Green Room

Romney Destroys Obama in First Debate, Left-wingers Go Nuts

posted at 5:35 am on October 4, 2012 by

We all got a shot of life last night from Mitt Romney.  I received a lot of flak, and some insults, for my previous post castigating Romney for lacking joie de vivre, but he came out swinging and left the president looking for his teleprompter.  While some posted polls in the comment section to show Romney’s campaign wasn’t in trouble since we’re in a dead heat – we should all be thanking Obama’s poor economic policies for that buffer. Regardless, Romney was prepared for battle, while the president was utterly unprepared and began to ramble towards the end of the debate.

Romney was animated.  He was, as Steve Schmidt put it, “clear, cogent, and concise.”  He also delivered his remarks in a tone we haven’t heard before. It displayed a sense of confidence that is a critical quality for the position Obama currently occupies.  In all, it was polished and presidential.  One could easily see Mitt Romney in the Oval Office with his cool delivery that seemed to make the president very uncomfortable.  However, detractors will say that he’s had plenty of debate preparation concerning the grueling Republican primaries, although I’m not sure how being prepared can be construed as a negative.  After all, the president called his own debate preparation a “drag.”  Even though it was made with facetious overtones, it conveyed a sense of arrogance and unseriousness that has been one of the main criticisms hurled at the president.  He assumed he would get bonus points for being the leader of the free world and he was grossly and ignominiously mistaken after his first bout with Romney.

Concerning Romney, I think it was for the first time that we saw him begin to understand what it means to be a conservative.  The comparing and contrasting between private markets and government-oriented programs within the health care market was a good example.  The notion that states are the “laboratories for democracy” was one of my favorite lines of the night.  However, when the question about the role of government was asked – Romney successfully channeled his inner Madison and reiterated that the role of the state is to”promote and protect the principles” outlined in the constitution and the Declaration of Independence.  Furthermore, he stated that our rights come from our creator, not from government.  Our founders, especially Madison, believed that rights preceded government and drafted a constitution to embed those rights so that other may not take them away.  Adhering to that notion is a  ”severely” conservative affirmation.

While the president may have had a brief moment of exuding his presidential attributes with Medicare, he was often dominated by the litany of facts thrown at him by Romney highlighting the economic pain his presidency has inflicted upon the nation.  The right hooks Romney delivered on jobs, the economy, and the crony capitalism connected to green energy rendered Obama’s statement on corporate welfare for oil companies moot.  Furthermore, Obama seemed to sabotage his own efforts to scare seniors with the false narrative that Romney wants to destroy Medicare.  He agreed that Romney’s reforms to our entitlement programs aren’t that much different from his policies.

As a result, the president gave Romney the death stare midway through the debate.  There’s no doubt that the stare, coupled with the puckered up lips, were indicators that Romney got under Obama’s skin.  In an ironic twist, Obama seems to have become John McCain concerning the feelings of indignation towards those who dare to have opposing views on the issues.  For Obama, Romney disagreeing with him isn’t just wrong – it’s somehow reprehensible.

However, there are still some conservative critics, who agree that Romney crushed the president, but ceded policy ground.  Philip Klein of The Washington Examiner posted a buzzkill column on October 3 reiterating the:

…two reasons why for conservatives to keep their exuberance in check. In past elections, it isn’t uncommon for the rusty incumbent to come off lousy in the opening debate. This was the case when Walter Mondale won the first 1984 debate against Ronald Reagan and John Kerry won the first debate against George W. Bush. In both cases, the incumbents recovered in the subsequent debates, and ended up winning the election.

Another reason for caution is that Romney, as part of his efforts to disarm Obama’s criticisms, made a number of policy concessions that could box him in and make it more difficult for him to govern as a limited government conservative if elected. At various times during the debate Romney said that he wasn’t interested in cutting taxes, particularly on the wealthy; that he would cover individuals with pre-existing conditions; that he wouldn’t touch Medicare and Social Security over the next decade and would be willing to give more money to seniors for prescription drugs; and that he’d be open to hiring more teachers. Should he be elected president, all of the major fights – repealing Obamacare, overhauling the tax code and reforming entitlements – will trigger a massive campaign by liberals to portray him as trying to hurt the poor to the benefit of the rich. If he is so willing to concede policy points during the campaign, will he fight for limited government as president?

However, as Joel Pollack wrote on Breitbart, “on health care–which might have been Romney’s weakest issue–Romney argued for the repeal of Obamacare as the best Tea Partier might have done, attacking the board that the law sets up to ration care as a cost control mechanism. The best that Obama could do was remind voters–as if they did not already know–that Romney had passed a health insurance law in Massachusetts. He had to concede one of the best arguments Romney offered–that Obamacare has actually increased the cost of insurance so far.”

Furthermore, if you go to Mitt Romney’s campaign site, coupled with his support for the Ryan budget, you can see that not only will taxes be lowered for everyone – he’ll eliminate the death tax and push for tax reform.  However, the deductions he’ll eliminate has been a rather nebulous subject. Lastly, with an active and vocal Tea Party contingent in Congress – Mitt, if elected, would have to operate as a small government conservative since (a) he owes us and (b) nothing would get done with Democrats and Tea Partiers forming an unintentional coalition to block his agenda.  Democrats obstructing because he’s Mitt Romney and tea partiers obstructing because it doesn’t cut enough spending, reform the welfare state enough, or does enough to pay down the national debt.  Politics sometimes makes strange bedfellows.  Lastly, the reaffirmation to uphold the principles of the constitution is a tacit agreement that Romney would adhere to the Madisonian ideals of limited government.  If he’s elected president and becomes squishy – he should be prepared for a primary challenge, despite the historical ramifications of such an action.

However, while Republicans rejoiced, Democrats must have felt like the world was ending.  It brought on reactions of disbelief and abject anger from MSNBC.  Chris Matthews, Obama’s number one fan, was quite agitated during MSNBC’s post-debate coverage.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Tonight wasn’t an MSNBC debate, was it? It just wasn’t. It didn’t mention all the key fighting points of this campaign. [...] I don’t know what he was doing out there, he had his head down, he was enduring the debate rather than fighting it.

Romney on the other hand, came in with a campaign, he had a plan. He was going to dominate the time, he was going to be aggressive. He was going to push the moderator around, which he did effectively. He was going to relish the evening, enjoying it. Nothing to do with the words he spoke.

Here’s my question for Obama. I know he says he doesn’t watch cable television but maybe he should start. Maybe he should start. I don’t know how he let Romney get away with the crap he threw out tonight–about Social Security.

Listen to the stuff he got away with. He said, you know, emergency room–the latest thing we got from Romney because he said so was you know what I want to do with people when they’re poor? Shove them in the emergency room. Why didn’t Obama say that? Why didn’t he say that?

You talk about Social Security and Medicare people, they’re part of your 47 percent, you want to drop them from the list of eligible Americans. You don’t have any care for these people. What are you talking about? We’ve got it on tape, Governor! We’ve got it on tape what you think of these people! Don’t come out here and pretend you care about old people because you met somebody at some campaign event, you’ve written off 47 percent of the country before you even started!

Where was Obama tonight?! He should watch, well not just Hardball, Rachel [Maddow], he should watch you, he should watch the Reverend Al [Sharpton], he should watch Lawrence [O'Donnell]. He would learn something about this debate.

There’s a hot debate going on in this country and you know where it’s being held? Here on this network is where we’re having this debate. We have our knives out, we go after the people on the facts, what was he doing tonight?! He went in there disarmed, he was like, ‘oh wait, an hour and a half, I think I can get through this thing and I don’t even look at this guy.’

Whereas Romney — I love the split-screen — staring at Obama, addressing him like prey. He did it just right. ‘I’m coming at an incumbent. I got to beat him. You’ve got to beat the champ and I’m going to beat him tonight. And I don’t care what this guy, the moderator, whatever he thinks he is because I’m going to ignore him.’

What was Romney doing? He was winning. [...] If he does five more of these nights, forget it. [...]

Obama should watch MSNBC, my last point. He will learn something every night on this show and all these shows. This stuff we’re watching, it’s like first grade for most of us. We know all this stuff.

Ed Schultz’s blood pressure went through the roof lamenting how he was “stunned” that Obama was “off his game.”  I think liberals are finally coming to the realization that President Obama isn’t a good debater and lost almost every battle with Hillary Clinton back in the ’08 primaries.  Allahpundit posted about the mayhem from Twitter concerning the president’s debate performance.

Michael Moore tweeted:

Lastly, Bill Maher commented on Obama’s utter lack of direction during the debate with this:

Yes, liberals were in shock and awe concerning how bad the president, the best thing since the resurrection of Christ, performed, but that’s not to say it’ll be the same the next time Obama and Romney duke it out.  However, I’m confident that Romney won’t be the push over that some in the media were conveying before last night’s smackdown.

Mitt surely stepped up his game during the debate and I found myself enthused for the first time, in a long time, since Romney began his campaign for the presidency last year.  However, I admit that I backed Perry before his epic meltdown.  Nevertheless, Romney has shaken off the criticism that he’s robotic and proved to his skeptics that he’s passionate, hungry, and ready to lead this nation towards economic prosperity.  Mitt is definitely here.

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YAHOO!

nice piece Matt

cmsinaz on October 4, 2012 at 7:28 AM

President Empty Podium.

Ozwitch on October 4, 2012 at 7:52 AM

Romney: I’m going to cut X.
Obama: You can’t cut X, look if you cut X people we have to do with 20% less.
Romney: I’m NOT going to cut X.

Replay the tape, thats exactly how it goes.

Romney is not going to stop or change anything here.
Romney is NOT going to repeal ObamaDoesntCare.

Me: I’m going to cut the Dept of Edu.
Obama: You can’t cut X, look if you cut X people we have to do with 20% less.
Me: Fine, if they can do their job without ANY TAX Dollars then they can stay, otherwise they go, cause they are out of the Budget, M.kay? You know ‘fixed the glitch’, so they won’t be getting any paychecks anymore.

wow, can I be President.?

orbitalair on October 4, 2012 at 8:36 AM

wow, can I be President.?

orbitalair on October 4, 2012 at 8:36 AM

You bots only hear what you want to hear, don’t you?

Solaratov on October 4, 2012 at 9:14 AM

pack your bags President Jug Ears

burserker on October 4, 2012 at 9:14 AM

Matt

You got a shout out from newsbusters and a link

Way to go

cmsinaz on October 4, 2012 at 9:18 AM

while the president was utterly unprepared and began to ramble towards the end of the debate.

He was not unprepared. Those are his policies. It’s his agenda. He knows them well.

It wasn’t a matter of preparation. He simply can’t defend the indefensable.

BacaDog on October 4, 2012 at 9:30 AM

I was stunned at how weak Obama’s closing statement was. He just kind of rambled incoherently while Mittens had a clear, precise summary of his position and why you should vote for him.

Old Fritz on October 4, 2012 at 10:27 AM

Oh, there you are, Perry Romney!

ZK on October 4, 2012 at 11:00 AM

He was not unprepared. Those are his policies. It’s his agenda. He knows them well.

It wasn’t a matter of preparation. He simply can’t defend the indefensable.

BacaDog on October 4, 2012 at 9:30 AM

That’s what I think. I also think he is the most overated person in history. He used to walk on water now not so much.

magicbeans on October 4, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Good one Matt!! You are becoming a great asset here at HA!

For such a young ‘fella’ you are coming along great!

Romney was on the ball last night, I cannot say enough about how he ‘lit’ into the Louse in da House!

I was commenting and watching, and I was in awe of how Romney stood his ground and schooled Obama!

Had I been prez up there, I would have been so embarrassed, Romney told the TRUTH and Obama couldn’t and didn’t know how to respond…

What a fantastic night!!

Scrumpy on October 4, 2012 at 11:24 AM

“…the president, the best thing since the resurrection of Christ…”

Ugh–even the thought of that shouldn’t (and probably can’t) even be associated with the left, after the kerfuffle about kicking God off the Democratic platform at the convention.

bandarlog on October 4, 2012 at 12:01 PM

“It’s not uncommon for incumbents to come back after shaky first debates.”

While this is true, there’s a lot working against Obama having a really strong comeback debate.

First, as has been noted, playing defense is a lot harder during a debate, and Obama has a LOT to defend. Yes the next debate is going to be on foreign policy, which might be slightly friendlier ground, but considering recent events he’s going to have a lot to defend against there as well.

Second, Obama historically isn’t a very strong debater to begin with. The Obama we saw last night is the Obama I expected to see. Without a teleprompter he’s slow, stuttering, unfocused, and lethargic. He has many of these same problems during debates in 08, and the fact that he still has these problems after four years is proof that he cannot easily or quickly correct these shortcomings.

Third, The only time Obama was able to excel in debates in 08, were during positions where he was allowed to recite a memorized platitude without being called on it. That worked in 08, both because he had no record to defend and because neither Hillary or McCain were particularly eager to drag Obama into a nitty gritty argument on details. Romney, last night, proved that he’s willing to drag Obama down into the details of a debate, where shallow platitudes simply cannot work. You’ll notice that, last night, every time Romney called Obama out on one of his inaccuracies and incorrect statements Obama just repeated the line and hoped he wouldn’t be called on it again. Therefore, it seems likely to me that Obama simply isn’t well suited to debate somebody like Romney, he simply isn’t the passive little pushover his previous debate partners were.

The only concern I have is that, NOW, expectations may be low enough that any improvement will be hailed. I expect this isn’t the case, as I’m already seeing a lot of people waving their hands and and calling last night an off night. It’s hard to be known as a gifted orator and NOT have high expectations after all. Still, it’s a concern, and I suspect the MSM will try to push that angle to make things easier for Obama next time.

WolvenOne on October 4, 2012 at 1:24 PM

Thanks Scrumpy! Yes, it was amusing watching Barry crumble
VP debate next…

Matt Vespa on October 4, 2012 at 2:23 PM

YAHOO! nice piece Matt
cmsinaz on October 4, 2012 at 7:28 AM

Thanks cmsinaz! Now, the VP debate…game on!

Matt Vespa on October 4, 2012 at 2:30 PM

It’s been hysterical reading all their nuttiness.

They are totally unhinged.

avagreen on October 4, 2012 at 3:09 PM

Oh, the humanity, the gnashing of teeth, the spittle.

kemojr on October 4, 2012 at 4:22 PM

I have to say that I am VERY pleased at Romney’s performance.

At the very least this election will not be a repeat of the humiliation in 2012.

MelonCollie on October 4, 2012 at 8:18 PM