Presidential Debate Jostling

Over 67 million people watched the first Presidential debate on Tuesday night. After writing about how many Americans should choose not to vote because they have failed to inform themselves of the key issues and can’t even cite simple facts like what the branches of government comprise our republic, I was impressed with the big audience. Obviously that’s still just a small proportion of the 310,000,000+ population, but nonetheless a great sign for the level of interest Americans are taking in their nation’s well-being.

Most felt Romney had a decisive victory in the big debate. Al Gore even gave an interesting excuse:

 Obama arrived in Denver at 2 pm today, just a few hours before the debate started. Romney did his debate prep in Denver.

When you go to five thousand feet, and you only have a few hours to adjust, I don’t know.

I think a more reasonable explanation would be that Romney studied up for his “big test,” taking some time out of campaigning to prepare for the debate, while Obama was fund-raising in Las Vegas.

One of my favorite lines from either candidate came when Romney countered Obama’s point about subsidies to oil companies. President Obama had just pointed out that subsidies go to oil companies and that such subsidies are wrong and Romney needs to remove them from his plan. He said, Exxon-Mobile doesn’t need any more money.

In his counter, Mitt first explained that Obama’s numbers were wrong. The subsidy was $2.3 billion, not the five billion that Obama said. Then he explained that the majority of that money does not go to the Exxon-Mobile giants of the world, but rather smaller drilling operations. A couple billion dollars out of context seems gargantuan, so Romney put it in context by comparing it to the $90 billion that Obama has given to green energy companies. It served to make Obama look like a hypocrite for complaining about a $2.3 billion energy subsidy. Further, he highlighted that included in that $90 billion is money that went to companies like Solyndra, which of course went out of business. “Half of these subsidized companies went out of business, and the other half were your key campaign contributors. You don’t pick the winners and losers, you just pick the losers (paraphrasing).” Obama had no counter to the wasted money on failed green energy ventures. Mitt concluded by saying even the small subsidy would be on the chopping block if he was able to decrease corporate taxes.

I thought that was Romney’s strongest point. That was also the stage in the debate when Mitt Romney told the President that he is not entitled to his own facts (but his out plane and house). I’d love to hear what you thought were the strongest points of the debate for either candidate in the comments below. If you were not one of the 67 million Americans who watched the debate, and you still read to the bottom of this blog post, thank you. You can view the debate on YouTube, shown below.

Upcoming Debates:

October 11th: Vice Presidential Debate
October 16th: Town Hall Style Presidential Debate
October 22nd: Foreign Policy Presidential Debate

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