In terms of the debate itself, the one thing that stood out was that Mitt Romney was, once again, the alpha male on the stage. He did not back down when confronted by outright falsehoods by Obama and challenged him mano y mano on the president’s lie that energy production was increasing due to his policies.
On matters of substance, Romney continually hammered Obama’s failed record including his broken promise to introduce and pass comprehensive immigration reform in his first year as president, along with the tragic increase in the number of people on food stamps, America’s dramatic drop in per capita income, and Obama’s throwing his body in front of the building of the Keystone XL pipeline costing thousands of jobs.
Additionally, once again, Romney successfully fended off attacks on his concrete proposals for America’s future, while Obama was allowed to float by on rhetoric that neither offered a detailed vision for his priorities or how he would actually put America back to work.
When the debate focused upon the real lives of Americans, Romney dominated Obama by giving specific answers that contrast with the reality of the past four years of failed Obama policies. When the debate focused upon touchy feely questions, Obama scored points as he was able to use soaring rhetoric without recognition that he has held the job for four years.
Along these lines, somewhat astonishingly, Obama was allowed to pretend that he has been calling the murder of four Americans in Libya including our ambassador a terrorist attack all along. Anyone who has been paying attention knows that Obama blamed a video for the attack before the United Nations almost two weeks after the murder, and that it wasn’t until Hillary Clinton claimed that the buck stopped with her, that anyone in his Administration took responsibility for the failure to provide the security that the ambassador requested repeatedly over a period of many months.
Perhaps this is the biggest lesson of this debate. Obama is a master at rewriting history with a complicit press corps aiding and abetting him.
On Nov. 6, America will choose between an incumbent whose policies have failed, but is able to speak in flowing rhetoric, say nothing, and not be held accountable by a complicit press corps, and Mitt Romney who has laid out a detailed pathway for America to escape Obama’s new normal of American decline.
In 2008, Obama won because he was able to be nothing more than a reflection of the hopes that every voter had for the future. Today, this imprint is broken for most voters by the destruction of that hope after four years of his policies. As the nation discovered again in the Romney v. Obama 2 debate the president is an empty suit with little to offer beyond rhetoric without any original ideas to lift our nation out of the malaise that he has helped create.
It is doubtful that any minds were changed in this second debate, and it is probable that Obama will be declared the winner by his media cheering section.
In reality, Romney won, because once again, he proved that he was the only person on the stage who had a plan to rebuild our economy, reduce the deficit, and create jobs. And that is what America is looking for in a leader in 2012, not someone who is quick to blame others and slow to take responsibility.
Rick Manning is communications director for Americans for Limited Government.
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