The Presidential Debate [BLOG TRANSCRIPT]
Tonight, WNBF News' Sean Holbert Live-Blogged during the Presidential Debate in Denver, CO. You can find the transcript of that blog below. Feel free to leave comments on the debate below. Also, take the poll at the bottom of the page and let us know who you think did the best in the first of the three Presidential Debates.
9:00 p.m.: Jim Lehrer is sitting at the moderator's desk. No sign of the candidates yet.
9:01 p.m.: Moderator Jim Lehrer begins the Debate by going over the rules.
9:03 p.m.: Jim Lehrer introduces the candidates. President Obama and Mitt Romney meet at center stage to shake hands and wave at the crowd.
9:04 p.m.: First question is about jobs. President Obama opens by wishing Michele a happy anniversary.
9:06 p.m.: Obama wants to invest in education and renewable energy. He wants to invest in the middle class to strengthen the economy.
9:08 p.m.: Romney wants to become energy dependent, invest in small business, and reduce government.
9:10 p.m.: Obama rebuttal: Wants to lower corporate tax rate, invest in education, and give incentives to companies that create jobs in America.
9:12 p.m.: Romney denies tax cut for wealthy. Says middle class is being destroyed by Obama. Citing high gas, food, and healthcare costs.
9:14 p.m.: Romney says any tax cut he implements will not increase the burden on the Middle Class.
9:16 p.m.: Obama rebuttal: Romney wants $5 trillion in tax cuts. Says there is no way to do this without burdening the Middle Class.
9:18 p.m.: Romney rebuttal: Romney denies $5 trillion tax cut. Says he will not reduce tax on high income families or increase taxes on Middle Class.
9:19 p.m.: Obama rebuttal: President says Romney is flip-flopping on his tax plan.
9:20 p.m.: Obama wants to return to tax rates under Clinton to reduce the deficit. Wants to raise taxes on people with incomes above $200,000.
9:22 p.m.: Romney rebuttal: Says Obama's tax plan will hurt small business. Romney says that will cost 700,000 jobs.
9:24 p.m.: Obama rebuttal: Says that the Clinton approach works and that Middle Class needs tax breaks and that the "well-off" American's should "do more."
9:26 p.m.: Moderator Jim Lehrer asks candidates their differences in tackling the deficit problem. Romney goes first.
9:28 p.m.: Romney wants to lower spending by eliminating programs that have to borrow money from China to be successful. Eliminate subsidy to PBS. Will make government more efficient via cutbacks.
9:30 p.m.: Obama rebuttal: Says he's cut programs to help reduce the deficit. Says he's saved over a trillion dollars. Says we have to do more. Has a $4 trillion deficit reduction plan.
9:32 p.m.: Romney rebuttal: Says Obama has had 4 years to cut the deficit and has failed to do so. Says the deficit can't be reduced by raising taxes.
9:34 p.m.: Obama rebuttal: Says a balanced approach is needed between taxes and cuts. Says Romney is "revenue neutral." Says subsidies to oil industry is unnecessary. Says tax breaks for companies that send jobs overseas is wrong.
9:38 p.m.: Romney rebuttal: Says Obama has given breaks to "green energy." Says he's never heard of tax breaks for companies that go overseas.
9:40 p.m.: Obama asked about state of Social Security. He says it needs to be tweaked but is sound. Says cuts in Social Security/Medicare were made by eliminating over-payments to insurance companies.
9:43 p.m.: Romney says he isn't planning on changes for current retirees on Social Security or Medicare. Says Obama wants to cut Medicare.
9:45 p.m.: Obama rebuttal: Says Romney wants to turn SS and Medicare into a voucher plan for future retirees. Says the problem with that is that this plan would cost seniors $6,000 per year because the vouchers won't keep up with inflation.
9:47 p.m.: Romney rebuttal: Romney says he would give future retirees a choice in Medicare plans, including a private plan. Wants to lower benefits for higher-income people.
9:49 p.m.: Obama rebuttal: Says that private plans incur higher administrative costs and the money has to come from somewhere. Says seniors would be at the mercy of private insurance companies.
9:51 p.m.: Jim Lehrer asks about regulation. Romney up first.
9:52 p.m.: Romney says regulation is essential but some has become excessive (i.e. Dodd Frank).
9:53 p.m.: Obama rebuttal: Says "things got out of hand." Mortgages given to people who couldn't afford them; banks making bad decision. Says over-regulation was not the cause of the Wall Street/Bank failures.
9:56 p.m.: Romney rebuttal: Says he doesn't want to stand in the way of bank and business by over-regulating.
9:57 p.m.: On to healthcare now. Romney up first. Says he will repeal Obamacare. Romney says healthcare costs are up and families are hurting. Says he doesn't want government telling people how to get medical treatment.
9:59 p.m.: Obama rebuttal: Says Obamacare isn't a government takeover. Insurance companies can't "jerk you around." Says Obamacare provides a group plan to those without insurance.
10:01 p.m.: Romney rebuttal: He defends the Mass. medical insurance plan by saying their plan was bi-partisan. Obama plan was not.
10:04 p.m.: Obama rebuttal: Says Obamacare is the same plan that Romney supported in Massachusetts. Obama says he can't leave the uninsured to fend for themselves. Says Romney has not proposed how to fix the healthcare system.
10:07 p.m.: Romney rebuttal: Says private companies can bring costs down better than government can. He cites competition as the reason. Says private market and individual responsibility have always worked best.
10:10 p.m.: Obama rebuttal: Says Romney plan only duplicates what already is law. Says Romney can't detail how he would replace Obamacare.
10:12 p.m.: Romney rebuttal: Says he would work with Congress to bring down rates, deductions, and including folks with pre-exsisting conditions. Says government should not take over healthcare.
10:13 p.m.: Jim Lehrer has now asked about the role of government. President up first.
10:14 p.m.: Obama says the government is instrumental in progress... for example in education reform.
10:16 p.m.: Romney rebuttal: Says government should only protect the lives and liberties of the American People. Says state and local governments should oversee education. Federal government does have to play some part.
10:19 p.m.: Obama rebuttal: Says Federal government needs to play a big part in education because the states can't fully support it. Cites that assistance for college students from the Federal Government make it possible for more people to get an education.
10:23 p.m.: Romney rebuttal: Says he will not cut education spending or assistance for college students. Wants to make education more effective and efficient.
10:24 p.m.: Jim Lehrer asks candidates about "paralysis in Congress." Romney is up first.
10:25 p.m.: Romney says he has a record or bi-partisanship in Mass. Says from day one in office he will promote it.
10:27 p.m.: Obama rebuttal: He says he's been open to bi-partisanship and there has been progress in Congress even though they are Republican controlled. Says he is not afraid to say no to either party. Says he is open to any idea from any party.
10:28 p.m: Time for closing statements. Obama up first.
10:30 p.m: Obama says bottom line that the American grit and determination needs to be channeled and that everyone is getting the chance to succeed. He will fight for the Middle Class.
10:32 p.m.: Romney says he is concerned about the direction that America is going. He says if Obama is elected that unemployment will not improve and the "squeeze" on the Middle Class will continue.
10:33 p.m.: The debate concludes.