Did anyone notice something funny in the debate? No, not Romney's gracious joke at the beginning or Obama looking down in his close at the end. Perhaps the one tell that Obama was losing it was: Obama endorsed Romney's healthcare policy!
After Romney eviscerates the Obamacare bill, by pointing out the many flaws in it: - its expensive - it cuts Medicare - it puts in place an unelected board - small business will cuts jobs and benefits ... This was a total evisceration. And Obama's response: He was reduced to pointing out how the 2,000 page Obamacare bill had a resemblance to the bipartisan passed Massachusetts 80 page Romneycare. "We have seen this model work well ... in Massachusetts."
People will then wonder if Romney aint that vulture capitalist raider who will outsource healthcare to China after all, and is actually the moderate Mitt from Massachusetts who will go full wonk and actually solve the problems we face: Our jobs, trade, fiscal and economic deficits. Romney retorted well: "Facing an economic crisis ... and spend his energy and passion on this. IT HAS KILLED JOBS."
This is what I have wanted to hear. Actually, I've been trying to make the case that Romney needs to drive a clear, strong message and posted it here on Redstate: Four dishonest pillars of Obama's re-election, where I challenged Romney to dispute the Obama narrative, which last night he did; I questioned "Why isn't Obamacare a bigger issue?", but Romney, when given the healthcare issue, hit the ball out of the park and now Obamacare definitely is a big issue, and now a big liability for President Obama.
But the biggest deal is that Romney in this debate has made this election about the key points he needs to make to win. Our economic situation is unacceptable and Romney has a better plan. Romney went for the human impact of our poor economy ...
Ann yesterday was at a rally in Denver, and a woman came up to her with a baby in her arms, and said, "Ann, my husband has had four jobs in three years, part-time jobs. He's lost his most recent job. And we've now just lost our home. Can you help us?" And the answer is, yes, we can help, but it's going to take a different path, not the one we've been on, not the one the president describes as a top-down, cut taxes for the rich. That's not what I'm going to do.....
Then he tied it to his 5 point plan. At the end, he tied together Obama's record to the choices we face:
And it's not just looking to our words that you have to take in evidence of where they go. You can look at the record.
There's no question in my mind that if the president were to be reelected you'll continue to see a middle-class squeeze with incomes going down and prices going up. I'll get incomes up again.
You'll see chronic unemployment. We've had 43 straight months with unemployment above 8 percent.
If I'm president I will create -- help create 12 million new jobs in this country with rising incomes.
If the president's reelected, Obamacare will be fully installed. In my view that's going to mean a whole different way of life for people who counted on the insurance plan they had in the past. Many will lose it. You're going to see health premiums go up by some $2,500 per family.
If I'm elected we won't have Obamacare. We'll put in place the kind of principles that I put in place in my own state and allow each state to craft their own programs to get people insured and we'll focus on getting the cost of health care down.
If the president were to be reelected you're going to see a $716 billion cut to Medicare. You'll have 4 million people who will lose Medicare Advantage. You'll have hospital and providers that'll no longer accept Medicare patients. I'll restore that $716 billion to Medicare.
And finally, military. The president's reelected you'll see dramatic cuts to our military. The secretary of defense has said these would be even devastating.
I will not cut our commitment to our military. I will keep America strong and get America's middle class working again.
The entire debate has turned the campaign upside down and puts Romney forward because the narrative is on the real choice and the real Obama record. For the past 6 weeks, the Obama team has 'owned the ball' on the campaign narrative. First, it was Clinton's 'get out of jail free' card,Obama's lousy economic record as just simply a reflection of him starting in a big hole. Problem is, he has only made the whole bigger. Then, the "47%" remark gave the Obama campaign the opening to paint Romney as an out-of-touch plutocrat. In 90 minutes, all of that was blown away.
This is a dynamic big choice election, an election that is to be decided by the election questions voters ask to make their decisions. While live-blogging I wrote: ANOTHER ADVANTAGE ROMNEY. Obama babbled and attempted to be innocuous and Romney made solid points about governing. That pretty much sums up the debate. If that sums up the rest of the campaign, Romney wins.
The only real bumper-sticker zinger was Romney: "Trickle-Down Government doesn't work" a loverly retort to years of anti-Reaganism from the left. Romney would give his rebuttals in point-by-point specifics, and the President was reduced to whining about Romney's lack of specifics and making claims that Romney rebutted and refused to accept.
Postscript to the debate. Romney camp is on the ball on twitter, with the 'morning after' slice-and-dice of Obama's errors and mis-statements:
- @BarackObama Debate Lie #2: Obama claimed he would return America to Clinton-era tax rates.http://t.co/HpUsRRis #CantAfford4More.
- @BarackObama Debate Lie #8: Obama says he made adjustments to Simpson-Bowles for his own plan.http://t.co/WMRpQqgP #CantAfford4More
- @BarackObama Debate Lie #7: Obama says his plan is balanced in the manner of Simpson-Bowles.http://t.co/WMRpQqgP #CantAfford4More
- @BarackObama Debate Lie #6: Obama says Gov. Romney’s plan is a $5 trillion tax cut. http://t.co/XWPeULxQ
- @BarackObama Debate Lie #5: Obama says health care premiums are becoming more affordable.http://t.co/WMRpQqgP #CantAfford4More
- @BarackObama Debate Lie #4: Obama says Romney’s plan would raise taxes on middle class families http://t.co/WMRpQqgP #CantAfford4More
- .@BarackObama Debate Lie #3: Obama says Romney’s Medicare plan would cost seniors $6,000 a year.http://t.co/HpUsRRis #CantAfford4More
- .@BarackObama Debate Lie #12: Obama says Social Security is “structurally sound.” http://t.co/XWPeULxQ
- .@BarackObama Debate Lie #11: Obama makes false accusations about Gov. Romney’s economic plan.http://t.co/WMRpQqgP #CantAfford4More
- @BarackObama Debate Lie #10: Obama says he has created 5 million private sector jobs. http://t.co/XWPeULxQ
- @BarackObama Debate Lie #9: Obama repeats the war savings “fiscal fiction.” http://t.co/XWPeULxQ