Presidential Debate Winner and Loser: Romney Tells More Lies, But Obama Fails to Connect With Voters


Will Mitt Romney succeed in usurping Barack Obama's hold on America, streamlining the country by cutting all government funding and handing control of our nation's destiny to his soulless corporate wage-masters at Bain Capital? 

Will Obama rebuke Romney and retain power, furthering his goal of establishing an anti-American-Muslim-Socialist utopia? 

While it's too early to tell which candidate will bring American to the brink of annihilation or lead the country to salvation, the presidential debates could be the turning point for either candidate in the race for the White House.

Questions will be asked! Answers will be given! (Or dodged.) Either way, you'll be able to reinforce your own pre-existing beliefs about both candidates. But for the undecided voters out there, this debate is the first, and arguably most important, opportunity to understand just how each candidate will affect how this country will operate going forward. This debate centers on the domestic policies of the candidates. Given the lovely shape the economy is in, the fiscal and ethical impact of Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and the focus on a number of civil issues like gay marriage, this will most likely be the debate that will sway most Americans for either Obama or Romney.

So don't miss PolicyMic's coverage of the debates, beginning at 9 EST on Wednesday night. We'll be providing non-stop coverage of the debate, ensuring that you, dear reader, will not be uninformed when you choose to vote in this election. The fate of the election rests in your (and 122,394,724 other voters') hands! Don't drop the ball, America.

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

What This Means

Obama did not have a strong showing in this debate. He was cool to the point of being passive. Romney was aggressive, assertive and critical. His demeanor was superior. As for the content of their positions... it's hard to say. Offhand, it seemed Romney's statements contained more inaccuracies than Obama's did, but we'll have to wait until tomorrow to see who PolitiFact excoriates. That said, will any pick up a lot of voters from tonight's performance? Doubt it.

Now to grab a beer. I suggest you do the same. Goodnight people!

Closing Statements

Obama says this was "a terrific debate." NO IT WASN'T. You would know this if you had to live-blog it. Says stuff to pander to voters. Romney does the same. That's it. It's over. Finally.


Partisan Gridlock

Romney & Obama - "As President, I'll resolve this partisan bickering in a manner my opponent isn't capable of because he embodies the values so antithetical to democracy that are harbored by the party he represents!"

Grading Schools

Because what education needs is more standardized systems of grading. That's exactly what they need, Romney.

Romney Throws Down

Criticizes Obama on... um, everything? Mittens came out throwing hard shots, and Obama isn't able to return fire. Perhaps it's because Obama hasn't been conditioned by going through the rigor of National Convention debates, but Romney has looked more aggressive throughout these proceedings.

Romney Says "Reagan"

It is physically impossible for any Republican to be in a public arena and not mention this word. Mittens waited for an hour, biding his time, then pounced.

Probably True


Healthcare, Part II

Romney touts his Massachusetts health care plan from 2006. Will he tout his positions supporting abortion, gun ownership and gay rights from years past as well? Unlikely.

Obama counters that health care premiums have gone up, but slower than any time in the last 50 years, and that he's been able to add a number of jobs by filling out the numerous death panels his plan calls for.


Mittens - Healthcare costs money. Healthcare kills jobs.

Obama - Lack of healthcare kills people. Also, small businesses saw costs raise under private insurers, pre-existing conditions prevented coverages, insurance companies imposed limits. Doesn't mention health insurance is becoming volatile due to unemployment and outsourcing. Claims the model worked really well in Massachusetts. ZING.



Romney claims regulation is excessive. Says he would repeal Dodd-Frank. Also, he will now be referred to as "Mittens." The President counters that the entire financial collapse was due to a lack of regulation that resulted in banks participating in risky behavior. Point Obama. Doesn't mention very few of those bankers suffered any consequences under his administration. Point deducted.

Voucher System, Part II

Obama criticizes Romney's voucher system. Romney claims the private sector will provide a better product at a lower cost. They don't like each other's policies. Surprise.

Voucher System

This debate is killing me. Slowly but surely. Killing me. What, I was supposed to be blogging about Romney defending his voucher system? Pass.

Big Bird

Social Security

Obama concedes that he and Romney are not far apart on Social Security. Relates a heartfelt story about his grandmother. Talks about lowering drug costs for seniors. Lame. Legalize drugs for seniors so they can sell them to young people and contribute to the economy!

Romney said stuff. I wasn't paying attention

The Deficit, Part III

Romney criticizes Obama for investing $90 billion into solar and wind energy - not sound investments. Doesn't agree that there are coroporate deductions for outsorcing. Wants to allow states to handle Medicare, and establish voucher systems. Claims that states are better than the federal government when it comes to government programs. Definitely appeals to states' rights conservatives.

The Deficit, Part II

Romney criticizing Obama's plan as unrealistic, as he constantly puts up trillion dollar deficits each year. Claims that you shouldn't raise taxes on people during a recession. "You raise taxes, and you kill jobs." Romney really hammering the jobs point home, here. Claims that more people working will mean more people paying taxes - doesn't want to "go down the path of Spain."

Obama addresses corporate taxes - he wants to cut corporate welfare for oil companies, which are currently $4 billion. Everyone hates oil companies, so CNN's lines say they approve of this statement. Criticizes deductions for corporate outsorcing. Claims that these deductions will allow government to enable investing in education, which will lead to a better educated workforce. 

The Deficit

Romney says the deficit is a "moral issue." Debt shouldn't be passed to the next generation. Says raising taxes slows economic growth, so that's not a good idea. Wants to cut spending and "encourage economic growth," because no other candidate endorses economic growth. Wants to cut any program "not worth giving money to China for." Apparently, that giving health care to poor people is not worth giving China money. Men are eating it up on the CNN stupid-meter.

Obama claims that he did cut certain aspects of government spending, went after medical fraud, cut $1 trillion in the discretionary domestic budget. Has a $4 trillion domestic reduction plan, relying, in part, on higher taxes for the rich. Claims Romney's approach to taxes is rooted in ideology rather than reason.

Crating Jobs, Part V

Romney back on the offensive, claims he's raising tax rates on small businesses, the sacred cow of American capitalism. Thank god I'm not drinking every time Romney says taxes. Says his priority is "jobs." Claims promoting small businesses and cutting taxes will balance the budget, and suggests a $$2 trillion investment in the military. Obama counters by saying that cutting $5 trillion to erase the deficit and spending $2 trillion more on defense, while cutting taxes, is impossible. Claims math is on his side. He advocates a higher tax rate on the rich. 

Romney complains he's not getting the last word. CNN's approval thing plummets. Not that it matters. Romney wants to bring down rates and deductions, exemptions, etc. He goes back to saying he wants to put people to work in this country. Hits Obama on the sluggish economy.

Creating Jobs, Part IV + Mental Break

Obama basically says that Romney will burden the middle class with taxes. Romney says he's "inaccurate." "No economist can claim I will add $5 trillion to the deficit if I say my tax plan won't add to the deficit." Solid logic there. Claims he'll lower taxes on middle income families. Claims Obama will raise taxes on middle income families.

OK, that mental break I talked about, because my head is spinning from typing and listening to buzzwords at a rate a human being should never be subjected to. Some generalizations: Romney seems animated and defensive, Obama is cool and collected ("his big, bold idea is 'nevermind'"), and CNN's real-time voter approval graph is so mind-bogglingly useless and uninformative, I'm at a loss of words to describe how terrible it is. Though, if you're interested, it seems to favor Obama.

Creating Jobs, Part III

Romney claims he won't cut as much as Obama claims. Calls the consequences of a poor economy an "economy tax" on the middle class. Emphasizes that the beaurocracy of education has become inefficient and needs to be streamlined. Wants lower deductions, credits and exemptions. Claims that the growth in natural energy sources has come from private sectors, not public. Romey likes coal. Clean coal. Which, in case you didn't realize, is an oxymoron. Claims he will not pass a tax cut that adds to the deficit.

Creating Jobs, Part II

Romney panders. Ugh. Begins by telling personal stories of people coming up to him and telling him of their sorrows. Smart. Establishes emotional appeal by having voters identify with people other than him. Says five things are necessary for economic growth - energy independence, opening up trade in Latin America, making sure people have skills and good education, getting a balanced budget and championing small business.

Obama agrees that education is important, says he intends to hire more math and science teachers and keep tuition low through corporate spending. Obama wants to lower manufacturing taxes, while closing loopholes for companies that outsource. Agrees with Romney that American energy production needs to be boosted. Touts wind, solar and biofuels as energy for the future. Criticizes Romney for cutting taxes and claiming to reduce the deficit.

Creating Jobs

Obama begins by pandering to the crowd and his wife. GET ON WITH IT! Praises the resiliance and determination of the American people. Touts the rise of the auto sector and housing. Focuses on the future, claims that Romney's tax policies and lack of government funding will inhibit growth in the future. His plan, with government spending, will contribute to "rebuild America." Asks, "are we gonna double down on the top down?" 

The Debate Begins

Jim Lehrer emerges out of an erupting volcano in the middle of the stage. He explains the rules to a roaring crowd. He notes the questions were not run by the candidates and that there will be three on the economy, and one each for healthcare, the role of government, and governing. The candidates enter to fireworks and arena rock.

Romney Playing Jenga

Hey, no better way to prepare for an epic collapse, right?

Bold Predictions

Debate Prep, Part III


If there's a better Onion invention than Onion Joe Biden, I don't know what it is.

Great Moments in Debate History, Part III

Lord, Give Me a Sign

How to Win a Debate? Don't Show Up and Crowd-Surf Instead

Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson has been excluded from the presidential debates, in a somewhat controversial manner. It appears he's taking this news relatively well.

Romney Gets a Head Start

What are the odds this is actually his opening statement? Better question: how many shots do you have to take if it is?

Mitt Romney Style

CollegeHumor’s Favorite Funny Videos

Can't decide what the best part of this is; Paul Ryan in a yellow suit and an ascot Fred from Scooby Doo would envy, or Chris Christie's pelvic thrusts.

Probably the pelvic thrusts.

Debate Prep, Part II (Profane Warren Ellis Edition)

Pot, Meet Kettle

Fox News is reporting that ABC News Anchor George Stephanopoulos is biased in his coverage of politics, and in particular the presidential debates, because he's claimed that the Democratic candidate has performed better than the Republican candidate 8 out of 9 times in the election. And they're right - Stephanopoulos is biased. They're right that a biased commentator should not be in a position to influence such a large percentage of the electorate by providing misleading facts or uninformed opinions with the intent of serving a larger political narrative. I can only imagine the field day Fox would have if there was an entire news network that operated in the same partisan manner they criticize Stephanopoulos for. I wouldn't want to be those guys right now! 

More Drinking Games

If the outline on the bottom of this chat was not sufficient for the amount of alcohol you intended to consume - looking at you, Ron Paul supporters - then Gawker has published a more comprehensive set of rules that guarantee you'll be able to drown your sorrows - or a medium-sized animal - in alcohol. However, it shouldn't be as bad as drinking any time someone said "Reagan" during the Republican Primaries. Pretty sure the Republicans lost a couple dozen young voters that day.

Great Moments in Debate History, Part II

Body Language

It's a serious topic and totally makes a difference when it comes to choosing candidates. If I see Obama bat his right eyelid while listening to Romney's response to a question pertaining to the allotted amount of government funding for stem-cell research, that's a deal-breaker. Can't have that kind of levator palpebræ superioris weak sauce in my White House.

Debate Prep

Debate Strategy, Part II

Or, call your opponent's mother a whore. You stay classy, conservatives!

Debate Strategy

How will Obama and Romney look to curry favor with voters in order to gain momentum? Well, it appears that over the past four years, the amount of Americans who are tolerant of extreme counterterrorism measures like torture has unexpectedly increased. Expect both candidates to take advantage of this - Obama will most likely waterboard Joe Biden after yet another live-mic gaffe and then threaten to prosecute anyone who reports it.

Romney will be content with tying an intern to the top of his car as he drives around for 12 hours.

Reader Response

Skeez Levvman says "Hoping tonight Romney will reveal his position on Young Jeezy and metal music." Good points, Mr. Levvman. If Romney hopes to win the election, it's imperative he focuses on the "semi-retired rapper" and the "subarban white people high on methamphetamine" demographics. We'll see how he'll attempt to sway these voters tonight. 

On that note, Slayer!

Great Moments In Debate History (American viewers only. Sorry Canadians.)

Wednesday, 2:27 p.m. <-- See that? I'm not doing that anymore. From now on, assume all the updates that follow take place today - Wednesday - at a time later than 2:27 p.m. EST. Humankind invented the wheel, discovered fire and created baconnaise. You will survive.

Wednesday, 2:12 p.m. Well people, the moment of truth is nearly upon us. In a few hours, we'll find out if history will be made tonight. Will we see a virtuoso performance unlike any we've seen in decades? Will we bear witness to greatness, as one man asserts his dominance over his challengers? 

Will we see Prince Fielder win the first Triple Crown since 1967?

Oh, and there's a presidential debate on tonight as well. You should check that too. In fact, for you alcoholics out there - ie, my target audience - here's a way to actually enjoy yourself during it.

You're welcome, America.

Tuesday, 12:19 p.m. Here's the complete debate schedule, ICYMI: 

TV – Each debate will be broadcast LIVE on ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC, as well as an array of cable news channels including CNN, Fox News and MSNBC among others. Talk about media saturation.

Live Stream – Each debate will be streamed live online on PolicyMic. Check back here for the live stream.

October 3, 2012

Topic: Domestic policy 


The debate will focus on domestic policy and be divided into six time segments of approximately 15 minutes each on topics to be selected by the moderator and announced several weeks before the debate.

The moderator will open each segment with a question, after which each candidate will have 2 minutes to respond. The moderator will use the balance of the time in the segment for a discussion of the topic.