in his '08 campaign.

Respectful disagreements make America a great place to live.


Indeed it does. It's great to be able to voice opinions without getting your head chopped off!

 

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  posted on 10/17/2012 at 02:40 PM
quote:

Nothing screams big bloated government growth and spending more than another multiple-deferment republican president talking tough about launching another middle eastern invasion over some "perceived" threat.




Except of course he didn't say that.

 

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  posted on 10/17/2012 at 02:44 PM
The moderator was fine. Obama did much, much better. Romney wasn't allowed to monopolize all of the time or to bully his way into the last word on every topic. Romney didn't get away with mistruths and fudging facts undefended like last time and was exposed for many factual mistakes. The only difference I see between this and the first debate are the total hack who moderated the first one and had zero control and that Obama prepared and showed up for this one. Had he been as prepared for the first one he would have beaten Romney in that one too and the race would be virtually over.

 

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  posted on 10/17/2012 at 02:50 PM
quote:
quote:

Nothing screams big bloated government growth and spending more than another multiple-deferment republican president talking tough about launching another middle eastern invasion over some "perceived" threat.




Except of course he didn't say that.


If you read between the lines he did and does. I will tell you this, Romney is promising an awful lot for his first four years if elected. 20% across the board tax cuts, 2 billion in additional military spending, balanced budgets, debt reduction, and an added 12 million jobs over the next 4 years which has never been done in history. He had better be able to deliver if elected or it's a quick four and on to Hillary. Very lofty goals the Flipper has set for himself.

 

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  posted on 10/17/2012 at 03:56 PM
Obama got more air time than Romney in the first debate.

The moderator (Crowley) shouldn't be allowed to side with the President and interrupt his opponent on a debate point, then admit she was mistaken the next day. Are you serious?


 

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  posted on 10/17/2012 at 04:13 PM
quote:
Obama got more air time than Romney in the first debate.

The moderator (Crowley) shouldn't be allowed to side with the President and interrupt his opponent on a debate point, then admit she was mistaken the next day. Are you serious?




Obama has gotten more speaking time in both debates. Candy Crowley interjecting her opinion in the debate was inexcusable.

http://www.politico.com/politico44/2012/10/obama-gots-more-time-138699.html

 

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  posted on 10/17/2012 at 04:14 PM
http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/330742/bizarre-coincidence-democrats-g et-more-time-all-three-debates-katrina-trinko

 

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  posted on 10/17/2012 at 04:48 PM
quote:
Obama got more air time than Romney in the first debate.

The moderator (Crowley) shouldn't be allowed to side with the President and interrupt his opponent on a debate point, then admit she was mistaken the next day. Are you serious?




He also got significantly more time in this debate.

 

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  posted on 10/17/2012 at 04:54 PM
I am obviously a Romney voter but here is my take on the debate.

1. I would say the debate was even with a slight edge to Obama because Romney failed to take advantage of a few openings.

2. Romney should not have spoken directly to Obama or demanded that he answer a question. Not only was this a violation of the rules but he wasted his time.

3. It is hard to resist going back at a highly aggressive opponent but Romney should have resisted to the extent possible. He looks better when he talks of his own plans.

4. The reason this election has turned around and Romney now leads in all polls is that the electorate has been down on Obama for the entire season but for assorted reasons had a very negative view of Romney. The debate changed that because of Romney's performance not Obama's. Nothing that happened yesterday is going to reverse that trend.

5. It was outrageous of Crowley to interject herself into the debate by fact checking and had she done it to Obama, the pro-Obama crowd would be going crazy.

These debates in general are terrible because you cannot respond to your opponent's attack, criticize his record AND set forth your own plans in two minutes. It should be a real traditional debate with each side given a full ten minutes to make their point with NO interruption and then 10 minutes for rebuttal and counter-rebuttal.

 

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  posted on 10/17/2012 at 06:21 PM
quote:
Obama got more air time than Romney in the first debate.

The moderator (Crowley) shouldn't be allowed to side with the President and interrupt his opponent on a debate point, then admit she was mistaken the next day. Are you serious?




A very similar pattern that the Romney campaign has practiced - State things in front of millions in TV debates or when giving stump speeches. Then upon conclusion or moments later or the next day when fewer are reading or watching, Romney staffers / handlers clarify points as to "No that's not really his position" or "He really didn't mean that". This is a blatant and calculated strategy.

 

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  posted on 10/17/2012 at 06:28 PM
quote:
I am obviously a Romney voter but here is my take on the debate.

1. I would say the debate was even with a slight edge to Obama because Romney failed to take advantage of a few openings.

2. Romney should not have spoken directly to Obama or demanded that he answer a question. Not only was this a violation of the rules but he wasted his time.

3. It is hard to resist going back at a highly aggressive opponent but Romney should have resisted to the extent possible. He looks better when he talks of his own plans.

4. The reason this election has turned around and Romney now leads in all polls is that the electorate has been down on Obama for the entire season but for assorted reasons had a very negative view of Romney. The debate changed that because of Romney's performance not Obama's. Nothing that happened yesterday is going to reverse that trend.

5. It was outrageous of Crowley to interject herself into the debate by fact checking and had she done it to Obama, the pro-Obama crowd would be going crazy.

These debates in general are terrible because you cannot respond to your opponent's attack, criticize his record AND set forth your own plans in two minutes. It should be a real traditional debate with each side given a full ten minutes to make their point with NO interruption and then 10 minutes for rebuttal and counter-rebuttal.


Re: Point 4 - Do the swing state polls support your point? Do the total projected electoral college votes line up behind Romney or Obama? For what it's worth Nate Silver has Obama with a 65% chance of winning and 287 electoral votes. He has Romney at 35% and 251 electoral votes.

 
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