We are here ladies and gentleman. No longer can we "countdown" 'til this year's election season, for as of Wednesday night's debate we are very clearly right in the thick of things. The first presidential debate (airing tonight at 9 p.m. on ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, PBS, MSNBC) has the potential to pull Romney, at least slightly, out of the mud; it also has the potential to bury him further in it.
The 90 minute debate will take place at the the University of Denver in Colorado, and Jim Lehrer of NewsHour fame, will be moderating and calling the shots.
As for who will win this debate, Obama is definitely entering the ring as the stronger contender. Obama is leading in the polls and Pew numbers show that voters expect the President to emerge the debate victor.
What will they be talking about, you ask? Good question. The topics on the bill this evening will center around the economy. Three of the evening's 15-minute segments will focus on the economy, with one segment each on governing, health care, and the role of government.
An estimated 60 million people will be tuning in to watch the showdown so missing it is, like, not really an option. P.S. The first debate is generally the most watched in the series, it's also the one that helps the challenger in the polls. That said, my money is on the man already in the Oval Office.
A livestream of the debates can be watched here:
Stayed tuned to PolicyMic for all the latest news, upadtes, analyses, gaffes, jokes, and quotes. Bookmark and refresh this page for the most recent updates.
10:42 pm: Obama closing statement, "My faith in the American future is undiminished ... "
10:34 pm: And the evening is over. So ends the first debate. Thank you for tuning in.
10:33 pm: Yikes but kind of true:
10:30 pm: Romney closing statements:
"I will not cut our commitment to our military."
"If the president were to be reelected you're going to see a $716 billion cut to Medicare ... I'll resotre that $716 billion to Medicare."
"There's no question in my mind you'll continue to see middle class squeeze."
"This is an election about the course of America."
"If I'm elected we won't have Obamacare."
10:29 pm: We are in closing statements now, Obama up first. Quotes:
"Four years ago that I'm not a perfect man and I wouldn't be a perfect president ... but I also promised that I'd fight every single day ... and I've kept that promise. If you vote for me, I'll promise I'll fight just as hard in the second term."
10:26 pm: Obama says Romney repealing Obamacare "will not be popular among Democrats."
10:25 pm: Romney citing his Massachusetts experience working with the Dems, "Republicans and Democrats both love America."
10:24 pm: Three minutes to go until we go into closing statements. Final question: What would you do about partisan gridlock?
10:21 pm: Romney: "I'm not gonna cut education funding ... the place you put your money is a pretty good indication of where your heart is ... you put $90 billion into green jobs."
10:20 pm: Battle of who has the water teeth: Obama wins.
10:19 pm: The topic now is education. Obama is right in saying Romney's lack of detail, "seems to be a trend." He painst a lot of broad strokes but never fills in the color.
10:18 pm: Gotta say, even though Romney's voice is failing him he's getting stronger and stronger throughout the evening.
10:15 pm: Jim Lehrer is one of the least pleasant debate moderators ever ... what is happening?
10:14 pm: Romney shouts out his buzz president, "Reagan." Obama shouts out his buzz president, "Lincoln."
10:06 pm: Romney says young people can stay on their parent's plan with his health coverage plan.
10:02 pm: Obamacare used the same advisors as Romneycare so these arguments don't hold up. According to PolicyMic pundit Benjamin Feinblum:
"The individual mandate led to 98% of people in Massachusetts to now be covered by health insurance. President Obama saw this and in an act of leadership reached across the aisle to adopt a republican plan. Watch this video of President Obama's health care team. Obama hired Romney's team to write the Affordable Care Act."
10:01 pm: Romney saying "I liked the way we did it in Massachusetts." Blaming Obama for "pushing through" Obamacare.
10:00 pm: Obama to Lehrer, "I had five seconds before you interupted me." Zing.
9:55 pm: Romney doesn't know how Obama could fight for Obamacare instead of fighting for jobs for the American people.
9:53 pm: Ha!
9:52 pm: Obama says economic crisis prompted by "reckless behavior."
9:51 pm: From my perspective, this debate is changing no poll opinions.
9:50 pm: "Can the two of you agree that the voters have a clear choice between the two of you on Medicare?" Lehrer
9:50 pm: Obama: "When you move to a voucher system you are putting seniors at the mercy of those insurance companies."
9:45 pm: Obama wants Romney to come clean on his "voucher program." "If you're 54 or 55 you might want to listen." The voucher program, according to Romney, is not for current seniors but those people on the cusp will be affected.
9:42 pm: Mitt Romney: "Neither the president nor I are proposing any changes for any current retirees." Re: Medicare, Medicaiad. Oops "I was wrong," says Romney. The president actually is.
9:40 pm: Obama is pretty anecdote heavy this evening, goes against Kristof's "professional" analysis. What do you think?
9:39 pm: Mitt Romney: "States are the laboratories of democracy."
9:38 pm: According to the New York Times very few small businesses would be affected by the Obama tax cuts.
9:37 pm: So true:
9:32 pm: Gotta say Romney is looking/sounding like he's got a cold.
9:30 pm: Romney attacking Obama for not cutting the deficit; saying he's had four years, what's happening? "We still show trillion dollar deficits every year. That doesn't get the job done."
9:13 pm: Mitt Romney: "People in the coal industry feel like they're getting crushed by your policies."
9:12 pm: Real time commentary:
9:11 pm: Middle income Americans are being "crushed."
9:10 pm: Obama talking about investing in energy sources for the future: wind and solar energy. Also talking about cuts on military.
9:07 pm: Mitt Romney on Jobs
"Yes we can help but it's going to take a different path ... not the one we've been on ... my plan has 5 basic parts."
1. Energy independence
2. Open up trade
3. Best schools in the world
4. Balanced budget
5. Champion small business
"I know what it takes to get small business going again ... I'll restore the vitality that gets America working again."
9:05 pm: Obama wastes no time with the heart string tug. Married his BFF 20 years ago tonight. Lovin' it.
Obama on jobs: "Are we gonna double down on the top down economic policies ... or do we embrace a new economic patriotism that says America does best when the middle class does best?"
9:04 pm: And we'll be starting with jobs. "What are the major differences between the two of you between how we go about creating jobs?"
9:02 pm: Jim Lehrer is opening up the evening. Let's get this party started.
8:51 pm: Obama gets the first advantage of the night, POTUS wins the coin toss for the first question of the night.
8:48 pm: 11 minutes to go, it's all happening now. Arrivals are well underway in Denver: Nancy Pelosi, Alan Simpson, Valerie Jarrett, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. They're all in da houssssseee
8:41 pm: Why Romney will lose at this debate: courtesy of PM Pundit Joe Sarkisian.
As President Obama and Mitt Romney square off on Wednesday evening for the first presidential debate of election 2012, Mitt will have a hard time putting a positive spin on his detrimental policy proposals which have been outed for what they really are.
Although supposedly geared towards all issues of domestic policy, it is safe to say that the debate tonight will revolve around the economy. If we are only taking into account those sources that perform solid analysis on Romney's budget plan, his ideas are frightening.
Robert Greenstein, President and Founder of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, had this to say after his organization performed a thorough analysis of the Romney budget plan:
"The new Ryan budget is a remarkable document — one that, for most of the past half-century, would have been outside the bounds of mainstream discussion due to its extreme nature. In essence, this budget is Robin Hood in reverse — on steroids. It would likely produce the largest redistribution of income from the bottom to the top in modern U.S. history and likely increase poverty and inequality more than any other budget in recent times (and possibly in the nation’s history)."
8:28 pm: Wise words from actor Michael Ian Black.
6:47 pm: New Pew polls show just where Obama is ahead.
6:24 pm: #KillingIt Obama Campaign ... and Barack and Michelle.
6:09 pm: Need a drinking game for the political evening? We got one for ya. Rule #1 2 second drink everytime they say "class warfare." All the rules here.
5:41 pm: If Obama wins tonight:
5:16 pm: Honestly, tweets like these are targetted directly at people like me. Political tears:
4:53 pm: Favorite photo comparison ever. Thanks to The Atlantic. This:
4:08 p.m. Must-read article.
Really interesting analysis from the New York Times about the 26 numbers to listen for tonight and what they mean. 8.1%, 30, and 47% top the list.
3:58 p.m. Debate schedule for the evening.
October 3, 2012
Topic: Domestic policy
Air Time: 9:00-10:30 p.m. Eastern Time
Location: University of Denver in Denver, Colorado (Tickets)
Sponsor: Commission on Presidential Debates
Participants: President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney
Moderator: Jim Lehrer (Host of NewsHour on PBS)
The debate will focus on domestic policy and be divided into six time segments of approximately 15 minutes each on topics to be selected by the moderator and announced several weeks before the debate.
The moderator will open each segment with a question, after which each candidate will have 2 minutes to respond. The moderator will use the balance of the time in the segment for a discussion of the topic.