NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

Liveblogging the second presidential debate of 2012 from the great Pacific Northwest

Good evening, every­one. Tonight, as we all know, is pres­i­den­tial debate night. In less than an hour, Barack Oba­ma and Mitt Rom­ney will take the stage at Hof­s­tra Uni­ver­si­ty in Hemp­stead, New York for a town hall or town meet­ing style debate. The dis­cus­sion will be mod­er­at­ed by CNN’s Can­dy Crow­ley ; ques­tions will pri­mar­i­ly come from vot­ers select­ed to par­tic­i­pate in the event by Gallup.

We’ll be shar­ing our obser­va­tions and impres­sions here on The Advo­cate as the debate gets under­way; updates will be also simul­cast on our Twit­ter feed. We invite you to weigh in with your thoughts as well in the com­ments. Before the debate begins, here’s some analy­sis we think is worth read­ing:

Let us begin!

UPDATE, 5:44 PM: Fif­teen min­utes to go before the can­di­dates take the stage in New York. C‑SPAN is cur­rent­ly show­ing the pre-debate fes­tiv­i­ties; the mod­er­a­tor, Can­dy Crow­ley, is due to be intro­duced in a few min­utes.

UPDATE, 6:04 PM: Rom­ney gets first stab at the first ques­tion. “We have to make sure it’s eas­i­er for kids to afford col­lege,” he says. How?

UPDATE, 6:05 PM: “I want to make sure we keep our Pell Grant pro­gram grow­ing…” By adopt­ing Ryan’s bud­get?

UPDATE, 6:06 PM: Pres­i­dent Oba­ma, answer­ing Jeremy’s ques­tion: “When Gov­er­nor Rom­ney said we should let Detroit go bank­rupt, I bet on Amer­i­can work­ers.” Nice!

UPDATE, 6:08 PM: Pres­i­dent Oba­ma: “We’ve worked hard to ensure stu­dent loans are avail­able for folks like you.” Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion made sure fed­er­al gov­ern­ment is lend­ing direct­ly to stu­dents instead of help­ing banks make mon­ey.

UPDATE, 6:08 PM: Crow­ley asks the can­di­dates: What can be done to help those who have been unem­ployed for a long time?

UPDATE, 6:09 PM: Rom­ney cites his mag­i­cal five point plan as evi­dence he deserves people’s votes.

UPDATE, 6:09 PM: Rom­ney turns to address Oba­ma: “You took Detroit bank­rupt.”

UPDATE, 6:10 PM: Oba­ma: “What Gov­er­nor Rom­ney said just isn’t true… Don’t take my word for it.”

UPDATE, 6:11 PM: Oba­ma zings Rom­ney: There is no five point plan, just a one point plan to allow the wealthy to play by a dif­fer­ent set of rules than mid­dle and low income fam­i­lies.

UPDATE, 6:11 PM: Rom­ney tries to inter­rupt Crow­ley and fails. She’s no Lehrer…

UPDATE, 6:12 PM: Next ques­tion is about gas prices.

UPDATE, 6:13 PM: Oba­ma: “We’ve dou­bled clean ener­gy pro­duc­tion.” Also cites vic­to­ry on get­ting automak­ers to agree on high­er fuel effi­cien­cy stan­dards for vehi­cles.

UPDATE, 6:13 PM: Oba­ma: Romney’s plan is to let the oil com­pa­nies write ener­gy pol­i­cy. Like Dick Cheney and Dubya did.

UPDATE, 6:14 PM: Rom­ney claims oil pro­duc­tion is down on fed­er­al land. Why is that a bad thing?

UPDATE, 6:15 PM: Mitt Rom­ney just indi­cat­ed he couldn’t care less about pro­tect­ing endan­gered species.

UPDATE, 6:16 PM: Short­er Rom­ney: Let’s drill more wells and blow up more moun­tains!

UPDATE, 6:17 PM: Oba­ma zings Rom­ney again, reminds us that Rom­ney once stood in front of a coal plant in Mass­a­chu­setts and said coal kills. Nice!

UPDATE, 6:18 PM: Oba­ma inter­rupts Rom­ney: Not true, Gov­er­nor! They’re both stand­ing now, argu­ing.

UPDATE, 6:19 PM: Rom­ney not look­ing so hot…

UPDATE, 6:19 PM: A lit­tle mod­er­a­tion, Can­dy?

UPDATE, 6:21 PM: Thanks for that, Mitt Cheney… or should I say Dick Rom­ney…

UPDATE, 6:21 PM: ZING! Oba­ma: It’s con­ceiv­able gas prices could go down, if Romney’s poli­cies cause the econ­o­my to go into freefall.

UPDATE, 6:22 PM: Oba­ma attacks Rom­ney for say­ing that wind-relat­ed jobs are “imag­i­nary”. He’s on a roll.

UPDATE, 6:22 PM: Mitt, stop act­ing like being a jerk.

UPDATE, 6:23 PM: Oba­ma: “Can­dy, I’m used to being inter­rupt­ed.”

UPDATE, 6:24 PM: Rom­ney: “I want to sim­pli­fy the tax code.” How, Gov­er­nor? What’s your plan?

UPDATE, 6:25 PM: Over­heard on Twit­ter: Can­dy needs a gav­el…

UPDATE, 6:27 PM: Rom­ney: “I will not, under any cir­cum­stances, reduce the share that’s being paid by high income tax­pay­ers.” Sor­ry, Gov­er­nor, we don’t believe you.

UPDATE, 6:27 PM: Oba­ma: “Four years ago, I said I would cut tax­es for mid­dle class fam­i­lies, and that’s what I’ve done.”

UPDATE, 6:28 PM: Oba­ma: “If we’re seri­ous about reduc­ing the deficit… we’ve got­ta make sure the wealthy do a lit­tle bit more [for our coun­try].”

UPDATE, 6:29 PM: Oba­ma: “Gov­er­nor Rom­ney has a dif­fer­ent phi­los­o­phy… I fun­da­men­tal­ly dis­agree. I think what grows the econ­o­my is small busi­ness­es get­ting a tax cred­it for hir­ing vet­er­ans.”

UPDATE, 6:30 PM: Crow­ley, with the under­state­ment of the night, to Rom­ney: “Gov­er­nor, I’m sure you’ve got a reply there.”

UPDATE, 6:32 PM: Romney’s five-point plan is unre­al­is­tic.

UPDATE, 6:33 PM: Oba­ma is real­ly hit­ting Rom­ney hard right now. Romney’s just stand­ing there tak­ing it.

UPDATE, 6:33 PM: This is get­ting good!

UPDATE, 6:34 PM: Oba­ma: “The math doesn’t add up.”

UPDATE, 6:35 PM: Rom­ney, on his num­bers: “Of course they add up.” Oba­ma smiles…

UPDATE, 6:36 PM: Rom­ney claims: “I know what it takes to bal­ance bud­gets. I’ve done I all my life.”

UPDATE, 6:37 PM: Crow­ley: “I will get run out of town” [if I don’t take con­trol].”

UPDATE, 6:37 PM: YES! Ques­tion about equal pay for equal work.

UPDATE, 6:38 PM: Oba­ma: “The first bill I signed was some­thing called Lily Led­bet­ter.”

UPDATE, 6:39 PM: Oba­ma tells Fen­ton, audi­ence that his admin­is­tra­tion has made Pell grants acces­si­ble to more youth. And indeed he has.

UPDATE, 6:40 PM: Rom­ney describes pay­check fair­ness as “impor­tant top­ic.”

UPDATE, 6:41 PM: Did Rom­ney just say binders full of women? That’s not going to replay well… hel­lo new Inter­net meme!

UPDATE, 6:41 PM: Mitt, your time is up.

UPDATE, 6:42 PM: If Mitt Rom­ney is such a good debater, why can’t he keep his answers with­in the time lim­its? He’s gone over by like thir­ty sec­onds again.

UPDATE, 6:44 PM: Oba­ma: “That’s not the advo­ca­cy women need… There are mil­lions of women across Amer­i­ca who rely on Planned Par­ent­hood.”

UPDATE, 6:44 PM: Strong fin­ish by Pres­i­dent Oba­ma on that answer.

UPDATE, 6:45 PM: Next ques­tion for Rom­ney: “What is the biggest dif­fer­ence between you and George W. Bush?”

UPDATE, 6:46 PM: Rom­ney lame­ly tries to spin his oppo­si­tion to access to con­tra­cep­tives… what about his sup­port for the Blunt Amend­ment?

UPDATE, 6:48 PM: Mul­ti­mil­lion­aire and vul­ture cap­i­tal­ist Rom­ney claims he’ll be a cham­pi­on for the lit­tle guy: “Our par­ty has been focused on big busi­ness for too long.”

UPDATE, 6:49 PM: Oba­ma: “Gov­er­nor Rom­ney invest­ed in com­pa­nies that were pio­neers of out­sourc­ing jobs to Chi­na.”

UPDATE, 6:52 PM: Oba­ma cites some of the promis­es he’s kept. Occu­pa­tion of Iraq end­ed, Patient Pro­tec­tion Act enact­ed. Restraints on Wall Street put into place. Auto indus­try pulled back from the brink.

UPDATE, 6:53 PM: Oba­ma: “The com­mit­ments I’ve made, I’ve kept. The ones I haven’t… it’s not for a lack of try­ing.”

UPDATE, 6:54 PM: Oba­ma: The choice in this elec­tion is whose promis­es are going to help you.

UPDATE, 6:56 PM: Mitt, the rea­son more peo­ple are on food stamps is because of income equal­i­ty and a rise in pover­ty. Prob­lems great­ly exac­er­bat­ed as a result of George W. Bush’s poli­cies.

UPDATE, 6:58 PM: Ques­tion about immi­gra­tion from Lor­raine.

UPDATE, 6:58 PM: Rom­ney try­ing to human­ize him­self…

UPDATE, 7:00 PM: Rom­ney try­ing to make it sound like he sup­ports the DREAM Act.

UPDATE, 7:01 PM: Oba­ma: “I’ve done every­thing I can on my own to fix the sys­tem.” Notes he hasn’t got­ten coop­er­a­tion from Con­gress.

UPDATE, 7:03 PM: Oba­ma notes that Rom­ney promised to veto the DREAM Act. Also points out Rom­ney praised Arizona’s dra­con­ian immi­gra­tion law.

UPDATE, 7:05 PM: Hey Mitt: Pres­i­dents *don’t* file leg­is­la­tion!

UPDATE, 7:05 PM: Mitt Rom­ney is real­ly stum­bling with this rebut­tal.

UPDATE, 7:06 PM: Burst of crosstalk… Pres­i­dent Oba­ma is tired of Romney’s non­sense…

UPDATE, 7:07 PM: Oba­ma gets a dig in at Rom­ney on his pen­sion: “It’s not as big as yours.”

UPDATE, 7:08 PM: Next ques­tion is about Libya.

UPDATE, 7:10 PM: Oba­ma is explain­ing how he react­ed to the attack on America’s con­sulate in Beng­hazi.

UPDATE, 7:11 PM: Oba­ma: “I’m the one who has the greet the coffins when they come home.”

UPDATE, 7:16 PM: Oba­ma: “Please pro­ceed, Gov­er­nor.” The Pres­i­dent has had enough.

UPDATE, 7:16 PM: Big moment for Oba­ma. Rom­ney has real­ly tripped him­self up here. He just tried to claim the pres­i­dent did not char­ac­ter­ize the attack on the con­sulate in Libya as a ter­ror­ist attack ear­ly on, when in fact, in Oba­ma’s Rose Gar­den speech, he did. “Check the tran­script,” the Pres­i­dent told his oppo­nent. Mod­er­a­tor Can­dy Crow­ley backs Oba­ma up. Yay, real-time fact check­ing! Audi­ence mem­bers are clap­ping.

UPDATE, 7:17 PM: Can­dy mov­ing the debate along…

UPDATE, 7:17 PM: Nina Gon­za­lez: What has your admin­is­tra­tion done to lim­it the avail­abil­i­ty of assault weapons?

UPDATE, 7:19 PM: Oba­ma: We have to keep guns out of the hands of crim­i­nals and the men­tal­ly ill. More enforce­ment need­ed.

UPDATE, 7:20 PM: Oba­ma sug­gests we should rein­tro­duce a ban on assault weapons. The NRA is going to pick up on that, no doubt.

UPDATE, 7:20 PM: Short­er Rom­ney: Not inter­est­ed in get­ting semi­au­to­mat­ic weapons off our streets.

UPDATE, 7:21 PM: Rom­ney brings up “Fast and Furi­ous”. Knew that was com­ing…

UPDATE, 7:22 PM: Crow­ley asks why Rom­ney no longer sup­ports an assault weapons ban.

UPDATE, 7:24 PM: Oba­ma: Rom­ney changed his posi­tion on the val­ue of assault weapons ban because he want­ed the NRA’s endorse­ment. Zing!

UPDATE, 7:26 PM: Car­ol Gold­berg asks Mitt Rom­ney, an out­sourc­ing pio­neer, about insourc­ing… bring­ing jobs back home to the Unit­ed States.

UPDATE, 7:28 PM: Rom­ney trots out his favorite catch­phrase… “trick­le-down gov­ern­ment.”

UPDATE, 7:28 PM: Rom­ney claims he’ll be strict with those we trade with. Yeah, right.

UPDATE, 7:29 PM: Mitt, where’s the evi­dence to sup­port the claim that busi­ness­es aren’t hir­ing because of the Patient Pro­tec­tion Act?

UPDATE, 7:31 PM: Oba­ma says he’d close loop­holes that reward out­sourc­ing. Romney’s poli­cies would cre­ate jobs over­seas,

UPDATE, 7:32 PM: Crow­ley asks Rom­ney: How do we bring man­u­fac­tur­ing jobs back to the U.S.A.?

UPDATE, 7:33 PM: Crow­ley goes to Pres­i­dent Oba­ma.

UPDATE, 7:34 PM: Oba­ma shouldn’t have said that some jobs won’t come back. That didn’t do any­thing for him. The Repub­li­cans will put that phrase into tele­vi­sion ads.

UPDATE, 7:34 PM: Rom­ney lame­ly chants, gov­ern­ment does not cre­ate jobs.

UPDATE, 7:34 PM: Soft­ball ques­tion for Mitt, and he rec­og­nizes it.

UPDATE, 7:35 PM: Mitt: “I care about a hun­dred per­cent of the Amer­i­can peo­ple.” Oops. Why’d Rom­ney open that door? Hope the Pres­i­dent gets rebut­tal time…

UPDATE, 7:36 PM: Rom­ney is basi­cal­ly giv­ing his clos­ing state­ment.

UPDATE, 7:37 PM: The debate is run­ning over. Good thing the major news net­works sched­uled post-debate “analy­sis” till 8 PM.

UPDATE, 7:38 PM: Oba­ma ham­mers Rom­ney for his forty-sev­en per­cent com­ments.

UPDATE, 7:39 PM: WOW, what a fin­ish by Pres­i­dent Oba­ma! No clos­ing state­ments, Oba­ma fin­ish­es by ask­ing for view­ers’ votes.

FINAL THOUGHT, 7:40 PM: This debate goes to Pres­i­dent Oba­ma. He was superb. Absolute­ly superb.

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