But the truth tells another story.
For starters, it was very clear that this debate was stacked in President Obama’s favor. Moderator Candy Crowley was obviously on President Obama’s side, and several of the questions seemed to be geared toward giving the president an opportunity to put forward his favorite talking points, which he was all too willing to do. Crowley interrupted Romney 28 times throughout the debate, and she generously gave President Obama more time to speak.
But perhaps the greatest challenge facing Mitt Romney was overcoming the lies that President Obama kept throwing out – and if the president won last night’s debate, it is only because Romney didn’t have sufficient time to call him on every lie he threw out.
The big lie, of course – the one that will get the most media attention – was the one on Libya. President Obama’s eagerness to come out and “take responsibility” for the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi was quite disingenuous, considering just the day prior Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was doing the same. It’s almost as if Clinton was being put forward to test the waters and see if her taking the blame would get the president out of some of the tough questions. When that didn’t happen, President Obama stepped up, but only because he had to in order to prevent even more public opinion problems in the issue.
It didn’t help Obama at all that Crowley admitted her mistake directly following the debate and has already been thoroughly discredited – though that fact will surely be lost on MSNBC and the crowd over at Daily Kos. In fact, Crowley even said that Obama came to her after the debate and admitted that he had delayed in calling it a terrorist attack. It also didn’t help that Obama’s administration went on the record stating that the White House hadn’t called what happened in Benghazi a terrorist attack. Obama and Crowley had to lie during the debate, because the truth hurts Obama. He refused to call it a terrorist attack, and instead sent his surrogates on an anti-video blitz, and he himself even made it about the YouTube video when he gave his speech in front of the United Nations.
And it was telling that when Romney called Obama out for flying off to Vegas for a campaign fundraiser the day after the attack, the best Obama could do was to say “I gave a speech in the Rose Garden.” I watched that speech live; the president’s tepid response to the murder of four Americans was nothing to be proud of.
Given the Obama administration’s mixed response, and waffling on the YouTube/terrorism issue in the month following the attack, Obama’s righteous indignation over being called out on his administration’s lies rang hollow. On an important foreign policy issue, the president and his administration have been weak toward the terrorists, making Benghazi an undeniable failure for the Obama administration.
The good news for Romney is that the next debate is on foreign policy, and Obama’s lie on Libya is on the record.
On matters of domestic policy, Obama’s presentation was full of lies.
He waxed on and on about the Lilly Ledbetter act, but the truth is that his own administration pays women less than men. Actions speak louder than words, Mr. President.
He repeated his claim that oil drilling has gone up during his presidency, but Romney pinned him down on his reduction of drilling permits on federal lands. Actions speak louder than words, Mr. President.
He repeated the Democratic talking point that Romney wanted to allow GM to go bankrupt. Finally, we got to hear Romney call the president out on the facts.
When Obama accused Romney of investing in Chinese businesses, Romney made the president squirm, because the president hasn’t checked his own portfolio.
And when Romney went down the list of President Obama’s failures over the past four years, Obama had no way to give an adequate response, because that is his record.
When Romney went after Obama on Fast and Furious, the president had no recourse but to hide behind Candy Crowley, who eagerly helped him to avoid the issue. America still has not heard the full story from Obama on Fast and Furious and the White House cover-up.
Obama had no real answer on gas prices; instead he droned on about fuel efficiency standards for vehicles and renewable energy. The day of the debate, a company that manufactured batteries for hybrid and electric cars announced they were going out of business. They had received millions from Obama’s stimulus bill…making them just the latest in over a dozen green energy companies that received federal dollars, only to go out of business. Most of these have been run by Obama donors.
Then, in the coup-d-grace that was obviously intended to please MSNBC’s fan base, Obama decided to throw in the tired 47 percent non sequitur…but he purposely waited until the very end of the debate, so Romney would not get a chance to respond.
If Obama did accomplish anything in last night’s debate, it was mainly to fire up his base, which seems to have been his focus since his dismal performance at the first debate. For an incumbent president to be working on his base this late in the game, it doesn’t look too got for President Obama.
When it came to scoring cheap points and regurgitating talking points, President Obama definitely won this debate. But these debates have helped Mitt Romney to overcome the caricature that has been foisted upon him by the Obama campaign and the hostile media. In the end, the debates have done more good for Romney than Obama, and it’s still debatable as to whether Obama has even managed to re-gain the ground he lost in the first debate.