“Osama bin Laden,” he said, “is dead.”
He caught Romney trying to reinvent his position on saving the U.S. auto industry. After Romney said he had wanted to guide the industry through a bankruptcy that would leave car companies solvent, Obama corrected the record. “What Governor Romney just said isn’t true. He wanted to take them into bankruptcy without providing them any way to stay open, and we would have lost millions of jobs.”
He also didn’t let Romney get away promising to cut taxes fairly without identifying how he would offset the costs. “We haven’t heard from Governor Romney any specifics beyond Big Bird and eliminating funding for Planned Parenthood,” he said.
Obama closed the debate strong and without a reply from Romney when he chastised the former Massachusetts governor for saying he was not concerned politically about 47 percent of the public. “Who was he talking about, folks?” He answered his own question: the elderly on Social Security, veterans, soldiers, and students – all of whom get federal benefits.
At the same time, Obama failed to spell out even an opaque vision of a second-term agenda, a major omission for an incumbent seeking reelection when a majority of voters believes the country is on the wrong track.
Romney sought to take advantage of Obama’s vulnerability on the still-evolving story of how the U.S. ambassador in Libya was killed. Obama took responsibility for the event, a day after Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton did so.
But Romney stumbled when he challenged Obama’s assertion that the president had labeled the incident a terror attack the day afterward. Moderator Candy Crowley confirmed Obama’s account.
Later, Romney aggressiveness got him in trouble when he tried to make a point about his blind trust and said to Obama, “Mr. President, have you looked at your pension?”
Like a kid on the playground, Obama saw the softball and hit it. “I don’t look at my pension,” he replied. “It’s not as big as yours.”
Zing! Another point scored. If this is what you wanted, you got it.