How Obama Beats Romney

DENVER, COLORADO—By the time his motorcade pulled up to Magness Arena on the campus of the University of Denver at 6:40 local time Wednesday evening, October 3, the president knew he had 20 minutes to make a decision. 

The campaign of his opponent, Governor Mitt Romney, had so deteriorated that, for his part, Barack Obama understood there was a sound argument on behalf of running out the clock and not taking any great risks. The president is typically a prudent man, right up until the moment he does something notably risky, such as ordering the mission that killed Osama bin Laden in spite of virtually all of his inner circle advising against it (except CIA Director Leon Panetta). Now, with only moments until the debate began, the president could anticipate what might well be moderator Jim Lehrer’s opening question, for which the Obama campaign had prepared an innocuous response, counting on the near certainty that Governor Romney would offer a response even more useless. 

But another, bolder answer, of which the president had not advised his prep team, had been forming in his thoughts for a while. If it was high risk, inviting media scrutiny, it also was high reward, a response that would be the most presidential thing anyone said that night and that would put Governor Romney on the spot, if not expose him as the fraud that the president had come to genuinely believe him to be. It would dominate all subsequent coverage of the debate and catch the governor off guard; Romney, the president remembered, is never worse than when he’s off guard. If the Republican candidate didn’t manage a very good rebuttal, the election would be over. 

LEHRER: Mr. President, I don’t need to tell you that the issue first and foremost on everyone’s mind is the state of the national economy. You and your campaign, and some in the media, have accused Governor Romney of offering no specifics as to what he would do about the economy should he be elected president. But are you prepared this evening to offer specifics of your own?

THE PRESIDENT: Jim [dramatic pause], I am. The American people deserve no less from both Governor Romney and me. 

I’ll try to be as succinct as I can. But your question calls for a big answer, so I hope you’ll bear with me as I try to respond in the allotted time. 

I’m announcing tonight that, if re-elected, I will immediately call the House of Representatives back into session in order to raise the ceiling of our national debt. I would remind my fellow Americans that raising the debt ceiling is not a matter of the government spending more money. It’s a matter of honoring a debt already incurred and thereby preserving our credit rating. I’m sure I don’t have to remind everyone how, last summer, radical Republicans in the House held our economy hostage over this issue and how, as a result, for the first time in history our country’s credit rating was downgraded.

Now we approach a similar debt-ceiling deadline at the end of this year. I’m here to tell you this evening that if the Congress again fails to fulfill its responsibility by November 15, I will exercise the powers enumerated in Article Four of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States and raise the debt ceiling myself, through executive action.

It’s not my preference to do it this way. My preference is for the Republicans in Congress do their job. If there are lawmakers who feel I’m overstepping the constraints of my office, let them challenge my action in court. But I’m not going to stand by and let the same people who almost drove our economy over a cliff four years ago, and who almost drove it over a cliff last year, do it again, hurting the country we love in order to advance an extreme ideology. I will take this action to bring a sense of stability to the world markets and so that no nation will wonder if the United States will default on its debt.

Of course, I could take this action right now and not wait for the election’s aftermath. But since an election is upon us, I think the American people have a right to weigh in on this matter, which they’ll be doing when they vote.

Next, on the night of the election I’ll also call Speaker Boehner and invite him to the White House the following day. There, I’ll offer the speaker the same broad outlines of the “grand bargain” that he and I discussed in the summer of 2011. 

This was an agreement that would have cut government spending over the next decade by trillions of dollars. It was an agreement, I might add, that some in my own party weren’t happy about. I’ll resurrect this bargain in the spirit of the same bipartisanship that I tried to pursue during my first term, in the face of a monolithic and hostile Republican opposition for whom the only political priority, since the day I walked into the White House, has been my defeat in next month’s election.

There will be, however, several new conditions to this package. 

First, whatever entitlement reforms are agreed upon will be for the purpose of guaranteeing the future of Medicare and Social Security, both for those now receiving benefits and those now paying into these programs. 

Second, the American Jobs Act is now part of this package. This law could and should have been passed a year ago when I sent it to Congress. It would create millions of jobs and not add to the deficit, and it incorporates many proposals that Republicans previously supported but have since opposed solely for the purpose of hurting me politically. 

Third, the package will now include the extension of the Bush tax cuts for all family incomes under $250,000, and the elimination of those tax cuts for all income over $250,000, where the rate will rise four percent. Just to be clear, a family making $300,000 a year pays the same low rate on the first $250,000 and the higher rate on the income above that.

Jim, there you have a complete and comprehensive economic package. It’s one that creates jobs, that cuts the debt and begins entitlement reform, that continues to cut taxes for working middle-class families as well as payroll taxes and taxes for small businesses, and that raises taxes modestly on people like me and Governor Romney who have done very well by the American dream and who can afford to give a little back to our country. 

This is a package not for 47 percent of the American people, not for 53 percent, but for 100 percent. This is a package not for a country of “victims” and “freeloaders,” as Governor Romney has described, but for an America of families fighting valiantly to make their lives better and their children’s. This is a package different from the one that Governor Romney had advanced, to the extent that he’s advanced one at all. His is a plan, such as it is, that cuts taxes for the very wealthy and raises defense spending that the Pentagon neither wants nor needs and eliminates the deficit at the expense of middle class working folks. 

Tonight I invite Governor Romney to support my plan, or make the case that his is better, or make the case that he even has a plan. 

What do you say, Mitt?


Or maybe he'll announce the American Pony Reinvestment Act and buy us all ponies.

I would rank the odds of this very slightly higher than him standing up to the GOP and advocating an even vaguely center-left economic agenda.

I don't hink we should raise the debt ceiling. If we had refused to raise the debt ceiling ten years ago, we wouldn't be in this mess.

You obviously didn't (sic) 'hink'; and you don't bother to back it up with any facts!

Brilliant suggestion - thanks. I hope Obama does something like this.

He could give the answer you suggest, but Obama is still a failure in term of the economy.

I was going to say that the debt ceiling part would be a mistake, that people don't understand what the debt ceiling is or how it works, and that the statement would overshadow everything else you would have the President say.

Now I'll say the same thing, but also point out that the second comment exemplifies my point.

Beyond that, it would be an interesting proposal for the President to make.

I wish that people who suggest that others don't know as much about a subject as they do - would provide a rationale for their belief. Here, for example, a paragraph on WHY it would be a big mistake...hmmmn

This is a BRILLIANT suggestion, exactly what I would say if I were Obama. I hope he uses it. GREAT JOB!!

Obama will lose the debate and the election because has no good ideas to create jobs. He is just talk.

Obama will lose the debate and the election because has no good ideas to create jobs. He is just talk.

(But let's not lose track of the fact that a "grand bargain" won't bind future sessions of Congress, and that Republicans in Congress have historically used reductions in the deficit to justify slashing taxes for the rich or increasing spending for programs they favor. The speech might be good politics, but the policy issues are considerably more complicated than the recitation above.)

I can only dream he would do this. He'd lose in a landslide.

You are obviously dreaming when you wrote this!

Obama is going to lose because his ideas are leftist and useless.

I agree that it's a well written, forceful speech, but it's lacking in specifics, unless the economy can be fixed by rhetoric. I'm not sure the courage it would take to implement these proposals, much less say this in a debate.

1. Raise the debt ceiling by any means necessary. How is not throwing the economy off the cliff fixing it?

2. Broad Outlines of a Grand Bargain. You can't get more specific than tha...wait, what?

2a. No cuts to Medicare or Social Security. That should get the economy back on track.

2b. Resubmit an Act to Congress that was so light on specifics, the dems in the Senate wouldn't bring it to the floor.

2c. Raise taxes on people making over $250K. Prosperity, here we come!

"Jim, there you have a complete and comprehensive economic package." Sadly there are fools out there who believe this is a complete and comprehensive economic package.

This would be a softball for a competent politician. It is yet to be determined if Romney is that man.

Your first and last two paragraphs are succinct and reasonable, sub 1 suggests you consider yourself an expert on Economics? Sub 2a. suggests that you are in the upper 5% where the greed and selfishness have caused most of the present day problems. Sub 2c. is about as selfish as you can get, specifically when you consider that the greed and selfishness of people in your 'group?' is one of the major causes of this economic crisis.

Who was it who said? "For some much will be given; from them much will be expected:"

1a. I would just like more specifics as to how more debt and a not lower bond rating is going to fix the economy.

2a. The only way to ensure SS benefits, is to put more money into the pot, or slow the payout. So you can raise the retirement age, increase the payroll tax, remove the contribution cap, or use non-payroll tax contributions. I assume the only "viable" option that Obama sees is to squeeze more money out of people who actually pay taxes, so we're looking at the last two. So, you're increasing taxes on the wealthy, or piling up more debt. I'm not sure how increasing taxes on a portion of the population or adding to our already ridiculous debt fixes the economy.

2c. Again, please tell me how raising taxes on somebody fixes the economy. I don't want to hear selfish, fair or the right thing to do come out of your mouth. I want to know how my boss paying more taxes is going to spur him to hire more people or prevent me from losing my job.

If I had to guess who the majority of the readers were, it wouldn't be hard; I would say that 25% are Democrats (with few bothering to respond); 50% are Republicans (with a reasonable response); the remaining 25% are the rabid and ravening ultra-right or religious mania Repukes, who give the Republican Party a bad name.

Has there ever been anything more ridiculous in American politics than they?

And I would say you live your life in ignorance of reality. Let's pretend there is a great big money tree that grows all the money our nation would ever need, that would just solve everything now wouldn't it? But the reality is this, broke is broke and it makes no difference what ideology you support-- you can not get there from here. So, how about you go out and drivel to the 12 year old novoterepublican cat, and both of you can commeserate in your intellect, pound on your chest and say " nanny nanny boo boo, I sure told them." Let the adults in the room have a real discussion, here, I ' ll give you a cookie too so you won't have to pout about it. Go along now... go on.

Ok, let's save it and compare it with how he actually opens on Wednesday. It's a high bar, considering we're talking about Barack Obama.

This debate is just one more opportunity for Romney to stick his foot in his mouth. Hopefully, he'll try to ad-lib. 47% chance Romney insults the other 53% of Americans.

It's amazing how the hateful panic stricken democrat lemmings are so desperate to divert attention away from their disastrous failed criminal fraud of a President. Even their names "NevervoteGOP" are desperate shameless DOPE FIEND MOVES. The criminal organization of democrats have proven they are unfit and unworthy of running this Country or holding positions of power at any level of Government. Democrats are the party of waste fraud and abuse that fiend for power and tax payer dollars who cannot win elections on merit or honesty.

Just listen to their never ending stupidity and hate speech they spew about those they can never measure up to. They are worse than crack heads and drug addicts. These serial lying criminals don't want you to vote for the only person that is qualified, capable and worthy of the Office of the Presidency, Mitt Romney. What's new? This is the Communist Party USA caucusing party of criminal frauds who fight in every state for their 85% felon support base in hopes they be given the right to vote democrat from their prison cells.
Everything these creeps say is BS and irrelevant. They belong in prison not positions of power. They have been ripping off the American tax payers for decades. The American people do not need their party of waste fraud and abuse to survive, it is they that have proven they are only interested is using the American people fro their criminal organizations continued existence. They can go pound sand.

Know why your comments don't hold any traction? Because you have the mentality of a petulant 12 year old worried some one is getting a cookie and your not.

Nice try but Obama has had almost 4 years, 2 with a Democrat House and Senate to fix this mess he created, He did nothing but increase our deficit $4 trillion and take over health care.

The man has no idea how to work with Congress because he is an ideologue.

IF he wins we will get no tax cuts but tax increases, income and payroll. As a bonus we will pay more for healthcare. Further our debt will go up and our credit rating fall.

This article has no shame because it treats Obama's failures as if these failures do not exist. What about his campaign promises to us? Unemployment will not go over 8% and I will cut the deficit in half.

So dumb and dumber America forget Obama's failures, his empty promises (good at that you know), his disastrous foreign policy and dangerous change in the rules of engagement for our troops making them less safe. Forget all that and listen to the Reverend Obama preach the gospel of salvation to those who vote for bigger government handouts paid for by hard working American families forced down the road to Socialism and poverty. It is all about the money. Yours and more of it.

This is also my reply:
According to the U.S. Treasury, the debt of the U.S. government climbed by a total of $1,275,901,078,828.74 in fiscal 2012, which ended yesterday.

That means the federal government borrowed approximately an additional $10,855 for each household in the United States just over the past twelve months.

The total debt of the United States now equals approximately $136,690 per household.

So Steve, in essence, this is what you’re advising the president to say: “I’m announcing tonight that, if re-elected, I will immediately call the House of Representatives back into session in order to raise the ceiling of our national debt. I will exercise the powers enumerated in Article Four of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States and raise the debt ceiling myself, through executive action. This is a package not for a country of victims and freeloaders. This is a package different from the one that Governor Romney had advanced."
By all accounts, any smart republican campaigner will cut and paste these misleading snippets and call them the president’s words, and guess what? They’d be technically correct. I would advise Obama and his advisers to discountenance your “brilliant” idea. It is nothing but a Trojan gift!

you gotta be crazy, voters are not ready for such deep political thinking, all they and the media crave for are soundbites.

This is just plain silly. It will never happen. Most of what he's saying Obama should offer could never pass and everyone knows it. What a winning campaign theme lets raise the debt ceiling for our already unsustainable debt. Obama has not made one. Old move yet. He's punting on all major decisions facing our country - debt, the economy, actually passing a budget, reforming entitlements, etc. I can't believe liberals act like Obama made some bold move on bin laden that anyone would have made. Plus he already had not pulled the trigger twice. Several advisors had to push him along, Hillary for example. What bold leadership.

Romney's rebuttal: Mr. president, the democrats had majorities in both houses of congress. The whole party is devoid of leadership.

This article says it all. The writer envisions Obama making an extremely bold move by blaming others for his failures. Obama has been doing this for three and a half years. He acts like a child, and the writer sees this as a bold move. Good grief.

If Obama brings up raising the debt ceiling, Romney could turn that around by saying: "Constantly and automatically raising the debt ceiling would be no more effective in solving our national financial problems than a person, maxed out on credit cards, than announcing to the person's creditors that on November 10th he will formally and officially request an increase to his credit card limit." BIG DEAL !!!

You mean if Obama acted like a leader who takes responsibility people would want to vote for him? Not so fast. He's ducked for cover on Libya and the Middle East. He refused to meet with GOP minority leaders his first two years. He's made sure the stock market is fine and dandy (QE1, 2, and now 3) while the rest of us suffer inflation and higher costs of living and doing business.

The media doesn't report everything. They reference polls weighted unrealistically towards Democrats - above even 2008 levels. They don't report that independents are swinging heavily to Romney. And how many anti-Obama headliens have you seen compared to anti-Romney ones? The answer doesn't say as much about the two men as it does about the bias of those who write about them. If the GOP and Romney were what the media indicates, they wouldn't be a threat. Meanwhile they don't cover Al Qaida at work in the Middle East and instead focus on Romney's 47% remark taken wildly out of context, for which context you must turn to conservative media because you won't find it anywhere else.

Read both sides for balanced coverage because it doesn't exist in one place and both sides leave stuff out. How can you make an informed opinion on any topic if you consider only one point of view? You can't. Thanks for listening.

The author wrote: "The president is typically a prudent man, right up until the moment he does something notably risky, such as ordering the mission that killed Osama bin Laden in spite of virtually all of his inner circle advising against it (except CIA Director Leon Panetta)."

So, you are confirming that Obama's whole administration save one advised him NOT to take out Osama. Yet, most people concede that ANY president would have made the decision to take out Bin Laden......yet, it took Obama 8 months to act on the intelligence of where Bin Laden was. Bin Laden could have slipped away during that time that Obama and his administraition was dithering over an obvious course of action that ANY president would have taken....yet, you are confirming that Obama ALMOST decided against taking out Bin Laden.

Point two: An article I read pointed out that as soon as Bin Laden was killed, Obama started crowing about it to the whole world. If he had kept it a secret, the article points out, the administration could have taken the intelligence gathered at Bin Ladens compound, and gone around the world taking out the whole top tier of Al Quead operatives, before it was clear to them that their whereabouts had been compromised and that Bin Laden was dead. So, this, the article pointed out, was a major screw up, unnoticed by the press. We could have come close to wiping out Al Quada right there.

As to your fantasy debate....all you are proposing is that Obama once again blame problems on others. Raising the debt ceiling is just a shouldn't even have to be done. Obama said he would address the debt problem, but he walked away from it, as all democrats do....theirs is the party of increasing government control, increasing government handouts, increasing government payrolls, increasing gove't pay to gove't workers. All these things are expected from the democrat constituents, and the democrats will NEVER cut back on any of increasing government debt will be the same on Obama's second term if Americans are dumb enough to reelect him.

Having the need to raise the det ceiling is merely the admission that Obama has done NOTHING to try to get control of the DEBT BOMB....and many economic experts are trying to warn the nation that we are heading for a depression with a very soon to be exploding DEBT BOMB.

Nonsense. Obama is not going to win. Romney is leading among the only group that now matters-- Independents.

Stoned watching Mr. Smith goes to Washington?

Harsh- but will work: freeze SS benifits. Offer all those 40 years and older to opt out with a lump sum payment (to reinvest). tell the 18 years old that there FICA and employer match will go into a 401K instead of SS. The 18 year old will be allowed to manage that. Strike a new 'entertainment tax' of 10 percent (going to a concert, movie, football game-- new tax), that 10 percent tax goes directly to SS to fund it until everyone is out. If by chance there is a surplus, refund it to all tax payers.-- Harsh, reality, it will work.

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