Update 10:30 Romney's closing remarks-you have a choice. The election is a referendum on Obama's record. Romney has numbers, Obama has platitudes. That matters in an election in this kind of anxious environment.
Update 10:29: Obama's closing statements are weak. Its a vague, comforting, I was here with you in 2008, and I believe int he future and I will make the world fair for you. He only ever mentions the Middle Class. Doesn't anyone want to be wildly successful anymore? What happend to "the American Genius?"
Update 10:26: Second time he's used the phrase "ladders of opportunity" I'm guessing this is going to show up a lot more. Now he's just randomly throwing out things. Bin Laden. Gay rights.
Update 10:25: Romney is responding really well to the moderator. He is balancing his plan for the future with his record of bipartisanship.
Update 10:23: "Grade the Schools" Romney is right, but that takes a lot of courage to say. Teachers tend to get up in arms at the suggestion of that.
Update 10:23: Budgets show your priorities...Obama just laid a trap for himself, becasue this is very true.
Update 10:19: Romney emphasisizes the need for choice in education...programs like the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program actually make it less expensive to send children to the school of his choice. It leads to higher graduation rates
Update 10:18 I take back eveyrthing bad I ever said about Romney--he actually believes that the natural rights in the Declaration and Constitution are the purpose of our government.
Update 10:13 Role of government is to protect people, but can create "ladders of opportunity." Obama knows that he can get followers by throwing out "education." Who is going to opporse education? And how did we even get on this topic when we are supposed to be talking about the purpose of government?
So, the purpose of government is to fund education and create jobs.
Update 10:13...Romney is doing a great job riding on his own plans, not the history of the Republcian Party.
Update: 10:08: This is clearly a debate between the free market and government control.
By the way, this Heritage blog explains Obama's fearmongering about "Vouchers"
Update 10:06: The pushups continue....Obama is committed to the status quo. Why can't
Update 10:02....Could have been a make or break moment, Romney handled is masterfully by pointing out the differences between the MA healthcare plan and ObamaCare. Emphasizing state level cooperation.
Update: 10:00: Health Care costs...be real, Obama. [Forbes.com]
Update 9:59....Bold move, Mr. Romney. He took the fight to Obama on his health plan as governer, instead of waiting to be attacked by it.
Update 9:56: Time for HEALTHCARE! Romney starts out by focusing on controlling costs. Cites the Congressional Business Office. "Expensive things hurt families." Amen.
Update: 9:53: Sub-prime lending Obama?? Really? REALLY?? Who's idea was that? Oh yeah, democrats'. and the progressive idea that its imoral to NOT give a loan to someone.
Update 9:52: Romney is doing a great job of sounding moderate on Dodd-Frank. He is saying that he will make the
Update 9:50: Obama is saying that companies who "have to make a profit" automatically don't have the best interests of customers at heart....Romney is whole-heartedly for the efficacy of choice.
Update 9:48: Insurance companies don't make people healthier....doctors do. A nod to Bill Clinton.....15 more pushups! Plus, he explained how his plan isn't quite a "voucher system."
Update 9:43 Good job Romney....pointing out that 60 year olds or older Social Security changes won't affect you. Thank you!! And now he's pointing out how ObamaCare is robbing Medicare....Romney is on fire!
Update 9:40: GAFFE OF THE NIGHT!!!! "the structure of Social Security is basically sound." Is he crazy? Cue a sobstory....He claims his grandmother was independent because of Social Security, but doesn't that mean she's dependent on the government?
He said it AGAIN! Social Security needs no structural changes...its going to run dry within 20 years!!
Update 9:40: My friend is doing 15 pushups everytime Romney schools Obama on an issue....he's losing weight pretty fast over here...Joe Joe
Update: 9:37 Romney is dead on with the humor... now he's bringing out Obama's shady history with green companies! Solyndra anyone?
Update 9:36 ....and cue Obama with a vague, irrelevant anecdote from a nameless person...teacher with 45 kids, mom with autistic kid....how is moving cash around from rich to poor going to help?
Update 9:35: The moderator just led Obama into a question by putting words into his mouth "don't you say there should be a balanced approach?" What the heck?
Update 9:32: Romney's response on Simpson bowles was great, because he explained how passing a bill actually works.
Update 9:30 Rich "contribute a little bit more." This is blatantly redistributionsist. The belief that there is no other way to rimprove the economy that moving wealth around. This is a socialist, end-of history idea
Update 9:27: "The deficit is a moral issue." Romney beasted the first question, now he is finally sounding like both a real Republican and a sensible economist with a realistic plan....Obama has already promised to cut the deficit, where is the proof?
Update 9:25: Romney has emphasized 23 millino people out of work...boom.
Update 9:24: Timer: 24 minutes it took for the President to blame Bush
Update: Obama keeps falling back on "investing" in education and energy, but has he noticed that our nation's schools reading scores are at a 4 decade low while we've spent $160 billion since 1965
Update 9:19 Essentially what Obama is saying is that he absolutely WILL raise tax rates, because its impossible to move forward with it....Ooh, Obama's joke just fell flat.
Update 9:18 Get him, Mitt!
Update 9:15 Obama can't get away from the supposed "tax cut"...he's blaming Romney for finding savings in "loopholes,"but that has been Obama's dialogue all the way....Obama has goals for what he wants "middle class" citizens to achieve, but he has no clear plan for it's accomplishment
Update 9:09 Obama is emphasizing "investment" especially in education....but he doesn't say how he's going to lower any of the costs....
Update: 906 Hooray Romeny! Finally, a clear, concise plan!
Update 9:07 Romney also focusing on swing states...Ohio and Colorado.
Update 9:06 Obama's basic talking points lined up nice and neat....what is this "economic patriotism? Will that be a new tone in the campagin? Maybe for a second term?
UPDATE 9:05 Obama is pursuing the Midwestern voters by emphasizing the auto makers....
Everyone in Ohio, get ready to pay attention.
After a summer-long battle, a recent Gallup poll reports that the dead heat between Romney and Obama in the swing states could shift quickly, as 22% of voters in those states say they could still change their minds. This Wednesday, the nation will tune in to hear what the candidates have to say about domestic policy.
This year, domestic policy should read like this: Economy. President Obama will have to defend his record in light of 1.7% growth, 8% unemployment, and a real-income reduction of 5.7% since he took office. Mitt Romney will be hard-pressed to assuage the fears of a population suspicious of his intentions since the now-infamous “47%” remarks.
Each candidate will be judged on his ability to present a coherent economic plan. Health care is bound to be another prominent headliner. Keep an eye out for surprise questions about social policy. These divisive issues make for great political theater, but are largely a distraction and quagmire for the candidates this year. They need to emphasize that saving the economy will help everyone, while not disappointing their bases on dearly-defended social matters.
I will be providing an Ohioan’s take on the debates this week. While the state voted for the Republican candidate during 6 out of the last 10 presidential elections, the auto bailout was popular in the Midwest, giving Obama a boost. Stay tuned for analysis, wise cracks, and possible ranting and raving later this week.
PolicyMic will be covering the presidential debate live. For live updates bookmark and refresh this page.