LIVEBLOG: 2012 Presidential Debate
DetailsCreated on Thursday, 04 October 2012 00:35 Written by DKS/TV2 Reporters Hits: 1174
Final ThoughtsObama spoke for about four minutes longer than Romney. Interesting that Romney mentioned cutting PBS. Jim Lehrer is a longtime PBS employee and PBS only represents .012% of the federal budget. The concept of six 15 minute segments didn't last long, seemed like both candidates ran over Lehrer. No really big moments in this debate. Big Bird was the biggest buzz word in this debate. Big question is... Who won? Does it even matter? Let us know what you think! Vote on Facebook and Twitter.
We'll have full coverage in tomorrow's Daily Kent Stater and on TV2 News at 5:30. For full analysis, tune into Portage Pulse Sunday morning at 11:30. Thanks for reading our live blog. Make sure to join us next Thursday for our coverage of the vice presidential debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan.
Romney's close. He says he's concerned about America and that problems are bigger than parties. Says there are two different paths leading in very different directions. Says he'll get incomes up, help create 12 million new jobs. "If I'm elected, we won't have Obamacare." Says there will be drastic cuts to the military if Obama's elected. Says he won't cut funding to the military.
Closing statement time. Obama goes first. Thanks Romney and the University of Denver. Says his confidence in the country is strong. Said 4 years ago that he wouldn't be a perfect president, but that he'd fight every day on behalf of the American people. Obama says he's kept that promise.
Obama says Romney will have a busy first day since he also says he'll repeal Obamacare. He will listen to any idea as long as it makes middle class families stronger. Mentions foreign policy successes as an example of how he'll govern in a second term. Says you need to say no sometimes, even to people in your own party.
Moving on to governing. Romney discusses his history of working with both parties in Massachusetts. Says he will sit down with both sides the day after he's elected.
Says POTUS is entitled to his own house and plane, but not his own facts. Says he doesn't want to cut money from education. Attacks Obama for spending money on green jobs, but doesn't outline his own plan for student loans.
Obama rebuts. Says budgets reflects choices. Attacks Ryan budget for not having details and cutting the education budget by 20%. Mentions cutting banks out of the federal student loan system. Says it has helped keep interest rates low. Attacks Romney for his "borrow money from your parents" statement.
Romney continues. Says he agrees with some ideas in Race to the Top. Wants federal money to follow children to whatever school they choose.
Romney says he "loves schools" and that the key to great schools is great teachers. Says he doesn't believe in cutting the military. The government should maintain commitment to religious tolerance and freedom and help people achieve their dreams.
Next Segment: role of government. Obama goes first. Says first role of federal government is to keep people safe. Next role is to help people succeed. Mentions Lincoln's decision to fund the transcontinental railroad and start land grant universities. Obama says he's tried to apply the same principles. Says he's tried to improve schools during his presidency. Reiterates point on science and math teachers from earlier.
Romney mentions Reagan and O'Neill's tax plan. Says Obamacare whisks aside the 10th Amendment.
Obama continues talk about the Obamacare panel, saying it can't dictate treatments. Says Romney's plan duplicates existing law. Calls Romney's Massachusetts plan the largest expansion of private insurance. Attacks Romney for not having details on his replacement, his loopholes plan or a replacement for Dodd-Frank.
When asked about what he would replace Obamacare with, Romney says it's a "lengthy discussion." Instead, he says his plan keeps the preexisting condition rules and allows young people to stay on their family plan. Agrees that Cleveland Clinic is a great model because it's a private business. Says the government taking over health care is the "wrong way to go."
Should be in segment 5 right now, but we're still in 4. Obama mentions Cleveland Clinic providing great care cheaper than average because patients are given one test rather than 10, focus is put on preventive care, and providers are paid based on performance. Says the Obamacare panel would work to institutionalize best practices. Says being able to buy insurance across state lines won't help someone with a preexisting condition find insurance.
Romney attacks Obama for passing Obamacare on an entirely partisan basis. Says only two legislators in Massachusetts voted against his health care plan. Attacks Obamacare for raising taxes $1 trillion under Obamacare and that 30% of companies are thinking about dropping people from health care coverage as a result of Obamacare.
Obama rebuts. Talks about how Obamacare banned insurance companies from turning people with a pre-existing condition down. Also says individuals without insurance are better off in the group plan, then goes after Lehrer for trying to cut him off, saying he had five seconds before Lehrer cut him off.
Moving on to health care. Romney goes first. Says small businesses are dropping insurance in the wake of Obamacare because they can't afford it. Reiterates that it cuts $716b from Medicare. Also says it puts a board in place that would tell people what care they could get. Says businesses are less likely to hire people. Says best course is to craft plan at the state level that fits needs of the state.
Obama rebutting on Dodd-Frank. Says his reforms were the toughest on Wall Street since the 1930s. Romney responds by saying 5 banks shouldn't have been designated as "too big to fail." Says he wants to bring back housing and good jobs.
Moving on to a short talk about regulations. Romney says regulations are excessive in some places and can become out of date. Says some regulations have become excessive under Obama, hurting the economy. Specifically mentions Dodd-Frank, which he says caused some banks to close. Some things are good, such as transparency, but says he would repeal and replace.
Obama says Romney's plan would lead to higher administrative costs and would put seniors at the mercy of insurance programs. Mentions AARP is against Romney's plan. Obama and Romney agree that there is a difference between their plans.
Romney says private plan and Medicare will be at no cost to seniors. Says if the government can compete with the private sector, people will be happy to have traditional Medicare. Also says benefits need to be lowered for higher-income people.
Obama calls Romney's plan for Medicare a "voucher program." Says the problem is the voucher wouldn't keep up with health care inflation and that Romney's plan to continue private insurance option would cause Medicare to collapse. Mentions his grandmother for the 2nd time in this segment. Says he's become fond of the term "Obamacare." Still in the 2nd segment, but we should be in the 4th by now.
Romney: "our seniors depend on these programs." Says Obama is cutting $716b in Social Security and that he can't understand how you do that.
Moving on to Social Security. Obama says he and Romney probably have a similar position. Mentions Reagan and Tip O'Neill in reference to Social Security reform. Touts saving $716b by not overpaying insurance companies. Says you don't need a major structural change to Social Security to keep it viable.
Romney rebuts, saying he has no idea what Obama is talking about on the tax break for sending jobs overseas. Says he wants to give more Medicaid money to the states.
Obama responding, focuses first on corporate taxes. He specifically addresses eliminating breaks for the oil industry. Says budgets reflect choices and asking for no revenue would lead to "severe hardship for people" and wouldn't help us grow.
Lehrer asks if Romney supports Simpson-Bowles. Romney says he has his own plan. Attacks Obama for not reducing the deficit. Says he doesn't want to kill jobs. Romney seems to be getting more fired up while Obama continues to be more relaxed. "I don't want to go down the path to Spain," referring to the economic problems in that country.
Obama gets his shot at the deficit discussion. Blames deficit in part on wars and programs that weren't paid for. Says he cut 18 education programs that weren't helping kids learn. Talks about his deficit reduction plan, which he says can be found on his website. Says for $2.50 in cut, ask for $1.00 in additional revenue and that Romney said he wouldn't take $10 in cuts for $1 in revenue.
Finally moving on to the deficit after going 11 minutes over on the first segment. Romney says it's a moral obligation to reduce the deficit. Wants to cut programs based on if it's worth borrowing money from China to pay for it. Says he'll stop the subsidy to PBS. "I love Big Bird, I love you too Jim." Remember, Lehrer works for PBS.
Lehrer seemingly losing control of the debate. Romney insists on having the last word. Lehrer tries to stop Romney, but he continues "We've got 23 million out of work. Going forward with the status quo is not going to cut it.
Tax discussion continues. Obama says Romney's plans aren't a recipe for job growth. Mentions Clinton's tax rates for the second time.
Lehrer wants to move on, but Romney gets another word in. Already 6 minutes over on this segment. Says Obama's small business tax plan would cost 700,000 jobs.
Continuing the debate about taxes, Obama reiterates his stance that Romney's plan won't work without raising taxes for middle-income Americans. Says for incomes over $250k, tax rates should go back to the Clinton-era rates to reduce the deficit, encourage job growth, and invest in education and energy. Says under his plan, 97% of small businesses wouldn't see a tax increase.
Romney starting to get more passionate now. He says he'll lower taxes on middle income families. Says it's about jobs.
Obama responds by touting his tax cuts. Says Romney's plan to cut more taxes by closing loopholes and deductions, but he hasn't been able to say which loopholes and deductions he'd close and that those closures and cuts wouldn't pay for Romney's tax cuts. Only way to make it work would be to burden middle class families.
Romney says he wants to reduce taxes for the middle class, but not the wealthy. Attacks Obama saying the middle class has been "buried" under Obama. Says training programs should go back to the states. Obama looking down for much of Romney's response. Says he likes coal. Wants to reduce the burden paid by middle Americans so he can't reduce taxes for higher income Americans.
Obama says he wants to hire 100,000 new math and science teachers and touts his "Race to the Top" program. Moves into discussion about energy. Says it's important to explore new sources of energy.
Romney begins by wishing Obama a happy anniversary, says "I'm sure this is the most romantic place you can imagine, here with me." Quickly goes into five point plan. Says new business startups are down to a 3 year low.
First question is about jobs and the differences between the two candidates. Obama starts off by wishing Michelle a happy anniversary, then touts successes in the housing market and the auto industry. He attacks Obama for wanting to roll back government. Stresses investment in education and training.
Lehrer getting the debate started. Topics will include the economy, health care, the role of government, and governing
Welcome to KentWired.com's debate live blog. Tonight's debate is being held at the University of Denver. The moderator is Jim Lehrer, the executive editor of PBS' NewsHour. Tonight marks Lehrer's 12th presidential or vice presidential debate