Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Obama: 'Candy, get used to getting interrupted...'

Hempstead, New York – The set at Hofstra University was sky blue, oval-shaped, with little bleachers around its perimeter where 80 undecided New Yorkers sat with skepticism written all over their faces, and little slit windows cut in its rear walls for cameras.

You couldn't help thinking they looked like the kind of surveillance windows you see in discount stores, police stations...

A kid named Epstein led off when the moderator allowed him to ask Gov. Mitt Romney if he agreed with his college professors that if and when he graduates, there probably won't be a job waiting for him.

He wanted to know how to reassure his parents. He sounded as scared as the grown-ups around him looked.

The Governor began a rambling, unresponsive rejoinder that took him from peak to peak in the middle of nowhere, until he finally said he wanted to keep Pell Grants and student loans.

When President Obama got his time to respond, the Governor cut him off, argued with the moderator, a zoftig middle-aged New Yorker named Candace, and greatly delayed the President's reply.

Perched on bar stools with end tables by their sides, the two debaters looked like punchy late-night drunks staggering off tavern stools to stand in a belligerent stance in the middle of the barroom floor, then stalk away when their sound byte was done. 

They got down to taxes, and President Obama said, “I said I would cut taxes for middle class people, and that's what I've done.” 

Pan to a close-up, the Governor in soft focus in the background.

He said the average middle-class family now pays about $3,600 less in taxes each year. When it comes to small business, he said, he has cut taxes 18 times.

For the first $250,000 in income, there will be no change in a second Obama Administration.

“Governor Romney's allies in Congress have held the 98 percent hostage.”


If elected, said Governor Romney, he will make it his first act to label China a “currency manipulator,” and he will impose tariffs against Chinese imports to punish the manufacturers.

“I spent my life in the private sector, not in government,” he said, repeatedly.

He added that most of the people he knows who meet payrolls are reluctant to add jobs because they have no idea what Obamacare will do to their bottom line if, and when it's implemented.

President Obama replied that the companies Mr. Romney developed while he was with Bain Capital, “invested in what we call the pioneers of outsourcing.” He added that “There are some jobs that won't come back.” He wants to train people for the high-tech jobs of the future, the kind that call for highly skilled, really smart people.

His take: “There's a fundamentally different vision of how we will move our country forward.”

And then he reminded the audience of Governor Romney's recent remark to very wealthy campaign contributors at a private event in Boca Raton when he said 47 percent of the nation sees themselves as “victims,” people who will vote for the President, no matter what.

The next debate will take place there in that affluent seaside Florida community on Monday, to be held at a university campus.

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