Obama vs. Romney, head to head in Denver

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9:03: And … they’re off, from the Magnus Arena in Denver. May the best candidate win.

9:15: Obama’s off-base on the claim that Romney proposes another $5 trillion in tax cuts. Romney’s right — with deductions reduced, the tax cut would not be anywhere near that large. Of course, Romney hasn’t explained WHICH deductions, and the deductions in play could not eliminate all or close to all of that $5 trillion …

9:22: Romney doing well, I think. Obama on the defensive.

9:31: Obama brings up Romney’s position in the primary that he would not accept $10 in budget cuts for $1 in revenue increases. A telling point.

9:34: Romney again rules out revenue increases absolutely. That makes progress against the deficit and the debt impossible. It makes the scale of cuts in Medicare and Medicaid and other programs, including defense, impossible to sustain. But Obama is not making that argument well.

9:48: Romney put more time into preparation, and it shows. Obama is missing opportunities.

9:51: Romney endorses the need for regulation. He is making the transition from primary to general election that he had not previously made.

9:57: Romney hints at the “death panel” argument, then lauds his own state version of ObamaCare.

10:04: Obama continues to leave opportunities on the table.

10:09: Romney beating on the “death panel” angle. All Obama needs to say is: “Governor, the plan that you implemented in Massachusetts has an identical panel that does the exact same thing.” But he does not.

10:18: Again, Romney better prepared and Obama is oddly passive, failing to strike at his opponent’s vulnerabilities. A strong night for the former governor of Massachusetts. A weak performance by the incumbent.

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With Barack Obama holding a sturdy if somewhat narrow lead of three to four points in the polls, and a broader lead in most electoral college projections, he and Republican challenger Mitt Romney meet tonight in Denver for the first of three presidential debates.

Typically, these events have the air of a Vegas prize fight. But having covered a few of those fights, I can tell you that there’s one big difference. In boxing, both camps boast endlessly beforehand about the whupping that their guy is going to put on the unlucky sap across the ring. Political handlers play just the opposite game, trying to underplay their man’s chances.

In recent days, it’s also been interesting to see Romney start to add some details to a previous vacuum of specifics, revealing that as president he would honor the two-year waiver granted to illegal immigrants brought here as children, and that he would limit more affluent taxpayers to $17,000 in deductions to at least partially offset his proposed 20 percent reduction in tax rates. I suspect that debate preparations convinced his camp that going into tonight without such details would have left him too exposed.

So stay tuned.

– Jay Bookman

850 comments Add your comment

Thulsa Doom

October 3rd, 2012
9:35 pm

Oh my God. Obama is whining about 4 billion a year to big oil. As if that 4 billion is going to balance the budget. Same with the break for corporate jets. Same ole crap with Obama. This shyte from him is tiresome. That’s why mitt is cleaning his clock right now.

They BOTH suck

October 3rd, 2012
9:35 pm

More supply side……..

Nothing new…….

getalife

October 3rd, 2012
9:36 pm

Tax breaks for offshoring.

mitt say keep them.

scott

October 3rd, 2012
9:36 pm

Question “Obama, Why is gas over twice the price than when you came into office? You had a supermajority to get stuff done. What happened?”

USMC

October 3rd, 2012
9:37 pm

Uhoh, Obama just opened himself up with his rant about Corporate taxes… Romney is about to eat his lunch! This is getting good! :-)

getalife

October 3rd, 2012
9:37 pm

Wiping the floor with his greasy head.

scott

October 3rd, 2012
9:37 pm

get rid of the teleprompters and the softball questions he was fed last election and this guy is clueless. libs you were much better off with Hillary.

Jay

October 3rd, 2012
9:37 pm

That’s a silly question, Scott. Gas prices were much higher than today under Bush before they collapsed as part of the economic collapse. And presidents don’t have control over that anyway. The market does — supply and demand does. Are you advocating giving the government control over that?

getalife

October 3rd, 2012
9:38 pm

doomy,

It’s a start not a solution.

Why can’t you cons get that?

scott

October 3rd, 2012
9:38 pm

ouch. take that obama

Keep Up the Good Fight!

October 3rd, 2012
9:38 pm

So Mitt thinks is okay to borrow money from China to get oil tax breaks. :lol:

Thulsa Doom

October 3rd, 2012
9:38 pm

Boom. Mitt hammered him on the 90 billion in tax credits for green energy vs 2.8 billion in big oil tax credits. WOW. He just made Obama look like a damn fool.

Jm

October 3rd, 2012
9:39 pm

Great line from Romney

Obama picks the losers :)

scott

October 3rd, 2012
9:39 pm

Mitt is slaughtering him

td

October 3rd, 2012
9:39 pm

Romney slams Obama on all the failed energy companies.

oldguy

October 3rd, 2012
9:40 pm

An getting behind on SpongeBob …. see you later.
Take care Jay, I do wish you well.
This to sweep the jungle for targets.

USMC

October 3rd, 2012
9:40 pm

“Wiping the floor with his greasy head.”

Yeah that Afro sheen is mighty slick! :-)

Geaux Dawgs!

Orange12

October 3rd, 2012
9:40 pm

Somebody did their homework and somebody didn’t. Round 2 – Romney

scott

October 3rd, 2012
9:40 pm

Structurally sound? Bankrupt because of intergovernmental transfers you idiot

td

October 3rd, 2012
9:41 pm

Round two to Romney.

Thulsa Doom

October 3rd, 2012
9:41 pm

Obama has got butthurt over the 90 billion green energy tax credits vs 2.8 billion for oil. He is definitely rattled.

Jm

October 3rd, 2012
9:41 pm

Doom 9:38 yawp

scott

October 3rd, 2012
9:41 pm

dude…bringing up stories about your family just will not work anymore

USMC

October 3rd, 2012
9:41 pm

Obama is losing it! OMG! This is the buffoon the White House! :-)

getalife

October 3rd, 2012
9:41 pm

SS and Medicare is up.

mitt wants to end them.

RB from Gwinnett

October 3rd, 2012
9:42 pm

“You don’t just pick the winners and loses, you pick the losers”

LMAO

Billybob

October 3rd, 2012
9:42 pm

you know his grandmother….. a ‘typical white women’….medicare is about to be a loser for obama…..wait for it

JamVet

October 3rd, 2012
9:42 pm

Move over Yaz and make room for Miguel Cabrera.

First Triple Crown since 1967…

Tealiban Party

October 3rd, 2012
9:42 pm

Thulsa Doom

October 3rd, 2012
9:35 pm
Oh my God. Obama is whining about 4 billion a year to big oil. As if that 4 billion is going to balance the budget. Same with the break for corporate jets. Same ole crap with Obama. This shyte from him is tiresome. That’s why mitt is cleaning his clock right now.

That really puts some perspective on Mitt’s whining about $281 million to PBS.

Tall

October 3rd, 2012
9:42 pm

…”The oil companies get $ four billion…”….

Stammer..stammer….$4 billion in what?

LIAR!!!! He’s losing and losing badly. Lairs can’t speak with conviction. Stammer and backpedal.

Corporate Jet? What on earth is Air Force One?

Obama still thinks he can wing it, because you’re stupid. Are you?

scott

October 3rd, 2012
9:42 pm

i have never heard obama sound so bad before. He is rattled. Rather surprised

Thulsa Doom

October 3rd, 2012
9:42 pm

Oh good lord. Obama thinks govt and not competition lowered prescription drug costs. God help this man.

Tealiban Party

October 3rd, 2012
9:43 pm

sry $422 MILLION, my mistake.

USMC

October 3rd, 2012
9:43 pm

“WOW. He just made Obama look like a damn fool.”–Doomy

Actually Obama is doing a fine job of that all by himself. NO TELEPROMPTER! :-)

getalife

October 3rd, 2012
9:43 pm

mitt is all over the place .

Not ready for prime time.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

October 3rd, 2012
9:43 pm

The $716 billion medicare lie from Romney….. :roll:

Thulsa Doom

October 3rd, 2012
9:44 pm

Mitt pounding him on the 716 billion he stole from Medicare. I’m starting to feel sorry for Obama.

getalife

October 3rd, 2012
9:44 pm

mitt does not understand anything.

getalife

October 3rd, 2012
9:45 pm

Owned voucher care.

USMC

October 3rd, 2012
9:45 pm

“Not ready for prime time.”–getalife

Put the Brown down Brother, he is trouncing your candidate! :-)

USMC

October 3rd, 2012
9:45 pm

The Crown down…

Jm

October 3rd, 2012
9:45 pm

Lehrer seems like he’s feeding Obama his answers

tireofit

October 3rd, 2012
9:45 pm

When is Romney going to give his ideas and not play off of Obama? Still waiting.

scott

October 3rd, 2012
9:46 pm

i cannot believe how delusional getalife is. Obama is doing terrible

Thulsa Doom

October 3rd, 2012
9:46 pm

Notice Obama isn’t even denying that he took 716 billion from Medicare. Why???? Could it be because its true??????? He didn’t even attempt to fight back. Surrender on the 716 billion medicare question. We will take that white flag.

USMC

October 3rd, 2012
9:47 pm

Obama is all mover the place. The isn’t John McCain, Obama! :-)

Thulsa Doom

October 3rd, 2012
9:48 pm

Same ole crap with Obama. So now the bad guys are the insurance companies. First it was big oil, then millionaires and billionaires, and now insurance companies. This crap is old. Stale too.

tireofit

October 3rd, 2012
9:48 pm

Why won’t Romney answer any questions?

getalife

October 3rd, 2012
9:48 pm

He explained it doomy.

Your mind is closed.

bman

October 3rd, 2012
9:48 pm

From reading over the comments here, they’re dominating each other. So, either everyone here is brainwashed, or it’s a pretty close debate.

BuckeyeInGa

October 3rd, 2012
9:48 pm

Corporate Jet? What on earth is Air Force One?

just wow..

barking frog

October 3rd, 2012
9:48 pm

Romney
Cut tax rates,
cut deductions,
increase revenue from
growth. Laffer rerun.

Simple Truths

October 3rd, 2012
9:49 pm

I’ve listened to enough. My hip waders won’t cover anymore!

getalife

October 3rd, 2012
9:49 pm

bman,

Partisans never admit they lose.

USMC

October 3rd, 2012
9:49 pm

Uhoh, Romney just took Clinton away from Obama. BAM!

0311/8541/5811/1811/1801

October 3rd, 2012
9:50 pm

“May the best candidate win.”

Nooooooo ……………. may the candidate that’s best “for the country” win !

Thulsa Doom

October 3rd, 2012
9:50 pm

Medicare has lower administrative costs according to Obama? Nope. The reason is that the private sector is the one that is doing the main administration in the medicare advantage plans. So that is an easily disproven LIE.

0311/8541/5811/1811/1801

October 3rd, 2012
9:50 pm

USMC:

I wish they would just give them “pugle sticks” !

Simple Truths

October 3rd, 2012
9:51 pm

The moderator has no control of the show…

USMC

October 3rd, 2012
9:51 pm

UhOh, now here comes the discussion on the economy… Obama is in real trouble! :-)

td

October 3rd, 2012
9:51 pm

Round 3 very close and one could argue a tie or slight edge to Romney.

Jm

October 3rd, 2012
9:51 pm

Aside from some weird Lehrer comments, format is awesome, good job PBS

Orange12

October 3rd, 2012
9:51 pm

Wow! Round 3 – Romney, with respects to Obama’s Grandma.

Tealiban Party

October 3rd, 2012
9:52 pm

Yeah, this format is bad. Jim L. has zero control over the debate. Both running ramshod all over the place…

getalife

October 3rd, 2012
9:52 pm

Repeal regulations on Wall Street means another collapse people.

USMC

October 3rd, 2012
9:52 pm

“I wish they would just give them “pugle sticks” !”

Yut Yut! Semper Fi!

bman

October 3rd, 2012
9:52 pm

getalife
October 3rd, 2012
9:49 pm

bman,

Partisans never admit they lose.

lol I know. Still, it would be nice to know how the candidates are really doing. I’m at work forpetesakes

scott

October 3rd, 2012
9:52 pm

bman, even Jay is pretty much saying Romney is winning. Given his bias, I think it is safe to say that he kicking the crap out of Obama

Thulsa Doom

October 3rd, 2012
9:53 pm

There he goes again. Blaming others for the economy. Like a broken record. Everything 4 years later is W’s fault or someone elses’s fault. Does this president accept any responsibility? Any???

scott

October 3rd, 2012
9:54 pm

and WHY were they giving loans. Because they were told to. We all know why. Look not further than Clinton.

Simple Truths

October 3rd, 2012
9:54 pm

I’ve hit my limit. I’m going to go plunge my toilets…

Jm

October 3rd, 2012
9:54 pm

Tealiban

It’s great

Back and forth free flow is good

More in depth answers than usual

Which isn’t saying much, but it is progress

scott

October 3rd, 2012
9:54 pm

ONE TERM PROPOSITION!!!!

Dan

October 3rd, 2012
9:54 pm

Romney is giving new meaning to term broken record “growing our way out of a deficit” everyone gets tax cut and the deficit will disappear

That Black Guy

October 3rd, 2012
9:55 pm

2 observations:

1. Obama does not look like the great orator as described.
2. Romney seems to be trying to bully the moderator
3. Very few posters here are able/willing to ACTUALLY hear what EITHER candidate is saying.
4. Did you catch my Bidenism?

Billybob

October 3rd, 2012
9:55 pm

lehrer is leading obama a bit

JamVet

October 3rd, 2012
9:55 pm

Air Force One is NOT a corporate jet, you numbnuts.

Jesus, Joseph and Mary…

Thulsa Doom

October 3rd, 2012
9:55 pm

“even Jay is pretty much saying Romney is winning. Given his bias, I think it is safe to say that he kicking the crap out of Obama”

That pretty much sums it up.

BuckeyeInGa

October 3rd, 2012
9:55 pm

Lehrer is doing a horrible job. He’s not holding either candidate’s feet to the fire.

getalife

October 3rd, 2012
9:55 pm

bman,

mitt agres with our President on most things but our President got him on regulating Wall Street.

scott

October 3rd, 2012
9:56 pm

How about this Obama….Does anybody think that unemployment over 10% and gas over $4/gallons and low GDP growth, and a decreased value of the dollar, then Obama is your candidate.

Billybob

October 3rd, 2012
9:56 pm

uh-oh jay….

JamVet

October 3rd, 2012
9:56 pm

bman, even Jay is pretty much saying Romney is winning.

No, misquoter, he said he won round one.

USMC

October 3rd, 2012
9:57 pm

Jay is awfully quiet… :-)

scott

October 3rd, 2012
9:57 pm

Romney has been very well-prepared

Thulsa Doom

October 3rd, 2012
9:57 pm

Obama keeps smirking. He’s getting bashed and he knows it. Watch that continous smirk when from Obama when Mitt is speaking.

Jm

October 3rd, 2012
9:58 pm

Romney, how are you going to lower healthcare costs?

Silent so far

Billybob

October 3rd, 2012
9:58 pm

getalife, getaclue….wow

td

October 3rd, 2012
9:58 pm

9:48: Romney put more time into preparation, and it shows. Obama is missing opportunities.

This we agree on 100%.

getalife

October 3rd, 2012
9:58 pm

Repeal ObamaCare is a losing argument.

Billybob

October 3rd, 2012
9:59 pm

here is the lib boogeyman template….easy

USMC

October 3rd, 2012
9:59 pm

“1. Obama does not look like the great orator as described.”–That Bama Fan

Not being allowed to use a teleprompter is a B!tch! :-)

Steve-USA "None of the Above"

October 3rd, 2012
9:59 pm

Doesn’t matter who actually wins, if you listen to Fox after the debate Romney won, if you tune in MSNBC than Obama won. Didn’t you guys read Jay’s last blog?

scott

October 3rd, 2012
9:59 pm

jamvet…no wonder why you probably think obama is doing a great job. If OBama was doing well, Jay would be chirping away man.

scott

October 3rd, 2012
9:59 pm

that takeover will take effect after this election

Thulsa Doom

October 3rd, 2012
10:00 pm

Obama just said you can keep your own doctor under obamacare. LIE LIE LIE!

Billybob

October 3rd, 2012
10:00 pm

proven that many can not keep their doctor….the truth escapes your guy jay

td

October 3rd, 2012
10:00 pm

JamVet

October 3rd, 2012
9:56 pm

bman, even Jay is pretty much saying Romney is winning.

No, misquoter, he said he won round one.

Read the points he is adding at the top of the blog. Obama is getting a pretty good butt kicking right now 70% of the time.

getalife

October 3rd, 2012
10:00 pm

It bored many Americans and they changed the channel.

Too much policy arguments and no zingers.

Jm

October 3rd, 2012
10:00 pm

Obama is very passive personally and it comes through in the debate

Romney fought for the last word in round 1

Obama totally passed on the last word in round 2

America needs fixing and can’t have a pacificifist, empty seat prez