This is on domestic issues.
6:04: The economy. Jobs. What are the major differences between the two of you about how you would go about creating jobs.
– Obama: 4 years ago, we went through the worst financial crisis since the depression. We’ve begun to fight our way back. The auto industry and housing are coming back. Romney’s perspective is if we cut taxes, skew to the wealthy, we’ll be better off. I think we have to invest in energy and education. Fix the tax code to help people who invest in America. Are we going to double down on the old policies that got us into this mess?
– Romney: I’ve met people across the country. Mentioning swing states. Can you help us? The answer is yes. Get energy independent, open trade, make sure people have the best skills and education, balance the budget, champion small business. Complains about big government without mentioning that shrinking government is part of the problem (in the recession).
6:10: Obama wants to lower corporate taxes. Lovely. Fucking lovely. And he’s being a deficit hawk. Boo.
6:13: Romney is talking about clean coal. So that’s a lie, because that doesn’t exist.
6:14: Obama is now talking about tax cuts for the middle class. Sure. Now he’s going after Romney’s tax plan because there aren’t the specifics about the loopholes that he says he supports.
6:18: Romney is saying he won’t add to the deficit. But the math doesn’t really work.
6:19: Obama: “Romney’s big bold idea is ‘never mind.'” My tax plan lowered taxes for 98% of small businesses and families, but for incomes over $250,000 we should go back to the rates under Clinton.
6:23: Obama: The approach Governor Romney is talking about is the same that was tried in 2001 and 2003.
6:24: Romney is whining about not having the last word.
What to do about the federal debt. My answer is don’t care until we’re out of a recession.
6:27: Romney: The debt is immoral. Raising taxes slows down the rate of growth. I want to cut spending. He doesn’t seem to realize that cutting spending hurts the economy.
6:28: Obama: When I came into office we had 2 wars that weren’t paid for, 2 tax cuts that weren’t paid for and an economic crash. Now we’ve cut discretionary budget the most since Ike. $2.50 in cuts for every $1 of income.
6:31: Romney says Obama should have supported Simpson Bowles, but his plan isn’t Simpson Bowles.
6:34: Obama is going after the oil companies’ corporate welfare “when they’re making a profit every time you’re at the pump.” Don’t take a deduction for moving a plant overseas.
6:37: If you drink every time one of these people mentions a swing state or a city in one, enjoy blacking out.
6:38: Is Romney joking about how he shipped jobs overseas and didn’t get enough of a tax cut???????
Entitlements. Do you see a major difference on Social Security?
6:40: Obama: Social Security’s basic structure is sound, but it may need some tweaks. My grand mother raised me, and she ended up living alone by choice. The reason she could be independent is Medicare and Medicaid. And that’s what I think of when people talk about entitlements. So strengthen the system over the long term. Don’t overpay insurance companies or providers. Use that money to lower drug costs to seniors and preventive care.
6:43: Romney: Neither the president nor I are proposing any changes for retirees or near retirees. So stop listening. Now he’s saying Obama cut Social Security. I doubt he’ll mention that it’s the same as his VP proposed.
6:44: Obama: I think it’s important for governor Romney to present his plan. It’s called premium support, but it’s actually a voucher program. If you’re 54 or 55, you should listen because it will effect you. You can have a voucher, but it won’t keep up with inflation.
6:46: I have become fond of that phrase Obamacare. If you repeal it, seniors will be harmed, and insurance companies will be the primary beneficiaries.
6:48: Romney is talking about means testing for Medicare. Boo.
On the economy: What is your view on federal regulation? Should there be more?
6:52: Romney says regulation is important, at the same time it can become excessive. It can become out of date, and hurt the economy. Dodd Frank designates banks too big to fail (?). I would repeal and replace it. He doesn’t say what he’ll replace it with (but he does say he’ll keep some of it).
6:54: Obama: We had excesses from all sectors. So we had the toughest reforms since the 1930’s. We made sure all the help was paid back with interest. Does anybody think the problem is we had too much regulation of Wall Street?
6:56: Romney:Try to get a loan today. As if loans were easy to get before Dodd Frank.
Do you want to repeal health reform?
6:57: Romney: Health care is too expensive. Craft a plan at the state level, and get costs down.
6:59: Obama: When I was running for office, people weren’t able to get insurance. Families would go bankrupt if they got sick. If they had a preexisting condition they couldn’t get coverage. There might be an arbitrary limit. We worked on this and on jobs. If you’ve got health insurance, companies can’t jerk you around. If you don’t have insurance, you can essentially have a group rate. The irony is we’ve seen this model work well in Massachusetts.
7:02: Romney: In my state Republicans and Democrats worked together. OK, fine, but why didn’t he ask other Republicans to work with Democrats?
7:03: Romney: A president has to work across the aisle. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
7:04: Romney: The Democratic legislators in Mass could give some advice to Republicans in Congress about working across the aisle.
7:06: I was hoping for more zingers.
7:08: Are there any clinics not in swing states?
7:11: Obama: Romney will replace it but won’t tell you what he’ll replace it with. We don’t know the details of his tax plan, of his replacement of Dodd Frank, of repeal of Obamacare. Is he doing this because his plans are too good? No.
The role of government. Do you believe there’s a difference as to how you view the mission of the Federal government.
7:14: Obama: The first role of government is to keep people safe. But also, the Federal government can create the opportunities. There are some things we can do as individuals, but there are some things we can do together. Now he’s talking about Race to the Top. Boo, again.
7:15: Romney: I love great schools. Every state should make the decision on their own. The pursuit of happiness means something something God.
7:18 All federal funds should follow the child, not to the school district.
7:19: Obama: The Ryan budget would cut the education budget by 20%.
7:22: Obama: We’ve cut out the middle men on student loans. Our priorities make a difference.
7:23: I hope that “your own facts” line wasn’t his zinger.
A meta question about partisanship.
7:25: Romney: Since I worked with Democrats when they were 87% of the Mass legislature, I can totally work with them in Congress.
7:26: Obama: I’ll work with anyone as long as they have good ideas for building the middle class.
7:28: Obama: Thank you and Romney. This was a terrific debate. 4 years ago we were going through an crisis. I still believe in lots of people in swing states. Make sure everyone has a fair share and plays by the same rules. I fought every day for the middle class and those trying to get into the middle class.
7:30: Romney: This is about the course of America. There are two paths and they lead in 2 different directions. I’ll get incomes up again. If I’m president I’ll create 12 Million jobs. If Obama is elected, Obamacare will be installed, and there will be a made up amount of health care premium increase.
7:33: I actually think this was a pretty good debate. People had a chance to get into the weeds a bit, but there was some real discussion. I’ve edited it a bit to make it more clear who was saying what.