The second Presidential debate was expected to pack big punches. And it did not disappoint. After the first debate hailed Mitt Romney as the winner, President Barack Obama needed to work harder to get the ball in his court. What the American public saw for this debate was a confidant, funny, charismatic Obama, the one that was lacking for the first round. He was more open to challenging his opponent, but Romney was ready to fire right back. A good amount of the debate focused on the economy, a success for Romney in the first round and a weakness for Obama, but Obama was more forceful to defend his four years, and ask for four more. Mitt Romney came in just as strong, but failed to present certain specifics.
While both candidates sold their plans, they also didn’t hold back from attacking the other. Romney harassed how the middle class has been treated “It’s not going to be like the last four years. The middle-class has been crushed over the last four years, and jobs have been too scarce.” And Obama came back to question his opponent’s tax deduction plan, “And Governor Romney’s says he’s got a five-point plan? Governor Romney doesn’t have a five-point plan. He has a one-point plan. And that plan is to make sure that folks at the top play by a different set of rules.” Romney also brought up the attacks in Libya and how the President didn’t label it what it was. This seemed to provoke the president as he responded with, “The suggestion that anybody on my team, whether it’s a secretary of state, our U.N. ambassador, anybody on my team, would play politics or mislead when we’ve lost four of our own, governor, is offensive.”
The polls are saying that Obama won this debate, though I do not think it is because Mitt Romney did anything wrong. Both candidates came out of the gate with their game face on, but Barack Obama seemed to want it more. The fire was back in his eyes and he used his strengths to engage the audience like he did not do in the first debate.
Below are questions and answers the way the candidates presented them. While more questions were asked, these seemed to be the most important topics discussed
Question: What can you say to reassure me, but more importantly my parents, that I will be able to sufficiently support myself after I graduate?
– R – Make it easier for kids to afford college.
- o Keep our Pell grant program growing.
- o Have a loan program so people are able to afford school.
– O – Build on the five million jobs created over the last 30 months in private sector alone.
- o Build manufacturing jobs in this country again.
- o Make sure student loans are available and community colleges offer slots for workers to get retrained for the jobs that are out there right now and jobs for the future.
- o Control our own energy. Not only oil and natural gas but build energy source of the future. Invested in solar and wind and biofuels, energy efficient cars.
- o Reduce deficit in balanced way. Have wealthy pay more.
- o Take money spent on war over the last decade to rebuild America: roads, bridges, schools.
Question: Concerning these various deductions, the mortgage deductions, the charitable deductions, the child tax credit … the education credits. What would be your position on those things, which are important to the middle class?
– R – Simplify tax code, get middle-income taxpayers to have lower rates.
- o Bring down rates across the board for everybody.
- o Top five percent of taxpayers will continue to pay 60 percent of the income tax the nation collects
- o Middle-income people are going to get tax break.
- o Middle-income taxpayer no longer pays tax on interest, dividends or capital gains. No tax on savings.
- o No taxes for anyone making $200,000 per year and less on interest dividends and capital gains.
– O – Give middle class relief. Continue to cut taxes for middle class families and small businesses.
- o First $250,000 worth of income, no change. (98% of American families and 97% of small businesses will not see tax increase.)
- o Over $250,000, use tax rates from when Bill Clinton was president.
- o Cut spending, tax wealthy more
Question: In what new ways do you intend to rectify the inequalities in the workplace, specifically regarding females making only 72 percent of what their male counterparts earn?
– O – Make college education affordable
- o Signed the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 which states that the 180-day statute of limitations for filing an equal-pay lawsuit regarding pay discrimination resets with each new paycheck affected by that discriminatory action.
– R – Emphasis recruiting effort for women
- o Recognize that you need to be more flexible to have women in the workforce
- o Build strong economy and support women in workplace.
Question: What do you plan on doing with immigrants without their green cards that are currently living here as productive members of society?
– R – Stop illegal immigration. Don’t grant amnesty to people who come here illegally
- o Put in employment verification system that
- o Make sure employers who hire people for coming here illegally are sanctioned for doing so.
- o Create pathway for kids of illegal immigrants
– O – Streamline the legal immigration system
- o More border control
- o Go after the criminals
- o Give pathway to citizenship for students and children
Question: What has your administration done or planned to do to limit the availability of assault weapons?
– O – Enforce laws we’ve already got. Making sure we keep guns out of the hands of criminals.
- o Intervene, give young people opportunity.
- o Make sure schools are working.
- o Working with faith groups and law enforcements, catch violence before it happens.
– R – Focus importance on parents and schools
- o Work together with pro-gun and anti-gun people for mutually agreed upon legislation
Question: What plans do you have to put back and keep jobs here in the United States?
– R – Create jobs
- o Make sure nations we trade with play by the rules
- o Crackdown on China
- o Lower tax rates on employers
- o Get back manufacturing jobs
– O – Lower corporate tax rate
- o Close loopholes that allow companies to deduct expenses when they move to China
- o Change tax code to prevent companies to profit offshore and not get taxed
- o Increase exports
- o Invest in advanced manufacturing
– O – “I believe Governor Romney is a good man. Loves his family, cares about his faith. But I also believe that when he said behind closed doors that 47 percent of the country considered themselves victims who refuse personal responsibility, think about who he was talking about. Folks on Social Security who’ve worked all their lives. Veterans who’ve sacrificed for this country. Students who are out trying to hopefully advance their own dreams, but also this country’s dreams. Soldiers who are overseas fighting for us right now. People who are working hard every day, paying payroll tax, gas taxes, but don’t make enough income. And I want to fight for them. That’s what I’ve been doing for the last four years. Because if they succeed, I believe this country succeeds.”
– R – “ I care about 100 percent of the American people. I want 100 percent of the American people to have bright and prosperous future. I care about our kids. I understand what it takes to make a bright future for America again. I spent my life in the private sector, not in government. I’m a guy who wants to help with the experience I have, the American people… If I become president, I’ll get America working again. I will get us on track to a balanced budget. The president hasn’t. I will. I’ll make sure we can reform Medicare and Social Security to preserve them for coming – coming generations. The president said he would. He didn’t.”