While Barack Obama was playing golf and going on vacation, Mitt Romney was getting an education in the debate school of hard knocks from Professor Newt Gingrich. While Obama was being asked fluff questions by his supporters in the mainstream media, Mitt Romney was facing a hostile media that wanted to rip his head off his shoulders. While Obama was being endlessly complimented for reading stale, barely updated speeches from 2008 off a teleprompter, Mitt was desperately trying to sell himself to audiences that had been told he was a cross between J.R. Ewing and one of the Replicants from Blade Runner. As a result, at their first debate, Mitt Romney was sharp as barbed wire while Barack Obama looked like he just wanted to go home, curl up, and wait for MSNBC to say nice things about him in the morning. That's why, as you're about to see from these quotes, the first meeting between Obama and Romney seemed more like a seal clubbing than a presidential debate.
10) My priority is putting people back to work in America. They’re suffering in this country. And we talk about evidence -- look at the evidence of the last four years. It’s absolutely extraordinary. We’ve got 23 million people out of work or who've stopped looking for work in this country. It’s just when the president took office, 32 million people on food stamps; 47 million on food stamps today. Economic growth this year slower than last year, and last year slower than the year before. Going forward with the status quo is not going to cut it for the American people who are struggling today.
9) We didn’t raise taxes (in Massachusetts). You’ve raised them by a trillion dollars under “Obamacare.” We didn’t cut Medicare. Of course, we don’t have Medicare, but we didn’t cut Medicare by $716 billion. We didn’t put in place a board that can tell people ultimately what treatments they’re going to receive. We didn’t also do something that I think a number of people across this country recognize, which is put people in a position where they’re going to lose the insurance they had and they wanted. Right now, the CBO says up to 20 million people will lose their insurance as “Obamacare” goes into effect next year. And likewise, a study by McKinsey & Company of American businesses said 30 percent of them are anticipating dropping people from coverage. So for those reasons, for the tax, for Medicare, for this board and for people losing their insurance, this is why the American people don’t want “Obamacare.”
8) But you make a very good point, which is that...the place you put your money makes a pretty clear indication of where your heart is. You put $90 billion...into green jobs. And...I’m all in favor of green energy. Ninety billion (dollars) ...that would have hired 2 million teachers. Ninety billion dollars. And these businesses -- many of them have gone out of business. I think about half of them, of the ones have been invested in, they’ve gone out of business. A number of them happened to be owned by people who were contributors to your campaigns.
7) I will not reduce the share paid by high-income individuals. I know that you and your running mate keep saying that, and I know it’s a popular thing to say with a lot of people, but it’s just not the case. Look, I got five boys. I’m used to people saying something that’s not always true, but just keep on repeating it and ultimately hoping I’ll believe it -- (scattered laughter) -- but that is not the case, all right? I will not reduce the taxes paid by high-income Americans.
6) High-income people are doing just fine in this economy. They’ll do fine whether you’re president or I am. The people who are having the hard time right now are middle-income Americans. Under the president’s policies, middle-income Americans have been buried. They’re just being crushed. Middle-income Americans have seen their income come down by $4,300. This is a tax in and of itself. I’ll call it the economy tax. It’s been crushing. The same time, gasoline prices have doubled under the president, electric rates are up, food prices are up, health care costs have gone up by $2,500 a family.
5) Mr. President, you’re entitled, as the president, to your own airplane and to your own house, but not to your own facts -- (laughter) -- all right?
4) I’d just as soon not have the government telling me what kind of health care I get. I’d rather be able to have an insurance company. If I don’t like them, I can get rid of them and find a different insurance company. But people will make their own choice.
3) What things would I cut from spending? Well, first of all, I will eliminate all programs by this test -- if they don’t pass it: Is the program so critical it’s worth borrowing money from China to pay for it? And if not, I’ll get rid of it. “Obamacare” is on my list.
2) Barack Obama: ...And part of the way to do it is to not give tax breaks to companies that are shipping jobs overseas. Right now you can actually take a deduction for moving a plant overseas. I think most Americans would say that doesn’t make sense.
Mitt Romney: The second topic, which is you said you get a deduction for getting a plant overseas. Look, I’ve been in business for 25 years. I have no idea what you’re talking about. Maybe I need to get a new accountant.
1) We also believe in maintaining for individuals the right to pursue their dreams, and not to have the government substitute itself for the rights of free individuals. And what we’re seeing right now is, in my view is a trickle-down government approach which has government thinking it can do a better job than free people pursuing their dreams. And it’s not working. And the proof of that is 23 million people out of work. The proof of that is one out of six people in poverty. The proof of that is we’ve gone from 32 million on food stamps to 47 million on food stamps. The proof of that is that 50 percent of college graduates this year can’t find work.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: (Inaudible)
MR. ROMNEY: We know that the path we’re taking is not working. It’s time for a new path.
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