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Obama-Romney showdown slugfest on Libya, women, China

Published: Wed, October 17, 2012 @ 12:01 a.m.

Associated Press


An aggressive President Barack Obama accused challenger Mitt Romney of favoring a “one-point plan” to help the rich in America and playing politics with the recent deadly terrorist attack in Libya in a Tuesday night debate crackling with energy and emotion just three weeks before the election.

Romney pushed back hard, saying the middle class “has been crushed over the last four years,” that 23 million Americans are struggling to find work and that the death of the U.S. ambassador to Libya was part of an unraveling of the administration’s foreign policy.

The president was feistier from the outset than he had been in their initial encounter two weeks ago, when he turned in a listless performance that sent shudders through his supporters and helped fuel a rise by Romney in opinion polls nationally and in some battleground states.

Obama and Romney disagreed, forcefully and repeatedly — about taxes, measures to reduce the deficit, energy, pay equity for women and health care as well as foreign policy across 90 minutes of a town-hall style debate.

Immigration prompted yet another clash, Romney saying Obama had failed to pursue the comprehensive legislation he promised at the dawn of his administration, and the president saying Republican obstinacy made a deal impossible.

Romney gave as good as he got.

“You’ll get your chance in a moment. I’m still speaking,” the former Massachusetts governor said at one point while Obama was mid-sentence, drawing a gasp from the audience. He said the president’s policies had failed to jumpstart the economy and had cramped energy production.

The open-stage format left the two men free to stroll freely across a red-carpeted stage, and they did. Their clashes crackled with energy and tension, and the crowd watched raptly as the two sparred while struggling to appear calm and affable before a national television audience.

While most of the debate was focused on policy differences, there was one more personal moment, when Obama said Romney had investments in China.

“Mr. President, have you looked at your pension?” Romney interrupted.

“You know, I don’t look at my pension. It’s not as big as yours,” shot back Obama to his wealthier rival.

Under the format agreed to in advance, members of an audience of 82 uncommitted voters posed questions to the president and his challenger.

Nearly all of them concerned domestic policy until one raised the subject of the recent death of the U.S. ambassador to Libya in a terrorist attack at an American post in Benghazi. Romney said it took Obama a long time to admit the episode had been a terrorist attack, but Obama said he had said so the day after in an appearance in the Rose Garden outside the White House.

When moderator Candy Crowley of CNN said the president had in fact done so, Obama, prompted, “Say that a little louder, Candy.”

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has taken responsibility for the death of Ambassador L. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, but Obama said bluntly, “I’m the president, and I’m always responsible.”

Romney said it was “troubling” that Obama continued with a campaign event in Las Vegas on the day after the attack in Libya, an event the Republican said had “symbolic significance and perhaps even material significance.”

Obama seemed to bristle. He said it was offensive for anyone to allege that he or anyone in his administration had used the incident for political purposes. “That’s not what I do.”

One intense exchange focused on competing claims about whether energy production is increasing or slowing. Obama accused Romney of misrepresenting what has happened — a theme he returned to time and again. Romney strode across the stage to confront Obama face to face, just feet from the audience.

Both men pledged a better economic future to a young man who asked the first question, a member of a pre-selected audience of 82 uncommitted voters.

Then the president’s determination to show a more aggressive side became evident.

Rebutting his rival’s claim to a five-point plan to create 12 million jobs, Obama said, “Gov. Romney says he’s got a five-point plan. Gov. Romney doesn’t have a five-point plan. He has a one-point plan. And that plan is to make sure that folks at the top play by a different set of rules.”

“That’s been his philosophy in the private sector,” Obama said of his rival. “That’s been his philosophy as governor. That’s been his philosophy as a presidential candidate. You can make a lot of money and pay lower tax rates than somebody who makes a lot less.”

“You can ship jobs overseas and get tax breaks for it. You can invest in a country, bankrupt it, lay off the workers, strip away their pensions and you still make money. That’s exactly the philosophy that we’ve seen in place for the last decade,” the president said in a scorching summation.

Unable to respond at length because of the debate’s rules, Romney said the accusations were “way off the mark.”

But moments later, he reminded the national television audience of the nation’s painfully slow recovery from the worst recession in decades.

There are “23 million people struggling to find a job. ... The president’s policies have been exercised over the last four years and they haven’t put America back to work,” he said. “We have fewer people working today than when he took office.”

Economic growth has been slow throughout Obama’s term in office, and unemployment only recently dipped below 8 percent for the first time since he moved into the White House. Romney noted that if out-of-work Americans who no longer look for jobs were counted, the unemployment rate would be 10.7 percent.

Both men had rehearsed extensively for the encounter, a turnabout for Obama.

“I had a bad night,” the president conceded, days after he and Romney shared a stage for the first time, in Denver. His aides made it known he didn’t intend to be as deferential to his challenger this time, and the presidential party decamped for a resort in Williamsburg, Va., for rehearsals that consumed the better part of three days.

Romney rehearsed in Massachusetts and again after arriving on Long Island on debate day, with less to make up for.


1IslandMike(752 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago


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2TylerDurden(367 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago



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3greene(167 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

The Wa Post says almost all of the "pipeline" laid was for natural gas from transfer stations to homes and business. Almost none of the pipline was for oil. It cost $65.00 to fill up my car, how about you?

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4bmanresident(597 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

I can't wait until January when we get to salute our new President! Romney Ryan 2012!!!

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5uselesseater(229 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

What in the world did Oblama say about sky high gasoline when asked?

Nothing of substance. Just that it was cheaper before he took office because our economy was in or entering a big recession.

That folks makes ZERO sense.

Gasoline use in the US was down in 2008 3%. However, international demand was high then and remains high in developing nations like China and India until this very day.

If his assertion made sense, then gasoline now should be 80 cents a gallon. Why? Because according to Oblama, we are producing more domestic energy today than any time in recent history and demand domestically for energy continues to be in decline or no growth (who has money to burn?).

But, someone needs to ask, with all this abundant energy, are we actually getting it here or is it being shipped abroad? If it was staying here domestically, prices should be much lower since the OPEC mafia wouldn't be dictating the prices.

Last time I check nothing the consumers touch directly runs off of natural gas (something that is abundant and being drilled for). Sure, some folks or most folks probably heat with natural gas, but that is about it. Sure more electric generation is being done with NG too. But vehicles, nearly none.

Transportation costs matter nearly more than anything because vehicles are so inefficient and MPG is so terrible due to the junk sold to us as consumer vehicles. Plus, no way around it, folks must drive to get to work to make money to stay afloat.

This is precisely why GM sabotaged and engaged in illegal activities to get rid of streetcars and replace them with petrol powered buses and promotion of individual vehicle ownership.

Oblama's take, he increased fuel efficiency standards that maybe by 2025 or beyond will force manufacturers to produce fuel sippers. Been there and done that. Econoboxes that lack the pep to merge with traffic. That won't work here unless we are in a far greater financial depression.

Look at your electric bill. It is now peppered with even more taxes for nonsense things like "smart" meters, green energy surcharges, etc. Single KwH rates are higher than they've ever been. Thanks Oblama, thanks EPA. Gouge the struggling citizenry to fund goofball Jimmy Carteresque green weenie niche industries given forced monopolies with the might of government (and the gov's pocketbook behind them).

Go look at where Carter's solar and wind investments with our money went. They went to private corporations based in Germany and Japan.

For the final debate we need a bare knuckle brawler to referee between the hair gel prince and Lord Oblama. Need to start smacking these guys both down with forced mic shut-offs when they won't stop the diarrhea ramble pitches beyond their time.

Biased media moderators continue to give Democrooks more time in the debates. Many minutes more in each debate.

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6harleydog(209 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

Quite obvious Candy Crowley is on Team Obama.

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7isaac45(267 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

blaming the media?...i've never heard that before...republicans are the party of personal responsibility, i can't believe they would blame anyone or anything for their failures....you need to rethink that sentiment...i'm sure nobody on your side would agree with it

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8Lifes2Short(3875 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

I'm still undecided but thought Romeny made a great statement on this:

""And that is parents. We need moms and dads, helping to raise kids. Wherever possible the — the benefit of having two parents in the home, and that’s not always possible. A lot of great single moms, single dads. But gosh to tell our kids that before they have babies, they ought to think about getting married to someone, that’s a great idea.

Because if there’s a two parent family, the prospect of living in poverty goes down dramatically. The opportunities that the child will — will be able to achieve increase dramatically. So we can make changes in the way our culture works to help bring people away from violence and give them opportunity, and bring them in the American system.""

And what has Obama really said about this in the last 4 years? If anything, the violence and single parent homes are much worse then 4 years ago and seems to be ignored time and time again.

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9natureman(66 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

I don't understand how anyone middle class could even consider voting for Romney. He is most concerned with his money and connections and does not care about the middle class. Are we forgetting about the Bush years? The reason President Obama is having such a hard time is due to the problems left by the last Republican administration. What would this area have been like if the auto industry had not been bailed out?
What is Romney's plan? I have not heard too many specifics. It's easy to attack but what are you going to do?

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10JoeFromHubbard(1038 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

Romney put Obama in his place when talking about foreign investments and their retirement plans. Obama could not refute the fact that a portion of a sound, diversified plan should include foreign investments.

Romney also clearly stated the facts about letting GM go through bankruptcy and emerge in a stronger position, as many US companies have. That would not have meant the end of GM.

Everyone has a "plan" but no "specifics."
We still don't know the full extent of the damage of Obamacare. Remember, that was the issue that Nancy Pelosi said must be passed before the details would be fully known.

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11Jive_Turkey(32 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

@ uselesseater,

Very well put.

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12Dagwood(111 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

Blame Bush, what a cop out . I bet all you left wingnuts loved when they asked Romney how he differs from Bush. Where was the follow up question asking Obama how he differs from Carter? What would this area be without the auto bailout? It was BUSH who got the auto bailout rolling. It is one of the few things Obama could not dispute during his 2008 campaign because he agreed with Bush's plan, all Obama did was sign a paper. Even if Romney wins its not like he is going to reverse the bailout, its done, its over, move on. I am middle class, and I work my butt off like so many of you to provide for my family and my family's future, not so I can pay MORE for the health care, food, phones, child care, rent, and other entitlements of those who contribute nothing to society.

Firemen inherit messes too, but you don't see them throughing gasoline on the fire.

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13kurtw(848 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

I recorded the entire debate as I did the other two and I intend to look at them again, closely, and fact-check everything- every single assertion made by both candidates.

I already know one thing for sure, and it follows a pattern, the AP Story is a puff piece for the White House- it could have been written by the Press Secretary, Jay Carney- maybe it was ghosted by him, I wouldn't be surprised.

Now, if the AP wanted to exercise their responsibility (to inform the public) they and the rest of the main-streams, would do what I said I intended do in the first paragraph of this post: fact-check everything, every single assertion made by both candidates. They would look at Obama as critically as they look at Romney.

Are they going to do that? Not on your life! The main-streams are in the bag for Obama- they have been from the very beginning. When he was nominated and during the campaign (2008), they didn't do it then (with the exception of Fox News, Internet Blogs and Talk Radio). They didn't critically examine Barracks background: the Alinsky Connection, the Rev. Wright Connection, the Resko Connection, etc,: Obama's own words and record. If they had done their job in 08 and informed the public properly (instead of supplying us with liberal agitprop) we might now be saying President John McCain instead of President Barack Obama. The country would have been spared the Presidency of a man further to the Left than anyone ever in the White House (Obama, by comparison, makes even FDR look like a Chamber of Commerce President!)

I repeat: the media should be doing it's job of informing the public and not acting as "flugelmen" for radical left-wingers.

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14isaac45(267 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

blaming the media again...i don't get it...republicans are all about personal responsibility...why can't they take it anymore?...constant victimhood and whining, always being attacked and having wars being waged against them...when obama stunk up the joint in the first debate the media called him on it...all the liberal commentators did, all his supporters did...republicans just don't have that ability or inclination anymore

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15kurtw(848 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

What makes the Obama Presidency even more distressing, is that someone like him- as radical as he is- had to be our first Black President.

I would liked to have seen that honor come to a man (or woman) of the Party of Lincoln (Republicans) and not the Party of Slavery and Jim Crow (Democrats). How sad.

Herman Cain, where are you, when we need you?!

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16Jive_Turkey(32 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

Here is something interesting: How about the fact that Romney brought up operation Fast and Furious which was instituted by Obama, which let our government release assault weapons to the public, namely high ranking gang members and drug lords which were used to kill civilians and innocent people, and Obama had to response. Didn't even acknowledge it!

Some of you sheep have the wool pulled so far over your eyes it makes me wonder what our society is coming to.

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17isaac45(267 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

i thought it was instituted by bush, though i know he was never president according to you cons...and didn't bush start the bailouts too?..or was he not there at the time either?

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18Visions(8 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

How can you trust a man who hides his money in foreign bank accounts and has chosen not to disclose All his financial information? It's like owning Isley's but only eating Handels.

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19iBuck(217 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

I think Mittens and Obummer lost (disregarding their oddly-paced speech patterns, which would also cost them points).

My impression of the "debate":
softball question.
"Why I promise to do this bad thing to the US economy."
"You piker, why I plan to do something twice as bad as you!"
"And I'll double-down on my failed policies!"
"You're just mean-spirited! I'll be kinder and gentler when I double-down on your failed policies!"
"We need to do more to harm the US economy and reduce liberty, privacy, and property rights!"
"Not as much as I'd do to harm the US economy and reduce liberty, privacy and property rights!"...

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20uselesseater(229 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

"How can you trust a man who hides his money in foreign bank accounts and has chosen not to disclose All his financial information?"

Amongst these financial upper class folks, show me one who isn't utilizing trusts and foreign bank accounts? Both candidates have made serious coin in the past decade, during a time when the average middle class family has seen their way of life crumble, net income drop and total household worth fall big time.

Show me one federal level candidate who is truly disclosing all his/her financial information. They are all hiding money and shady deals.

The snake is out of the bag. All major pension investments include a portfolio of investments in companies that use trusts, offshore banking instruments, pass through income subsidiaries, etc.

At the end of the day, if you have doubt, go research the top 10 donation originating companies for both candidates. Then go research their soiled dealings to avoid taxation, including abuse of 501(c) non profit status.

I have respect for Romney standing up (be it for political gain perhaps only) and calling China a currency manipulator. That nagging issue has been with us for a decade and is very problematic since they hold a huge portfolio of our national debt. That is the financial information we ought to be demanding disclosure of and leveling the field.

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21uselesseater(229 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

Anyone who missed the debate or wants to check what was said, here is a transcript of the debate:


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22madison2011(92 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

How do you get a job at GM any ways ???

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23slappysmith(55 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

i love how when people know they are pulling for an idiot that can never win. they love to bombard these comments with posts so utterly ridiculous and stupid it makes you wonder if cavemen still exist.

the herd followed the wrong ass again. romney got owned like there was no tomorrow and you all know it

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24IslandMike(752 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

Blame the moderator, blame the media, blame whoever you want. OBAMA smacked the Mitt-Flopper!!

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25walter_sobchak(1907 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

Barack Hussein Obama is a liar and he has been caught in the web of his deceit. Then, his Secy of State goes in front of the camera and says she accepts responsibility for security. Well, at least we know who has the balls! BHO, in his Rose Garden speech, concluded his remarks that the US will not stand for acts of terror, but refused to call Benghazi an attack or terrorism for two weeks, including in front of the UN, instead calling it a riot in response to an offensive video about Mohammed! His UN Ambassador went on five Sunday morning shows and refused to label the attack terrorism and the killers "terrorists". Biden says in his debate that he and BHO never were warned about an attack. Now, we hear sworn testimony and we know that all of that was a lie to the American people (and Joy Behar!). This was a well-coordinated attack that could not be repelled because we had insufficient security forces (on Sept. 11, of all days!). But, to label this an act of terrorism makes his administration look inept (refer to the Carter years) and takes one of his accomplishments off the table.

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26Lifes2Short(3875 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

How in the world can you fools say who Won or Lost a debate of this magnitude?? Even on the 1st debate. You can't.
If they ever have a debate where each has more time and can come to a conclusion on the questions, then you can say who won or lost. But to go back and forth who won or lost as the debates are now, it's asinine.

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27ytownredux(117 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

The most laughable part of the Republicans claiming that Obama lied about the terror attacks on the embassy is the sheer and complete hypocrisy of it all. So the President said it took 2 weeks to get the correct intelligence for the attacks. At least they owned up to it when they found out.

Now lets compare this to G.W. Bush's whopper of weapons of mass destruction as our reason to invade Iraq. They were sticking by that story for months if not years that that was the case of the intelligence they got. I even think both blamed Brittish Intelligence for some of the faulty info.

Remember, G.W. Bush kept us safe from terrorism, ummmm, well, except for that pesky incident on the original 9/11/01 where we lost almost 1,000 times more lives than our hero's in Bengazi. The fact that Republicans can say all this with a straight face is amazing.

Four More Years!!!!

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28uselesseater(229 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

I seriously question the Benghazi matter.

Have you folks seen the place that was supposedly the ambassadors office? It was a house in a residential area.

We put folks like that in central capitol locations, not where the roving angry hordes lay their heads. Tripoli is the capitol of Libya, not Benghazi.

The person trusted with security detail claims he brought up the lack of staffing issues multiple times to presumably Hillary Clinton. Nada, zippo. Those hearings are still ongoing.

As for 9/11, know this, the media continues to paint mythology. Plenty of folks have been threatened and even killed for opening their mouths about what really happened or what they knew.

Bush's response to 9/11, slow, gutless, deer in the headlights. Sure made for good PR to launch all these wars though. Everyone gets behind a good shoot'em of the bad guys, even the Democrats.

Benghazi surely provides another false flag to dupe the citizens into accepting deployment of more of young men and women in the military. Back to Iraq to find the bad guys and the mythical leader that doesn't exist.

We wasted TRILLIONS to track down a 6ft 4" pale guy with long beard, funny walk and medical equipment? Bullcrap, fake as it gets. Pure theater to entertain and rob the public.

War is the biggest racket.

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29southsidedave(4780 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

The idiots that voted Obama & Company in have nearly destroyed our country.

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30IslandMike(752 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

George B. Bush with his tax cuts and invasion of Iraq are what got us into this mess.

Binders full of women....Isn't that what they found in Richard Speck's apartment? LOL.

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31WilliamSwinger(341 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

IslandMike is one of those idiots that voted in O-blame-ya.

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32uselesseater(229 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

“An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy,” 17 U.S. 327 (1819).

That was argued by Daniel Webster in McCulloch v. Maryland before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Bush certainly enacted tax cuts that benefited the middle class. Yes, the wealthy got their big share also.

Do the wealthy have an obligation to pay more in taxes? No. Clearly, the IRS and government enacted a lower rate of taxation for investment gain income. 14% compared to 25% for wage slaves.

Should the wealthy be more generous? That is up to them. Compare what Romney gave to charity last year and it's larger in sum and percent of income than Obama and Biden combined.

Again, like most people when polled, if the IRS deduction for donations to non profits was eliminated, 95% said they wouldn't donate.

Expect these three bozos wouldn't donate absent the deduction.

Perhaps Romney can fill in that $7 billion economic hole by eliminating Big Bird funding first and deductions to non profits second. I think that would be interesting. Not necessarily a great idea, but would make lots of freeloaders milking the non profit sector squirm quite a bit.

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33IslandMike(752 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

Obama is the best President the US has had in 50+ years. GM would be GONE if it were up to the Mitt-Flopper and Bin Laden would be alive.

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34WilliamSwinger(341 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

Honestly, what is wrong with you? You truly live in Bizarro World. BHO STINKS. The numbers don't lie, unlike BHO:

-Gasoline prices up 250%
-47 million on FOOD STAMPS
-Grocery prices up 15%
-16.2 trillion dollars in DEBT
-MILLIONS left the labor force
-43 months of 8%+ unemployment
-Income down 8.2%

You know that the increase in people on Food Stamps is 17 million? That is a STAGGERING number. This is enough people to fill 284 giant-sized football stadiums. I'm not sure there are even that many football stadiums in the US. Do you understand how staggering a problem this is? BHO filled every football stadium in the country with NEW FOOD STAMP RECIPIENTS and had millions filling up all the parking lots too. Don't you get it? That is BAD.

My friend, I am afraid you have an amoeba in your brain.

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35JoeFromHubbard(1038 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

> > The idiots that voted Obama & Company in have nearly destroyed our country. < <

southsidedave says it all.

Let us hope that this election is done by people of some degree of intelligence instead of the ignorance of youth and the uneducated.

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36IslandMike(752 comments)posted 1 year, 10 months ago

Mitt-Flopper wanted to let GM close permanently and now he wants to turn Medicare into a voucher program.
He already admitted that he doesn't care about 47% of the American people. That includes military families, veterans and all public employees.

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37BabaGhanoush(106 comments)posted 1 year, 10 months ago

"Mitt-Flopper wanted to let GM close permanently"

Got some proof of what you say?

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38BabaGhanoush(106 comments)posted 1 year, 10 months ago

"Oil Production is down on federal lands. Thats a lie. There was a slow down during the BP spill."

Nice try, but no cigar.

The much reduced production was >>principally due to the moratorium<< and >>de facto moratorium<< placed on offshore drilling by the Obama Administration >>after<< the oil spill accident in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010.


Private lands produce nearly SIX times the lands that O'Bama controls.

I heard Ron Verbocious bemoan the fact that the Government does not own all of the oil producing lands as occurs in other countries.

90% of oil is owned by governments across the globe.

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39BabaGhanoush(106 comments)posted 1 year, 10 months ago


You are absolutely right, too much BO in the White House.

Let's open the windows when he's gone and air out the place, eh?

BTW let's not forget that the price of gas was 1.70 or so when O'Bama seized the White House and more than doubled since he's been there.

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40BabaGhanoush(106 comments)posted 1 year, 10 months ago

"Are we forgetting about the Bush years?"

Let's look at unemployment during the GW years, shall we?

After 4 years the rate was 5.3% on jan 2005 and the average for the first four years was 5.5%.

Really awful, right? Much worse than Obama, right?

The next four years are worse, right?

Even ending with 7.7% in Jan 2009 he still averaged 5.0%

How about gas?
He started with 1.50 and ended with 1.70 in Jan 2009.
Obama took that 1.70 and tripled it:

March 2012 in Wash DC


California Oct 2012:


"The reason President Obama is having such a hard time is due to the problems left by the last Republican administration."

The last two years, 2007-2009 were controlled by the democRATS and Obama and crew controlled the government from 2009-2011.

How come he didn't fix it?

Reagan had a mixed congress when started out fixing the real mess that Jimmy Carter left him and it took him less than three years to fix it to the point where we had 5 straight quarters that averaged 8.0% growth. And by the time Reagan was done, he pert near doubled the revenues to the Gub'mint:

500 Billion to 950 Billion by the end of his second term.

It's not who you are, but what you know.
And O'Bama don't know Jack!

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41BabaGhanoush(106 comments)posted 1 year, 10 months ago

"i thought it was instituted by bush,"

It was called Wide Receiver, but it was curtailed in 2007 when they found out that the cartels were taking out the RFID chips.

Holder was buying guns ILLEGALLY and walking them across the Mexican border so they could wind up in the hands of the Mexican Drug Cartels.

Now you know the REST of the Story.

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42liberty6000(3 comments)posted 1 year, 10 months ago

How many times can we vote for the lesser of two evils? Don't be The Voting Dead.

Let's stop Obamney Zombies.

Oh and happy Halloween!


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