After Wednesday's debate, it is pretty clear that Mitt Romney surprised the American public with his victory over President Obama. At the beginning, on issues such as taxes, unemployment, and the economy, Romney came out extremely aggressive. He put Obama on his back foot and made him extremely defensive of his policies. Obama very clearly did not expect for Romney to attack him so forcefully in the early minutes of the debate. Immediately, it was evident that Obama was hesitant when even talking about legislation passed during his tenure. The president was not as fluid as he would have liked, as Romney’s pinpointing critiques of the Obama’s agenda made it difficult for the president to retort effectively.
For the first time, Romney actually gave specifics about his jobs plan. He was very passionate when advocating for himself as the clear alternative to the last four years under Obama. When talking about corporate taxes and middle class taxes, Romney made an effective argument about how lowering taxes and broadening the base would stimulate the economy over the coming years. His point regarding $90 billion going towards green energy surprisingly resonated with viewers, by targeting it as wasteful spending that could have gone towards education as opposed to failing projects like Solyndra. The President’s point regarding the 5 trillion dollar tax cut also was not a good play on his part. The fact checking will absolutely go against him in this respect, as Romney’s response made Obama look ineffective.
The turning point of the debate was when it turned to healthcare. Obama was able to regain his composure and become firmer on his positions. Nonetheless, Romney did not back down and was willing to go out of his way to defend his position regarding Romneycare in Massachusetts. Education and Race to the Top was also an effective talking point for Obama. He mentioned it plenty of times and was able to counter Romney’s advantage to a small extent. However, even Obama’s campaign manager Stephanie Cutter admitted that Obama lost the debate on CNN and that says a lot.
At times, both candidates looked a bit unprofessional when they interrupted Jim Lehrer, however the discussion between the two candidates was extremely productive in addressing the issues. The next two debates and the Vice-Presidential debate shall be extremely entertaining to watch! The American people have a serious decision to make in 2012, as both candidates have made clear their two separate visions for the economy.
For full coverage and analysis of how the debate went down, see here.