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Presidential Debate 1 Winner: Mitt Romney



Mitt Romney. Will Hurricane Sandy give him New Jersey, though he didn't even campaign here?

The first Presidential debate took place last night (October 3) at the University of Denver, Denver, CO. By every account, no matter which side the account came from, Mitt Romney won. Anyone who watched could easily see why. Mitt Romney had charm and a warm smile, and seemed to don velvet gloves. All these were things that most people expected Barack Obama to have. He didn’t. Nor did he have the facts, and it showed.

Presidential Debate Awards

As CNAV did during primary season, it will bestow the usual best (actually, better) performance awards for this first Presidential Debate:

The Shovel Award

This award goes to the Presidential debate contestant who can “shovel it on” with more eloquence. Mitt Romney won handily. “Shoveling it on,” for better or worse, is his trademark. And he definitely brought his shovel to the stage last night.

When you argue on national television with someone who tells bald-faced lies, you do not say, “Every word you said is a lie.” Instead you say, as Mitt Romney said,

Virtually everything he just said about my tax plan is inaccurate.

It’s in the transcript. And transcripts don’t lie. Or at least this one didn’t. And when you have to put something in perspective, you say things like:


But don’t forget, you put $90 billion, like 50 years’ worth of breaks, into solar and wind, to Solyndra and Fisker and Tester and Ener1.

Which brings us to:

The Boss Line Award

Mitt Romney, clear winner in the first Presidential Debate

Former Governor Mitt Romney at a townhall in Sun Lakes, Arizona. Photo: Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0 Generic License

This goes to the contestant who says the one line that everyone will remember, or should. Every Presidential debate season has one. Mitt Romney had the “boss line”:

Mr. President, you’re entitled as the president to your own airplane and to your own house, but not to your own facts.

In one line, Mitt Romney captured the naked essence of Barack Obama and four things that are wrong with him:

  1. Barack Obama is building the Entitlement State, in which more than half the voters get a government check and will vote to keep “the goodies” coming.
  2. Barack Obama feels entitled to his title and all its perquisites. So much so that he and his family have cost the government twenty times as much as the entire Royal Family Civil List. Don’t take our word for that. Ask Her Majesty’s Loyal Subjects!
  3. Barack Obama has abused both his special transport and the White House for his own fund-raising, Michelle Obama’s shopping sprees in foreign lands, and Malia Obama’s spring break.
  4. Barack Obama has a problem with the truth. Investors Business Daily knew that Obama would have a problem with the truth more than three hours before the Presidential Debate took place. (Obama trotted out all five of the “pohony” claims that IBD expected him to trot out. And Mitt Romney demolished every one.)

The runner-up for Boss Line of the Night, in the context of “green energy initiatives,” all of which have gone sour:

You don’t just pick the winners and losers. You pick the losers!

Second runner-up, to answer the canard about “a tax break to ship jobs overseas”:

I’ve been in business for 25 years. I have no idea what you’re talking about. I maybe need to get a new accountant.

No, Mitt. Even BDO wouldn’t be able to figure out this one.

The Bucket Award

Barack Obama. In the first Presidential Debate he was off his game.

Barack H. Obama. Photo: Pete Souza, January 13, 2009

This goes to the Presidential debate contestant who can catch it more dexterously. Again, Mitt Romney won. Barack Obama never could “catch it,” because he is not used to getting it. He’s The Man. Nobody Tells Him What To Do. And nobody crosses him. One world leader famously did, and Obama gave orders that he never wanted to speak to him again. You can’t do that in a Presidential Debate. Nor can you bring a TelePrompTer.

That’s not to say that Obama never threw it Mitt Romney’s way. He did, on the subject of Massachusetts’ own healthcare reform plan. But Mitt Romney not only caught it. He threw it back. He gave the people fact after devastating fact about what is practically wrong with Obamacare. Including the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a/k/a The Death Panel. Obama spent five minutes trying to defend the IPAB. All he did was leave people wondering: What’s that Payment Board there for, anyway?


Forbes put it this way:

In the first Presidential Debate, Mitt Romney told the truth on health care. And Obama tried not to.

Forbes also reminded everyone of this promise that Barack Obama made, to lower health insurance costs per family by $2500.

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That, of course, proved false.

The What Just Happened Award

This is a booby prize. It goes to the person, not necessarily a contestant, who finds himself completely at sea. This one goes to Jim Lehrer. As moderator of this first Presidential Debate, he was a disaster. He could never keep the contestants to their time. No one can truly tell whether he set out to be fair or unfair. It didn’t matter. Mitt Romney and Barack Obama took as much time as they felt they needed. But one clash between Lehrer and Obama left people in doubt on which man embarrassed himself worse. Lehrer asked Obama to talk about jobs, and Obama teed off with a riff on education. Later, Mitt Romney skewered Barack Obama on the effect of tax policy on jobs. And Barack Obama said, lamely,


Jim, I—you may want to move onto another topic.

An Unexpected Style of Fighting

Yesterday, Dwight Kehoe, on his own page and on this one, said that Mitt Romney would not “take off the gloves.” Kehoe was correct as far as he went, but not with his guess of the result. (As he admitted today.) Mitt Romney merely chose a different style of fighting. Not bare-knuckle fisticuffs. Not even Marquess of Queensberry-style boxing. No, Mitt Romney chose judo, or as it translates into English, “the gentle way.” In judo, you use your opponent’s size, weight, and momentum against him. No one, least of all Barack Obama, suspected that Mitt Romney was such a rhetorical judo master. He gently set the record straight, mostly on his own plans. He also neatly trapped Barack Obama into defending his indefensible record.

The Daily Beast summed up the result:

Obama played not to lose. And lost.

The Chicago Tribune has the largest collection of embedded videos, from the debate and the after-action reports, now available. This page will host a limited sample:

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(This video is especially entertaining. It shows Barack Obama’s skip-to-m’lou routine when de-boarding his transport.)

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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

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Yes, Romney came across as the more assured participant during the debate.

Then again, it’s easy to win when you’re lying through your teeth. In the cold, hard light of day, there are actually people who check the so-called “facts” Romney spouted… and once again it’s been proven that he’s an out-and-out liar.

Watch this before you respond with some bluster

Fergus Mason

“We shall see who’s lying and who’s not.”

Both of them, of course. They are politicians, after all.


More empty rhetoric from your side.

The fact remains Romney lied during the debate. Now you can put your head in the sand if you like, but if he’s prepared to lie on national TV in something as trivial as debate, what will he do when in office?


Did you even read what I wrote?

Yes Mitt was the more assured, yes he argued his points better.

The problem is that what he was using to argue his points were lies and it’s been proven to be such. So while he might have won the debate in style, in substance he was very, very lacking.

And that is what is going to come back to haunt the people who blindly support him. Doesn’t it worry you that neither Romney, nor Ryan have yet put forward a single step in their tax plan. And that Ryan’s last response when quizzed on it was that he “didn’t have time.”

What exactly are they hiding? The fact that they don’t have a plan?


Just to give you two examples:

Romney said that under his plan for medical cover, pre-existing conditions would be covered. That is patently wrong. What his plan entails is that Americans with pre-existing conditions who already have health coverage be allowed to keep that coverage even if they lose their job. However, they must continue to pay the premiums themselves. If they don’t have cover, but have a pre-existing and want to take out cover… whoops! They’re done for. Given that fewer companies are offering health care as a benefit, you can clearly see that what he said is untrue.

Another example. He said that “half of the green firms Obama invested in went out of business.” Not true – 3 out of 26 filed for bankruptcy. Now, you might argue that he didn’t have all the figures at hand, but do you really want somebody who is so ill-informed that he makes numbers u to cover his behind running the country?

Fergus Mason

Well, this one seems easy enough to resolve. Does either of you have a complete list of the 26 companies? If so we’ll simply check how many are still operating. If it’s less than, say, 15 (allowing for some pardonable exaggeration) Romney was telling the truth. If it’s 15 or more he lied. Does that sound reasonable?


Here’s two good sources explaining away Romney’s lies:
link to

link to

Even his own campaign has realised that he was talking rubbish and is – once again – frantically backpeddaling.
link to


It’s easy to say “I repudiate” – in fact it’s something you seem to do quite often – without providing a basis for your repudiation. It’s akin to holding your hands over your ears and going “lalalalalala.”

In addition, what some – unsourced – Princeton prof had to say, has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that it’s clear that Romney… let’s be kind… was mistaken about the numbers, and even his campaign has admitted that.

And yet, you seem to have sort of blind faith thing going with Romney, where – like God – he cannot be wrong.

To hold any politician in that kind of regard is disturbing.


Who is this professor? What was cited (or mis-cited)? Where did he complain?

More importantly, what does this have to do with the mistaken claim that 50% of green companies went bankrupt? I still haven’t seen any evidence supporting Romney’s claim.


fair enough (although I did try and find a more reputable source than some nutty blog) – link to

So let’s have a look at that. The economist claims Obama misrepresented his figures. Of course, Rosen sounds like he’s not the best source for tax advice, given his theory is that Romney’s tax plan is mathematically possible because of a questionable assumption: namely that Romney’s tax cuts for the rich would lead to robust economic growth.

It’s ‘trickle down’ economics and we’ve already seen that doesn’t work.

Now onto your next point, the rather insulting “Now I don’t expect you to apologize. The verb to apologize simply does not go with first-person nominative personal pronouns in your vocabulary”

Firstly, you don’t know me, so quite frankly you can stop with the childish antics and name calling. We don’t insult you (although you do seem to see people disagreeing with you as a personal insult) – at the very least you could act like an adult and show us the same courtesy. Stooping to that level of discourse is demeaning to yourself and your blog.

Secondly, yes – Obama did appear to misquote the professor. Thank you for providing the requested link and I apologise for doubting you on this. Somehow I doubt an apology for your childish hissy fit above will be forthcoming.

However, that was not the issue under discussion. What was under discussion was Romney’s barefaced lying during the discussion. Which so far, you have not been able to defend, instead you’ve tried to deflect attention to Obama. It doesn’t work that way.


The links from Factcheck and Think Progress above are the proof that Romney made the figures up.

The onus is now on you to show that, as Romney said, 50% of the green companies actually went bankrupt.

“So anything they say is suspect without corroboration.”

Coming from you, that’s a non-starter. You don’t even believe that the man is President, or was born in Hawaii, so for you to say you don’t believe what he says comes as no surprise. In fact, Fact Check showed that they both played fast and loose with the truth.

The problem is that Romney did it with virtually everything he said.

[…] Presidential Debate 1 Winner: Mitt Romney […]


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