Before the first presidential debate Oct. 3 Mitt Romney was taking a nosedive in the polls, seemingly making a gaffe every week in the news. After his first showdown with President Obama, however, the tide was turned. People all over the country cried victory for Romney, noticing his aggressive talking points and energetic delivery throughout the debate. President Obama, on other hand seemed subdued and passive on almost every issue. Although, if you had been fact-checking Romney, you may have come to a different conclusion on whom the winner was.
If I jumped into the politics of this year’s election on the night of the debate, I probably would have been thinking, “Wow this Mitt Romney is a real straight shooter. I do not know why he was ever losing.”
The problem is that much of what Romney said is in stark contrast to the platform he and running mate Paul Ryan have been campaigning on. This is most evident on the issue of taxes, the issue that seemed to take up almost half the debate.
Romney repeatedly stated he was against any tax cuts for wealthy Americans and attacked Obama’s claim that he supported a $5 trillion tax cut. The fact is Romney said he wanted a 20 percent tax cut across the board for all Americans, which obviously includes the wealthy. He has supported the reinstatement of the Bush-era tax cuts, which greatly favor the top tax bracket. Finally, he has voiced eliminating the estate and gift tax, which really only applies to people with lavish, top-dollar estates.
To pay for all those cuts, Romney said he will eliminate tax deductions and loopholes. But according the Tax Policy Center, it is impossible to remain revenue neutral even if he was to get rid of every single loophole and deduction. At the end of the decade, the tax cut would total almost $5 trillion.
Another lie came when he repeated the number $716 billion when referring to Obamacare siphoning money from Medicare. That is misleading because that money primarily comes from reducing over payments to insurance companies, an idea which Paul Ryan has included in his budget plan.
Romney also raised eyebrows when he said Obama put in place more public debt while in office than every other president combined. That sounds absolutely ridiculous if you think about it even for a little bit.
The debt stood at around $11 trillion when Obama took office and is now at $16 trillion. A roughly $5 trillion share of the debt is hardly as much as all the other presidents combined.
The reason Mitt Romney was declared the winner of this debate despite all of these blatant lies is because Obama did not call him out on the lies nearly enough, and when he did, he displayed little to no emotion. If Obama wants to regain the momentum in this race, he has to be more aggressive in the upcoming debates.