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When Candidates Were Presidential

Updated on June 16, 2022
Rodric29 profile image

Politico-Socio issues stay ever with us. Gain perspective in deciding if "these" words resonate with your understanding and thinking.

Reflections on 2012 Presidential Debate



President Obama came with his "win" game for the debate. He aggressively attacked and defended during the debate instead of being passive as was the case at the previous presidential debates.

One highlight of the debate occurred when the president and the governor went face to face over one of their talking points. It seemed as though the atmosphere electrified and the men almost took the debate to a fisticuff! As lively as the debate was, the crowd could not control its urge to respond throughout the debate.

Mitt Romney was asked to please be seated by the moderator at one time. The crowd chortled here and there as Obama made micro-expressions during Romney's explanations.

Mitt offered a calm and collected demeanor except when he spoke. Passion reigned on both sides though Mitt's passion appears to have more substance as the debate evolved.

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney pushed the moderator as they spoke over her. She never lost her composure.


The first question posed to and received by Mitt Romney was concerning the possibility of acquiring a job when students graduate.

Romney did not answer the question but started prattling about his views on the matter and promising that student a job who posed the question.

Former President Obama addressed the question and gave some points on what he would do if elected for another four years.

  • One, give incentives to companies that decided to keep jobs in America rather than outsource them.
  • Two, Obama accused Mitt Romney of not having a plan of action other than to keep the rich wealthy.

Mitt refuted the former President's claim and explained several times his plan for the economy.

Obama failed miserably following the second point. Mitt wants to create jobs by using all the natural resources in America to become energy independent--what former President Trump made happen during his term (2016-2020).

Obama spent $98 billion to fund green alternatives, which all failed. Mitt did not mention this in the debate but he did argue that oil and other resource production were down and gas prices at the time were high.

Promises of Obama

America will gain more Jobs:

  1. The unemployment rate did not change in 2012. But it did towards the end of his presidency.
  2. Obama did see job growth during the first term but more jobs were lost than gained!

The former president took ownership as he stated during the debate; so, he is responsible for the job losses as well as the job gains during his presidency.

American taxes will be cut.

His health care plan helped reduce the monetary spending on medicare and created a tax increase on the middle class. He used the technicality that he did not "specifically" raise taxes per se, but the policies he supported by implication caused the taxes to increase.

America will have a balanced budget.

Obama increased the debt by one trillion dollars each year of his presidency. The budget was reported as half one trillion when former President Bush was in office. Obama did the opposite of what he said by far as the most expensive presidency in US History at that debate! However, it is a trend that all presidents spend when they enter the presidency in recent history. Compared to President Bush, Obama did not spend much more than he did, percentage-wise. Bush doubled his debt and so did Obama.

Mitt imputed President Obama by instructing that a nation can tell if Obama's plan is working by how much it pays for gas at the pump.

  • There was a 200% + increase in cost since Obama was elected president at that time.
  • Obama's solution was to continue business as usual, while Romney wanted to drill for more oil and produce more coal. He wanted to use all sources of energy, and not focus on a few.

The fact that in the final year of his presidency the petrol prices decreased significantly is an indication that the former President decided correctly. Obama does not appear so severe hindsight being 20/20. Biden makes Obama look like the good old days.

Litany of Failure

Mitt Romney went into attack mode for the remainder of the debate.

The president dodged and avoided answering many questions during the remainder of the debate and tried to confuse the audience and listeners by his traditional method of oversimplifying Romney's position or outright fudging the position. It worked

This did not diminish Romney's assault on Obama during the debate. Romney listed all the failed promises of President Obama. The humor of the listing came because Obama had just admitted that he was a man of his word.

The President's Chief Job is to Bring the Country Together.

Obama divided the nation from the august hall of Congress to the citizen on the street. The former president did nothing compared to the division inspired by former president Donald Trump. His tactics have shattered the Republican party and inspired otherwise decent people to behave like hoodlums on both sides of the issue.

Former President Obama did not know how to make a plan that saves money, but Mitt does know. Hopefully, he will make another presidential bid. Mitt is decidedly against Trump though he did not oppose him as a candidate in the first election in 2016.

Some of Mitt's Promises

  1. He would not raise taxes on the middle class.
  2. He would not raise taxes on the rich, who already pay 60% of all income taxes!
  3. He would remove certain deductions for the rich, and lower the tax rate for all Americans. His reasoning was that the rich provide the jobs--rich included small business owners.
  4. He would support small businesses.
  5. He planned to fight the Obamacare plan which causes small businesses not to hire due to high healthcare costs.
  6. He would balance the budget.

Obama claimed that he cannot see how Mitt will do this because he cannot make the math work. Mitt retorted on several occasions in and outside of the debate, in a nutshell, saying that he needed to replace Obama because he is better at math, Mitt can make it work.


  • No more taxes on savings account shares and dividends and other accounts for the middle class.
  • No more loopholes for the wealthy.
  • Creating jobs will increase the number of people who will pay taxes, which will help balance the budget--instead of spending billions on companies that fail even with government help.

What Mitt Can Do

Romney took the debate one step further when he challenged the fitness of the president to lead. Romney states that he balanced the budget for his state of Massachusetts. He challenged Obama by inferring:

"What have you done Obama?"

Mitt told Obama that he spent the last 25 years balancing budgets and creating jobs; he challenged the president again with:

"What have you done Obama?"

  • Mitt wanted the voters to see specifically his qualification and experience in producing success in business and government. Mitt has done all of it!
  • President Obama had no experience successfully providing bi-partisan support for any item in 2012, but Mitt Romney had experience.
  • Mitt Romney's health plan for his state cost the state nothing and is still working for the state after he left.
  • Obama's plan for health had the same intent but costs too much.
  • Mitt knows how to build consensus.
  • Obama knows how to burn bridges with the Affordable Health Act.

As with any policy, over time, the citizens accept it will not change. They accepted social security, Medicaid, welfare benefits, etc.


Other Points that Stood Out

Obama tried to use the car industry as his success story and villainize Mitt for saying let the companies fail and go through bankruptcy. The only problem with what the president said is that Mitt was right. All of the companies the president wanted to help went through bankruptcy just like Mitt said before they could turn around. Obama did not prevent this from happening and could say nothing more about the subject.

Mitt accused Barack of not keeping his promise of reform for immigration to the US. He was supposed to produce a policy in the first year of office. There was still no policy at the time of the debate. Mitt wanted to know why.

Obama dodged answering the gun control question about removing automatic weapons from the streets. Mitt casually connected Obama to the controversy over government-supplied guns being supplied to drug lords in Mexico.

After Debate Perspective

Obama did not answer any of the questions that night that mattered to me. He put on a good show, but he still did not represent the ideas that I honor.

I do not support abortion outside of incest, rape, and endangerment to the life of the mother. I do not see myself supporting a party that supports abortion as the Democrats do. I also do not support the Republican Party because it seems only slightly different.

I do not support same-gender marriage. Why would I vote for someone who supports those things when I have in a Mitt Romney type someone who shares my view, even though the Judiciary made this a settled point?

I took away from this debate that I am more determined than ever for Mitt Romney to run again, or someone like him, in the 2024 election.

My advice is to pick the most important issues to you and vote for the person who is most likely to uphold them. I want to preserve family values and normal relationships. The 2016 and 2020 elections made me miss the civility of the 2012 elections. I missed the days when civil people ran for government office instead of clowns.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2012 Rodric Anthony Johnson


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