Who Won the Debate Last Night: Mitt Romney Hits Hard, Obama Fails to Rise to the Challenge


It is political playoff season, better known to most Americans as Presidential Debate month. 

For the political geeks of the world, this is the high point of the election calendar, perhaps only bested by the actual election night. 

PolicyMic, and yours truly, will be providing updates and commentary on the presidential debates LIVE. In order to stay connected, simply bookmark this page and refresh throughout the debate. It is my goal to get beyond the rhetoric of the presidential candidates and to give the American people something to think about as we all watch the next "leader of the free world," either Romney or Obama, make his case to the nation.

On October 3rd, the presidential candidates will debate issues of domestic policy. At this moment, 50% of the debate will be dedicated to the economy and the remaining 50% will be dedicated to other domestic issues to be determined by the moderator. With marriage equality, women's rights, education reform, and unions topping the news lately, I expect that a few of these hot topics will make their way into the evenings dialogue. 

Join me and invite your friends!

PolicyMic will be covering the presidential debate live. For live updates bookmark and refresh this page.

10:27PM: The debate is winding down. A full commentary on who won and where we go from here is coming up.

10:18PM: Subtopic - Education

Romney touts school choice and vouchers as a part of education improvement.

Obama touts the "Race to Top" program and discusses Paul Ryan's budget, which cuts education programs by 20%

Neither candidate is willing to say that the role of the federal government is to fix our public education system. In my opinion, the time for piecemeal approaches is done. The problem is too big and too pervasive.

10:14PM: New Topic - What is the role of government?

Obama says the first job is government is to keep the American people safe, but the secondary role is to provide opportunities for upward mobility.

Romney looks to the Constitution and Declaration of Independence on stage. Says he will not cut defense at all. Also says that he believes that people have the right to pursue happiness (unless, you're gay and want to marry your partner).

10:04PM: The key on healthcare for Obama is to make it look as much like Romney's plan as possible. Romney's job is to make it look different. The problem is that Romney's approach to looking different didn't have anything to do with the plan, it had everything to do with how the plan was enacted. 

9:57PM: New Topic - Healthcare

Romney harps on his repeal of Obamacare. The big problem here is that Romney created the same program as Governor. 

President Obama points out the similarities between Obamacare and the healthcare plan in Massachusetts.

The truth is that healthcare costs are the major problem in our economy. See a report by Forbes here.

The keeping your kids on your healthcare until they are 26 got some cheers at the Georgetown Law Debate Watch Night.

9:50PM: New Topic - Economic Regulation - Quick Question: Do we have enough, too much or too little?

Romney walks around the question, but says that he will repeal some parts of Dodd-Frank.

President Obama discusses the original economic crisis and says that he would not repeal Dodd-Frank.


9:40PM: New Topic - Entitlements: Medicare, Social Security, and Medicare

Obama sees entitlements as a necessary floor for people like his grandmother. He believes that they need to be tweaked to last. Obama wants to lower healthcare costs to fix the medicare problem.

Romney makes clear that he is not proposing any changes to current retirees. Accuses Obama of the $716 Billion dollar cuts to medicare. Unfortunately, this $716 Billion accusation is a bold faced lie.

9:37PM: Let's look at taxes - What do americans really pay? via NPR (which Romney wants to cut)



9:33PM: Romney declares that he will not raise revenue period. President Obama says he wants a balanced approach some revenue, some cuts. That declaration is going to hurt Romney, this may the beginning of the downturn in the debate for Romney.

9:27PM: New Topic - Deficit and Debt: Romney is explaining that he will cut spending by ending subsidies to PBS, repealing Obamacare, and asking if the money is worth borrowing from China to pay for the idea. President Obama starts with an explanation of what he came into the White House with, basically the Bush problems, and then explains how he has cut spending while in office.

Here's a detailed look at how the political parties have done on the debt and deficit:

9:18PM: "It's arithmetic" - President Obama on Romney's tax plan.....resurgence of a strong point in President Clinton's speech at the DNC.

9:14PM: President Obama and Mitt Romney have mentioned education reform. President Obama touted the STEM teachers part of his jobs plan that has been stuck in Congress. Romney mentioned education, but stated that he's more focused on training for new jobs now. Different approaches to a very difficult challenge. 

9:07PM: First Question - How are your jobs plans different?

Obama: We need to move forward, touts his previous record with the auto industry and hits Romney for a top-down approach. Also, quick opening on his 20th wedding anniversary, that definitely went over well.

Romney: Hangs on his five point plan. States that his plan does not skew toward the rich. 

The truth here is that Romney's plan does skew toward the rich and is based on a top down approach. Obama's original jobs plan was not as successful as he originally thought that it would be.

Check out this Chart on Unemployment for some perspective.

UPDATE: Tonight's Debate Stage via USA Today

UPDATE: Michelle Obama on watching President Obama Debate:"I get so nervous at these debates," a laughing Obama told CNN Chief White House Correspondent Jessica Yellin. "I'm like one of those parents watching their kid on the balance beam. You're just standing there trying not to you know, have any expression at all." CNN Interview

UPDATE: Ann Romney on Mitt Romney at tonight's Debate: "He has to feel what he's gotta say, when he's gotta say it. He's gotta listen to his own instincts. And of course it's– he's gonna be getting a lot of advice. But he's gotta listen to his own instincts more than anyone else's and trust that."CNN Interview