The 2012 presidential debates can change everything. This is the time when the entire country is really watching. While the election polls show that Obama is in the lead, particularly in the Electoral College count, the leads are not insurmountable. The election teams both know that the most likely time when the election tides can change is now.
Both are skilled debaters. Romney having the experience of more than 20 debates and two runs for president. There will be firm competition on both sides. The Romney campaign recently released a memo to surrogates and CNN whose aim was to lower expectations, so Romney could deliver a surprisingly strong performance at the debates and get a wave of positive press afterwards. Like I said, no one should be surprised. Even Newt Gingrich said, "just do what you did to me," with regards to how sharply Romney's debate skills nailed Gingrich.
The memo included statements about Obama's record on unemployment, lower incomes, rising energy costs, and national debt that indicates Romney is about to try and mislead Americans. I've compiled a set of resources that you may review to examine Obama's record on each. While others cite continuing problems, I believe President Obama's achievements are worth celebrating.
This is the excerpt from the Romney campaign memo that I refer to:
"In a matter of days, Governor Romney and President Obama will meet on the presidential debate stage. President Obama is a universally acclaimed public speaker and has substantial debate experience under his belt. However, the record he's compiled over the last four years – higher unemployment, lower incomes, rising energy costs, and a national debt spiraling out of control – means this will be a close election right up to November 6th."
1. Monthly numbers: We lost 839,000 jobs in December 2008, the last month before Obama took office. Within a few quarters we were adding 141,000 jobs per month. This represents a million jobs per month swing in the economy. From a financial crisis that looked like a second depression, this is a very fast turnaround in job creation. Read more.
Note: Others will confuse the pace of turnaround with what is expected of a standard business cycle recession. The Great Depression saw unemployment reach 24.9% and it took more than a decade, and World War II, to bring it down.
2. Republican actions have kept unemployed Americans struggling because their priority has not been to help citizens. Their priority has been to "deny President Obama a second term." Were you aware that Republicans blocked all debate on jobs bills over the last two years? 19 jobs bills were not even allowed to be spoken about on the floor of Congress. Republicans sabotaged the economy for political gain. Read more.
Note: We could have had a million more jobs this year alone. Take each monthly job report, add a few hundred thousand jobs, and that is the results we would have if Republicans had not blocked all jobs bills. The jobs bills are in Congress and can be passed today.
3. Review the timing of the manufactured debt-ceiling crisis. Republicans launched this at a time the economy was creating hundreds of thousands of jobs. It nailed confidence and job creation tanked. Whenever job creation was growing rapidly and you see it tank, there was a Republican action behind it.
4. The fiscal cliff was manufactured by Republicans who refused to compromise on any issue. This scares business leaders from hiring in the time leading up to the elections. The aim is to make the last few jobs reports as bad as possible. All business leaders are talking about the cliff. The uncertainty prevents business expansion, hiring, and slows inventory restocking.
How do we know Republicans are damaging the economy on purpose? They timed the spending cuts in the fiscal cliff based on the "WARN Act." The act requires that as private sector employers who build military hardware, or any other government purchases must warn their workers 60 days ahead of potential government led mass layoffs. Republicans timed the fiscal cliff so that the Friday before the election millions of workers will receive potential layoff notices. Read more.
5. Lower incomes result when so many people are unemployed that business owners can pay less and find all the help they need. Workers are in higher supply and growing demand. Do you think if Republicans had allowed the jobs bills that would have made a million more jobs this year wages might be rising?
6. Republicans wanted to let GM go bankrupt which would have destroyed millions more jobs. What would the unemployment rate be had Obama not saved GM?
Rising Energy Costs:
Obama's policies have America on track for being energy independent and producing our fuel at home.
1. President Obama negotiated with carmakers they agreed to double miles per gallon on all vehicles by 2025 and are ahead of schedule. We can accomplish this because Europe already has much higher mpg standards. Mpg increases phase in incrementally and the benefit grows as time goes by. How will oil imports and energy costs be impacted as cars begin to use half the fuel per mile?
Note: This rise in mpg standards is one of the greatest energy accomplishments you will see in your lifetime.
2. The President funded energy research that led to the drop-in fuel isobutanol being ready for industrial levels of manufacturing. This fuel can be dropped in all current systems including ethanol refineries, pipelines, and engines and gets 30% better fuel economy than ethanol. It will replace gas and the first industrial scale orders were already sold out. Read more about the MIT research; learn about isobutanol commercialization, and fuel plants switching to isobutanol.
3. Obama has been tough on Iran. The toughest sanctions in history have been imposed on Iran, one of the top oil producers in the world, as we ratchet up the pressure for them to end their nuclear program. Would you expect energy prices to go lower as Obama does what is necessary for our national security?
4. Natural gas has become so inexpensive that power plants are shifting from coal and oil to gas because it is cheaper.
Energy costs dropped rapidly for natural gas, we'll be using 1/2 the gas per car, and research Obama funded already produced isobutanol that is becoming an American grown replacement for foreign oil.
How will the economy do when we stop sending 700 billion dollars overseas to buy oil and we start spending it here on American produced liquid fuel?
1. CBO reports show the policies that are the prime source of debt. Republicans and Democrats signed into law the Wars, Medicare Part D, and the Bush Tax Cuts, which are the main sources of debt. Review the data here.
2. President Obama has followed paygo rules in legislative proposals. He found spending cuts, or revenue increases to prevent any bill he proposed from adding to the debt. Read more.
3. President Obama launched the Simpson-Bowles debt commission, which found 4 trillion dollars in cuts. The commission required a unanimous vote in support of their findings in order for it to advance to Congress, or the President. Paul Ryan was the single voice of dissent that blocked the cuts. At the time Ryan stated it would help the president's re-election if it were allowed to pass. Today, Paul Ryan is running around America as Romney's running-mate showing PowerPoint presentations of the exploding debt, whose fixes he single handedly blocked.
It is clear that Mitt Romney intends to attack President Obama for 90 minutes straight on unemployment, energy prices, and the national debt. When you watch the debates remember, Republicans have done whatever they could to keep unemployment high to sabotage the president and therefore sabotage America. Obama's policies could add a million more jobs this year and could be passed immediately. Remember that Obama led one of the greatest job turnarounds in history when his legislation was allowed to pass.
When Obama is attacked on energy prices, remember that natural gas is at record low prices, miles per gallon standards have been doubled, and isobutanol has just reached industrial production and will begin to replace foreign oil with homegrown fuel.
When Obama is attacked on the debt, remember Republicans and Democrats signed onto each bill that produces the debt. Obama has been a fiscal conservative and followed paygo. Remember also that Paul Ryan blocked the debt reduction measures for political gain.
When I watch Romney make statements, I question the credibility every single time. 533 lies have been catalogued in 15 volumes starting with the first general election campaign ad that Romney released. Read more. Even the highest quantity of the 47% who don't pay taxes are from states that usually vote Republican for president debunking Romney's recent remarks.
As you watch the debates, remember to fact-check everything before you believe it, remember that both people on stage are highly experienced and talented debaters, and remember that both want you to believe they will do horribly in the debates in the days ahead.