There is no doubt that debates are exciting and entertaining. It’s funny to watch the candidates shake their heads or sarcastically chuckle at comments made by their opponents, and it’s fun to cheer when your favored candidate makes a clever joke or snarky remark to insult their opponent. This year’s Presidential Debate at Denver University was no disappointment; both presidents performed well, made bold, assertive statements, and most importantly, were grandly sassy at one point or another. This debate in my opinion was also a perfect example of how, in the grand scheme of things, debates generally do not matter and perhaps are even misleading to the general public. Though it seems to be widely agreed upon that the Republican candidate did “win” the debate, supported by polls which have come in at 67% for Romney winning compared to 25% for Obama, there are still factual discrepancies about things said (by both parties) during the debate. A few statements made by both of the candidates were so debatable that they had to be fact-checked afterwards. The fact that that needed to happen just seems wrong. So what are Romney’s “victory” and Obama’s “loss” even based upon? Sure, Romney spoke articulately and maintained excellent composure, but this, in my opinion, does not make up for his false claims, accusations, and policy flip-flops both during the debate and over the course of his campaign ( (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9njHHyRI7g).
One of these major discrepancies was the details of Romney’s budget plan; Obama addressed Romney’s proposed $5 trillion tax cut in addition to Bush tax cuts and military spending which he plans to cover by closing deductions and loopholes, which Obama said that Romney had supported for 18 months. Mitt Romney denied ever supporting such a plan stating, “virtually everything he just about my tax plan is inaccurate.” Obama continued to enforce this point and the ambiguity with which Romney has discussed the specific of these deductions and loopholes, and Romney just as quickly continued to deny that he ever supported such a plan. Well someone must be telling the truth and amongst other statements and points that were questioned after the debate, I just don’t understand how either of the future Presidents of the United States of America can be so blatantly and straightforwardly dishonest. Turns out, according to the Washington Post’s fact-checker blog (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/factchecking-the-first-presidential-debate-of-2012/2012/10/04/9d47934e-0d66-11e2-bb5e-492c0d30bff6_blog.html?hpid=z3) that Romney was being dishonest; His proposal does include a cut of this magnitude, which he does plans to cover by closing deductions and loopholes of which he seemingly is not enthusiastic about providing the public with many details about. The Tax Policy Center has analyzed the specifics of his plan and come to the conclusion that these cuts and deductions would not provide sufficient funds to cover that of the tax cuts.
Obama as well made questionable claims, for example his statement, “over the last 30 months, we’ve seen 5 million jobs in the private sector created.” He in fact exaggerated by almost half a million jobs. I understand that during the debates, being so publically viewed, the debators try to avoid detail to aim to give as few people negative impressions as possible, however I don’t understand how/why they can be so dishonest and why there is so much flip-flopping!
The point is, whether it should be this way or not, that for one to truly take something substantial away from the debates it is important that they do their homework before and after to educate themselves on the facts of the candidates actual policies, beliefs, goals, etc., and to take each assertion made during the debate with a grain of salt.