Romney Challenges Obama To Defend His Record In The First Presidential Debate

Denver, Colorado

Republican Governor Mitt Romney used the first presidential debate Wednesday evening in Denver to criticize President Obama’s policies while clearly articulating how he would lead America down a different path as a future President.

“Now I am concerned that the path we are on has just been unsuccessful” Romney said.

“The president has a view very similar to the view that he had when he ran four years ago. That a bigger government spending more, taxing more, regulating more……if you will trickle down government would work” he continued. 

“That’s not the right answer for America, I will restore the vitality that gets America working again.” Romney emphasized. 

Although President Obama has done an effective job criticizing Governor Romney’s trickle down economic policies in the past, showing how tax cuts for the rich don’t usually translate into benefiting poorer members of society by improving the economy as a whole, on Wednesday evening in Denver Republican Governor Mitt Romney used the trickle down principle to associate the term with government incompetence and inefficiency- even after the moderator had asked President Obama to respond to the trickle down approach.

President Obama responded to the trickle down approach by first discussing the need for improving the education system which seemed out of place.

President Obama later spoke about the need for lowering the corporate tax code and closing tax loopholes.  

President Obama did eventually criticize Romney’s top-down economic principle; however, he did not refer to it in the debate as “trickle down” as he had done in the past or even try to associate Romney as being focused on the wealthy or refer to his past comment about the 47% “who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it — that that’s an entitlement.”

However, President Obama did criticize Romney’s economic plan for his failure to include any tax revenues while discussing the importance of adding tax revenues for making future investments in America.

“Governor Romney’s central economic plan calls for a $5 trillion tax cut on top of the extension of the Bush tax cuts, so that’s another trillion dollars. And 2 trillion in additional military spending that the military has not asked for” Obama said. “That 8 trillion dollars. How we pay for that, reduce the deficit, and make the investments that we need to make without dumping the costs on the middle class Americans I think is one of the central questions of this campaign” Obama explained.

Romney denied having a 5 trillion tax cut and seemed to run away from the tax cut proposal. “I don’t have a tax cut of the scale that you’re talking about” Romney said.

However, Governor Romney had made a proposal in the past that involves cutting all marginal tax rates by 20 percent which essentially amounts to cutting tax revenue by $5 trillion.

Instead of raising tax revenues as President Obama has already proposed, Romney said he wants to clear out deductions and loopholes in the tax code. 

However, Romney provided no specifics about how his proposal would ever work.

President Obama came across as less assertive than Mitt Romney who appeared focused and well prepared during the entire debate, speaking in moderate tones rather than the far right tones of his conservative party.

“Regulation is essential.  You can’t have a free market work if you don’t have regulation” Romney said.

“Every free economy has good regulations. At the same time, regulation can become excessive.”

When asked by the moderator if it is excessive right now,  Romney replied, “In some places, yes, in other places, no.”

When asked to explain where, Romney said, “It can become out of date. And what’s happened in — with some of the legislation that’s been passed during the president’s term, you’ve seen regulation become excessive and it’s hurt the — it’s hurt the economy.”

Romney cited Dodd- Frank which he claimed has some unintended consequences that are harmful to the economy such as banks that are too big to fail.

On the other hand, Romney spoke favorably about Dodd-Frank later in the debate in a few areas such as the need for transparency and leverage limits for institutes.

President Obama made some compelling statements about the need for continued regulation and application of Dodd-Frank while managing to not blame Wall St. for the entire financial crisis.

“The reason we have been in such a enormous economic crisis was prompted by reckless behavior across the board. Now, it wasn’t just on Wall Street.” Obama said.

“You had — loan officers were — they were giving loans and mortgages that really shouldn’t have been given, because they’re — the folks didn’t qualify. You had people who were borrowing money to buy a house that they couldn’t afford” he said.

“You had credit agencies that were stamping these as A-1 (ph) great investments when they weren’t. But you also had banks making money hand-over-fist, churning out products that the bankers themselves didn’t even understand in order to make big profits, but knowing that it made the entire system vulnerable” Obama recalled.

The first presidential debate is likely to give Romney a little boost from his lagging position and will likely change the conversation about the campaign as New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie predicted on last Sunday’s Meet the Press.

Governor Romney appeared genuinely concerned about the economy and passionate about his economic policies.

The next debate will be the vice presidential event on Thursday, October 11th at Center College in Danville, Kentucky.

On October 16th President Obama and Governor Romney will hold their second debate on foreign and domestic policy issues at Hofstra University in New York. The debate will take the form of a town meeting, in which citizens will ask questions of the candidates on foreign and domestic issues.

On October 22nd the final debate will be held on the campus of Lynn University at Boca Roton, Florida and focus on foreign policy.

next debate will be the vice presidential event on Thursday, October 11th at Center College in Danville, Kentucky.


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