Yahoo News asked voters for their quick-hit reaction to the first presidential debate between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. Here is a roundup of their thoughts.
Mitt Romney seemed to be on the ball, more so than President Obama, in Wednesday night's kickoff of the 2012 presidential debate series. If you are keeping score, it's Mitt Romney: 1, President Obama, 0.
Ultimately, I feel maybe President Obama played it too safe. I felt Obama wanted to speak more about Romney's platform than persuade the public of his own ideas.
The first of three scheduled Obama-Romney presidential debates largely hinged on whose economic policies would do more harm to the middle class. As a middle-class independent voter, this is an issue of no small importance to me. However, what I got from the discussion was a lot of competing numbers with no clear indication of who was correct.
Obama accused Romney of supporting $5 trillion in tax cuts, including many favoring the wealthy and large corporations that would ultimately increase the middle-class tax burden. Romney denied the charge and said "Obamacare" will increase the average middle-class family's tax bill. Neither candidate offered much in the way of supporting their claims other than referring to some vague "studies."
Romney's lack of details when it comes to health insurance and reducing the deficit is troubling. The most specific he got was saying that he would "eliminate all programs based on this test, if they don't pass it -- Is the program so critical it's worth borrowing money from China to pay for it. And if not, I'll get rid of it."
One of those programs is PBS; Romney said he loved Big Bird and would be sorry to see him go. Well, if Romney thinks that Sesame Street is PBS's sole contribution to society, then he really is out of touch with America.
Romney's performance was a textbook example of how one behaves in a debate. He was cheerful, but forceful, in command of his facts and, above all, relentless. Obama, on the other hand, seemed nervous and ill at ease, looking on more than one occasion at his shoes. He clearly did not want to be there and did not enjoy the experience.
I believe Romney performed better, but this debate was a loss for both parties, and our nation, because it concentrated mainly on the economy and health care, but made no mention of civil liberties. Obama is fighting to keep [controversial NDAA provisions]. Why not attack him on that domestic policy issue? Because the Republicans are for it, too. Democrats and Republicans are OK with it.
In my state, we have seven candidates for president. Only two of these people are allowed to debate. It's my belief that this is bad for freedom. And I will look into the other candidates and vote for one of them.
Romney stated during the debate that the role of the federal government is to "to uphold the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence." Doesn't that include my right to believe in my own God(s), and not be forced to worship the "same God" he spoke of? Apparently not as far as Romney is concerned, as long as Congress continues to "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." My vote is now firmly set on Obama, who at the very least hasn't presumed to tell me what my religious beliefs are or should be.
I was pleased with Mitt Romney's performance during the debate and pleased with the paucity of detail and focus on broad issues. The governor's approach to taxes is one that I think that I can easily support, even with its paucity of details.
Long before Romney revealed his plan, I favored a tax code that would put limits on the amount of deductions we could take. Limiting the amount of interest a person could deduct might actually lead to people buying homes that they could afford now. We must simply the tax code, even if that leads to fewer clients for my tax advisory practice!
As a Republican supporter of Mitt Romney, I believe his debate performance was a breath of fresh air versus the seemingly meager and "small ball" campaign he has run thus far. His tenacity on the issues of jobs, taxation, and debt cornered the president, who at times seemed disinterested in Romney's arguments versus driving home his own talking points. Thus, the president allowed Romney to win this first debate convincingly.
- Politics & Government
- Mitt Romney
- Barack Obama