Romney Campaign and Republican Reactions to the Second Presidential Debate

Romney for President
12:36 a.m.

What They’re Saying About Mitt Romney: “Our Next President”

“Two Very Good Debates Back To Back” … “Very Effective” … “Confident And Realistic” … “Dynamo, Winner”

Real Clear Politics: “Luntz Focus Group Of Mostly Former Obama Voters Switch To Romney.” “A Frank Luntz focus group made up mostly of former Obama voters say they now support Mitt Romney. ‘Forceful, compassionate, presidential,’ one participant said. ‘Confident and realistic,’ said another. ‘Presidential,’ another told Luntz. ‘Enthusiastic,’ another reacted. ‘Our next president,’ one man said. ‘Dynamo, winner,’ said one more.” (Real Clear Politics, 10/16/12)

The New York Times’ Adam Nagourney: “Romney's Strongest Argument: Obama ‘Speaks’ Great. ‘But We Have A Record To Look At.’” (, 10/16/12)

Miami Herald’s Marc Caputo: “Ticking Off Unkept Promises Of Obama From Deficits To Immigration.” “Boom. Boom. Boom. Romney swings back crisply, ticking off unkept promises of Obama from deficits to immigration.” (, 10/16/12)

The Hill’s Bob Cusack: “Romney Is Closing Well…” “Romney is closing well here. Mentions God, not settling on the economy, reforming entitlements. #debates” (, 10/16/12)

CBS’ Mark Knoller: “It Appeared Romney's Cuts At The Pres Drew More Political Blood.” “Both candidates scored points against one another, but it appeared Romney's cuts at the pres drew more political blood.” (, 10/16/12)

BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith: “Romney Did, Again, Come Away Looking Like A Guy Who Could Be President, Which Is Probably The Most Important Thing.” (, 10/16/12)

CBS’ Charlie Kaye: “In The @CBSNews Instant Poll, 65% Say Romney Won On The Issue Of The Economy. 34% Say Obama Won On The Economy.” (, 10/16/12)

The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza: “Romney Smart To Play Offense Against Obama On Immigration. Force Obama To Explain, Cut Time Obama Can Lace Into Him. #Debates”

CNN’s David Gergen: “I Think That Mitt Romney Has Had Two Very Good Debates Back To Back. I Think A Solid Performance Tonight…” GERGEN: “I think that Mitt Romney has had two very good debates back to back. I think a solid performance tonight, and I think overall, he looked like he could be president more than two weeks ago.” (CNN, 10/16/12)

CNN’s Gloria Borger: “Romney's Best Moments Were Focusing On The Economic Record And Saying The Middle Class Has Been Buried Many Times…” BORGER: But I will tell you, Mitt Romney's best moments were focusing on the economic record and saying the middle class has been buried many times.” (CNN, 10/16/12)

CBS’ John Dickerson: “Governor Romney Showed That The First Debate Wasn't A Fluke. He Came Back Hard At The President, He Stood Toe To Toe.” (CBS, 10/16/12)

Politico’s Alexander Burns: “Romney… Was At His Smoothest And Most Assertive In Exchanges On The Economy…” “Romney, meanwhile, was at his smoothest and most assertive in exchanges on the economy, urging voters to hold Obama accountable for four years of lackluster economic growth.” (Politico, 10/16/12)

The Associated Press’ Steve Peoples And David Espo: “Romney Gave As Good As He Got.” (The Associated Press, 10/16/12)

The Wall Street Journal’s Janet Hook And Patrick O’Connor: “Mr. Romney Distilled His Argument Against The President Down To A Simple Theme: The Country Can't Afford Four More Years Under Mr. Obama.” (The Wall Street Journal, 10/16/12)

AEI’s James Pethokoukis: “Very Effective.” “Romney answered the Bush question, outlined his plans, mercilessly pounded on the Obama econ record. Very effective” (, 10/16/12)

Bob McDonnell: Mitt Romney Reinforced The Choice Facing The American People

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell made the following statement on tonight’s second presidential debate:

“Tonight Mitt Romney won the debate and reinforced the clear choice facing the American people. Whether he was talking about jobs, taxes, debt, healthcare or foreign policy, he drew a stark contrast between his pro-growth policies, which will ensure American strength at home and abroad, and President Obama’s tax-hiking, government-growing record, which has failed to turn around our economy or increase our nation’s influence around the world. Americans know that we can’t afford another four years like the last four years, and tonight’s debate confirmed that Mitt Romney is the leader we need to deliver the change that Americans expect and deserve.”


Sen. Kelly Ayotte: It’s Time For A Change, It’s Time For Mitt Romney

New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte made the following statement on tonight’s second presidential debate:

“Mitt Romney left the debate stage with another win tonight because he told voters in clear, straightforward terms how he will create 12 million jobs, deliver a real recovery and make this an American Century. In contrast, President Obama was unable to articulate how the next four years will be any better than the last – because he has no record to run on and no plan for the future. Americans across the country know that we can’t continue down this path of economic stagnation and weak leadership on the world stage. It’s time for a change, and the candidate who will bring it is Mitt Romney.”

Romney Campaign and Republicans Leading up to the Second Presidential Debate

Romney for President
October 16, 2012

A Debate Viewing Guide On President Obama’s Favorite Lies & Exaggerations

NUMBER 1: President Obama Will Claim Mitt Romney’s Medicare Plan Increases Costs By Over $6,000 – A Claim Fact Checkers Have Debunked:
President Obama, On Medicare Reforms: “It Was Estimated That This Would Cost The Average Senior About $6,000 A Year.” “The problem is that because the voucher wouldn't necessarily keep up with health care inflation, it was estimated that this would cost the average senior about $6,000 a year.” (President Obama, Presidential Debate, Denver, CO, 10/3/12)
The Washington Post’s Fact Checker: “An Outdated Estimate Of An Earlier Version Of The Plan…” “But he still clung to an outdated estimate of an earlier version of the plan, claiming it will cost seniors an extra $6,000 a year. (He had previously earned Two Pinocchios for this claim.) The problem is this dollar figure—usually expressed as $6,400--is an estimate for an earlier version of Ryan’s plan. He’s since changed it significantly to address some of the loudest complaints. The new version of the plan includes the option for traditional Medicare, as well as a commitment that at least one health-care option would be fully covered by the government.” (Glenn Kessler, “Factchecking The First Presidential Debate Of 2012,” The Washington Post, 10/4/12)
·         The Washington Post: “It’s Only An Estimate” And Based On An “Earlier Version” For Medicare Reforms. “But there are some problems with that figure. First of all, it’s only an estimate. Second of all, it’s for the year 2022. But a bigger problem is that this dollar figure is an estimate for an earlier version of Ryan’s plan. He’s since changed it significantly to address some of the loudest complaints.” (Glenn Kessler, “Factcheck: Sebelius’ $6,400 Number Has Issues,” The Washington Post, 9/4/12) “The Ryan Plan, Now The Romney-Ryan Plan, Doesn’t ‘End Medicare,’ And The Claim About Seniors Paying $6,000 More Under The Proposal Is Outdated.” (Lori Robertson, “A Campaign Full Of Mediscare,”, 8/22/12)
The Washington Post Headline: “No, Romney-Ryan Wouldn’t Increase Medicare Costs By $6,400” (Sarah Kliff, “No, Romney-Ryan Wouldn’t Increase Medicare Costs By $6,400,” The Washington Post’s WonkBlog,” 9/4/12)
Even Vice President Biden Has Acknowledged The Figure Is “Based On An Analysis Of An Outdated Plan.” “Not long after Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz told seniors at Century Village of Boca Raton they could be socked with $6,300 a year in higher Medicare costs under Mitt Romney, Vice President Joe Biden acknowledged the figure is based on an analysis of an outdated plan.” (George Bennett, “Biden OK With Democrats Citing Outdated Number To Fault Romney On Health Care,” Palm Beach Post, 9/30/12)
NUMBER 2: President Obama Will Repeat His False Attack About A $5 Trillion Tax Cut:
President Obama: “Governor Romney's Proposal That He Has Been Promoting For 18 Months Calls For A $5 Trillion Tax Cut…” “Now, Governor Romney's proposal that he has been promoting for 18 months calls for a $5 trillion tax cut on top of $2 trillion of additional spending for our military. And he is saying that he is going to pay for it by closing loopholes and deductions.” (President Obama, Presidential Debate, Denver, CO, 10/3/12)
Obama Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter: “Okay, Stipulated, It Won’t Be Near $5 Trillion…” BURNETT: “Right. So you’re saying if you lower them by 20% you get a $5 trillion tab, right?” CUTTER: “It’s a $5 trillion tab.”  BURNETT: “But then when you close deductions it’s not going to be anywhere near $5 trillion. That’s our analysis.” CUTTER: “Well, okay, stipulated, it won’t be near $5 trillion, but it’s also not going to be the sum of $5 trillion in the loopholes that he’s going to close.” (CNN, 10/4/12) “Obama Accused Romney Of Proposing A $5 Trillion Tax Cut. Not True.” “Obama accused Romney of proposing a $5 trillion tax cut. Not true. Romney proposes to offset his rate cuts and promises he won’t add to the deficit.” (Brooks Jackson, “Dubious Denver Debate Declarations.”, 10/4/12)
ABC’s Jon Karl, On President Obama’s $5 Trillion Claim: “Mostly Fiction.” KARL: “Okay, so, the big thing there, and he came back to it several times, is Governor Romney has a $5 trillion tax cut plan. I rate that mostly fiction.” (ABC’s “Your Voice: 2012Presidential Debates,” 10/3/12)
The Associated Press: “Obama’s Claim That Romney Wants To Cut Taxes By $5 Trillion Doesn’t Add Up.” “Obama’s claim that Romney wants to cut taxes by $5 trillion doesn’t add up. Presumably, Obama was talking about the effect of Romney’s tax plan over 10 years, which is common in Washington. But Obama’s math doesn’t take into account Romney’s entire plan.” (Calvin Woodward, “FACT CHECK: Presidential Debate Missteps,” The Associated Press, 10/3/12)
NUMBER 3: President Obama Will Claim To Have A $4 Trillion Deficit-Reduction Plan – A Claim Even His Own Deficit Commission Co-Chairs Have Discredited:
President Obama: “We Need To Cut The Deficit … I've Proposed Cutting It By $4 Trillion Over The Next 10 Years…” “Fifth, we need to cut the deficit, but we've got to do it in an intelligent way. I've proposed cutting it by $4 trillion over the next 10 years, and I've already worked with Republicans to cut a trillion dollars of spending.” (President Obama, Remarks, Los Angeles, CA, 10/7/12)
The Washington Post’s Fact Checker: “The Repeated Claim That Obama’s Budget Reduces The Deficit By $4 Trillion Is Simply Not Accurate. … Virtually No Serious Budget Analyst Agreed With This Accounting.” (Glenn Kessler, “Fact Checking Bill Clinton’s Speech And Other Democrats At The Convention In Charlotte,” The Washington Post, 9/6/12)
·         “In Effect, Most Of Obama’s Claimed Deficit Reduction Comes From His Proposed Tax Increases.” “There are a number of other games being played, so fake money is being used to pay for real spending projects. In effect, most of Obama’s claimed deficit reduction comes from his proposed tax increases.” (Glenn Kessler, “Fact Checking Bill Clinton’s Speech And Other Democrats At The Convention In Charlotte,” The Washington Post, 9/6/12)
Co-Chairs Of President Obama’s Fiscal Commission Erskine Bowles And Alan Simpson, On Obama’s $4 Trillion Target: “Unfortunately, His Proposal Falls Short Of This Goal …” “We are encouraged that President Obama has embraced the goal of stabilizing the debt and the target of achieving at least $4 trillion in deficit reduction. Unfortunately, his proposal falls short of this goal by counting war savings that were already planned; and while it does (barely) stabilize the debt, it does so at a dangerously high level and with no margin for error. We are disappointed, too, that the president did not address the long-term solvency of Social Security.” (Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, Op-Ed, “Go Big, Be Bold, Be Smart,” The Washington Post, 10/2/11)
NUMBER 4: President Obama Will Repeat His False Attacks About Mitt Romney And Outsourcing:
President Obama: Mitt Romney’s “Experience Was Investing In Companies That Were Called ‘Pioneers’ In The Business Of Outsourcing Jobs.” “My opponent likes to tout his private sector experience. And he was incredibly successful and clearly disciplined and hard-working. But keep in mind that his experience was investing in companies that were called ‘pioneers’ in the business of outsourcing jobs.” (President Obama, Remarks, Boulder, CO, 9/2/12) “We Found No Evidence To Support The Claim That Romney — While He Was Still Running Bain Capital — Shipped American Jobs Overseas.” “But after reviewing numerous corporate filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, contemporary news accounts, company histories and press releases, and the evidence offered by both the Obama and Romney campaigns, we found no evidence to support the claim that Romney — while he was still running Bain Capital — shipped American jobs overseas.” (Robert Farley and Eugene Kiely, “Obama’s ‘Outsourcer’ Overreach,”, 6/29/12)
The Washington Post, On An Obama Outsourcing Ad: “On Just About Every Level, This Ad Is Misleading, Unfair And Untrue…” “The Obama campaign fails to make its case. On just about every level, this ad is misleading, unfair and untrue, from the use of ‘corporate raider’ to its examples of alleged outsourcing.  Simply repeating the same debunked claims won’t make them any more correct.” (Glenn Kessler, “4 Pinocchios For Obama’s Newest Anti-Romney Ad,” The Washington Post, 6/21/12) “Obama Campaign’s Recent Ads Thus Mislead When They Point To Investments Made By Bain” After Mitt Romney Left Bain. “And after reviewing evidence cited by the Obama campaign, we reaffirm our conclusion that Romney left the helm of Bain Capital when he took a leave of absence in 1999 to run the Salt Lake City Organizing Committee for the 2002 Winter Olympics – as he has said repeatedly — and never returned to active management. The Obama campaign’s recent ads thus mislead when they point to investments made by Bain, as well as management decisions made by companies in which Bain invested, after that time.” (, 7/2/12)
NUMBER 5: President Obama Will Falsely Claim His Administration Has Been Tough On China’s Cheating:
President Obama: “When Other Countries Don't Play By The Rules, We Walk The Walk. We've Brought More Trade Cases Against China…” OBAMA: “When other countries don't play by the rules, we walk the walk. We've brought more trade cases against China in one term than the previous administration did in two. When Governor Romney was complaining that because we stopped an unfair surge in Chinese tires here into the United States, he said, well no, that's protectionist. We did it anyway.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks, Columbus, OH, 9/17/12)
Under President Obama, The United States Treasury Department Has Refused To Label China As A Currency Manipulator Seven Times. (Don Lee, “U.S. Declines To Label China A Currency Manipulator,” Los Angeles Times, 5/25/12; Pedro Nicolaci da Costa, “U.S. Again Says China Not Currency Manipulator,” Reuters, 12/28/11; Gregg Robb, “Treasury Says China Isn’t A Currency Manipulator,” Market Watch, 5/27/11; Sewell Chan, “China’s Currency Avoids “Manipulated” Ruling Again,” NYT, 2/04/11; Gregg Robb, “Treasury Does Not Cite China As Currency Manipulator,” Market Watch, 7/8/10; Martin Crutsinger, “Administration Declines To Cite China On Currency Manipulation,” USA Today, 10/15/09; Glenn Somerville and Doug Palmer, “U.S. Again Declines To Brand China Currency Manipulator,” Reuters, 4/15/09)
·         Last Week, The Obama Administration Announced It Would Delay Yet Another Opportunity To Label China As A Currency Manipulator. “The Obama administration is delaying a decision that had been due Monday on whether China is manipulating its currency to gain trade advantages. The Treasury Department says the decision will now come after global finance officials meet in early November.” (“Administration Delays China Currency Report,” The Associated Press, 10/12/12)
The Washington Post: “China's Policy Has Probably Cost Americans Hundreds Of Thousands Of Jobs And Contributed To China's Destabilizing Pile Of Trillions Of Dollars In Reserves.” “China’s undervalued renminbi is a long-standing, bipartisan concern, and it is not a phony one: In pursuit of growth led by exports, China has held the renminbi down in relation to the dollar, rendering its goods artificially cheap in the U.S. market. The renminbi would gain about 20 percent against the dollar if it were allowed to float freely like other currencies, according to the Peterson Institute for International Economics. China’s policy has probably cost Americans hundreds of thousands of jobs and contributed to China’s destabilizing pile of trillions of dollars in reserves.” (Editorial, “Breaking China?,” The Washington Post, 8/31/11)
And President Obama’s Tire Tariff Cost Approximately $1 Billion And Destroyed Thousands Of Jobs. “On balance, it seems likely that tire protectionism cost the US economy around 2,531 jobs, when losses in the retail sector are of set against gains in tire manufacturing. Adding further to the loss column, China retaliated by imposing antidumping duties on US exports of chicken parts, costing that industry around $1 billion in sales.” (Gary Clyde Hufbauer & Sean Lowry, “US Tire Tariffs: Saving Few Jobs At High Cost,” Peterson Institute For International Economics, April 2012)
NUMBER 6: President Obama Will Grossly Distort Mitt Romney’s Position On Abortion And Contraception:
President Obama: “They Want To Take Us Back To The Policies More Suited To The 1950s Than The 21st Century.” OBAMA: “But when it comes to a woman's right to make her own health care choices, they want to take us back to the policies more suited to the 1950s than the 21st century.” (President Obama, Remarks, Denver, CO, 8/8/12)
PolitiFact, On Obama Campaign Attacks About Mitt Romney’s Position On Abortion: “The Obama Campaign Has Twisted Romney's Position To A Ridiculous Degree.” “The ad from the Obama campaign said Romney "backed a bill that outlaws all abortions, even in cases of rape and incest." The Obama campaign provides virtually nothing to back that up, however. It has no evidence that Romney explicitly opposed the exception for rape and incest. While he supported the "human life amendment," there are many versions and the most recent ones allow abortion after rape or incest. And it's worth noting that in 2011, Romney declared that has said he supports those exceptions. In its effort to appeal to women, the Obama campaign has twisted Romney's position to a ridiculous degree. We rate the claim Pants on Fire.” (“Obama Ad Says Romney Opposed Abortion, Even In Cases Of Rape And Incest,” PolitiFact, 6/25/12)
Mitt Romney: “I Would Totally And Completely Oppose Any Effort To Ban Contraception.” ROMNEY: “George, this is an unusual topic that you're raising. States have a right to ban contraception? I can't imagine a state banning contraception. I can't imagine the circumstances where a state would want to do so, and if I were a governor of a state or... “ STEPHANOPOULOS: “Well, the Supreme Court has ruled –“  ROMNEY: “... or a legislature of a state -- I would totally and completely oppose any effort to ban contraception.” (Mitt Romney, Republican Presidential Debate, Manchester, NH, 1/7/12)
NUMBER 7: President Obama Will Claim He’s Cut Taxes For The Middle Class – But He Won’t Mention His Policies Are Threatening To Hike Taxes By $4,000:
President Obama: “I Said That I Would Cut Taxes For Middle-Class Families. And That's Exactly What I Did.” OBAMA: “Well, I think -- let's talk about taxes because I think it's instructive. Now, four years ago when I stood on this stage I said that I would cut taxes for middle-class families. And that's exactly what I did.” (President Obama, Presidential Debate, Denver, CO, 10/3/12)
American Enterprise Institute Has Calculated That The Annual Cost Of President Obama’s Current And Looming Debt Burden Amounts To $4,000 Per Year In Higher Taxes On The Middle Class. “In a new paper, AEI’s Matt Jensen looks at the real annual cost of servicing the debt for households at various levels of income — including a potentially higher tax burden. As the table below illustrates, a household making between $100,000 and $200,000 a year could find its tax liability higher by roughly $2,400 every year. Over ten years, that works out to $24,000. And when you add in the debt already accrued the past four years under President Obama (the second table), that’s another $1,600 a year. So now we are now talking about $4,000 a year, $40,000 over ten years.” (James Pethokoukis, “Study: Obama’s Big Budget Deficits Could Mean A $4,000 A Year Middle-Class Tax Hike,” American Enterprise Institute, 10/2/12)
And President Obama Has Already Raised Taxes On Nearly 5 Million Middle-Class Americans In Obamacare. (“Payments Of Penalties For Being Uninsured Under The Affordable Care Act,” Congressional Budget Office, 9/12)
·         An Analysis By The Congressional Budget Office Found That “Nearly 80 Percent Of Those Who’ll Face” Obamacare’s Mandate Tax Are In The Middle Class. “Nonetheless, in his first campaign for the White House, Obama pledged not to raise taxes on individuals making less than $200,000 a year and couples making less than $250,000. And the budget office analysis found that nearly 80 percent of those who'll face the penalty would be making up to or less than five times the federal poverty level.” (“Tax Penalty To Hit Nearly 6M Uninsured People,” The Associated Press, 9/19/12)