Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

The Obama-Romney Debate

Mitt Romney has called his win tonight in almost-hometown New Hampshire an “historic night.” Congratulations on being another Harvard-educated old dude to win the New Hampshire primary. You’re right, it’s historic.

One of the things we like to do here is message and write strategy. Mitt is busy annointing himself as the GOP nominee for a pretty important job–the GOP’s “Chosen One” to defeat a guy a plurality of conservative Republicans believe isn’t an American citizen. Undoubtedly, though, he will actually be forced to go toe-to-toe with the current leader of the free world: President Barack Obama. Forgive the foreshadowing, but if you don’t mind, we’ve scripted a bit of what that might sound like:

Moderator: “An important issue on the minds of all Americans is that of health care. President Obama, your administration passed a comprehensive and controversial health care plan for the first time in American history. Governor Romney, you signed into law a similar plan in Massachusetts. Can each of you tell us why you are right on health care? Governor Romney, the first response will come from you.”

Romney: “First of all, let me be absolutely clear. My first act as President of the United States will be to overturn this brutal, unconstitutional health care monostrosity. This president rammed this bill hurriedly down our throats, raised our taxes and is essentially forcing people to purchase health insurance or he will make them pay a penalty. Just think about that: the federal government telling you that you must buy something, or else. I don’t know how often the president reads the Constitution, but I’m pretty sure I haven’t seen justification for that in there.”

Obama: “Now, see, this is where I’m confused, Governor. Are you for health care, or aren’t you? Because it was your actions that made this health care law possible. When you were Governor of Massachusetts, you signed into law health care legislation that is identical in nearly every way to what we have before us today. And now you say you aren’t for your own legislation? Who are we to believe, Governor? The Mitt Romney of now or the Mitt Romney of a few years ago? How can we trust you to make the right decisions when you can’t even agree with yourself? My administration passed a law that will help provide basic, affordable health coverage to millions more Americans. I am proud of that, Governor, because I stand up and fight for what I believe in.”

Moderator: “Shifting our attention now to foreign policy. Governor Romney, you have criticized the president’s decision to pull all US combat troops out of Iraq at the end of 2011. Tell us why, and President Obama, you’ll have the rebuttal.”

Romney: “You know, Barack Obama has had four years. The reality is, he’s made this country less safe. The policy of “cut and run” hurts the Iraqis and our allies, and it denegrates the legacy of our fighting men and women in uniform. Our hasty exit sent a signal to all the terrorists and America-haters in the region: we surrender. This president and his liberal cronies signaled that as our military policy. Enough’s enough. The American people have got to know that as Commander-in-Chief, I will never surrender, and I will put forth my greatest effort every day to honor our fighting men and women and keep this country safe and secure.”

Obama: “Some folks will remember me talking about a young Marine I met back in Illinois, named Seamus. He was one of the first Marines to go to Iraq, and he was a great kid–a handsome kid. His family has a lot to be proud of. Every single day, as Commander-in-Chief…as President…as a father…I ask myself, ‘Am I serving Seamus as well as he’s serving me?’ When we send our young men and women into harm’s way, we have a solemn obligation not to fudge the numbers or shade the truth about why they’re going, to care for their families while they’re gone, to tend to the soldiers upon their return, and to never ever go to war without enough troops to win the war, secure the peace, and earn the respect of the world. Nothing can ever tarnish the legacy of Seamus, and the thousands of other Marines, soldiers, sailors and airmen out there sacrificing for us. But we should never take advantage of their heroism again, like we did for eight years. As Commander-in-Chief, I made the decision that it was time for Seamus to come home from Iraq. I will stand up and fight for that decision, because I know it was the right one to make.”

Moderator: “Perhaps the most crucial election issue for most Americans is the economy. The national unemployment rate is still above 8%, the country is still experiencing a foreclosure crisis, and rallies by both the Tea Party and the Occupy movement have highlighted the public’s growing dissatisfaction with both government solutions and corporate greed in light of recent bailouts. Governor Romney, what is the problem and how can we fix it?”

Romney: “I think this country has suffered long enough under a man with virtually no executive experience prior to being elected to office. I think we’ve seen that he has consistently made the wrong decisions on the economy. As a guy who has run a business successfully and employed quite a few Americans, I know what it takes, and the answer may shock President Obama: it’s less government. Less back-breaking regulation. We have a system right now that punishes your success. If a family makes a dollar in this country, this president–through higher taxes, an unconstitutional health care law, more government bureaucracy–this president is essentially cutting that dollar in half. We have a long way to go on the economy, but we’re going to need a president with the guts and the gumption to cut spending and lower taxes on job creators. As we have seen, this president simply can’t get the job done.”

Obama: “It amazes me how out-of-touch some can be. Look, Governor, in these tough times, American families need a government that’s going to work for them, not some Wall Street fat cats. Lack of accountability and unfettered greed got us into this mess. Mitt Romney’s plan would have us look away while the fat cats loot the rest of Main Street. Well, we’re not going to do that anymore. The American people have spoken, Governor, and they will stand up and fight for a fair shake. They want multi-billion dollar corporations that paid less in taxes than their family of five to pay their fair share. They want them to stop pillaging communities and they want the banks to stop taking their homes. The policies of the past are over. My administration has cut taxes for middle class and working class families–that’s more money for gas to drive to work or cereal on the breakfast table. And you know, through our efforts, we have helped create more jobs this year than my Republican predecessor managed to destroy in 2008–at the beginning of this mess. This country is coming together and remembering what we stand for–liberty and justice for all. I’m proud to be the president of a country that seeks a fair shake for all her citizens.”

With the election less than ten months away, how familiar might these refrains become?

The candidate with the best message–and the one most capable of delivering it with a compelling honesty, vigor and sincerity–will win what is sure to be an incredibly close presidential election this year. We look forward to helping craft that debate.

(Originally posted at The Journeying Progressive)


  1. Never before in the history of mankind has one country been so glued to whom the last person selected for the kickball team will be. It is truly agonizing.

  2. HappyinVT

    He is not likeable.  He comes across as wooden, condescending, and unbelievable.  Likely comes from being a privileged brat.  I believe that the GE will further erode his favorable rating.

    Obama, otoh, is still personally quite likeable, even with some folks who may not agree with his policies.  For an electorate that likes to like its president that doesn’t help Romney.  And we still have lots of time for him to say tone-deaf soundbites.  And since his campaign isn’t above knowingly promoting out-of-context statements, rightly or wrongly, neither am I.  

  3. creamer

    He’s changed every position he’s ever taken except for wanting to be president. His loyalty is to who-ever or what-ever can put and keep him in office. He represents the view that making money has no link to right or wrong or morality, he is the poster child for whats wrong with America. I use to have trepidations about his potential to pull moderates from Obama, but this is a discussion thats long overdue. If the middle elects this asshole then we deserve what comes with him.

  4. Something about ‘we don’t want to be like Europe’?

    What’s he talking about? The Eurozone crisis? Or the fact we have higher life expectancy, better medical care and transport? Or that not all of us we’re not engaged in two wars? Perhaps it’s our funny accents and garlic smelling breath. I don’t know. Good to hear him not beating up on Blacks and Hispanics. But Europeans rather than communists as the new class enemy?  

    How desperate can you get? His speech was all about trying to restore American exceptionalism. He rightly identified Obama as the one President who can restore the US’s role in the world as a multi-lateral co-operator, leader of the free world through moral example and leadership. Rather than the Bush model of bullying which eventually left the US broke and almost

    (We Brits of course, will go to the crack of doom with y’all)

  5. HappyinVT

    Tuesday was an anniversary of sorts (I could have been in the crowd but elected to stay home).   Full speech on the bottom and the Emmy-winning video by on top; they rightfully say that the presidency ages a person.

  6. That is before he went to Utah. That was long before he came back to New England to run for Governor.  If Mitt were running for dog catcher, I wouldn’t vote for the man. He is not just Schrodinger’s Candidate, existing in Quantum Political Superposition, he is a mealy mouthed weasel who will hand over not just cash, but debt upon debt to my non-existent grandchildren.

    If the party insists on this man, there is no way in the 10,000 Hells that I can vote for the Republican candidate.  Huntsman is a no go as well–though, he is slightly more palatable than Johnson. If Roemer were to get the nod, I could vote for my own party’s candidate, and do so with my head held high, but there is no way that is happening.

    It’s like the party let loose the dogs of Crazy, and the one thing that I think that you can say about some, is that they’re practicing for the 2016 run, and that Christie stayed out to let the Crazy Train spend itself out a bit.

    I am hoping that this run will shut Bachmann the Hells up. And Santorum as well. They’ve sold their books, they’ve skimmed their PACs and maybe that will be enough. Maybe.

    This race has fleeced a lot of folks. Not just the corporate sponsors, but folks who gave to this field of idiots, naysayers, and just plain poltroons.  It has lined pockets from Palin to Cain, and kept Newt Gingrich’s name out there to continue his relevance as a “consultant” while never really being in the running enough to be a credible candidate and risk getting the job.

    I am simply disgusted by this entire mess.

    If there were a viable party to join, I’d leave the GOP entirely after this debacle. Clearly, the leadership of the party and I vastly differ on where the nation and the party should be heading, but dammit, there is not a viable third party at this point that isn’t batshit crazy at this point. Damn the TEA Party for sucking the wind out of the Modern Whig’s sails–which was kind of the point, in their Astroturf creation, but we really need a viable conservative party, and right now, the GOP is pushing well past radicalism.

    Son, I am disappoint…

  7. Not content to extol the joys of being able to fire people who provide services to him, Mittens claims that anyone who complains about income inequality in this country is just jealous:

    According to Mitt Romney, the nation’s growing focus on income inequality is all about envy.

    “You know, I think it’s about envy. I think it’s about class warfare,” the leading Republican presidential candidate said Wednesday on The Today Show.

    When asked if there are any fair questions about wealth distribution, Romney replied, “It’s fine to talk about those things in quiet rooms and discussions about tax policy and the like.”


    “I believe in a merit nation, an opportunity nation where people by virtue of their education, their hard work and risk taking and their dreams — may be a little luck — could achieve great things,” he said Thursday at a campaign rally in Florida.

    Yeh, luck like being born with a platinum spoon in one’s mouth, maybe.

  8. spacemanspiff

    The latest infusion of money, announced Thursday, adds up to more than $220 million in 2011 for the president’s re-election campaign and the Democratic National Committee, putting Obama far ahead of other Republican presidential candidates.

    68 mamamiamillion in the last 3 months of 2011. (via kos)

    That is just RIDUNKULOUS. Wow.  

Comments are closed.