Posted: October 4, 2012 – By Joel B. Pollak
Halfway through, they should have stopped the fight.
Gov. Mitt Romney eviscerated a staggering and bewildered President Barack Obama tonight in one of the most lopsided presidential debates in American history. Throughout the debate, which focused on domestic policy, Obama looked shaken, rarely looking at the camera, reciting old talking points and filibustering as Romney gave a master class at the University of Denver.
The debate had been described as a must-win for Romney–and he delivered. Using a rapid-fire style that had not been seen even in the numerous Republican primary debates, he bobbed and weaved through Obama’s attacks and moderator Jim Lehrer’s interjections, launching bullet-point policies that displayed not just a familiarity with the wonkish details but a focus on the travails of ordinary people he had met on the trail.
Again and again, Romney returned to his theme: creating jobs. He did–as expected–take Obama to task for misrepresenting his policies, principally Romney’s tax policy, which Obama referred to, even after being corrected, as a $5 trillion tax cut. But Romney exceeded expectations in focusing on the end result he wished to attain–and which, he said, the president wished to sacrifice: creating jobs for a struggling American workforce.
Obama could not have pleased anyone except those playing drinking games at home, with familiar references to corporate jets (drink!), job training programs (drink!), and tax cuts for shipping jobs overseas (drink!). And for these tired suggestions, most of which appeared in Obama’s talking points in 2008, Romney reminded the president that he had four years in which to enact his policies, to which the president could only nod.