The Talking Points Debate

When even the MSNBC hosts agree that Romney won last night’s debate with President Obama, and Chris Matthews looked like he had been crying off camera, then yeah, I guess Romney won.  I admit I called this one wrong.  Not that I didn’t think Romney would do well, but I thought no matter how well he did the MSM would call it a tie at best.  I figured they could only call it for Romney if Obama totally screwed the pooch, Obama wasn’t quite that bad (no major gaffes) but I honestly didn’t expect Obama to do as poorly as he did.

Obama was clearly poorly served by his debate preparation team.  His habit of scowling when hearing things he doesn’t like is well known, and he knew he was going to hear things he didn’t like so he should have been prepared for that.  Also his annoying habit of looking down and not looking at his opponent… come on guys, that’s basic freshman Speech class stuff!  All this from someone who allegedly prepared more for these debates, “than any sitting President in the modern era.

Obama didn’t even bother to offer “the audience a sandwich.”

Even Jeff Greenfield, no fan of the right, said:

Yes, it wasn’t the best atmospherics for Obama to look down, purse his lips, appear distracted, while Romney was attentive, engaged, relaxed. But this was much more than atmospherics. This was about one candidate who came with a frame for the evening, and who was prepared to engage on every question; and another who, perhaps because of his documented faith in his own abilities, felt he could wing it with snatches of familiar verbiage.

One really feels the loss of the teleprompter.

But optics and atmospherics aside, the real difference is that Romney came to the debate armed with facts and familiarity with the issues.  Obama came with his talking points, such as the one about the tax break for shipping jobs overseas.

Obama: “But I also want to close those loopholes that are giving incentives for companies that are shipping jobs overseas. I want to provide tax breaks for companies that are investing here in the United States,”
“Right now, you can actually take a deduction for moving a plant overseas. I think most Americans would say that doesn’t make sense. And all that raises revenue.”

Romney: “Look, I’ve been in business for 25 years. I have no idea what you’re talking about. I maybe need to get a new accountant, but the idea that you get a break for shipping jobs overseas is simply not the case.” 

There is no tax deduction for moving businesses overseas.  Costs of business are deductible, like closing (or opening) manufacturing plants, but that isn’t a deduction that gives a special break to a company to move overseas.  However this has been a leftie talking point for years.  They listen to themselves repeat the same things over and over until they never doubt the truth of it.  Romney made Obama look like he had no idea what he was talking about, which was actually the case; Obama didn’t know what he was talking about.  Sorry lefties, there is no special tax break for outsourcing American jobs.

 The other issue was that Romney’s tax plan would raise the deficit 5 trillion and raise taxes on the middle class in order to give the rich a tax cut.  Once again, Obama relied on his dubious talking points only to be confronted by a Romney denial that his tax plan would raise taxes on the middle class, lower taxes on the rich, and increase the deficit by 5 trillion dollars.  I know a little something about this issue since I demolished a claim made by the Tax Policy Center in August that Romney’s tax plan couldn’t work as planned.  You can get the details here, however the gist is:

Romney’s plan is revenue neutral, so there is no, I repeat, no cut in tax revenues.

Even though rates are lowered, the deductions and credits are removed to make up the difference.  This makes for a simpler tax code.

The Tax Policy Center admitted that the plan they actually scored, was only similar to Romney’s plans, and they had to make up the details.

The Tax Policy Center counts the 20% cuts in tax rates on top of the Bush tax cuts, which will no longer be in force when Romney would be President.

There were probably more talking point moments by Obama, but these were the big ones.  Meanwhile, over at MSNBC, the gang was apoplectic about Obama not using even more talking points!

Although one debate can probably be dismissed as a bump in the road, I hope that the President does take Chris Matthews advice and start getting his talking points from MSNBC.  Obama armed with even more inaccurate talking points would make the rest of the debates must see TV right up to the election.

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6 thoughts on “The Talking Points Debate

  1. Mike,

    came here through your comment at my blog. thanks for visiting. glad to come across your place as well. i’d like to reiterate your focus on the exchange about tax credits for shipping jobs overseas. even as a free market type, i admit that i just took this argument at face value since it is repeated so often by the Obama camp. it really did take Romney stepping in with his experience and saying “hold up, wtf are you talking about?” to make me question my preconceived notion. many are saying that Romney shook the etch-a-sketch, resetting his platform and moderating. yeah, he’s done that. but he’s also shrewdly pointed out some of the more absurd arguments from the Obama camp. if jobs are such a big deal then, yeah, why did Obama focus so much on ObamaCare? it’s for his own legacy, not for the benefit of the nation.


    • Thanks for reading CR!
      There are really so many talking points like the ones that came out during the debate, that are by and large unchallenged. As Ronald Reagan once said, “Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn’t so.”

      That is even truer today, even with the internet; or maybe because of the internet. I like to discuss politics on web forums and I am constantly bombarded with totally false talking points that are taken as gospel by so many on the left: That Glass Steagall was repealed (only a small part was) and caused the housing crisis, Republicans forced Obama to renew the Bush tax cuts in 2010, that the stimulus worked and it prevented us sliding into a depression, the Citizens United case declared corporations people, Obama saved GM from being liquidated… well it just goes on and on. I hope to one day to do posts on each of these issues, but it’s like spitting in the wind, so enamored are liberals with their myths.
      I saw John Sununu on Andrea Mitchell’s show on MSNBC, and she went right to the talking points, “According to the non-partisan Tax Policy Center…”

      It’s an uphill battle.


  2. Pingback: Debate Déjà vu? Obama Recycles Debate Promises From 2008 « pundit from another planet

  3. But if Romney simplifies the tax code and eliminates many of the absurd deductions, what happens to the 22,000 new IRS agents Obama wants to hire? They’re were the only bright spot in his employment policies.


  4. mike, i already knew enough about obama’s failed policy’s; the debate just made it visual and vocal– i hope to the deceived; but i didn’t know how strong and wise mitt was until he made his plan visual and vocal==great debate !


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