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Tag Archives: 2012 presidential debates

No Bump For Obama from Third Debate

President Obama was widely held to have won Monday’s third presidential debate with Gov. Mitt Romney, but a new poll conducted entirely after the encounter shows the president getting little to no benefit from his performance.

According to the latest Rasmussen daily presidential tracking poll, conducted Tuesday through Thursday, Romney now leads Obama by three points, 50-47 percent. In a poll completed Monday and released Tuesday, Romney was ahead by four points, 50-46 percent.

The one point change is not statistically significant.

While Obama may have made more unanswered arguments during the debate, Romney may have succeeded overall by projecting a presidential air and demonstrating his knowledge of foreign affairs.

In fact, Obama has fallen further behind Romney even since polling done after the second debate, when Obama regained his form from his disastrous performance in the first.

After the second matchup, Romney was up by a point, keeping the ground he had gained since winning the first debate, according to Rasmussen. So even since his second debate recovery, in the Rasmussen polls, things have continued to get worse for the president.

Rasmussen also found that, over the three debates, Romney is viewed by the public as having bested the president.

Rasmussen Poll: Romney Won the Debates

A new poll by Scott Rasmussen gives Gov. Mitt Romney the title as overall winner of the three debates.

The survey found that 49 percent think Romney won compared to 41 percent who said President Obama did.

Apparently, despite Obama’s victory – according to the polls, not according to me – in the third debate, voters remember the first encounter, when Romney by universal agreement wiped the president out.

And, in a bit of good news for The Republic, just eight percent of likely U.S. voters say they did not watch any of the debates.

Obama Flubs: U.S. Has More Bayonets Today Than in 1916

President Obama erroneously asserted during Monday night’s debate that the U.S. military has fewer bayonets than it did in 1916. In fact, the armed forces likely possess more than three times as many of the weapons as they did before the U.S. entry into World War I.

The error is significant because Obama sought during the debate to portray himself as having an edge on Gov. Mitt Romney because of his experience leading the military, referring to himself three times as “commander in chief.”

Obama, who was trying to ridicule Romney’s concern that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916, derisively quipped that Romney “hasn’t spent enough time looking at how our military works.”

He lectured Romney:

You — you mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets — (laughter) — because the nature of our military’s changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines.

And yet, the president himself clearly lacked an understanding of the importance to his own military of one of the most fundamental tools of warfare.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. military has at least 600,000 bayonets in stock and plans to acquire 175,000 more.

Given that there were about 200,000 men in the Army and National Guard in 1916, according to National Review, that would mean that there are three times as many bayonets today and probably will be at least four times as many than before World War I.

According to the website, every Marine receives bayonet training in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program and on the Bayonet Assault Course in Recruit Training. The bayonet makes a rifle “just as effective in close combat situations,” according to the website.

Since Mr. Obama hasn’t spent enough time looking at how our military works, maybe this will help:

Here’s the exchange between Obama and Romney:

Romney’s Brilliant Maneuver

Gov. Mitt Romney today pulled a bold move in the final debate with President Obama, opting for relatively limited verbal combat with his opponent while instead showcasing his knowledge of foreign affairs, adopting a presidential demeanor, and offering a sense of optimism for the future.

This strategy was the political equivalent of the Muhammed Ali Rope-a-Dope against George Foreman in the heavyweight boxing championship in 1974. Everyone expected a war, but Ali laid back on the ropes and let his bigger, stronger opponent pound away until Foreman was exhausted, and Ali knocked him out.

And I think Romney may have scored a knockout too.

Some commentators are suggesting Obama won because he scored more points. But I think such people are looking at this from within the paradigm of what they expected, and not what happened.

Everyone – including me – thought Romney would tear into Obama once again and engage in another slugfest, spending as much time as possible discussing the failures surrounding Benghazi. Instead, Romney completely walked away from Benghazi.

What Romney needed tonight was not to beat up on Obama – he had already proven he could do that – but to cast himself as a leader people will be comfortable having as their president.

He threw some jabs, but the knockout punch wasn’t delivered by fist, but by feint.

Romney stood tall while Obama appeared a little surly, eager to re-litigate domestic policy points that the two had already plowed through in two debates. By repeatedly demeaning Romney, Obama demeaned himself. The proverbial Martian visiting earth for the first time would have been convinced that Romney was the king the earthlings, not Obama.

The CNN post-debate snap poll gave Obama an edge, with 48 percent saying he won compared to 40 percent who thought Romney did. The poll as a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 point, a relatively large number.

But the impression that will linger through Election Day is that of the sunny guy to the left of the screen who seemed to have ideas about where to go and was interrupted repeatedly by the guy on the right who made lots of points but, in the end, had no new ideas, couldn’t defend his record the few times it was challenged, and seemed a little unlikable.

Bush’s Role in Obama’s Foreign Policy Successes

Think about it for a moment.

We’re going to be hearing during tonight’s debate about two things President Obama bills as his banner foreign policy achievements – killing Osama Bin Laden and ending the Iraq War.

But it turns out George W. Bush shares success for the former and is owed most of the credit for the latter.

It was the capabilities built by Bush and the much-aligned Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld that helped track Bin Laden down and that allowed us to end his worthless existence. Obama took the advice of all his advisers – save the vice president, who opposed the operation – and okayed the mission to take him out.

I give him more credit than some others do for not waiting for more information before moving. But really, the risk of not acting at the point he did was too high, both for the country and him politically. If he let Bin Laden slip away, things would have gone very badly for Obama.

The Iraq war success is Bush’s. The surge that won it was opposed by every Democrat in town, including this one, who had the following to say in January 2007.

The only substantial effect Obama has had on Iraq is to increase the danger there of a relapse in violence by withdrawing all our troops instead of making sure some stayed around so we could continue to influence the situation.

But of course, it makes a good talking point during a campaign to say he “ended the Iraq war.”

If Gov. Mitt Romney is smart, he’ll use these facts to poke holes in Obama’s argument that he’s a modern day Patton.

Debate School at Camp David

President Obama is saving taxpayers some money of the kind they shelled out for his previous debate prep sessions in Virginia and Nevada, heading for Camp David for the weekend today to study up for the third and final debate, which will be in Boca Raton, Florida on Monday.

Obama heads down to Florida Monday and then Tuesday will campaign in Florida and Ohio.

White House Dossier Transcribes the Debate! Sort of.

This is a very special White House Dossier transcript of the second presidential debate. Please excuse us if it’s not a perfect rendering, but we believe it is basically accurate.


Candy Crowley: I want to thank all of you here at Hofstra University for joining us for the second debate between the presidential candidates, Councilman Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama. The debate will be –

Mitt Romney: Candy, thank you, that’s Governor Mitt Romney.

Crowley: I’m sorry. Councilman Mitt Romney.

Romney: No, governor.

Barack Obama: Already beating up on the moderator.

Crowley: The debate will be a town hall format, with average citizens who can’t make up their minds about anything asking the questions. Audience, I ask that you hold your applause until after President Obama is finished speaking.

Romney: What?

Crowley: And now, the first question is for you, Congressman Romney. Joshua, go ahead.

Joshua: When will you release your tax returns?

Romney: Mai întâi de toate, aș dori să le mulțumesc tuturor pentru (pauses)

Am spus că aș dori să le mulțumesc tuturor de tine (turns off his microphone)

Hey – that’s better – hey, something’s wrong with this microphone.

Crowley: There’s nothing wrong with your microphone.

Romney: No, there is. I’m not making any sense.

Obama: Nothing unusual about that.

Crowley: As you know, you will be speaking in Romanian during tonight’s debate.

Romney: What? Why is that?

Crowley: Well, you drew the Romanian straw, and President Obama drew the English straw. So you will be speaking in Romanian, and President Obama will be speaking in English.

Romney: We didn’t draw any straws!

Crowley: Of course we drew straws.

Obama: Listen, I’m willing to allow Mayor Romney to speak in English during the debate. I want to be fair, and besides, I don’t want him launching any sneak attacks in Romanian that I don’t understand.

Crowley: Okay, President Obama has agreed to be big about this. Please switch Comrade Romney’s microphone to English.

Romney: Well thank you Candy.

Crowley: You’re welcome. Now, the next question is for President Obama. Sylvia, please go ahead.

Sylvia: President Obama, why is Corporal Romney such a pathological liar?

Obama: Sylvia, thank you for your question. Corporal Romney is good to his family, and he’s a nice man. But he lies all the time. If you ask him about my record for the last four years, he’ll give you George Bush’s record and pretend it’s mine. If he had pancakes for breakfast, he’ll tell you he had waffles. Again, there’s nothing wrong with him, except that he lies all the time. And steals.

Romney: Now wait a second this is –

Crowley: Please don’t interrupt the president of the United States. I’m docking a minute off your next answer.

Romney: But he’s calling me a liar and a thief, and it’s just not –

Crowley: You are a liar. It’s in the transcript.

Romney: What transcript? What are you talking about?

Crowley: You lied repeatedly. It’s in the transcript. It took you two weeks to tell the truth.

Romney: When?

Crowley: Two weeks after you lied.

Romney: I’m appalled. Nu pot să cred ce se întâmplă aici ID-ul de . . .

Crowley: If you argue with me you’ll be spending the evening talking to the American people in Romanian, do you understand?

Romney: Bine

Crowley: Now, Mr. President, the final question is for you. Eleanor?

Romney: Wait a second, he just had a –

Crowley: Romanian, Mr. Romney. Romanian. Go ahead Eleanor.

Eleanor: Mr. President, I’m just a tiny bit disappointed in you. What can you say to make me love you again.

Obama: Well thank you Eleanor. I’m a basketball player, as you know, and I just love getting the chance to shoot like this from two feet out.

If I’m reelected, I’m going to force rich people to clean your house. I’ll send a rocket to Venus on ethanol, make other people pay for your birth control, guarantee that your children graduate from law school with high honors, and make the Taliban love us.

Eleanor: Oh that’s wonderful, Mr. President. I love you again. I want to party like it’s 2008.

Romney: If I could just respond –

Crowley: No, you can’t. Remember, I docked you a minute.

Romney: But I have two minutes.

Crowley: No, we drew straws and you chose the one minute closing response. So now you have nothing.

Romney: I can’t believe this! You’ve got to be kidding me! Acest lucru este total nedrept si eu un protest depunerea cu . . .

Crowley Lends Support to Obama’s Benghazi Deception

As predicted by many on the right, presidential debate moderator Candy Crowley of CNN Tuesday evening came to the aid of President Obama, lending clear support to his effort to deceptively suggest that he had on Sept. 12 characterized the Sept. 11 attack on the Benghazi consulate as terrorism.

Obama noted during the debate that he had referred to the incident as an “act of terror,” something Gov. Mitt Romney did not appear to be aware of. But Crowley backed Obama’s contention instead of letting the argument play out and giving Romney a chance to fully and clearly make his point that the administration had spent two weeks inaccurately suggesting that the attack was a spontaneous reaction to a video denigrating the Prophet Mohammed.

Crowley’s interruption of the debate gave Obama’s contention a kind of official stamp of approval by asserting that the president did indeed refer to the incident as an act of terror.

In doing so, Crowley added support to the president’s deception that by “act of terror” he meant “act by terrorists,” which he clearly did not.

Here’s what Obama actually said on Sept. 12 in the Rose Garden:

No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.

But at another point in his remarks, Obama directly tied the “act of terror” to a spontaneous reaction to the video.

Since our founding, the United States has been a nation that respects all faiths. We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. But there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence. None. The world must stand together to unequivocally reject these brutal acts.

It’s clear from this context that by “act of terror,” Obama meant the terror inflicted by a mob incited by the video, not a planned terrorist attack. But Obama did not explain this during the debate, merely noting he had called the attack an “act of terror” and leaving the erroneous impression he was referring to premeditated terrorism.

Obama’s misleading contention was adjudicated as accurate by a supposedly neutral moderator. For the first time I can remember in a presidential debate, the moderator got involved and came down on the side of one of the candidates.

And that’s exactly as conservatives feared.

Here’s the video of the exchange Tuesday night.

Obama Given Edge Over Romney in Post-Debate Polls

Both the CBS and CNN post-debate snap polls gave President Obama an edge over Gov. Mitt Romney, though Obama’s victory was so narrow it’s not clear whether it will help him make up the drop in the polls that occurred after his disastrous performance in the first debate two weeks ago. CBS found that 37… Continue Reading

Crowley Won’t Follow Debate Contract

Presidential Debate moderator Candy Crowley today reiterated that she plans to ask the candidates follow up questions after audience members have put a topic on the table. Only, the contract between the two campaigns envisions her doing nothing of the sort: The moderator will not ask follow-up questions or comment on either the questions asked… Continue Reading

Report: Biden Lied Repeatedly During Debate

Wanted to make sure you saw this report in National Review on Vice President Joe Biden’s serial mendacity. A lot of people compared Biden’s demeanor during the debate to The Joker in Batman. Apparently, though, he had constructed all by himself a new Batman nemesis: The Liar. Biden lied repeatedly during the debate, according to… Continue Reading