Second Presidential Debate 2012: Town Hall

I was en route to Oakland when the debate started. As I deplaned, I saw the debate on the monitors at the gates and bars. A lot of people were tuning in. I tried watching it on my netbook at baggage claim, but I think everyone and their mother were watching it online, and the connection was choppy. Mama and my 8-year-old niece Juliana picked me up from the airport, and I asked if we could listen to the debate on the radio. Juliana said, “Mama voted for Romney.” “I’m sure she did,” I told Juliana. I think I’d be shocked if she didn’t vote for him. I only caught bits and pieces, so I decided to just chill the rest of the night and watch it in its entirety this morning.

For those not on airplanes or in airports actually trying to watch it (the ones with lives), I give you the summary.

Question: Mr. President, Governor Romney, as a 20-year-old college student, all I hear from professors, neighbors and others is that when I graduate, I will have little chance to get employment. What can you say to reassure me, but more importantly my parents, that I will be able to sufficiently support myself after I graduate?

Romney
We have to make it easier for kids to afford college and that there are jobs after they graduate. I have what it takes to create jobs. So when you graduate in 2014, and I’m king. I mean, president, I will make sure you have one.

Obama
Good decision about investing in your education. We will build on the 5 million private sector jobs that were created in the last 30 years. We’re going to make sure these get done to make your future bright:

  • Manufacturing jobs in the US again. Mr. Vulture Capitalist over here said he’d let the auto industry implode. I didn’t, and we are seeing a resurgence.
  • Create the best education system in the world
  • Energy independence with focus placed on clean energy like wind and solar
  • Reduce our deficit in a balanced way.
  • Taking the money we have from ending the wars to rebuild this country.

Let me ask you for more immediate answer and begin with Mr. Romney just quickly what — what can you do? We’re looking at a situation where 40 percent of the unemployed have been unemployed have been unemployed for six months or more. They don’t have the two years that Jeremy has.

Romney
23 million are struggling to find a job. Fewer people are working than when he became president. My plan will create 12 million new jobs and higher take home pay. So you don’t ask me the specifics, I will talk about the auto industry bailout. You accuse me of wanting them to go bankrupt but when you took office, you actually let them go bankrupt. Would that make you the bankrupter-in-chief? I don’t think that’s a word, but anyway I suggested they seek bankruptcy protection so they could rebuild.

Obama
Liar. You would have led them to bankruptcy without making sure there was a plan to stay open. We would have lost a million jobs. Oh and that five point plan is really a one point plan. “That plan is to make sure that folks at the top play by a different set of rules.” Basically, he wants to use the same policies that got us in this mess 4 years ago.

Your energy secretary, Steven Chu, has now been on record three times stating it’s not policy of his department to help lower gas prices. Do you agree with Secretary Chu that this is not the job of the Energy Department?

Obama
We have to control our own energy. “We have increased oil production to the highest levels in 16 years. Natural gas production is the highest it’s been in decades. We have seen increases in coal production and coal employment.” Good stuff, but it’s not all about this old school way. We have to look for cleaner energy for the future – wind, solar, biofuels. Romney here is so old school he wants the oil companies to write their own energy policies. Other countries are investing in clean energy. I don’t want us to be left behind.

Romney
Gas prices are at an all time high because tree hugger over here wanted to save a couple dozen birds in North Dakota. He is no “Mr. Oil, or Mr. Gas, or Mr. Coal.” That’s me! Screw all this clean energy mumbo jumbo. I will get as much oil flowing here to fill your Escalades at $1.00/gallon.

Mr. President, let me just see if I can move you to the gist of this question, which is, are we looking at the new normal? I can tell you that tomorrow morning, a lot of people in Hempstead will wake up and fill up and they will find that the price of gas is over $4 a gallon. Is it within the purview of the government to bring those prices down, or are we looking at the new normal?

Obama
Dude’s lying again. We’ve opened up more public lands for drilling than even the real oil man, George W. Bush. Romney says he’s Mr. Coal, but when he was governor, he was happy to shut down a coal mine. He actually said, “this plant kills.” Unlike flip flopper over here, I’ve actually tried to stay consistent. I think that word scares him.

Romney
You cut permits and licenses on federal land and federal waters in half. How much did you cut them by?

Obama
Oil companies had leases on government land and could do whatever they wanted, including sitting on them for 20 years. We took them back and relet them for profit. Production is up.

Romney
No it’s down. And everyone knows it. And because of it, they tell me gas is at $4/gallon, and it used to be $1.80/gallon. That must suck for you all. I don’t know. My driver takes care of the gas.

Mr. President, could you address, because we did finally get to gas prices here, could you address what the governor said, which is if your energy policy was working, the price of gasoline would not be $4 a gallon here. Is that true?

Obama
Gas prices were low back then because we were on the verge of collapse. Sure he can probably bring those prices back but we’ll be on the edge again. Look, I’m cool with oil production. What I’m not cool with is ignoring the other part of the equation like wind and solar. There are wind companies in Iowa and Colorado that have very real jobs. Romney thinks its mumbo jumbo and opposes it. Even though Republicans in those states support it and get those companies tax credits.

I got to move you on. I’m going to give you a chance here. I promise you, I’m going to. We’re going to move you both along to taxes over here and all these folks that have been waiting.

Romney
I don’t care how this process works. I’m not letting him have the last word. Your little rules don’t apply to me, missy.

Governor Romney, you have stated that if you’re elected president, you would plan to reduce the tax rates for all the tax brackets and that you would work with the Congress to eliminate some deductions in order to make up for the loss in revenue. Concerning the — these various deductions, the mortgage deductions, the charitable deductions, the child tax credit and also…the education credits, which are important to me, because I have children in college. What would be your position on those things, which are important to the middle class?

Romney
Everyone will get tax deductions! This is how we’ll do it. Pick a number. Let’s say $25K. That’s how much you get in deductions and credits. It can be child, mortgage, etc. And you know your rate will go down another way. You won’t get taxed on interest, dividends, or capital gains? Wait, you don’t have stocks, bonds, or other investments to sell? You’ll still be OK in other ways. Don’t worry you’ll be fine. Trust me.

Obama
Mine is simple. Cut taxes for middle income families. Did that. For those making >250K, they go back to the tax rate they had when Clinton was president. Romney said on 60 minutes that he thinks it’s fair that he pays a lower tax rate than a secretary. He’s all about trickle down economics, and we know how far that trickled down.

Romney
I swear to God I’m not cutting taxes for the wealthy. It’s about jobs. I know how to create them because I’ve been in the private sector. Jobs are going away because of this loser. They’ll come back with me because I’m a winner.

Governor, let me ask the president something about what you just said. The governor says that he is not going to allow the top 5 percent, believe is what he said, to have a tax cut, that it will all even out, that what he wants to do is give that tax cut to the middle class. Settled?

Obama
Oh hell no it isn’t settled. He said that he’s going to cut all these taxes and pay for it by closing loopholes and deductions. But he doesn’t tell you what loopholes and deductions. If someone says they want to spend all this money and will pay for it after, but won’t tell you how, it’s sketchy. The numbers don’t add up. Don’t take that “sketchy deal.”

Romney
Of course the numbers add up. Because I was successful before. And instead of showing exactly how the numbers add up, I’ll talk about how he’s screwed up by doubling the deficit.

In what new ways to you intend to rectify the inequalities in the workplace, specifically regarding females making only 72 percent of what their male counterparts earn?

Obama
I was raised by a single mom. My grandmother worked her way up from being a secretary to becoming VP of a bank, but she hit that glass ceiling. That’s why the first bill I signed was the Lily Ledbetter bill. She was doing the same job as the men and getting paid less. The Supreme Court said she couldn’t file suit because she should have found out earlier. Even though there was no way to find out earlier. We fixed all that.

Governor Romney, pay equity for women?

Romney
When I became governor, I wanted to make sure there were enough women in my cabinet to make me look good. But all the candidates were men. These really pushy feminist groups sent us “binders full of women.” Kinda like a mail order bride catalog, but with resumes instead of pictures. Great timing! And we had the pick of the litter! We hired some of them, and my staff had the most women in senior leadership positions. Score one for the ladies’ man!

Governor Romney, I am an undecided voter, because I’m disappointed with the lack of progress I’ve seen in the last four years. However, I do attribute much of America’s economic and international problems to the failings and missteps of the Bush administration. Since both you and President Bush are Republicans, I fear a return to the policies of those years should you win this election. What is the biggest difference between you and George W. Bush, and how do you differentiate yourself from George W. Bush?

Romney
We’re different people. And it’s my five point plan that makes me so different from him. Since I’ve talked about this five point plan ad nauseum, you should know it by now.

Obama
Actually in some ways, Dubya was better. He didn’t talk about turning Medicare into a voucher program. He was for immigration reform. And he didn’t want to cut funding for Planned Parenthood. You’re actually worse than the worst president ever.

Mr. President, I voted for you in 2008. What have you done or accomplished to earn my vote in 2012? I’m not that optimistic as I was in 2012. Most things I need for everyday living are very expensive.

Obama
The last four years have been tough as hell. I still was able to get tax cuts for the middle class and small businesses. We’re ending the wars. Dodd-Frank is taking care of the Wall Street bad guys, and we saved the auto industry from the brink of collapse. But I get it – you’re still struggling. My plan will make a difference. Bottom line, the commitments I’ve made, I’ve kept. The ones that I haven’t, it wasn’t because I didn’t try, and we are going to do it in the second term. Romney has made commitments, and I’m sure he’ll keep them. To cut taxes for the wealthy, defund Planned Parenthood, repeal Obamacare.

Romney
Please. You know it sucks, and you know what to expect if he has another 4 years. More sucking. “This is a president who has not been able to do what he said he’d do.” He’s a great speaker, but that’s about it. We can’t have four more years of this guy.

Mr. Romney, what do you plan on doing with immigrants without their green cards that are currently living here as productive members of society?

Romney
We’re a nation of immigrants. My dad was born in Mexico of American parents. Saying that makes me Latino. I want to make it easier to go through the process. No amnesty, and E-Verify will cure all of America’s illegal immigration ills. Oh and Obama sucks because he said he would fix illegal immigration but didn’t. Let me see him answer that.

Obama
“I’ve done everything that I can on my own and sought cooperation from Congress to make sure that we fix the system.” We’ve streamlined the process of legal immigration, and put more into border patrol. The flow of undocumented workers has been the lowest in 40 years. For the ones that are already here illegally, we are going after the criminals first. Those that were brought here by their parents and this is all they know? We’ll give them a pathway to citizenship. During the primary, Romney said he would veto the DREAM act. His answer for everything was “self-deportation,” which is essentially making life so miserable that they leave. How? Racial profiling through that Arizona law. He loves that law and said it is the model for the nation.

Romney
I did not! I liked the E-Verify part of it. And why didn’t you file legislation to fix immigration? You still haven’t answered the question. Self deportation is about giving them a choice to leave. If it sucks enough here, they’ll leave. But I’m not going to round up people. Oh and another thing. About those Chinese investments you talked about? We’re going to hash it out now.

Obama
Candy?

Romney
Shut it. I’m speaking. “Any investments I have over the last eight years have been managed by a blind trust. And I understand they do include investments outside the United States, including in — in Chinese companies. Mr. President, have you looked at your pension? Have you looked at your pension? Mr. President, have you looked at your pension?

Obama
Damn, you’re irritating as hell. “You know, I don’t look at my pension. It’s not as big as yours so it doesn’t take as long.”

This question actually comes from a brain trust of my friends at Global Telecom Supply in Minneola yesterday. We were sitting around, talking about Libya, and we were reading and became aware of reports that the State Department refused extra security for our embassy in Benghazi, Libya, prior to the attacks that killed four Americans. Who was it that denied enhanced security and why?

Obama
When this happened, I gave my security team three instructions. Beef up security, not just in Libya but every consulate and embassy in the region. 2). Investigate what happened, no matter where the facts lead us 3). Find out who did this and hunt them down. Amateur extraordinaire here, while it was still going down, issues a press release trying to score political points.

Romney
The administration said it was all about a video people were demonstrating against and that it wasn’t a terrorist attack. But it turned out to be a terrorist attack. The part I found most troubling was that on the day after it happened, Obama jets off to a fundraiser in Vegas and the next day to Colorado. He’s all about apologizing and leading from behind.

Because we’re closing in, I want to still get a lot of people in. I want to ask you something, Mr. President, and then have the governor just quickly. Your secretary of state, as I’m sure you know, has said that she takes full responsibility for the attack on the diplomatic mission in Benghazi. Does the buck stop with your secretary of state as far as what went on here?

Obama
Secretary Clinton is doing a great job, but because I’m the President, the buck stops with me. I’m ultimately responsible. “And the suggestion that anybody in my team, whether the Secretary of State, our U.N. Ambassador, anybody on my team would play politics or mislead when we’ve lost four of our own, governor, is offensive. That’s not what we do. That’s not what I do as President, that’s not what I do as Commander in Chief.” Since I can’t physically spank you, I gave you a verbal spanking. And yes, you look as small as you feel.

Romney
In the Rose Garden, you said it was an act of terror. Not a spontaneous demonstration. I want this on the record.

Obama
Candy, pull up the transcript.

He did call it an act of terror.

Romney
Oh. Well, whatever. He still sucks.

President Obama, during the Democratic National Convention in 2008, you stated you wanted to keep AK-47s out of the hands of criminals. What has your administration done or planned to do to limit the availability of assault weapons?

Obama
We have to enforce the laws we already have, keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill. We really have to get involved at the community level, “making sure we catch violent impulses before they occur.”

Romney
Two-parent families will solve gun violence because if you have a mom and a dad, it’s less likely you’ll be poor. Or something like that. But I really want to use this opportunity to talk about this administration’s Fast and Furious operation. How did AK-47s end up in the hands of Mexican drug lords?

Governor, if I could, the question was about these assault weapons that once were once banned and are no longer banned. I know that you signed an assault weapons ban when you were in Massachusetts, obviously, with this question, you no longer do support that. Why is that, given the kind of violence that we see sometimes with these mass killings? Why is it that you have changed your mind?

Romney
Well the pro and anti gun people got together and created this bill. Together, we were able to pass it. Unlike the in Washington where the gridlock isn’t just on the Beltway.

Obama
Please. We all know he changed his mind because he needed the NRA’s endorsement.

The outsourcing of American jobs overseas has taken a toll on our economy. What plans do you have to put back and keep jobs here in the United States?

Romney
I’ll call China a currency manipulator, lower corporate taxes, get rid of all these regulations and Obamacare.

Obama
I agree we should lower corporate taxes. Some jobs will never come back because they’re low wage, low skill jobs. “I want high wage, high skill jobs” so I’ll invest in advanced manufacturing.

Hi, Governor. I think this is a tough question. To each of you. What do you believe is the biggest misperception that the American people have about you as a man and a candidate? Using specific examples, can you take this opportunity to debunk that misperception and set us straight?

Romney
I really do care about 100% of the people even though that nasty little video got leaked. The passion I have comes from my belief in God. I know what it takes to get America working again. I’m really not a mash up of Thurston Howell, III, Mr. Burns, and Scrooge. I’m much, much worse.

Obama
I really believe in the free enterprise system. And that self-reliance and individual initiative are positive attributes. I believe that Romney is a good guy, but what he said behind closed doors about the 47% being victims and not taking personal responsibility? Remember who he’s talking about. Seniors on social security, disabled veterans, students, people who work hard every day. I want to fight for them. When they succeed, our country succeeds.


5 responses to “Second Presidential Debate 2012: Town Hall

  • aFrankAngle

    Too bad the flight interrupted your viewing.

  • Sedate Me

    Nice to see both chairs were occupied at this debate.

    One interesting thing I noticed was how fast BOTH candidates sprinted from the question about re-instituting an assault weapons ban. They couldn’t have run faster & farther away from that question if she was actually firing an AK47 at them.

    Obama: Educate them so they can get good jobs and don’t have to shoot each other.

    Romney: Make sure their mommies & daddies are married and nobody will want to use an AK47 to shoot somebody.

    • Spinny Liberal

      :lol: One was occupied before. However, the occupant was asleep.
      Now that you’ve brought it up, it is strange. Weird generic answers. Gun rights/restrictions isn’t my “issue.” Provided they’re out of the hands of mentally ill people, criminals, and children, have a frickin’ stockpile, arsenal, whatever. That said, I don’t know why anyone would want an AK-47 if they’re deer hunters.

      • Sedate Me

        Provided they’re out of the hands of mentally ill people, criminals, and children…

        In short, anybody who wants a gun.

        The reason people want an AK 47 (or any non-hunting weapon) is so that they can have the equipment to fulfil their delusional childish fantasies of being either a macho hero, or a macho criminal. (aka playing Cops & Robbers.) That’s what it largely boils down to; the end result of stupid, macho, violent, behaviour that was never sufficiently discouraged, if not outright encouraged. Guns or not, that mindset is ALWAYS a bad thing for society. You can just cause a fuck of a lot more damage with guns than without.

        We live in a society marinated in stupid, macho, violent behaviour and America has re-interpreted the 2nd Amendment to be an obligation to encourage such juvenile behaviour.

        That’s why so few politicians today will even address the question. Stupid has won.

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