President Obama wasted no time taking advantage of Mitt Romney’s web of debate lies, by calling out the numerous falsehoods that Republican nominee uttered at the first presidential debate.
Video of Obama in Denver:
OBAMA: Now, the reason I was in Denver obviously is to see all of you, and it’s always pretty, but we also had our first debate last night. And when I got on to the stage, I met this very spirited fellow who claimed to be Mitt Romney. But it couldn’t have been Mitt Romney because the real Mitt Romney has been running around the country for the last year promising $5 trillion in tax cuts that favor the wealthy. The fellow on stage last night said he didn’t know anything about that. The real Mitt Romney said we don’t need any more teachers in our classrooms, but – don’t boo, vote – but the fellow on stage last night, he loves teachers, can’t get enough of them. The Mitt Romney we all know invested in companies that were called pioneers of outsourcing jobs to other countries, but the guy on stage last night, he said that he doesn’t even know that there are such laws that encourage outsourcing. He’s never heard of them. Never heard of them. Never heard of tax breaks for companies who ship jobs overseas. He said that if it’s true, he must need a new accountant. Now, we know for sure it was not the real Mitt Romney because he seems to be doing just fine with his current accountant. So you see, the man on stage last night, he does not want to be held accountable for their real Mitt Romney’s decisions and what he’s been saying for the last year and that’s because he knows full well that we don’t want what he’s been selling for the last year. So Governor Romney may dance around his positions, but if you want to be president, you owe the American people the truth.
So here’s the truth – Governor Romney cannot pay for his $5 trillion tax plan without blowing up the deficit or sticking it to the middle class. That’s the math. We can’t afford to go down that road again. We can’t afford another round of budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthy. We can’t afford to gut out investments in education or clean energy or research and technology. We can’t afford to roll back regulations on Wall Street or on big oil companies or insurance companies. We cannot afford to double down on the same top-down economic policies that got us into this mess. That is not a plan to create jobs, that is not a plan to grow the economy, that is not change, that is a relapse. We don’t want to go back there. We’ve tried it, it didn’t work and we are not going back, we are going forward.
Now, I’ve got a different view about how we create jobs and prosperity. This country doesn’t succeed when we only see the rich getting richer. We succeed when the middle class gets bigger. We grow our economy not from the top down, but from the middle out. We don’t believe that anybody’s entitled to success in this country, but we do believe in something called opportunity. We believe in a country where hard work pays off and where responsibility is rewarded and everybody’s getting a fair shot and everybody’s doing their fair share and everybody plays by the same rules. That’s the country we believe in. That’s what I’m fighting for, that’s why I’m running for a second term as President of the United States, and that’s why I want your vote.
Well, that didn’t take long. When Mitt Romney decided that he was going to lie his way through the debate, he not only presented Obama with a strategic opportunity, but Romney also confirmed America’s suspicions that not a single word that comes out of his mouth publicly can be trusted. Mitt Romney stood up in front of about 50 million Americans and lied repeatedly. It is as if the Romney campaign thinks that America is that dumb, and doesn’t remember anything he said before last night.
If Obama would have confronted Romney and called out his lies, he would have risked not seeming presidential, elevating Romney to his level, and making the contest a choice between equals in the minds of some voters. Mitt Romney is trapped in a box of his own making. When Romney tries to move to the right, as when he said he would end the subsidy to PBS, he loses the center. When he moves to center by claiming that he supports hiring more teachers, he makes the right edgy.
Obama gave Romney all the rope he needed to hang himself with last night, and now the president is tightening the noose.
The fundamental question of this election is can voters trust Mitt Romney. With his performance last night, the candidate himself delivered a resounding no.
President Obama’s campaign isn’t centered on national polls. The Obama campaign is based on targeting swing states. For months, Obama has been hammering Romney’s character in states like Colorado, Nevada, Florida, Virginia, Ohio, Iowa, and New Hampshire. Romney’s debate festival of lies served to advance the president’s narrative for him. While the mainstream media and their pundits obsess over national polls, the Obama campaign is running a largely ignored and highly successful secondary campaign in swing states.
It doesn’t matter what kind of debate points Romney scored if voters, especially in swing states, came away with maintaining their belief that they can’t trust him.
Mitt Romney may be the first candidate in history to “win” a debate and be buried in factchecking bad press the next day. President Obama is on the attack, and he is not going to let America forget that Mitt Romney can’t and won’t tell the truth.