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Archive for Thursday, October 4, 2012

Analysis: GOP recharged by Romney’s aggressive debate

October 4, 2012

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WASHINGTON — Challenger Mitt Romney used Wednesday’s debate to put President Barack Obama on the defensive on health care, jobs and other issues. The president’s reluctance to fire back harshly gave new hope to Republican partisans.

Romney managed to highlight his top campaign themes — calling for lower tax rates, less regulation, the repeal of “Obamacare” — while largely fending off Obama’s demands for details on how to pay for his proposals or safeguard Americans’ health and well-being.

Neither Obama nor the debate’s moderator, meanwhile, pressed Romney on some of his most vulnerable points. They included Romney’s claim that 47 percent of Americans are docile dependents on the government, a topic heavily featured in TV ads and public conversations the past two weeks.

The 90-minute debate in Denver may have been too wonky to captivate millions of American viewers and change the campaign’s overall arc. Polls show Obama leading in key battleground states.

But it delighted Republicans who felt Romney was the aggressor without going overboard, and who were surprised by Obama’s cautious, at times listless demeanor.

Even some Democratic partisans grudgingly acknowledged that Romney had a good debate.

“I think he won, unfortunately,” said Karl Amelchenko, 36, a lawyer from Raleigh, N.C., who supports Obama. “Romney was aggressive. He attacked.”

The nominees have two more debates this month, and a government jobs report on Friday could reshape the contest. Obama has aired more TV ads than Romney in several key states, and it’s unclear whether Romney can follow his solid debate performance with the type of incisive message that has eluded him so far.

Obama and moderator Jim Lehrer repeatedly failed to force Romney to detail how he would cut tax rates at every income level without expanding the deficit or forcing middle-income people to pay a higher total tax bill.

“If you believe that we can cut taxes by $5 trillion and add $2 trillion in additional spending that the military is not asking for,” Obama said, “and you think that by closing loopholes and deductions for the well-to-do, somehow you will not end up picking up the tab, then Gov. Romney’s plan may work for you.”

“Virtually everything he just said about my tax plan is inaccurate,” Romney retorted. “I’m not looking for a $5 trillion tax cut.”

As Romney all but accused Obama of lying about his tax plan, the president alternated between looking directly at his Republican rival and bowing his head to take notes. “Now he’s saying his big bold idea is ‘never mind,’” Obama said.

Romney held his ground. He said he would reduce income tax rates without adding to the deficit and without reducing “the share paid by high-income individuals.”

Economists say Romney has yet to explain how he can manage that feat.

Obama seemed frustrated but almost resigned. He said Romney’s running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, “put forward a budget that reflects many of the principles that Gov. Romney’s talked about. And it wasn’t very detailed. This seems to be a trend.”

But rather than press Romney any harder for details, the president moved on.

Obama seemed eager not to appear prickly or angry. He flashed his familiar smile often, and it’s possible that many viewers saw him as relaxed and unshaken.

But the president also failed to follow through on some openings, such as when he noted that Romney once said he would reject a deficit-reduction plan even if it called for only $1 in new tax revenues for every $10 in spending cuts.

Obama said he wants “a balanced approach” that would include $2.50 in spending cuts for every $1 in new revenue.

Obama used the debate’s early moments to put the best light on his handling of the economy. He mentioned that the U.S. car industry is rebounding, and the housing market is growing.

Romney replied: “We’ve got 23 million people out of work or looking for work.”

Both men spoke to middle America, making few references to issues that fire up the right and left fringes.

Republican consultant Matt Mackowiak said Romney “was on offense most of the night, holding Obama accountable for massive investments in green energy, the growing national debt and weak economic recovery. Obama never asked Romney to defend the Bain Capital record, his decision to release only two years of tax returns or the ‘47 percent’ comment.”

Democratic strategist Doug Hattaway said Romney “did fine, as expected. But fine doesn’t get the job done.” He said Romney failed to “change the dynamics of the race.”

With a month remaining until the election, and early voting under way in many states, Republican partisans hope Hattaway is wrong.

Comments

januarygirl 1 year, 10 months ago

SO PREDICTABLE!!!! THIS IS SO BAD. I THINK MOST PEOPLE WILL BE DISAPPOINTED WITH MR . ROMNEY AND THE PRESIDENT. ROMNEY DID NOT WIN THE DEBATE LAST NITE , MOST OF WHAT HE STATED WAS NOT THE REAL TRUTH.

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Flap Doodle 1 year, 10 months ago

A lie told in all caps is still a lie. The Mope got kicked to the curb last night.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 10 months ago

And what does pointlessly bold, large font say? (Considering that the actual text said nothing.)

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januarygirl 1 year, 10 months ago

Obama did not say much of anything , DID HE? THIS IS MY POINT ONE WHO IS IGNORANT.

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grammaddy 1 year, 10 months ago

Obama refused to play "Who can tell the biggest lie" with Robme.He's letting the fact checkers clean up that mess.Robme looked like he was on some serious drugs.Lehrer sucks at moderating.

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JJE007 1 year, 10 months ago

It was good to be shown just how dishonest and "aggressive" Sir Bully Boy Romney can be, as he maintains his wooden, zombie smirk. Luckily, one of his "plans" is finally being revealed. Here's his vision of affordable housing for the poor. http://tylersdog.webs.com/4%20paws%20for%20ability%202.jpg Move over Seamus! :-)

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januarygirl 1 year, 10 months ago

nobody won the debate last nite! how can you debate with someone who you know is full of BS.

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Mike Ford 1 year, 10 months ago

hypersmirkerdaddywarbucks needed addirol as he interrupted both the moderator and the president. what was telling was how he spoke of all these moderate gop and mainstream democrat ideas while ignoring the anti regulation mantra of the simpletons and the tea partiers. he basically burned the bridge between himself and the closet prejudiced people who riled their base in 2010 if these people are smart enough to pay attention. repeating the $716 billion cut to medicare is nonsense because paul ryan also suggested the same thing. An interrupting add addled snake oil salesmen repeating the same lies over and over to a nominative gop base does not make a game changer. get happy about your clown snap pop no crackle because everytime he smirked it was because Mr. Obama politely got under his skin without appearing like an out of touch fibbing clown......

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Anthony Mall 1 year, 10 months ago

Your right that 65%-25% in favor of Romney according to CNN really shows that!!! Obama spoke 4 minutes longer, and the moderator let them debate it out... Not his fault Obama wasn't prepared!!!

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Anthony Mall 1 year, 10 months ago

Obama got Mitt-slapped!!! He looked scared, lost, no eye contact, and looked at the moderator for help and he got hung out to dry!!! CNN showed both candidates scewed numbers, Obama more than Romney and was attacked on his own policies that his own staff didn't prep him for... Someone in the Obama camp is getting "reassigned" today...

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 10 months ago

I think it's a perfectly valid observation to say that Obama's performance was lackluster.

But just because Romney was more aggressive, and walked all over both Lehrer and Obama in violation of the debate format hardly means that he "won."

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jafs 1 year, 10 months ago

Clearly people are looking for different things in debates, and in candidates.

Some like that sort of aggressiveness, it seems.

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Enlightenment 1 year, 10 months ago

The moderator had no control and handled the debate horribly. Obama initially respected the time limits imposed, but after Romney was allowed to ramble on and get the last word in regardless if it was his turn to speak, Obama started to also go beyond his time limit. I think Obama failed to capitalize on many opportunities to call Romney out on the many lies and failure to offer details. Even the moderator was unable to get Romney to offer specifics.

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Anthony Mall 1 year, 10 months ago

Please enlighten me on Obama being specific... Medicare "cost have to come down, things need to happen" ??? Thank for the info pres. Obama spoke four minutes longer than Romney, so your statement about Romney not shutting up is false... Obama also told the moderator he had 5 seconds left and spoke for another 5 minutes, so that is false... Today would be a good day for you to watch CNN and see Obama getting badges all day long!!!

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jafs 1 year, 10 months ago

We don't need no stinking badges.

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MISTERTibbs 1 year, 10 months ago

No, you are mistaken. He was just overcome by the altitude of Denver. Just ask Al Gore.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 10 months ago

Romney could have sat in a corner and drooled all over himself and you'd have drooled all over yourself at how "presidential" he was.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 10 months ago

"but since you brought it up you must think he looks and acts more presidential"

I don't think that. Nor MUST I think that. You should really bone up on cause and effect relationships, because there isn't one here, no matter how badly you want to assert it.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 10 months ago

I think Obama went into the debate looking to play it safe, and Romney went in looking to counteract what has been, up to now, a very lackluster campaign.

Everybody is going to have their opinion on who "won" the debate that resulted.

I really don't care who "won." What I care about is which of these candidates is the lesser evil. And nothing that happened in this debate convinced me that Romney wouldn't govern as anything but the head plutocrat of an increasingly plutocratic nation. And that is pure evil.

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januarygirl 1 year, 10 months ago

We are all in a serious mess if any of you go along with the media and the polls.
there was no winner last nite because there was no debate. We the people were the ones that lost . Sarcasm that some of you have used is so disrespectful. The news media have to respond with something, do you really think they are going to come out on national tv and state that the debate was defunct.

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januarygirl 1 year, 10 months ago

LIE I SAID, WE ARE IN SERIOUS TROUBLE. MR, ROMNEY SHOWING AGGRESSIVENESS IN HIS DELIVERY SHOWS NO DOUBT IN WHAT HE WAS STATING MINUS SO MANY FACTS!!! THAT WILL BE CORRECTED AND SOME ALREADY HAVE BEEN. I HOPE THAT YOU KEEP AN OPEN MIND BEFORE ITS TIME TO CAST THAT VOTE, I ADMIT THAT THIS IS A DIFFICULT ELECTION , BOTH CANDIDATES ARE WEAK. AGGRESSIVE DELIVERY WITHOUT THE CORRECT INFORMATION IS MEANINGLESS.

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gastrawn 1 year, 10 months ago

(psst - I think your caps lock is stuck on)

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jafs 1 year, 10 months ago

I would hire Obama, and will vote for him.

But, I'd prefer to have an even better choice, one that combined the strengths of both and minimized the weaknesses.

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jafs 1 year, 10 months ago

Your comment appears to be without any meaning at all.

You asked a question, and I answered it.

Many people will vote for Obama, whether or not he wins the election. And, I find it odd that you seem to have missed my second sentence.

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januarygirl 1 year, 10 months ago

YOU COULD HAVE LEFT OUT THE "NEVER MIND " WHAT YOU SAY IS VERY RIGHT ,, I WOULD NOT HIRE EITHER ONE. WE ARE LOSING AND HAVE BEEN FOR A LONG TIME NOW. I TRULY WISH THE CHOICES WERE BETTER. HOW DID WE GET HERE AND HOW DO WE STOP IT. HANG ON , THINGS ARE GOING TO TUFT AND ITS NOT JUST ABOUT THE PRESIDENT , BUT WHOLE SYSTEM. I TALKED WITH MANY PEOPLE WHO DON'T PLAN ON VOTING, TH AT IS ALSO A PROBLEM. I AM READING MUCH ANGER, PASSION AND DISAPPOINTMENT HERE, WE NEED TRUTH AND STRENGTH , NOT AGGRESSION AND EMPTY RHETORIC.

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Anthony Mall 1 year, 10 months ago

LOWER YOUR CAPS!!! Your right Romney is aggressive and its about time someone was with Obama's failed promises, waste of billions on green energy, and his flat out nonexistent foreign policy!!! He lost his own party, only got obamacare passed after threats made to his own party and you blame Romney for being aggressive??? Holy crap!!! You wouldn't need CAPS to read your posts if you could successfully remove your head from your rear!!!

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januarygirl 1 year, 10 months ago

I wrote in caps, and you still can"t read!!!! I STATED NOTHING in favor of the president. your ending comment reveals your ignorance only, not your intelligence.

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Anthony Mall 1 year, 10 months ago

"Mr. Romneys aggressiveness" read your post above this one!!! You know the annoying one that screams "please read me i need attention!!!!" Grow up, and stop being a liberal hypocrite!!!

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jayhawklawrence 1 year, 10 months ago

"I am not a destroyer of companies. I am a liberator of them! The point is, ladies and gentlemen, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms: greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge, has marked the upward surge of mankind. And greed, you mark my words, will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA. Thank you very much." - Gordon Gecko from the movie "Wall Street".

Gordon Gecko and Mitt Romney made their millions by raiding companies. It was an especially good business in the beginning stages of economic globalization because you could simply raid assets and sell them off while pretending to be making the company more profitable. Generations of intellectual and hard assetts were liquidated and sold off to foreign competition directly or indirectly and the manipulators of these deals ran off with the proceeds which then ended up in tax shelters or hidden in a swiss bank account. Other people created this wealth through blood, sweat and tears. These were the real job creators, but they could not defend their companies when the con men came to call.

We saw Gordon Gecko last night.

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Mixolydian 1 year, 10 months ago

You might have a point there. Bush and Obama are both Harvard grads and it's been a disasterous last 13 years, the last three years particularly. Unfortunately, Romney's a Harvard grad too.

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Mixolydian 1 year, 10 months ago

I'm looking forward to the debate on foreign policy. Hopefully Obama can be pinned down on the failures at Benghazi. OBL may be dead but Al Queda is alive and well and just as deadly.

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brutus 1 year, 10 months ago

Does Obamacare cover a butt-whoopin?

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beatrice 1 year, 10 months ago

Hyperbole much?

Obama's performance -- and remember, we are talking about his "performance" and not the substance of what he said -- was lackluster, not dreadful. You really should lower your expectations. I'm worried you aren't going to be able to mentally handle it if Romney loses.

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Cait McKnelly 1 year, 10 months ago

While all of you right wing types are having a good time jump high fiving and slapping each others fannies, I have some very sobering news that just may bring you back to earth.

http://www.businessinsider.com/obama-approval-rating-gallup-debate-romney-2012-10?utm_source=twbutton&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=politics

Obama's approval rating today (as in post debate today) was at 54%, the highest it's been since 2009. It's a post debate "bump" that no one expected. Now, how much of that has to do with true approval of Obama VS. disgust for Mitt Romney, no one knows. But it's definitely not a good sign for Mittens.

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jafs 1 year, 10 months ago

That's interesting.

I wonder how so many think he lost the debates, and yet his approval rating is up?

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Joe Hyde 1 year, 10 months ago

Most of the reviews I'm reading about their first debate cite how Gov. Romney improved his image by means of being "aggressive" toward President Obama. Well, I suppose he had to be aggressive, given that he trails in a number of key swing states.

I was put off by Gov. Romney's aggressive behavior. So much eye-batting, as well as smiles that conveyed a distinct crocodile quality to his personality. And Gov. Romney frequently interrupted the debate by making side comments while President Obama was speaking; also, he often talked down the moderator in a rude manner. Moreover, most of Gov. Romney's "debate points" were connected to anectodes as opposed to President Obama's reliance on numbers to establish his points.

To me, President Obama looked much more controlled, even while Gov. Romney kept using vocal tones and assertive body language in what appeared to be a deliberate attempt to intimidate the president and provoke him into an emotional outburst.

President Obama came across as more professional and controlled both in style and substance. If that calm demeanor impressed some viewers as evidence of weakness, then they're entitled to their opinion. Myself, I'd rather the USA be led by a president who is unfailingly polite and intelligent while trying to strengthen the middle class, versus a president whose way of getting things done involves social displays of aggression whose end goal is more likely the further enrichment of the 1%ers.

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mycatsrightorwrong 1 year, 10 months ago

Obama sucked last night, for sure. But what did you right wing sociopaths think of some of things Romney said? Regulate Wall Street, eliminate most tax deductions for the wealthy, force insurance companies to cover those with pre-existing conditions, protecting education, no demonizing the poor moochers, and not touching social security... this can't be the candidate for the entitled business class who are convinced they're creative gods, who've never been helped by others labor, consumers, public education, cops, or roads. I thought your policy to get rid of rats was to stop feeding them? The Kansas GOP wants to destroy the safety net, public education, and funding for roads, b/c no one is entitled to anything as a citizen, they're only entitled to what the value of their labor is.

I guess what I'm saying is, you crazies can cheer Romney all you want, but he wasn't your candidate last night... he was a candidate for people that care about others e.g. a normally functioning, social human being.

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Satirical 1 year, 10 months ago

Romney only won beacuse he cheated, and the President only lost because the sun was in his eyes...

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beatrice 1 year, 10 months ago

Romney Lost After Attacking Big Bird.

That isn't what is being said today -- he certainly won the debate --, but it may well be the headline Nov. 7. The few women, particularly mothers, who are undecided, will not appreciate that of all the many, many, many things we spend money on, the one Romney goes after in a national debate is PBS?!? Oil company subsidies, bloated military spending, wars, pork barrell spending, -- nah! Mitt has his sites on the big game known as Big Bird.

Hunting Big Bird ... join Mitt Romney as he and Ted Nugent go trophy hunting. Tonight on PBS (of course, the "P" will stand for "private").

I'll bet that if Romney becomes president, the tradition of saving the turkey at Thanksgiving will go the way of the dodo. The man just doesn't like big birds!

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beatrice 1 year, 10 months ago

Of course, the real question should be -- was the debate enough to make you come to a decision if you are undecided, or has it convinced you to change your vote?

I doubt the performance by either candidate was enough to sway a large voting block. Some who were on the fence are likely to pay more attention to Romney now, and it certainly stopped the bleeding of his campaign, but it isn't a game changer. The conservatives on here shouldn't get too excited.

Debate or not, at the end of the day Mitt Romney remains the out of touch rich guy who doesn't care about 47% of the country. He said so himself.

But he won the first debate. I'm sure afterward he was in his dressing room spraying chocolate milk all over the place in celebration!

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jafs 1 year, 10 months ago

He did say that.

But, the percentage of our debt that is owed to China is a rather small one, so eliminating those programs wouldn't go very far in reducing our debt/deficits.

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beatrice 1 year, 10 months ago

"America destroying agenda" -- yes, at least be honest.

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Armstrong 1 year, 10 months ago

Barry has a tough road ahead, he can't run on his record. Maybe the new campaign slogan should be A good defense makes a great offense. Forward Barry !

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jhawkinsf 1 year, 10 months ago

Let's see, Obama has a poor record, according to you. And we all know that Romney has about a thousand different records. Can we pick and choose from the many, you know sort of Chinese restaurant menu style. I'll take one from column A and one from column B, etc.

Gary Johnson is looking better and better.

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Centerville 1 year, 10 months ago

We're so used to the fawning, sissy press and a weak, feckless president. Then a man shows up at their little lovefest. So refreshing, we had forgotten what direct talk sounds like.

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Mike Ford 1 year, 10 months ago

wow, we saw the smartest of the gop dummie/lie repeating robots having a tom arnold hyper moment releasing himself from the gop white southern strategy and the tea party base that does show up to vote for crazies and I wonder now who will actually vote for the hyper chameleon candidate known as I'm Mitt Romney but I'm not the Mitt Romney that said the fifteen other things five other versions. Who supports this hyper moderator interrupting robot?

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Flap Doodle 1 year, 10 months ago

The winner of the Rambling, Incoherent Sentence of the Month competition has already been identified.

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 10 months ago

Why support Mitt Romney? He's lying to republicans as well.

Think Progress / By Igor Volsky

Fact Check: Romney Told 27 Myths in 38 Minutes During the Debate

Romney won praise for his performance but only accomplished this goal by repeatedly misleading viewers.

October 4, 2012 | Pundits from both sides of the aisle have lauded Mitt Romney’s strong debate performance, praising his preparedness and ability to challenge President Obama’s policies and accomplishments. But Romney only accomplished this goal by repeatedly misleading viewers. He spoke for 38 minutes of the 90 minute debate and told at least 27 myths:

http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/fact-check-romney-told-27-myths-38-minutes-during-debate

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beatrice 1 year, 10 months ago

Some people are upset about a falling jobless rate. Wow. Amazingly, instead of being pleased with the good news FOR AMERICA, they would prefer more people to be jobless just to bolster the chances of their candidate. Wow. Instead, they would prefer to believe that somehow the president is now in charge of reports from the Labor Department. Wow and Wow.

Be a good citizen, rc, and be happy for America.

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