What’s The Point of Presidential Debates...

If one candidate can lie for a half-hour and then be declared the winner? That’s the question we should all ask ourselves one day after the first presidential debate in Denver, Colorado. The consensus among pundits is that Mitt Romney won the debate – and strictly in terms of style – he did win – taking the fight all night to a lethargic President Obama.

But as the Center for American Progress points out this morning – Romney told 27 lies or half-truths in a matter of just 38 minutes on stage last night. Romney lied about his own tax plan – saying that it’s not a $5 trillion tax cut, despite independent analysis of his plan saying it is. He lied about Obamacare – repeating the same debunked myth that the President cut over $700 billion from Medicare. He lied about the President’s Wall Street reform law – saying it designates five banks as too big to fail and deserving of blank check bailouts. There’s no such provision in the law. And he even flirted with the idea of death panels in Obamacare!

Rather than acting like sportscasters this morning and declaring Mitt Romney the winner – the media needs to be doing its job and fact-checking. But ultimately – President Obama did fail last night. He failed at calling out Mitt Romney as an agent of the oligarchs. The President didn’t mention the “47%” comments – he didn’t mention Romney’s ultra-low tax rate and offshore tax havens – he didn’t mention Romney’s career harvesting businesses at Bain.

If the President can’t make the argument that Romney is only looking out for the 1% - then he’s going to lose.


nora's picture
nora 10 years 35 weeks ago

Excellent point!

This controversy is based on personalities (Who's the worst liar, whose a wimp, who is the loudest extrovert) and takes us away from the excruciatingly serious issues we are facing on multiple levels -- not to mention that huge question that never gets talked about, our National Security State economy that is ruining us economically and ethically. What happened to the issues? What about the REALITY that BOTH these candidates' have plans to harm those who rely on Social Security? Where is the spotlight that should be on that?

This debate Commission is PRIVATE and functions to lock out ALL the other voices and views in this country that could get the government and nation on track.

Romney bullied Lehrer and cornered Obama. Romney's bullying strategy might not have succeeded if there had been a whole panel of candidates up there! Sheesh!

Aaronneiro's picture
Aaronneiro 10 years 35 weeks ago

Yeah gotta admit, President Obama didnt do to good last night> But then again ITS HARD TO DEBATE WITH A FLIP FLOPPER! Mitt flip on every issue he preached about for the last year and a half, WTF! he cries about Obamacare but the basics of it came from Romney so basically Romney hates his own plans.

Says how the president spent so much money not realizing the half or more of what he spent was for Bush tax cuts and for the unpaid wars! the most Obama spent was on the stimulus bill which didnt work bc states didnt spend the money like they was suppose to. No ones perfect in which President Obama is willing to admit but i WILL NOT VOTE FOR A CANDIDATE THAT WONT ADMIT TO MISTAKES BECAUSE THOSE WHO DON'T ALWAYS REPEAT THEM, DUUUH!.

Its funny because when Bush was in office there was not this much hate for a President then got the nerve to say its not racially charged. People need to think bout it the 4.5 million jobs came back plus extra and that just off the policies of the first two years of Obama. But even i have to admit the President Obama could have done things different in those two years to retain democratic majority!

Funny about this new tape about Obama being racist LMAO! funny they talk about how Obama then senator was talking different but lets bring up the tape bout Romney who when around blacks talking about "bling" and "Who let the dogs out". yeah Romney bc all blacks talk like that LOL!

What im saying is lets be real ok. We already know that Tea party (fake republicans) have held america hostage for the last 2 years and there are some people dumb enough to think thats its President Obama fault when the tea party already admitted to doing so.

Lets be real RICH people, you cant cut your spending at home and then cut your hours at work when you have bills and credit cards that need to be paid. Cut spending, increase income then you can have enough money to pay all your bills and then some, and RICH corporations are suppose to be smart when it comes to the economy.

So yes i believe that if President Obama gets a second chance that he can do better if given the chance, he can learn from his mistake and take us to a better path. We still dont know what he can do because republicans did not give him the chance to.

nora's picture
nora 10 years 35 weeks ago

DemocracyNOW! added more voices to the debate!

Stopping the debate feed and allowing the other candidates to participate along with the incumbent and Willard...

Thank you DemocracyNOW!


HalFonts's picture
HalFonts 10 years 35 weeks ago

#9 makes an excellent point -- about Romney's classic "CEO-Bullying" style, covering up ineptness, with aggressiveness.

Adam McGlashan 10 years 35 weeks ago

Has America's understanding of, and engagement with, politics reached such a low that someone who made their fortune off the backs of thousands of American workers, with a company funded by groups associated with Latin American deathsquads is a serious Presidential contender?

The debate itself was a tedious yawn, but it seems the US media think Romney performed well. It made me think of the saying: "No matter how well they do in the interview, its always worth having a look at the resume."

It seems the US media is not serving the US public adequately when preparing them to decide the course of not only their own lives for the next four years, but those of the all the people of every country US foreign policy effects, often negatively.

Why is everyone so worried about Iran getting a nuclear weapon, when a person like Mitt Romney is this close to getting his hands on thousands of them?

Willie W's picture
Willie W 10 years 35 weeks ago

Romney wins for presentation. Presedent Obama wins for content. Apparently their views don't register with people. Only the flair with which they present them. So it took weeks of rehearsal for Mitt Romney to come across as likeable. President Obama was right when he said that that wasn't the real Mitt Romney on stage that night. That was the edited version that will disappear upon election.

IvonneGar's picture
IvonneGar 10 years 35 weeks ago

I disagree that Romney was better than Obama, and I will tell you why.

The RR ticket is a reflection of ALEC and the Machiavelli tactics Rove imposes. I only heard I am going to …. But did not hear how is he going to ….. (or his multimillionaire investors). MR is playing a senseless game, he doesn’t know whether he is coming or going.

When he mentioned giving the “States” the power vs the Federal Gov it is clear that he is going for privatization of social programs. There was one in some state on water management and doing away with Union workers. My source: Bill Moyers on ALEC Exposed. An example of these “secret” legislations from Republicans, including Stand your Ground, voting repression laws, among others, The wording in most of these secret laws are exactly like ALEC Bylaws.

MR millions of jobs creation? That’s a fallacy.

Democracy Now: After repeatedly touting his business experience as an asset towards reviving the U.S. economy, Mitt Romney has been put on the defensive by Bain Capital workers who are fighting back against the outsourcing of their jobs. One hundred seventy workers at a Sensata Technologies plant in Freeport, Illinois — of which Bain is the majority owner — are calling on Romney to help save their jobs from being shipped to China. The factory manufactures sensors and controls that are used in aircraft and automobiles, but has been dismantling and shipping the plant to China piece by piece — even as it requires the workers to train personally their Chinese replacements, who have been flown in by management. We’re joined by two workers from the Sensata plant in Freeport, Illinois. Both worked at Sensata for 33 years and were told their jobs would be terminated by the year’s end.

I would have questioned MR where was he when Bush and his secuaces were wasting the surplus from the Clinton Administration?

Conclusion: MR was very disrespectful toward Mr. Lehrer, Mr. Obama and the public. After this he tells him he will take away PBS subsidy? He showed he is a bully. Mr. Obama is above this dirty politics. Remember In The Heat of the Night? Then we might understand Mr. Obama’s position. Rod Steiger vs Sidney Poitier.

Ivonne Garcia, Tampa

Elioflight's picture
Elioflight 10 years 35 weeks ago

What did I learn form the debates? That something is seriously wrong with the media in this country and wrong with the idiots who think bobble-head Romney/Reagan (I thought he was mirroring Reagan's debate performance--only Reagan was more polite) who think, by his bluster and rudeness and lies, won the debate.

I have to laugh, then cry, when I see the signs that read: Don't believe the liberal media--since when in the last 12 years has it been liberal. It's corporate all the way.

bbergwall's picture
bbergwall 10 years 35 weeks ago

My comments -

Yes - as noted by others Jim Lehrer should retire. Imagine if Howard Stern were running that show?

Romney looked, sounded and acted Presidential. I've not been a Romney fan but I have to admit that I was impressed. Yeah, they both stretched the truth on a number of points - they all do - but Romney's comments about Dodd Frank vis-a-vis mortgages was very enlightening and actually understandable. (We all know that Congress is incapable of getting anything right.) President Obama struck me as a "polite: law professor who was mildly disinterested in the whole affair. But to me what was most damning to the President was his insipid closing remarks; how could he be so awful. "Trust me...I'm trying"... please! That's not leadership! Success is all about seizing the opportunity; Romeny won the debate but not the election.

jim mcdonagh's picture
jim mcdonagh 10 years 35 weeks ago

Worse than the topics are scripted and questions previewed. The whole debate is like pro-wrestling designed to entertain and outrage. That's what sells product which is the real point of the exercise, read Chomskys article in Truthout today. No ones talking about the middle east horror show this week , a happy coincidence no doubt.

fatfax's picture
fatfax 10 years 35 weeks ago

Can't wait to see the next debate !!

If Obama loses the next debate he loses his presidency !!!

Maybe Obama doesn't want a second term !

Global's picture
Global 10 years 35 weeks ago

Sure there is still racism out there but the progressives are the ones using it all the time. They use it as a distraction when the liberal ideology is a complete failure. Just as the environmental movement is used for global control for the destruction of the sovereign state -- Agenda 21. You are being manipulated.

fjkapustka2's picture
fjkapustka2 10 years 35 weeks ago

NEVER trust a pathological liar. It is what they do. They never change. Mitt Romney will screw us all. He can hide behind religion all he wants. Mitt just wants to watch the world burn. If he does not have a definative plan by now, he never will. Mitt is just going to pull a PIDOOMA (Pulled It Directly Out Of My A**). Those plans are always sh**.

jim mcdonagh's picture
jim mcdonagh 10 years 35 weeks ago

The only group that gains anything from these dog and pony shows that pass for debates is the media and it's advertizers. 60 million schleps hanging on every words will buy a lot of soap, viagra, and feminine hygene products. Relax Obama's had a lock on the POTUS chair since Romney was chosen as his opponent. LIke pro- wrestling Obamas rope-a-dope in the early rounds is part of the act/show

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