This is the one when they vote who gets thrown off the island - I'm pretty sure.
All the punditry is certainly extra excited to see if Governor Romney can pull a knock-out punch or the President can fight back to be a contender for round three next week. I can't figure this out to predict much. Neither one seems capable of "feeling pain" as well as President Clinton. And neither seems like they will be as distracted as George H.W. Bush checking his watch and misunderstanding the questions - or wandering the stage like McCain. Certainly the President will be more engaged but something less than the excitable Vice President. Governor Romney will continue his best equity salesman persona with all the moderation he can muster. We'll see if the President can call him on any of that this time. Or, the complete unknown, how the audience will play on either one of them.
There is the Candy Crowley factor. She may try to assert herself to stay in charge of the proceeding. She may even be a warrior in the war on women.
Keep checking back for updates. . . .
And they come in. Hand shake the same just a little briefer. The President is looking engaged.
College student worried about employment after college. Gov thanking everyone. He was in Pennsylvania with a graduate who was worried. We have to make it easier to afford college and to get a job. In Mass. he did John & Abigail scholarship to everyone who could pass a test. It's been hard in past four years. He knows what it takes. Middle class has been crushed. He knows what it's going to take.
Prez- Your future is bright. college is important not just for you but for the country. Prez walks up close and energized. wants manufacturing. Gov said Detroit should go bankrupt. (politely on the attack) no. 2. Best education system. He wants everyone to have the chance to go to college. 3) we've got to control our own energy. (Prez is excited) reduce deficit but do it in a balanced way so we can rebuild America and pay for education.
Crowley - to Gov. what about long term unemployed? Gov says 23 million looking for a job. The Prez hasn't put people back to work. calculates unemployment at 10 something percent. He has a 5 point plan. He comes back on Detroit bankruptcy. He wanted to go through and come out stronger. Prez you took them bankrupt to get them back on your feet. Precisely what he recommended.
Prez- That just isn't true. He didn't want them to stay open and save jobs. Gov. Romney doesn't have a 5 point plan it's a one point plan. Those at the top play by different set of rules. Tax breaks for jobs over seas. Bankrupt a company, fire, strip pensions and still make money. That's what's been squeezing middle class.
Candy won't let Romney talk over her. Prez being tough.
Question on Energy Secretary that it's not his job to lower gas prices. Prez - the most important thing we can do is to improve production oil, gas, coal, we cant just produce traditional. Double fuel efficiency. Alternative energy. He wants to build on it. Open drilling. Go after natural gas. Gov Romney says he has an all of the above plan but he wants to let oil companies write the rules. Won't cede those jobs of the future to China to Germany
Gov- Oil is down on federal land. Prez cut in half licenses and permits. Increase came from North Dakota. But they brought out migratory bird act criminal charges to stop them. This is not Mr. Oil, Gas or Coal. Says too many regulations. Let's take advantage of energy resources we have - North America independent by more drilling, pipeline in from Canada.
Candy - looking at the new normal with price of gas so high? Prez. World demand has gone up. Very little of what Gov said is true. We are drilling more in public lands. We are encouraging natural gas. He called Gov on the plant in Mass. "this plant kills" now you're a big champion of coal. I've tried to be consistent.
[The Prez is back]
Gov- You've cut permits. Exchange how much did you cut them by? Oil companies had leases they weren't using. You can't just sit. When it's most profitable. You lose it or you use it. production is up. Its just not true. Back and forth. Gov no one believes you will push for coal and oil and gas. Is the strategy working then you should be paying less. If the Prez policy working you would see it coming down. [Gov getting tough]
Candy- can you address gas price? Prez. Because when I took office the recession destroyed the market. If he gets in and goes back to the same policies he could crash the economy again and gas would go down. (titters from the audience.)
Candy cuts off the Gov again. Gov fights Candy and keeps talking.
Question: plan to reduce tax breaks for all the brackets and make up loss in revenue. - mortgage deduction, child tax credit, education credits - position on those things? Gov- he wants to bring rates down. simplify. Middle income has been buried. Health Insurance up food, utilities, gas up. Deductions? Rates down for everyone but limit deductions at the high end they won't pay less. They will pay 60% of taxes. Bring down deductions with deduction limit. but the rate comes down and the burden comes down and will pay no tax on interest dividends or savings (yeah, like we have a lot of those). He will not under any circumstances reduce the burden on the rich or increase it on the middle class. Some study will have middle class pay more under Prez's plan.
Prez- taxes - wants to give middle class relief. They have been hit hard. He cut taxed for middle class taxes. and he's cut them 18 times. he want's to continue. If we're serious about the deficit then in addition to tough spending cuts then the wealthy do a little more. first $250K. He's ready to sign but Republicans in Congress holding it hostage to protect the top 2%. Go back to Clinton rates. Gov was on 60 minutes about lower tax rate than bus drivers. That's what grows the economy. Prez fundamentally disagrees. Tax breaks for college. Tax breaks for hiring vets grow the economy. Top down economics isn't going to work.
Gov-. Repeats top 5% pay 60%. Why lower rates because it makes it easy for business to grow and hire people. Small businesses able to hire more and keep more people. We don't have to settle for months of unemployment above 8%. Energy independence for N America in 5 years. Cracking down on China. Trade with S America. Spent time in private sector. knows how it works.
Prez- Gov is lowering rates 20%, eliminating inheritance tax., 2 trillion more for military. When he's asked how he's going to do it. He only has to pay 14% when a lot of you pay higher. We haven't heard anything beyond big bird and planned parenthood. If I came to you Gov with an idea to cut 5 trillion and tell you how after the election you wouldn't take that sketchy deal.
Gov. getting peeved. Candy - if it doesn't add up. Would you begin to look at 20%. Gov- Of course they add up. How 'bout 15 trillion in deficit. we have 4 consecutive years of deficits when he said he would cut it in half. He can balance budgets. He says its 5 trillion - it's not because I'll balance it.
Question to Obama on Women's pay (softball) - Prez- raised by a single mom put herself through school while raising two kids. Grandma secretary in a bank - no college but became vice president and hit the glass ceiling. She trained people to become her bosses. He passed Lilly Ledbetter. He fixed that. We need that kind of advocacy. Women are increasingly the bread winners it's not a women's issue its a family issue a middle class issue. We've expanded Pell Grants for young women. We do not tolerate discrimination.
Gov- pay equity for women. Gov -Great topic. He pulled together a cabinet all applicants were men so he went out to find women. Went to women's groups.[This is apparently where the Gov said "They brought me binders full of women." It's the newest meme]. Proud of the fact that the U. of NY in Albany concluded that he had more women in power. If you have women in the work force you have to be more flexible. He accommodated working moms. New economy they will be anxious to hire women. We can help women by having a strong economy. With flexible work schedules. He knows what it takes. This is not a strong economy with 7.8 unemployment.
Prez- When the Romney campaign was asked about Lilly Ledbetter "We'll get back to you" He wants washington to decide health care women get. Everyone needs reproductive programs. Gov says employers should decide. That's not the kind of advocacy women need. Gov wants to end planned parenthood. They do breast & cervical exams. It's economic for women. Child care, etc. these are not just women issues - family issues. economic issues. I want my daughters to have same opportunities anyone's sons have.
Question - disappointed with Bush administration - she fears a return to the policies of those years. What is the biggest difference [finally, somebody asked] Gov- Doesn't think bureaucrats should tell women they should have contraceptives. Bush is a different person and these are different times. Gov says the time is different with energy. He will crack down on China. Bush didn't. Get us a balanced budget. Bush didn't. Obama worse. Championing small business. our party has been championing big business too long we need to help small business. Small business says Obamacare keeps them from hiring. Bush had a different path.
Prez- We came in at a bad time. We've seen 31 months of job growth. Centerpiece of Gov's plan is tax cuts. His investments were in companies outsourcing to China - challenges Gov direct "you're the last person who's going to get tough on China" Prez has been taking action against China - Gov said the tire deal was protectionist. Gov is different from Bush - Bush embraced comprehensive immigration reform didn't call for self-deportation. The differences are not on economics but on social policy.
Question to Pres [Prez is 3 minutes ahead on time - is Candy being fair?] Question was on African-American's disappointment. Prez said we've ended Iraq, Got bin Laden. Got health insurance. Reign in Wall street. [Gov is getting red in the face and clenching jaw. Prez looks like he's enjoying himself. Prez about 5 minutes ahead on time!] Prez brings up no-tax pledge that Gov made - cut planned parenthood - repeal Obamacare. Those are promises he's going to keep.
Candy tries to cut.
Gov- I think you know better that these last four years haven't been as great as the Prez describes. We just can't afford another four years. He promised 5.4% unemployment. He said he would reform social security and medicare. Didn't do immigration reform. Didn't cut the deficit. It's up. Didn't cut med costs. - up. Middle class has been crushed. He gained 5 million jobs but he lost 5 million jobs. Economy growing more slowly. The policies. Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, etc. they have not helped the economy to take off. The Reagan recession created twice as many jobs. Prez had tried but policies hasn't worked. He's great at speaking and vision but his record is bad. Median incomes down . Election is about middle class getting a bright future.
Question for the Gov - Question on immigrants w/o green cards. Immigration policy broadly. Gov- This is a nation of immigrants. Dad born in Mexico. Ann's dad in Wales. Want our legal system to work better. Shouldn't have to hire a lawyer. Should give green card to educated. Stop Illegal immigration. He will not grant Amnesty. Employment verification [Latino vote drops below 30%] Does believe in a pathway like through military service. Prez promised a bill - he didn't do it. He had a "democrat" house [bozo!]
Prez-. We are a nation of immigrants. Talent from all around the world. People want to build their lives. He has done everything he can on his own and sought cooperation from Congress. Streamlined process for legal. Have to deal with border. Put more security on border crossings lower. We should go after criminals - not after students - not after those trying to feed families. And those brought here by parents understand themselves as Americans we have given them pathway to citizenship. Gov said he would veto Dream Act. Gov championed AZ law - checking papers. Somebody doesn't look like they're a citizen? Gov says I didn't try. That's not true. Republicans can't support it if their standard bearer isn't
Gov says it was the e-verify of AZ was a model for the nation. Why didn't he file legislation. Self-deportation is for people to make their own choice. not in favor of rounding up people [he's tripping over defending himself a bit] Prez tries to go by rules. Gov has to defend his foreign investments. Argues with Prez on his foreign investments.
Prez says Gov's top adviser wrote the AZ law - the whole thing.
Question for Prez - brain trust talking about Libya - State dept. refused request for security. Prez- honors diplomats. He sends them there. He knows these folks. He was on the phone beef up security, investigate, find out who did this and hunt them down. When folks mess with Americans, we go after them. Gov. Romney's press release trying to make political points. You don't turn national security into politics especially right when it's happening. [Romney stiff, red and blinking] Prez means what he says.
Gov- the buck stops at his desk. He takes the responsibility for the failure. Gov feels very sympathetic for the victims and families. There were many days that passed before we knew it was a terrorist attack rather than a spontaneous demonstration. More troubling that on day following when we have 4 Americans killed and the Prez flies to Las Vegas and Colorado for fundraisers. Call in the people this was an attack by terrorists. This calls into questions Prez's whole policy in Middle East. Syria, Israel, Iran bomb. Apology tour.
Candy - does the buck stop with the Sec of State - Prez she works for me. I take responsibility. The day after I stood in the rose garden and said it was terror and we would find who was responsible. And a few days later I was there to receive the coffins. It's offensive to accuse that I or anyone in my administration played politics.
Gov calls Prez on calling it an attack on terror the next day. Candy says he did. Prez fiesty says he did. "Check the transcript."
Question to Prez on assault weapons - AK-47s. Prez- He believes in second amendment. But too many incidents in his administration - out in Aurora - he met a son shot in the head - he said a prayer with them. He recovered but a lot didn't. We have to enforce the laws we've got. We've got more to do. Weapons designed for soldiers don't belong on our streets. He's trying to get a broader dialogue on the sources of the violence. In Chicago they're using hand guns. We need opportunity for our kids and for our schools. we need to get automatic weapons out of the hands of criminals and mentally ill.
Gov- not in favor of new laws. We have to make enormous efforts to change culture of violence. he agrees on schools. We need moms and dads raising kids. two parents in the home. A lot of single parents but tell kids to get married to have a baby. We can make changes the way our culture works. The greatest problem is fast and furious given to people to give to drug lords - killed Americans - this is one of the great tragedies. It's been investigated but executive privilege has been invoked.
Candy - question was about assault weapons bans. Why did you sign one in Mass but have changed your mind. The pro-gun and anti-gun folks came together and had opportunities for both. a mutually agreed upon piece of legislation. We have gridlock
Prez- The Gov was for Assualt weapon ban before he was against it. He admitted he was seeking the NRA endorsement. WE do need to make a difference with families and young people. We haven't had a chance to talk about education much but we've been working with 46 governors around the country. Employers are looking for skilled workers. When Gov was asked about teachers he said that wouldn't help economy.
Question to Gov on outsourcing - Gov- we've seen jobs go to China - one of the reasons that it's more attractive to go offshore than to stay here. [hunh?] He will make sure it's more attractive to work here. Trickle down government doesn't work. He wants to make America attractive for business. We have to make sure China plays by the rules. Stop them from holding down their currency. The Prez hasn't addressed this. On day one, he will designate China as a currency manipulator. What's key to bring back jobs is not to find somebody to punish but to make America attractive by bringing down tax rates. Canada has lower tax rates. Regulations have Quadrupled under this Prez. Obamacare had been an extraordinary deterent to hiring. He knows what it takes.
Prez- We need to create jobs. We agree we should lower tax rates. No deductions for when they move to China to cut tax advantages for offshore. One of Gov's ideas is to cut taxes for those who invest overseas. That's not the way to create jobs here. We are on pace to double our exports. We pushed trade deals for American benefits. Pioneers of outsourcing is what Gov's private companies invested in.
Candy- how do we bring business back from China when labor costs are so low?
Gov- we have to cut China and incentivize in America.
Prez- says some jobs aren't coming back. We have to invest in infrastructure for new science - create the next app. We need to train engineers so companies will come here. Those investments will help us lead.
Gov- government does not create jobs. Government does not create jobs
Question what is the biggest misperception people have about you?
Gov- Some campaigns attack rather than talk about future. he cares about 100% of the people. He cares about our kids. He spent life in private sector not in gov. His passion flows from belief in God. We are all children of God. Served as a missionary, pastor, worked with people out of work. Saved the Olympics. Made schools good in Mass. Don't have to settle for food stamps. High gas price, He will get America Working again. Reform Medicare and So. Security. He did these things as Gov.
Prez- doesn't believe Gov creates jobs. He believes in free enterprise but that everyone deserves a fair shot and should play by the same rules. that's how we built the middle class. Gov is a good man. loves his family cares about his faith. But behind closed doors says 47%victims - fail to take responsibility - these are - folks on Soc. Sec. Veterans, Students Soldiers overseas people working everyday but don't make enough income. I want to fight for them. If they succeed the country succeeds. My grandpa came back from WWII and got GI Bill
The Prez is back.