President Obama did his best on debate
Asking who won a debate is just asking for an extremely biased answer. Of course people are going to say that the candidate they support won.
The debate on Oct. 3 was a great first presidential debate. The candidates both presented their points well while trying to attack the other at the same time. Most people say that Mitt Romney won the debate, but I believe that there is no winner and no loser. There isn’t a point system or anything of that nature that has a true winner. This isn’t a football game, but the media makes it sound like Romney won by five touchdowns. Although Mitt Romney had a very good debate, I believe that President Obama had just as strong of a debate.
It is either very hard or very easy for the incumbent president to debate depending on the strength of his record as president behind him. In this case, there is no way that Obama could have fixed the country in only four years, so he is running on only the changes he has made since taking office. The economy has gone from really bad to just bad so Obama has to make this so-called “bad” economy sound good showing it has improved in four years.
Unemployment was hitting a record high when Obama took office so he passed the Recovery Act to get Americans back on their feet. According to U.S. News, “The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that without the Recovery Act, unemployment would have averaged roughly 10.7 percent in 2010, instead of 9.6 percent.” Whereas Romney can blame the president for the economy being “bad” and not talk about any improvements.
Some of these improvements include the Americans Job Act. According to many economists including Mark wandi, the Americans Job Act proposed by President Obama in September 2011, created another 2 million jobs. It becomes very hard for the incumbent to now debate on this. All Romney has to do is talk about the president’s record, leaving out what changes Obama has made, and the president can only talk about Romney’s record as governor, which isn’t as significant. All the voters know exactly what Obama’s record is running on and what he stands for because of everything he has done in the past four years.
On the contrary, no one has any idea what Mitt Romney stands for besides what we hear on commercials — and who knows if any of that is true or false. The debate becomes tough for Obama because he can question Romney about things he may have said during his campaign, but Romney has been known to change his position many times. During the debate President Obama kept mentioning the A5 trillion in tax cuts, which was a great point to attack Romney on, and then Romney would respond every time with, that’s not what I’m proposing.
During Romney’s campaign he has talked about that A5 trillion, but now he just changes it when he is questioned about it on a debate, so how does anyone know what he is running on?
Businessweek has reported, “Romney issued a more aggressive taxcutting plan in March that would cut individual income tax rates an additional 20 percent. It involved, as Obama correctly said, approximately A5 trillion in reduced tax receipts over 10 years.” Who knows anymore what Romney is going to do other than the narrative that has been written for him. Running against the incumbent becomes easy to debate if you play it right, and Mitt Romney did that exactly. He attacked the president on his record and dodged bullets by changing what he has said in the past.
Many people said after the debate that Romney was strong and straight forward looking Obama in the eyes and Obama didn’t look present. I believe those are all very unfair comments and not fully truthful when you look at the entire picture.
What can Obama attack Romney for? Bain capital or his tax reports? All of that is important to a presidential candidate but not things to bring up in a debate. They are irrelevant during a debate, unfortunately.
President Obama had to protect his image, defend what he stands for, promote his plans and talk about what positive changes he has made in the past four years. I believe he did every single one of those things, which makes it a successful debate for him. He isn’t responsible for the poor economic state the country was in when he came into office. However, he has to talk about what he has done to improve the economy and he did just that, but still Romney can attack him on that because there is always more that the people are looking for from our president.
Immediately following the debate many were impressed with Romney’s performance and thought he was strong and did a great job attacking the president’s record. I thought that at first also. However, once I took some time to reflect on the debate in its entirety I realized that Obama actually had a very strong debate. If we look at the things each individual candidate did, Obama had many very strong moments. They didn’t seem as strong though because Mitt Romney denied his A5 trillion tax cut plan and has a new plan which “wasn’t mathematically possible,” according to the CNN fact checker. New Republic’s Jonathan Cohn commented that Romney’s plans were “so vague that the statements could mean absolutely nothing.”
It becomes very hard to say Obama won this debate when he is debating against a candidate that proposes plans that are actually not possible.
President Obama has always been a great debater and speaker, nothing has changed. It is very hard to debate though when you are working based on your record. The economy still isn’t positive, it’s just not as negative as it was when he first took office. Obama can only talk about what he has done to make improvements and plans to continue if elected.
Debating as the incumbent is very difficult, but I believe Obama did what he had to in the first debate.
Alex Fisher is a student at Abington Friends School in Jenkintown.