Debate Recap: A Strong, Steady, and Decisive President

President Obama won last night’s debate. He outlined in detail his plan to build our economy from the middle class out, not the top down. And he pointed out that Mitt Romney is offering the American people a “sketchy deal” in the form of a plan to spend $5 trillion giving the wealthy a tax cut they don’t need and $2 trillion on a defense build-up the Pentagon says it doesn’t want—all without explaining how he’d pay for it. Romney misfired on his attacks, and at times was caught in his own misleading statements.

In case you missed the exchanges, here are a few highlights from President Obama.

In response to Governor Romney’s jobs plan, which was challenged by fact-checkers throughout the day:

“Governor Romney doesn’t have a five-point plan. He has a one-point plan, and that plan is to make sure that folks at the top play by a different set of rules. That’s been his philosophy in the private sector, that’s been his philosophy as governor, that’s been his philosophy as a presidential candidate.”

In response to Romney’s refusal to release details of his tax plan:

“What he says is he’s going to make sure that this doesn’t add to the deficit, and he’s going to cut middle class taxes. But when he’s asked how are you going to do it, which deductions, which loopholes are you going to close? He can’t tell you. … If somebody came to you, Governor, with a plan that said, here, I want to spend seven or eight trillion dollars, and we’re going to pay for it but we can’t tell you until maybe after the election how we’re going to do it, you wouldn’t take such a sketchy deal. And neither should you, the American people—because the math doesn’t add up. And you can’t buy this sales pitch. Nobody who’s looked at it that’s serious actually believes it adds up.”

Speaking about the U.S. auto rescue, Romney falsely claimed that he and the President had taken the same position. The President responded:

“What Governor Romney said just isn’t true. He wanted to take them into bankruptcy without providing them any way to stay open, and we would have lost a million jobs. And don’t take my word for it. Take the executives at GM and Chrysler, some of whom are Republicans, may even support Governor Romney. But they’ll tell you his prescription wasn’t going to work.”

On immigration, Romney tried disavow his promise that he will veto the DREAM Act if it lands on his desk as president. The President responded:

“Now, Governor Romney just said he wants to help those young people, too, but during the Republican primary he said, ‘I will veto the DREAM Act’ that would allow these young people to have access. His main strategy during the Republican primary was to say we’re going to encourage self-deportation, making life so miserable on folks that they’ll leave.”

When Romney tried to mislead viewers about the President’s response to the attacks on the U.S. embassy on Libya, the moderator made it clear that what Romney was saying was simply not true. President Obama answered:

“The day after the attack, Governor, I stood in the Rose Garden and I told the American people and the world that we were going to find out exactly what happened, that this was an act of terror, and I also said that we’re going to hunt down those who committed this crime.”

And finally, when Romney tried to back away from comments he made to wealthy donors behind closed doors, dismissing half of the American people, the President concluded:

“There’s a fundamentally different vision about how we move our country forward. I believe Governor Romney is a good man—loves his family, cares about his faith. But I also believe that when he said behind closed doors that 47% of the country considered themselves victims, who refused personal responsibility, think about who he was talking about: folks on Social Security who have worked all their lives, veterans who have sacrificed for this country, students who are out there trying to hopefully advance their own dreams but also this country’s dreams, soldiers who are overseas fighting for us right now. People who are working hard every day, paying payroll tax, gas taxes, but don’t make enough income. And I want to fight for them. That’s what I’ve been doing for the last four years—because if they succeed, I believe the country succeeds.”

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