October 3 Presidential Debate LIVE BLOG

10:41 pm

So, the debate has just ended. A few post-game thoughts before I sign off:

– It seems to be a tentative consensus that Romney won this debate. Expectations were high for the President, though. Romney was passionate, aggressive, while Obama was professorial and distant (until the final ten minutes) and dare I say, boring.

– Romney stayed on message and held an attack line. Obama did not maintain an attack line on Bain Capital, the 47% video line, etc. at all.

– Romney has completed his transformation from the conservative primary candidate to a general election contestant who can connect with moderates. This is crucial for the next few weeks.

– The question is whether Romney reached the voters he needed to. Before this debate, people said that he needed a game changer to stay in the race. It’s too early to say whether this is a game changer, but he definitely saved his campaign. CNN is saying that this is the Romney campaign’s best moment so far.

I’m signing off now. Thanks for staying with us and bearing with Jim Lehrer. Good night.

10:12 pm

Now the debate goes into ObamaCare.

Romney said that there are differences between his MA plan and ObamaCare. His MA plan, he says, did not have a treatment board, an increase in costs. He said it was passed with a bipartisan partnership. His answer (especially on bipartisanship): coherent and strong, and CO undecided voters loved it (source: CNN tracker).

Obama says that the MA plan and ObamaCare are pretty much the same. Hits hard and says that Romney does not have a plan to replace ObamaCare with (or if he did, it was a “secret”)

Romney rebuts by: 1) invoking the typical conservative rhetoric of government taking away civil liberties and deciding everything; 2) saying that he has a lengthy plan and preexisting conditions are covered. But where is that plan? And didn’t he previously say that preexisting conditions aren’t covered?

9:57 pm

First, Jim Lehrer just got this debate under order by essentially telling the candidates to stop talking.

Back to the content: on the level of regulation in the economy, Romney seems to have gone back from his conservative rhetoric and become a moderate. Advocating for smart regulation, not less regulation across the board. Romney says he wants to replace Dodd-Frank, not repeal Dodd-Frank. Excellent response, delivered very well. Obama’s response, on the other hand, was winding and long and incoherent.

9:48 pm

A quick tidbit: intrade contracts on the presidential race are moved towards Obama in live trading at around 9:20 p.m. Now (9:47 pm) the intrade on this debate says that Obama’s slowly losing.

Back to the debate, which is now on to entitlements:

– Obama talks about his grandma, who “worked hard” and got sick. He says that Americans are hard workers and should receive the benefits they earn — a quick brush on Romney’s 47% comment.

– Romney ensuring that he’s not changing Medicare and Social Security for retirees or near retirees. Goes after Obama’s cutting Medicare $716 billion, saying he’s betraying current retirees.

A consensus in the twittersphere is that Obama’s being too calm and lacking passion. He’s treating this like a law class. He needs to connect and use more fiery rhetoric.

9:32 pm

“Math, common sense and our history says that this is not a recipe for job growth.” President Obama is reminding the American population of the similarity between President Bush and Romney’s plan. Romney’s still insisting that he’s not in favor of the tax cuts — something he’s been advocating for the past two years.

Romney’s trying to get the last word in the debate, trying to get his “jobs, jobs, jobs” message across. It’s coming across as a little overly-aggressive. He’s interrupting the moderator almost every time he speaks.

Now the debate’s moved on to the federal deficit. Obama’s trying two things: 1) to give a sense of history when it comes to this issue and how he came into office at a time when the nation was in a very bad shape. 2) contrasting his vision with Romney and trying to make this a choice election (not a referendum on him).

9:22 pm

On taxes, the President is pointing out that Romney has been calling for trillions in tax cuts during the entirety of his campaign. Romney is saying that the President’s lying — he does not support tax cuts and reduce the share paid by the high income Americans. What? I’m a little surprised that Romney is going back on what he’s supported for the past year and a half.

The tone of the debate is starting to get real heated — Romney compared Obama to a kid who lies to try to get people to believe what he says. Romney is starting to get agitated. He knows he needs to attack Obama to win. The question is whether Romney will lose his presidential-look as he does so.  Obama’s remaining calm, maybe a little too cool.

9:15 pm

In the first fifteen minutes:

Candidates on stage. It’s interesting how Obama’s wearing a blue tie and Romney’s wearing a red tie; their campaigns definitely coordinated colors to go straight along party lines.

Romney’s shifting the conversation to Middle Income America and the President failed them (and the taxes under a Romney administration). Is he trying to make up for his 47% comment a few weeks ago?

8:57 pm

It’s almost showtime, but a few links before we get started here:

Romney’s twitter – they want you to follow: ‪@RomneyResponse,‪@PaulRyanVP‪@TeamRomney‪@AndreaMSaul‪@EricFehrn,‪@ggitcho

Barack Obama just tweeted: “It’s go time. RT if you’ve got the President’s back in tonight’s debate: pic.twitter.com/jDtb4Di5″

A backstage shot of Romney a few minutes ago.

8:41 pm

Welcome to the Politic’s debate live blog! As we’re waiting for the candidates to enter the stage, a few notes:

First, I’m Geng, a Yale sophomore and a staff writer for the Politic. I’ll be running tonight’s debate live blog and post-game coverage.

The pre-debate consensus is that this is going to be huge for Romney. Perhaps even make-or-break. Romney’s been losing momentum throughout the past few weeks — from a drop to polls to offending 47% of the population to the muddle response to the Libya attack. Romney will be looking for a game changer.

Things to look for: Romney’s defense of the 47% comment; Obama’s defense of the 2007 video released yesterday; Romney going on the attack to try to seek a game changer.

Just as I was finishing up this post, I received an alert that Obama and Romney have now both arrived in the University of Denver building. Game on.



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