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The Gallup post-debate polls show that Mitt Romney has erased President Obama's five point lead, with the race now tied. The latest Rasmussen poll of likely voters has Romney up by two points, and Rassmussen's overall poll has the race tied. In Ohio, Obama's big nine point lead has vanished. He trails Obama by a mere point now.
None of this is surprising given the first presidential debate, won by Romney in a landslide. While Obama supporters are offering an array of excuses to explain the President's poor performance, I think what happened is fairly simple to explain. For the first time, Romney got to define himself in front of the entire country. Prior to the debate, Romney was being defined by the media and by Obama's negative attack ads. The Obama-media's sophomoric, cartooonish portrayal of Romney as an evil Gordon Gecko type who doesn't pay taxes and who only cares about making the rich richer was belied by the Romney who stood at the debate podum intelligently discussing policy issues and offering solutions to America's economic woes. Team Obama is now sad that their childish Romney caricature has been dashed. Waah.
Laughably, Team Obama's main excuse for Romney's debate victory is...Romney was LYING. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Here's Obama's head strategist, David Axelrod, from CBS News:
Axelrod criticized Romney for saying during the debates that he "never proposed" $5 trillion worth of tax cuts, which an analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center found would occur if Romney implemented his plan to reduce tax rates by 20 percent. "That was dishonest," Axelrod said.
"As President Clinton would say, it takes a certain brass to do what Governor Romney did," he added. "The basic theory is, 'Say whatever you need to to get the deal,' and that's what he did that night."
Obama has cited the $5 trillion tax cut figure repeatedly on the campaign trail, and he did it again in the presidential debate. The problem with Team Obama's claim is, Romney NEVER proposed a $5 trillion tax cut, and the Tax Policy Center study that the Obamanauts cited never said Romney proposed it either. TEAM OBAMA IS LYING. Here's Robert Samuelson to explain:
"To justify its $5 trillion figure -- the estimated tax loss over a decade -- the Obama campaign had to cherry-pick Romney's proposal and the TPC analysis. It had to ignore any revenue raised by reducing tax breaks and assume that, faced with a conflict between the rich and the middle class, Romney would automatically side with the rich -- as opposed to shielding the middle class from any tax increase. On Wednesday, Romney promised to protect the middle class."
I repeat, there never was any $5 trillion tax cut being proposed by Romney.
Romney's real tax proposal lowered tax rates in exchange for removing tax deductions for the wealthy. The Obama "Truth Team" ignores the deductions part and pretends Romney only proposed tax cuts. Then, in a second dishonest move, the Obama Truthers pretend Romney will raise taxes on the middle class (by $2,000 for the average family) to make his plan "revenue neutral". Romney has never once indicated he would raise taxes on the middle class, and in fact has stated just the opposite many times, but the Obama Truthers still pretend otherwise as part of their negative campaign of distortions and falsehoods.
And then when Romney pushed back in the debate against the falsehoods being perpetuated by the Obama Truthers, suddenly Team Obama feigns shock and outrage. GIve me a major break already. Unless the Obama Truthers are drinking their own Kool-Aid, a downright scary notion, they know perfectly well they are distorting Romney's plan.
There is one valid point Team Obama could make, which is, according to the Tax Policy Center (TPC) study, Romney's tax plan doesn't add up. The TPC said there werent enough tax deductions to remove to pay for the lowered rates Romney proposes. If Team Obama left it there and reported the TPC study results honestly, they'd have a point, especially since Romney hasn't specified which tax deductions he will remove. But the Obama Truthers couldn't leave well enough alone. They created their own set of false conclusions and their own web of lies about Romney's tax plan, and trumpeted those lies in phony campaign ads from here to TImbuktu, all designed to mislead the public. Team Obama also leaves out the spending cuts Romney has proposed (10%), but Romney hasn't specified those yet either (and neither would I if I was running for President). If I was Romney, I'd probably do what Obama did, announce a Simpson-Bowles-like commission to study the matter and make spending cut suggestions. Unlike Obama, as President I would be involved with the commission and make my own suggestions. Also, unlike Obama, I wouldn't ignore the commission once it's findings were reached.
While we're on the subject of economic plans, has anyone heard of a coherent plan from President Obama yet ? All I hear is - continue to spend trillions of dollars we don't have, green jobs dreams, and raise taxes on the rich. I'm not sure what the point of such a "plan" is supposed to be, but fiscal responsibility it ain't, and it comes from a President who has run deficits way over a trillion dollars each and every year of his presidency. It takes some cojones for Obama to turn to Romney and accuse him of increasing the deficit in advance...speaking of the pot calling the kettle black. Obama knows how bad that would make him look, which is why he tells lies about Romney's plan instead. Don't be fooled.
If you want to know why Romney hasn't specified the spending cuts he will make, look at what happens when he does. In the debate, he said he would end funding for PBS, and our brain-dead celebrities and desperate Democrats are running around whining about how mean old Romney is going to bring about the imminent demise of Big Bird (as if PBS can't stand on it's own, and as if the profitable Sesame Street franchise wouldn't be picked up by one of our numerous television networks in a heartbeat if need be). Romney isn't getting too specific because he's a politician, and he doesn't want to supply the other side with ammunition.
But it's sure fun listening to the liars call Romney a liar, isn't it ?.
One more month to go.
Up next, Biden debates Ryan on thursday. The Gaffemaster versus the budgetary wonk. Should be good, unless you're a Biden fan. The last time I saw Biden in a debate, he lost to Sarah Palin. If Ryan does what I think he'll do, Uncle Joe might need some new hairplugs after.