Obama 'Lost' the 'Debate' because Campaign Wanted Him to be a 'Moderate'
President Obama was was painful to watch at the debate on Wednesday night.
Time after time, he allowed Mitt Romney to make fraudulent statements or empty statements without slapping the Republican presidential candidate down.
When Romney talked about the allegedly great job he did in Massachusetts on education or on healthcare, Obama needed only to say, "That begs the question, governor, of why you're polling about 31% in your home state."
When Romney said he was running because Americans "are hurting," as he did several times through the event, oozing fake compassion, Obama had only to say, "What are you talking about? You told your contributors that 47% of Americans are 'victims' whom you don't care about and who 'don't take responsibility' for themselves. That's caring?"
Actually, there were myriad occasions Obama could have chosen to introduce the point about Romney's admission, on tape, to a group of wealthy donors, about how he felt that 47% of the country were victims who didn't take responsibility for themselves. Obama never even mentioned that number, though it has been part of his standard stump speech since Mother Jones magazine released the secretly recorded videotape.
When Romney lied, several times, claiming that he never said he would cut $5 trillion from the tax rolls, Obama should have engaged in a little simple math for the audience, pointing out that Romney had said he'd cut taxes by 20% over 10 years, that the budget over those 10 years is projected to be $25 trillion, and that 20% of $25 trillion is one-fifth of $25 trillion, or $5 trillion. He could even have tossed in a light-hearted dig, saying, "Governor, if you're going to engage in budget cutting, you should at least be capable of fourth-grade math."
Nor did he pounce when Romney said he "had experience" with shifting jobs overseas and that the president was "wrong" to say companies could get tax breaks for doing that. There was a chance right there to crush Romney with the governor having no way to respond. Many journalists have documented how Romney grew rich by advising companies on how to escape their taxes and by having a company that shift jobs abroad and reap the tax breaks that come with doing so. (Just one: taxes on profits paid to foreign countries are deductible one-to-one from US corporate taxes owed. That's a subsidy for moving jobs.)
Obama is not a stupid guy. That he never did say any of these things is certainly not because he forgot to. Clearly his campaign braintrust, such as it is, decided not to go there.