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Obama, Romney spar on taxes, jobs, education, health care

Published: Thu, October 4, 2012 @ 12:01 a.m.


In a photo combo, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama speak during the first presidential debate at the University of Denver, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Goldman/Eric Gay)

SEE ALSO: Fact-check: Presidential debate missteps

Associated Press


In a showdown at close quarters, President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney sparred aggressively in their first campaign debate Wednesday night over taxes, deficits and strong steps needed to create jobs in a sputtering national economy. “The status quo is not going to cut it,” declared the challenger.

Obama in turn accused his rival of seeking to “double down” on economic policies that actually led to the devastating national downturn four years ago — and of evasiveness when it comes to prescriptions for tax changes, health care, Wall Street regulation and more.

The economy dominated the evening, as it has the race for the White House all year. Pre-debate opinion polls showed Obama with a slight advantage in key battleground states and nationally.

With early voting already under way in dozens of states, Romney was particularly aggressive in the 90-minute event that drew a television audience likely to be counted in the tens of millions — like a man looking to shake up the campaign with a little less than five weeks to run.

The former Massachusetts governor virtually lectured Obama at one point after the president accused him of seeking to cut education funds. “Mr. President, you’re entitled to your own airplane and your own house, but not your own facts,” he said.

Romney said he had plans to fix the economy, overhaul the tax code, repeal Obama’s health care plan and replace it with a better alternative, remake Medicare, pass a substitute for the legislation designed to prevent another financial crash and reduce deficits — but he provided no new specifics despite Obama’s prodding.

Said Obama: “At some point the American people have to ask themselves: Is the reason Governor Romney is keeping all these plans secret, is it because they’re going to be too good? Because middle class families benefit too much? No.”

The two men debate twice more this month, but they were first going their separate ways on Thursday. Obama had campaign stops in Colorado and then Madison, Wis., while Romney was booked into Virginia. All three states are among the nine battlegrounds likely to settle the race.

At times the debate turned into rapid-fire charges and retorts that drew on dense facts and figures that were difficult to follow. The men argued over oil industry subsidies, federal spending as a percentage of the GDP, Medicare cuts, taxes and small businesses and the size of the federal deficit and how it grew.

Obama sometimes seemed somewhat professorial. Romney was more assertive and didn’t hesitate to interrupt the president or moderator Jim Lehrer.

Despite the wonky tone of the debate, Romney managed to make some points by personalizing his comments with recollections of people he said he had met on the campaign trail. In another folksy reference, Romney told Lehrer, a veteran of the Public Broadcasting Service, that he would stop the federal subsidy to PBS even though “I love Big Bird.”

Generally polite but pointed, the two men agreed about little if anything.

Obama said his opponent’s plan to reduce all tax rates by 20 percent would cost $5 trillion and benefit the wealthy at the expense of middle income taxpayers.

Shot back Romney: “Virtually everything he just said about my tax plan is inaccurate.”

The former Massachusetts governor and businessman added that Obama’s proposal to allow the expiration of tax cuts on upper-level income would mean tax increases on small businesses that create jobs by the hundreds of thousands.

The two campaign rivals clasped hands and smiled as they strode onto the debate stage at the University of Denver, then waved to the audience before taking their places behind identical lecterns.

There was a quick moment of laughter, when Obama referred to first lady Michelle Obama as “sweetie” and noted it was their 20th anniversary.

Romney added best wishes, and said to the first couple, “I’m sure this is the most romantic place you could imagine, here with me.”

Both candidates’ wives were in the audience.

Without saying so, the two rivals quickly got to the crux of their race — Romney’s eagerness to turn the contest into a referendum on the past four years while the incumbent desires for voters to choose between his plan for the next four years and the one his rival backs.

Romney ticked off the dreary economic facts of life — a sharp spike in food stamps, economic growth “lower this year than last” and “23 million people out of work or stropped looking for work.”

But Obama criticized Romney’s prescriptions and his refusal to raise taxes and said, “if you take such an unbalanced approach then that means you are going to be gutting our investment in schools and education ... health care for seniors in nursing homes (and) for kids with disabilities.”

Not surprisingly, the two men disagreed over Medicare, a flash point since Romney placed Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan on his ticket.

The president repeatedly described Romney’s plan as a “voucher program” that would raise out-of-pocket costs on seniors.

He continued, directly addressing the voters at home: “If you’re 54 or 55 you might want to listen because this will affect you.”

Romney said he doesn’t support any changes for current retirees or those close to retirement.

“If you’re 60 or 60 and older you don’t need to listen further,” he said, but he contended that fundamental changes are needed to prevent the system from becoming insolvent as millions of baby boom generation Americans become eligible.

Romney also made a detailed case for repealing Obamacare, the name attached to the health care plan that Obama pushed through Congress in 2010. “It has killed jobs,” he said, and argued that the best approach is to “do what we did in my state.”

Though he didn’t say so, when he was governor Massachusetts passed legislation that required residents to purchase coverage — the so-called individual mandate that conservatives and he oppose on a national level.

Romney also said that Obamacare would cut $716 billion from Medicare over the next decade.

The president said the changes were part of a plan to lengthen the program’s life, and he added that AARP, the seniors lobby, supports it.

With a two-minute closing statement, Obama said he had spent his first four years in office fighting for those in the emiddle class and those seeking to make it there. “If you’ll vote for me, I’ll fight just as hard in my second term,” he said.

Romney was as critical of Obama’s tenure as he was the moment the two men walked onto the stage.

If the president is re-elected, he predicted continued economic trouble for the middle class, chronic unemployment, higher costs for health insurance and “dramatic cuts to the military.”

Obama took office in the shadow of an economic crisis but promised a turnaround that hasn’t materialized. Economic growth has been sluggish throughout his term, with unemployment above 8 percent since before he took office.

The customary security blended with a festival-like atmosphere in the surrounding area on a warm and sunny day. The Lumineers performed for free, and Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am delivered a pep talk of sorts to Obama’s supporters. School officials arranged to show the debate on monitors outside the hall for those without tickets.

There was local political theater, too, including female Romney supporters wearing short shorts and holding signs that said, “What War On Women?” — a rebuttal to claims by Obama and the Democrats.

The two presidential rivals also are scheduled to debate on Oct. 16 in Hempstead, N.Y., and Oct. 22 in Boca Raton, Fla.

Vice President Joe Biden and Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin have one debate, Oct. 11 in Danville, Ky. Both men have already begun holding practice sessions.


1IslandMike(764 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Mitt-Flopper is a clown who has no specifics on anything and if he does he'll change his mind.

Bin Laden is DEAD!!
The US is OUT of Iraq!!


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2greene(167 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Stanby for words of wisdom from islandMike, "He, hey -- lo, look over here, over here...Who cares?"

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3whitesabbath(738 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Both silver tongued, double talking mongers.

I want George Washington, now he knew how to make some changes.

Took a little lead.

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4nascar74(43 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

The Vindicator. What a biased democratic piece of you know what. Let's hang our hat on GM, because as we all know, they are the most important. How about paying back what you owe the government before giving out bonuses. However, neither candidate is worthy of a vote.

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5greene(167 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

In islandMikes's head...David Plouffe, “Bin Laden is dead. GM is alive.”
Obama, “Wa, what‘s that stuff.”
Biden, “It’s ‘sposed to be good for them.
Obama, “‘m, I’m not going to try it, yo' you try it.”
Biden, “Let’s get Mikey, he doesn’t believe anything.”
Obama, “‘H, he likes it! “Hh, Hey Mikey!

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6carago11(44 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Romney won this debate!! This was the most lopsided defeat for debates in history. Of course, the Vindicator fails to mention that. Its shows how the democrats control this valley. The reason Romney convincingly won is because Obama came into office with a bunch of BS and said change is on the way. 4 years later we are all worse off. This country is bankrupt and we need a smaller goverment to fix it. Romney makes sense because Obama has had a failed administration. When you fail at doing your job you get fired! Goodbye Obama!!! Thank God January 20, 2013 will be his last day in office.

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7Ypboy(64 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Vindy folks saw a different debate than the rest of the world. Your boy, Obama looked and sounded like a child.

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8SteelCityGirl(1 comment)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Folks, no one is disputing the value of jobs in the Valley. The issue is how much DEBT are you willing to accept to keep things "floating"? There are much bigger issues to face than just the car industry. We just can't afford to borrow away our children's lives!

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9greene(167 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Best comment award go to
SteelCity Girl, Yea!!

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10walter_sobchak(2728 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

The picture says it all. Mitt Romney lectured the president and all Mr. Obama could do was hang his head, as if ashamed of his record, and look at the podium. No doubt, for Romney, the devil is in the details but Social Security and Medicare are going to consume this country unless fundamental changes are made. The American people want to see assertive and confident individuals to be their leaders. Mitt not only mopped the floor with Obama, he dunked him back in the bucket, wrung him out, and mopped over the floor a second time, in case he missed something.

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11Delphisalariedretirees(76 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Obama LIES to the American people and the Delphi retirees once again in his closing remarks...


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12Delphisalariedretirees(76 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Voters - If you expect your President to treat ALL Americans equally, sign the petition below, and don't vote for O'LIAR unless he FIXES the Delphi issue...


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13SunnySkies(20 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

@Walter: You are so right! Mitt totally dominated the debate and demonstrated what a leader he will be. You cannot expect businesses to survive by constantly burdening them with more government regulations and taxes and healthcare requirements for employees. They will either (1) close down (2) move abroad or (3) layoff employees or (4) ask for government bailouts/loans. Which is what they have been doing the past 4 years. None of those options are acceptable. Without breaks for the wealthy, who own the businesses, people will not have jobs! Can't the obvious be seen?
Romney totally blew Obama right out of the water (and hopefully out of the election).

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14NoBS(2841 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

The real question: Did the debate change anybody's mind about which of these idiots to vote for? Anybody? I made note of the first paid presidential political ad I saw on TV, and it was in MARCH. We've been being bombarded with this garbage for EIGHT MONTHS now, and another month to go before election day. My mind has been made up for a while now - I didn't waste my time watching these two spin and dance and avoid any serious questions.

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15jojuggie(1727 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Obama last night:

No passion
No teleprompter
Ill at ease
Wasn't friendly
No experience in fielding tough questions
Wasn't prepared
On the defensive


Very Presidential
Spoke with passion
Very prepared
Won by 2 TD's
Should have stopped the debate at 10PM
and awarded a TKO to Romney

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16jayford(1 comment)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

I wonder why no one is mentioning that Obama didn't mention GM at Lordstown. He mentioned Detroit and Toldeo. I guess he doesn't have to worry about saying anything about the Youngstown area, as this area will vote for anyone with a 'd' behind their name.

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17JoeFromHubbard(1817 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

natureman said: > > Did you people hear the same debate I did? Mitt Romney was totally lacking in specifics. < <

That reminds me of Nancy Pelosi's comment on Obamacare: "We'll have to pass it then find out what's in it."

Talk about lack of specifics, on legislation that most did not want !

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18andersonathan(687 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Nobama received a spanking on "LIVE" TV No Teleprompter to blame. just a lack of experience showing up and the look of a deer in the headlights comes to mind.

Bring out the crying towels if Mitt keeps it up. And Ryan/Biden will be worse for the Democrats and after that debate turn out the lights.

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19harleydog(243 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

The liberal news cnn, abc and nbc admitted that rommney won. Whycan't this piece of garbage newspaper admit it? Stop drinking the koolaid for this poor excuse of a president.

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20jojuggie(1727 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

NoBS, you are not a very informed person. If you made up your mind after the 1st pd for political ad, there is something missing in your makup.

Advertising is usually meant to be effective exaggeration. Political advertising is worse. It is not only effective exaggeration, but also effective lying, and anyone who actually believes in political ads, by either side, is misinformed.

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21walter_sobchak(2728 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

This debate is result of what happens when a president answers "tough" questions posed on The View and The David Letterman Show. Maybe he should have stayed in NY and met PM Netanyahu behind closed doors where Bebe would have given him a prelim spanking and toughened him up. But, it seems that without a teleprompter, Barack Hussein Obama is lost and ineffectual.

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22westside(47 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

lol You people crack me up! No one from the Vindy wrote this article. The first two words at the top are ASSOCIATED PRESS lol

Also notice how it is just a play by play of quotes and assertions made by each candidate. It's all "Romney said this" and then "the President said that." There is virtually NO color commentary in this article at all! It doesn't say that Obama won. It doesn't say that Romney won. It doesn't say that Obama's points were right and that Romney's points were wrong. Just the facts of what was said during the debate.

It's really sad that today unless the article (or any reporting) takes an obvious side, people are quick to accuse bias. That's called being a hypocrite.

Just the facts ma'am, just the facts.

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23redeye1(5678 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

It has to make one wonder Is this how he handles our foreign affairs? With facial scows if he doesn't get his way. He showed his true colors last night. Next up, we BURIED the middle class with our policies Biden vs Ryan. That should be hoot to watch too.

Cambridge where are you? Cat got your tongue or did your computer breakdown?

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24ytowhoh330(89 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Got my ballot yesterday, yes I'm voting for Mitt. I'm leaving Hagan & Gains blank.

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25Valleys_Voice(149 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

I went into watching the debate with an open mind and tried not to have a predisposed opinion about our current leader nor did I look at the contender as a the answer. My key observation, which was mentioned earlier by I think Walter, is that Obama held his head low the entire night, rarely spoke directly to his opponent, and was overall lacking any energy or compassion. Romney, who I feel had a generally positive demeanor, showed that he is willing to look at things in a different light, however, he did not offer specifics on some matters. All-in-all, I think prior to watching this debate, the majority of voters had their minds made up, but for the undecided voters, this debate helped swing them towards Romney. It would seem that under Obama's tenure, we have found ourselves in a declining environment where wages are shrinking, employment is shrinking, and hope is shrinking. Will Romney provide the answers we need to help propel this country into the future? I'm not too sure. But one thing is certain; we should not buy into half-facts nor should we accept something which we have complete control over. This country is amazing because we have the ability to vote and let our voices be heard. I just hope those of you complimenting or degrading an opponent base those ideas on facts and not opinions which sadly is the case for many of those posting messages on this website, specifically on politics.

Please do us a favor and instead of being so extremely Democratic or Republican, look at the facts and see these candidates as two individuals, regardless of color or party involvement. Look at them with the same intention which is this: which one of these men will improve our country.

Sadly I must note, with much approval and disapproval as it may cause, that improving your country does not mean receiving free handouts. Those who expect something have an opinion which I truly believe is not worth the opinion of someone who constantly goes to work and helps improve themselves in every aspect of their lives.

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26oldsouthhighwarrior(24 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

The best post goes to Greene. Mikey likes it hey mikey. the pres and the vp are sitting at the at the table like little kids asking how we can fool the people with what we think willl help keep them in chains. the pres may be smart but on common since he is mikey.

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27Georgio(28 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Obama was asleep at the wheel Three and a half years of vacationing is taking its toll.

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28greene(167 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Thank you, oshw. Mikey is islandMike,(see first post.) BTW, Al Gore blamed Obama's performance on the high altitude of Denver! U gotta love that.

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29jojuggie(1727 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Romney got another boost yesterday, beside handily winning the debate - Chavez, of Venezuela, proclaimed that he would suggest - VOTE FOR OBAMA.

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30whitesabbath(738 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Both of them greasy as snake oil , split tongue liars.

Civil War !!!!

George Washington, WE THE PEOPLE need you.

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31whitesabbath(738 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

I would of said Revolutionary war but hell all the Brit have left. LOL

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32whitesabbath(738 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

We are doomed !!!

1 neighbor says he's voting for Obama because he is black.

Another neighbor is singing " he's dreaming of a white president. "

just great.

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33harleydog(243 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

@vinnytalk, I dont read the paper or buy it. I look at the obits online in case there is someone I need to pay respects to. I just had to click on the comments of this article to see what all the dumbocrats had to say about obama getting a smack down.

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34Georgio(28 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

When Obama took office unemployment was at 7.6 and never declined to that low a percentage since he took office. Unemployment was not above 8 percent as the vindy reports.

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35Sumpintasay(55 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Because the huge mess the republicans made needs more than 4 years to clean up. Progress has been made and only the narrow minded right winger can't see it.

This mess took several years for the republicans to make, it will take more than 4 for the Dems to clean it up. Soooo

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36greene(167 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Cue the Twilight Zone music, Sumpintasy is thinking.

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37IslandMike(764 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Lets get back to the Bush economic policies that got us here!!!

Mitt-Flopper changed his mind last night. AGAIN. Great job in being something he's not. He's a FLIP FLOPPER.

Mitt-Flopper is a clown who has no specifics on anything and if he does he'll change his mind.

Bin Laden is DEAD!!
The US is OUT of Iraq!!


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38harleydog(243 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

@vinnytalk, maybe you should learn how to spell and use proper grammar.

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39Georgio(28 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago


Getting back to Bush policies sounds good to me!!

Having unemployment under 8 Percent, reducing the national debt by Four Trillion
and reducing taxes.

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40redeye1(5678 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Island MIKE You know what was really funny about last night. BO can't speak for himself, he needs a telepromter with someone else writing & telling him what to say. If we are out of Iraq then how come my nephew was just sent there HUH! GM is on life support . Yes, Bin Laden is dead , but if Billy Bob Clinton did what he was suppose to do when he was in office, there might not have been an 9/11 incident What's a matter are you worried about your next feebie being taken away is , that why you like BO..so much LMOA! The SPINMASTER got beat down!!!

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41300(573 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Seriously, like the debates even matter? Suppose that Obama wins the next two, will all the Romney supporters be changing their votes to Obama? (which I don't think we should even be talking in terms of "winning" because these debates aren't scored and very few, if any, votes will be changed due to them).

Romney came out more dominant, but that's hardly something most Democratic voters respect. Right wingers value dominance, and bullying, while it tends to turn off those on the left.

These debates are media-driven, and poll and poll have shown that they change very little in terms of who wins an election.

Nobody's undecided at this point, so the debates are worthless. If you don't believe me, just ask yourself this question regardless of which side you're on: If the other guy wins the debate(s) will I change my voting intention and vote for him?

Is there anyone on here who would say yes?

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42jojuggie(1727 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Hey IM, even your beloved MSNBC agreed ROMNEY was the BIG winner last night.

I couldn't believe that guy last night was our president. I have never seen anyone sleepwalking thru a debate like last night. The only thing I could volunteer is that he took an overdose of Valium before he went on stage.

I can't conceive of Obama meeting world leaders ( who watched last night) after that debacle. If I were him, I would seek some psychiatric help to try to figure out
why he was so docile.

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43jojuggie(1727 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Hey 300, you have got to be kidding. "These debates are media driven." You are really kidding, aren't you? I would venture a guess that upwards of 50M watched here in the US, and maybe 1M around the world. Our president was in a stupor.

If the tables were reversed, your post might have said " I told you so."

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44TylerDurden(367 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Normally I would not comment on this, and many of you would like it that way, however, I must address this post:

"Folks, no one is disputing the value of jobs in the Valley. The issue is how much DEBT are you willing to accept to keep things "floating"? There are much bigger issues to face than just the car industry. We just can't afford to borrow away our children's lives! "

It was a pleasure to read. When I see things like this I have hope for society and the valley more acutely.

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45WilliamSwinger(341 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

@ IslandMike

Did you even watch and listen to the debate? When asked for specifics Mitt explained very clearly that specifics are not worked out because he will not rule as a dictator. Rather he intends to seek input from and develop solutions with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. That means specifics will be available once the effort begins and input is sought from lawmakers across the spectrum. Mitt did specifically assert his litmus test which would guide his decisions and policies. Mitt also articulated his guiding principles, which were:

1.) Create energy independence in the U.S. and North America.

2) Give American the tools to succeed with education policies that produce results.

3) Develop trade policies that are fair for Americans.

4) Cut the deficit and get a balanced budget.

5) Champion small businesses which create the jobs needed to put people back to work.

Mitt also articulated his vision of the government as serving Americans by preserving Liberty, Freedom, a strong military and preserving Rights of States, where they belong.

These have been Mitt's positions all along and they are the right vision for a prosperous America. His home state has the best education and healthcare in the nation as well as one of the highest incomes. Maybe you should consider Mitt as being better for America than four more years of the same.

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46WilliamSwinger(341 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago


It sure is funny how you and the others now claim the debates are worthless the morning after your candidate gets absolutely destroyed in them.

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47redeye1(5678 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

300 I have talked to a few friends who were on the fence. YES, they will now be voting for Romney At least two of them voted for BO in the last election. They both feel that he doesn't know what or how to fix things that are wrong with our country.

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48300(573 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

I've always claimed that debates are worthless. And, they are. When voters are asked why they voted for a certain candidate, you will never hear "the debate". Never. I wrote a few studies on voter behavior, and I can't recall one instance of a voter stating the debate as their reason for voting for a certain candidate. That was in the 90s, but I went over data from 70s and 80s as well.

Also, Obama never got destroyed. Romney came out the aggressor, but most of what he said was rhetorical (which unfortunately is taken as factual by far too many). Obama didn't hurt his case with his constituents, and Romney helped in his constituents. So, you could say that Romney had a better debate, but "destroyed", no, I don't think so.

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49300(573 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

BTW, William, after Kerry bested Bush at all 3 debates, did you change your intention from Bush to Kerry? If not, you just proved my point at the micro-level.

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50JoeFromHubbard(1817 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

> > So mitt says he wants to help the middle class, yet admits he wants to get rid of deductions. < <

Most of the "middle class" do not itemize deductions. It won't matter to them.

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51jojuggie(1727 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Hey 300, the media event, that took place in Denver last night, officially totaled 58.4 M. That's some media event.

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52300(573 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

C'mon, Joe, if you don't itemize your tax returns, you're probably not middle class. Working class, but not middle class.

For 2 working adults, middle class families pull in at least 100K. If you're under, you're either non-2 working adults, or you're working class.

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53jojuggie(1727 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Obama admits he was born in Kenya.


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54IslandMike(764 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Blah, blah, blah. Obama will still win!!!

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55IslandMike(764 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago


I did watch the debate and Romney clearly was the debate winner, but there is on MAJOR problem that is now catching up with him............


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56jojuggie(1727 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

IM, Obama lied also..

Give up already, You'll sleep much better at night.

We have a lying Muslim that's not very presidential, in office, as verified last night. What more do you need?

The whole world saw that farce. Can you imagine what those violent, insane, anti American Mid-East trouble makers think of America now?

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57AnotherAverageCitizen(1194 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Romney’s policies are still deeply unpopular, which is why he relentlessly obfuscated about them.Mitt Romney decisively won last night’s debate in a way that may or may not change the fundamentals of the race. But here are a few fundamentals that his performance has not altered:
1) Mitt Romney’s approach to deficit reduction is deeply unpopular. At the debate, Romney again confirmed what he had during the GOP primary debates: He won’t accept one additional dollar in tax revenues from the rich in exchange for $10 in spending cuts. This is a deeply unpopular position. Polls have shown solid majorities support a mix of tax hikes on the rich and spending cuts to cut the deficit.
2) Romney supports unpopular tax cuts for the rich. Romney’s proposed 20-percent across the board tax cut would disproportionately benefit the rich. Romney got around this by saying: “I will not reduce the share paid by high-income individuals.” But this is a ruse: He can still reduce the amount they pay, without reducing the share of the overall burden they pay — indeed, that’s what an across the board tax cut is. Romney also said: “I cannot reduce the burden paid by high-income Americans.” This is also a ruse. Romney has said he would not reduce incentives for investment savings. But the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center found that this would not leave enough high end loopholes behind that could be ended to match the amount of the wealthy’s 20 percent tax cut. So his plan would reduce their burden — full stop. This is a deeply unpopular position: majorities support tax hikes on the wealthy, which is why Romney had to obfuscate the true nature of his proposal. 3) Romney supports a deeply unpopular plan to change Medicare. When you get past the noisy exchanges, Romney confirmed his support last night for reforming Medicare by transforming it into a voucher system in a manner that will, over time, end the program’s core mission. Solid majorities in key swing states oppose this plan.
4) Romney would repeal the the popular ban on discrimination against people with continuing conditions. Romney tried to obfuscate this fact, too, claiming: “pre-existing conditions are covered under my plan.” Romney has made this claim on national TV before, only to have his campaign clarify that he only would guarantee protection for those with preexisting conditions who have had continuous coverage, such as from an employer just before getting fired.

After Romney’s claim last night, the Romney camp again clarified this difference. This is now a pattern: While millions are watching, Romney claims he favors the ban on those with preexisting conditions. Then his campaign issues a clarification watering it down that almost no one will see. The reason for this is obvious: Polls show strong public support for keeping that ban. The fact is: Romney would repeal it.

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58AnotherAverageCitizen(1194 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

After Romney’s claim last night, the Romney camp again clarified this difference. This is now a pattern: While millions are watching, Romney claims he favors the ban on those with preexisting conditions. Then his campaign issues a clarification watering it down that almost no one will see. The reason for this is obvious: Polls show strong public support for keeping that ban. The fact is: Romney would repeal it.

5) Romney supports deep cuts to federal programs and a dramatic upwards redistribution of wealth. Romney claimed he would not cut education spending. In fact, he has embraced his running mate’s agenda, which would not only cut education, but would also “likely produce the largest redistribution of income from the bottom to the top in modern U.S. history,” and “shrink the federal government so dramatically that most of what it does outside of Social Security, health care, and defense would essentially disappear.”

The bottom line is that, for all his success last night, Romney remains burdened by a deeply unpopular agenda. That’s why he relentlessly distorted and obfuscated the true nature of that agenda last night. And let’s face it: He pulled it off brilliantly. The question is whether the Obama campaign can, in upcoming debates and through TV ads, cut through the haze produced by the Romney campaign’s fog machine of dishonesty and reveal Romney’s true agenda to voters. And who knows — maybe the news media will have a crack at doing this, too

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59DontBanThisDrone(1046 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

The reason Romney wiped the floor with Obama, is because that's what was scripted.

You people have no idea how ridiculous you sound, lol.


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60jojuggie(1727 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

That's a long treatise AAC. Everything that has been proposed by Ryan - HAS BEEN PROPOSED. That means it is not final. Any of his propositions will be kicked around by Congress and a final determination will be accomplished.

Now, about that debate. In any debate, demeanor is considered. Let's give some credit to Romney for his demeanor. He was very enthusiastic as compared to Obama.

I know it's hard to face, but all good things must come to an end. I was extremely disappointed when Obama was elected, now you must face the same. All is not lost. You will be very proud of what Mitt will accomplish in the 1st year of his adm. Just think - no more czars.

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61carago11(44 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

The Vindicator is biased towards Democrats since most in this area are...they don't want to admit this as readership would be down to none. Obama saved GM? They should have bankrupt GM. The airlines went bankrupt and still have passengers using airlines (US Air anyone?). Same goes to mall developer GGP...they went bankrupt. They are out of it and still have most of their malls. Its just on paper and GM could have went bankrupt. He saved the car industry?? Please...i could save anyone right now reading this by borrowing money and giving you a million dollars. Yeah, we are going to pay for that one. Its BS that I have to pay for GM leaders running the company to the ground. This area has very little intelligence. Vote Romney if you are smart as Obama is full of it and spends money like it grows on trees!! He's full of it and cannot brainwash this country to elect him again. Obama is a joke to the world leaders, he lacks leadership, and wants you to pay for everything. Get out of the way Obama and let's have Romney fix this country's problems ASAP!! BTW...Romney showed why he should be President...ELECT MITT ROMNEY FOR PRESIDENT NEXT MONTH PLEASE EVERYONE!!!!!

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62IslandMike(764 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Mitt-Flopper is a LOSER who loves China.

Bin Laden is DEAD
The US is OUT of Iraq

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63carago11(44 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

ISLANDMIKE must be a welfare recipient....GM never died (nothing Obama did would have changed that), Bin Laden died...we re-elect a president who happens to be seated at the time??? Nope, and US out of IRAQ, well that was underway before Obama took office. Obama sucks and IslandMike is a dummy!! IslandMike's head is on a island and should stay there....what a joke DummyMike!


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64carago11(44 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago


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65DSquared(1788 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Clearly, This Emperor has no clothes!

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66IslandMike(764 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Going to watch The Jon Stewart Show, The Collbert Report and Saturday Night Live!!!

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67WilliamSwinger(341 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago


I don't see you devaluing the debates in your commentary prior to the annihilation. I guess you pooh-poohed them elsewhere instead? Whatever.

O-Blame-Others got DESTROYED, crackhead. Every pundit on the Left and in the world with an opinion and a mouth even says so. Your head is way down in the sand. Alternatively it may be way up something else.

Just admit your candidate was used to mop the floor. You'll be more honest, objective and you won't look like a pathetic, lying crybaby like you do now.

Carville "...chainsaw..." Matthews "...winning..." etc. etc. etc. Bloodbath. You do read the press? If these guys can say it, you can, maybe. I'll hold my breath.

Do you know how small-minded and stupid a person has to be to PRETEND their political candidate didn't lose a debate?

What brand diaper do you wear? I am going to send you a case of them for November 3rd.

What a stupid little baby you are.

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68WilliamSwinger(341 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago


Yet in spite of this "deep unpopularity" Mitt is within the margin of error of many polls, tied in others and often leading when oversampling is removed. How do you explain this? Sounds like Mitt might be "deeply unpopular" with people like you. By the way your diatribe here is about as engaging and stimulating as watching your candidate blather on incessantly for five minutes at a time about nothing. Better than Ambien, the two of you.

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69AnotherAverageCitizen(1194 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

These debates really don't mean much anyway. Most people have their mind made up of who they will vote for. Some have already voted. Remember Bush looked liked a babbling idiot against Kerry and sad for the USA, he still got re-elected.

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70WilliamSwinger(341 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago


Methinks these debates would have meant the world if your candidate had dominated. You all would have been larking on about how it was "all over." By the way, one of the reasons O-Blame-Others mopped the floors was because he eluded to the prior administration as being at fault. Bush Derangement Syndrome is as ugly and pathetic on a President as it is on you. Very ugly indeed.

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71AnotherAverageCitizen(1194 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

We’ll be doing some more detailed polling analysis this evening, but I thought it was worth pointing out one interesting question, and result, from yesterday’s PPP poll in Ohio.

Public Policy Polling asked respondents: “Who is more responsible for killing of Osama bin Laden?” The options were Mitt Romney, Barack Obama or “unsure”.

15% of Republicans answered Mitt Romney.

47% said they were unsure. And only 38% admitted it was Obama.

Seriously. 62% of Ohio’s Republicans refuse to admit the President was more responsible for a military action that occurred on his watch than his non-President, former Governor opponent.

Should we be surprised?

Probably not.

The pollsters added this question intentionally. ”The reason for the Osama bin Laden question,” said PPP in a Tweet yesterday evening, “was to see if Republican voters would give credit to Obama for anything. Evidently answer is no.”

It’s unclear if these people honestly think Mitt Romney killed Osama Bin Laden – or if they are just being dicks about the whole thing. But there certainly is a percentage of the population that will believe almost anything. 17% of conservatives, for example, think President Obama is a Muslim. Up 5% since 2008 when the President took office.

And some polls show that 34% of Republicans still think the President was not born in the U.S.

Say what you want about Ohio’s conservatives. But don’t EVER accuse them of not having one hell of an imagination!

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72IslandMike(764 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Unemployment fell today to 7.8%, the lowest it has been since 2009.


PS - Anyone who got laid off and drew unemployment assistance is a BUM according to Mitt-Flopper. The same for anyone who served this country, Mitt thinks you are a worthless part of the 47%.

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73WilliamSwinger(341 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

@AAC, IslandMoron

"A poll by We Ask America f`ound Mr. Romney leading President Obama by 3 percentage points in Florida and Virginia and by 1 point in Ohio, after polls have consistently shown the president leading over the past month."


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74300(573 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

William, how earthy a reply!

It's true that I didn't post anything saying the debates didn't matter before, but I also never posted anything that said that they DID matter. Carville, Mathews, those guys are pundits not researchers. They're also from the older generation who values debates in spite of studies proving that they don't matter in the end.

I don't get all the diaper references. Is that really how some people talk?

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75300(573 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Hman, I agree with you on that. If by this point they haven't made up their mind, I wouldn't put much value in their opinions. I can say, though, that probably 50-60% of the late undecided voters won't even end up casting a vote.

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76IslandMike(764 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago


I'll agree with some of what you say, but the The Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act of 1999, the Bush era tax cuts and Dubya throwing us into Iraq and Afghanistan did us no favors. All republicons want are fast putting greens, low taxes and a lowered minimum wage.

Unemployment fell to 7.8% today, the lowest it has been since 2009.

Bin Laden is DEAD!!
The US is OUT of IRAQ!!
Unemployment is DOWN!!
The stock market is UP!!


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77WilliamSwinger(341 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago


In the spirit of Freytag, I was trying to incorporate the hyperbole "crying like a baby" as an overarching theme with a mention in the exposition, two in the climax and a touch of comedic relief in the denouement with the "diaper" reference. I don't think it worked but it looks as though we both may have had fun with it.

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78kurtw(1829 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

I watched the debate like millions of other Americans and I was surprised like many of them by Obama's apparently weak performance, but I wouldn't read too much into it.

I think Romney performed brilliantly, and the President appeared weak, but I think Obama took advice from someone (maybe his wife- Pillow Talk!): "Don't overdue it: you're the President, remember. Hold back for now, let him play his hand (shoot his wad), we have two debates to go and we can always punch back next time."

I think the greatest mistake Republicans at this point could possibly make, would be over-confidence. Did you ever notice how, in a championship fight, a boxer will hold back in the early rounds- feeling out his opponent. I think that is what we saw 2 days ago. Don't get me wrong, I 100 per cent support Romney's position, but I do not feel the time for euphoria is now. It's too early for that: let's see how the next presidential debate goes.

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79penguin86(11 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Geez, I hope Obamacare covers that a$$beating that the Bamster got the other night.

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80WilliamSwinger(341 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago


You think Conservatives and Republicans are stupid? Take a look at this one- Obama Supporters: President Should Have Teleprompter At Debates

From Breitbart "When asked if it was "fair" that the President was unable to use a teleprompter during the debates, overwhelmingly the supporters said "no." Many of them go much further. See for yourself what the Democrat liberal voters have to say and think.


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81AnotherAverageCitizen(1194 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

It amazes me repubs are so concerned about a teleprompter. I remember sarah palin making fun of Obama using a teleprompter as she turned the pages on the podium she was speaking from.

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82IslandMike(764 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Bin Laden is DEAD!!
The US is OUT of IRAQ!!
Unemployment is DOWN!!
The stock market is UP!!


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83kurtw(1829 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

I'm just happy that the Republicans don't have some of the people in these posts supporting them.

It would be an embarrassment. What's the good of saying the same thing over and over again, like a broken record, without any kind of support or evidence. It's Idiotic. Well, like pretty much the Democrat-Liberal position, in general. (Also, if you can't make your position without resorting to inarticulate gutter language, then how good is it?)

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84southsidedave(5199 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

And at the end of the day, neither man is concerned about the people of the U.S. - only HIS job.

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85carago11(44 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Obama added more debt to this country than the 43 Presidents COMBINED!!

Obama is a socialist.

Gas was $1.68 the day he took office!

People are taking jobs and 1/2 their old pay. Country is a mess. Fire Obama ASAP

Oh and @ IslandMike...your an idiot!

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86IslandMike(764 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago


I think worse of you. Get a clue.

GM is ALIVE!!Bin Laden is DEAD!!
The US is OUT of IRAQ!!
Unemployment is DOWN!!
The stock market is UP!!
The CRUZE is #1!!


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87WilliamSwinger(341 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

"...Battleground Poll has Mitt Romney massacring Obama among indies by a whopping 16 points, 51-35..."


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88WilliamSwinger(341 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

"The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows Mitt Romney and President Obama each attracting support from 48% of voters nationwide. Two percent (2%) prefer some other candidate, and three percent (3%) are undecided."


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89carago11(44 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

IslandMike is on an island! Dummy!!

Romney will win!

GM never died!!!!
Bankrupt is a paperwork process you dummy Mike!
We will always have a presence in Iraq dummy!
Bin Laden died u re-elect a president cause a soldier risking HIS life shot him? NOPE!
Obama makes cars for a living like the Cruze? NOPE!
Unemployment down?? NOPE! People have given up looking or taking jobs at half pay! Dummy Mike!

IslandMike probally either is on welfare or works for a union. LOL

This country is in big trouble and we don't need a failed leader again with weak experience!

VOTE ROMNEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Romney for President!

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90WilliamSwinger(341 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Al Qaeda is ALIVE
US Ambassador is DEAD

47 million on FOOD STAMPS
16.2 trillion dollars in DEBT

Gasoline prices up 200%
Grocery prices up 15%
Income down 8.2%

MILLIONS left the labor force
43 months of 8%+ unemployment

Are YOU better off now than four years ago?


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9176Ytown(1371 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

According to the MVP study, the Pentagon and the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) failed to comply with the MOVE Act by providing registration offices on every military base to make it easier for military members to vote. The Department of Defense’s Inspector General confirmed these findings in a report.


Military support Romney 2 - 1:


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92IslandMike(764 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago


Brought to you by George Bush and the Neo-Con party. Telling women what to do with their bodies for 200 years!!

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93carago11(44 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago



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94IslandMike(764 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

47% of the American people Mitt said he doesn't care about. CLASSLESS!!

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95WilliamSwinger(341 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago


I am no longer certain you know how to read.


October 4th, 2012 - Romney apologized.

"Clearly in a campaign with hundreds if not thousands of speeches and question-and-answer sessions, now and then you're going to say something that doesn't come out right," Romney said on Fox News. "In this case, I said something that's just completely wrong."

"I absolutely believe, however, that my life has shown that I care about 100% and that's been demonstrated throughout my life. And this whole campaign is about the 100%. When I become president, it will be helping the 100%."

Looks like Romney has a bit more character than even you IslandIgnoramus!

Under King O-Blame-Ya

-Al Qaeda is ALIVE
-US Ambassador is DEAD
-47 million on FOOD STAMPS
-16.2 trillion dollars in DEBT
-Gasoline prices up 250%
-Grocery prices up 15%
-Income down 8.2%
-MILLIONS left the labor force
-43 months of 8%+ unemployment
-Are YOU better off now than four years ago?


You better start getting used to the sound of "President Romney."

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96jojuggie(1727 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

This is for gdog, IM, 300 etc. from the liberal Wash. Post

I too have become disillusioned

By Matt Patterson

(columnist - Washington Post, New York Post, San Francisco Examiner)

Years from now, historians may regard the 2008 election of Barack Obama as an inscrutable and disturbing phenomenon, the result of a baffling breed of mass hysteria akin perhaps to the witch craze of the Middle Ages. How, they will wonder, did a man so devoid of professional accomplishment beguile so many into thinking he could manage the world's largest economy, direct the world's most powerful military, execute the world's most consequential job? Imagine a future historian examining Obama's pre-presidential life: ushered into and through the Ivy League despite unremarkable grades and test scores along the way; a cushy non-job as a "community organizer"; a brief career as a state legislator devoid of legislative achievement (and in fact nearly devoid of his attention, so often did he vote "present"); and finally an unaccomplished single term in the United States Senate, the entirety of which was devoted to his presidential ambitions.

He left no academic legacy in academia, authored no signature legislation as a legislator. And then there is the matter of his troubling associations: the white-hating, America-loathing preacher who for decades served as Obama's "spiritual mentor"; a real-life, actual terrorist who served as Obama's colleague and political sponsor. It is easy to imagine a future historian looking at it all and asking: how on Earth was such a man elected president?

Not content to wait for history, the incomparable Norman Podhoretz addressed the question recently in the Wall Street Journal: To be sure, no white candidate who had close associations with an outspoken hater of America like Jeremiah Wright and an unrepentant terrorist like Bill Ayers, would have lasted a single day. But because Mr. Obama was black, and therefore entitled in the eyes of liberal Dom to have hung out with protesters against various American injustices, even if they were a bit extreme, he was given a pass. Let that sink in: Obama was given a pass - held to a lower standard - because of the color of his skin.

Podhoretz continues: And in any case, what did such ancient history matter when he was also so articulate and elegant and (as he himself had said) "non-threatening," all of which gave him a fighting chance to become the first black president and thereby to lay the curse of racism to rest?

Podhoretz puts his finger, I think, on the animating pulse of the Obama phenomenon - affirmative action. Not in the legal sense, of course. But certainly in the motivating sentiment behind all affirmative action laws and regulations, which are designed primarily to make white people, and especially white liberals, feel good about themselves.

Unfortunately, minorities often suffer so that whites can pat themselves

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97carago11(44 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

IslandMike and Obama are idiots!

Vote Romney for President!

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98southsidedave(5199 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

That was a debate?

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