Left and Right Live Blogging the Obama-Romney Debates

The U.S. News's live opinion blog

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Peter Roff 10:38: As to President Clinton's math class, when he was president he called the same kinds of reductions in the rate of growth in discretionary spending the Gingrich Congress proposed that Obama has done to Medicare as part of Obamacare "cuts." So if they were cuts then aren't they still cuts now?

[See a collection of political cartoons on the budget and deficit.]

Boris Epshteyn 10:38: President Obama looks surprised at how strong Governor Romney was.

Peter Roff 10:32: I get the sense that the president's line in his closing remarks about not being a perfect and not being a perfect president—"something Governor Romney would probably agree with"—was supposed to be a laugh line. It wasn't.

Boris Epshteyn 10:31: President Obama's message: "If you vote for me, I will keep doing what I have been for the last four years." That is not a strong pitch.

Boris Epshteyn 10:30: President Obama looking every way but at Governor Romney. This debate is the best thing to happen to Governor Romney's quest for the presidency since he declared his candidacy.

Ron Bonjean 10:29: Business Executive vs. Professor—Romney has the eye of the tiger. He always provides or responds with several ideas—No. 1, No. 2, No. 3—while Obama keeps spending time defending or attacking one thing.

Peter Roff 10:28: The president, in talking about Governor Romney having a busy first day, is starting to whine just a little. He seems to be getting a little defensive. And manages to work killing Osama bin Laden into a debate on the economy and domestic policy. Is it really coming down to "Obama got Osama?"

Robert Schlesinger 10:28: And a good point from Roger Simon ( @politicoroger) on Twitter: "Romney: 'Mr. President, you're entitled to your own airplane and your own house, but not to your own facts.' Romney doesn't own house/plane?" Robert Schlesinger 10:25: So … Romney doesn't want to cut education; he doesn't want to raise taxes; he can't say what loopholes he'd close; he does want to dramatically increase military spending; and whilst doing all of this he claims he'll balance the budget? How does that work? Time to get back into Professor Clinton's math class?

Peter Roff 10:24: On education and student loans, if you can't deliver a zinger, Mr. President, without stumbling over it, you probably shouldn't try to stick your opponent with it. Meanwhile Romney comes back with the solid argument that all the money that went to green energy businesses run by Obama's political supporters could have be used to hire 2 million new teachers.

Mary Kate Cary 10:23: I think part of President Obama's bad performance tonight has to do with the lack of a teleprompter. Seems lost.

Robert Schlesinger 10:22: On Twitter, National Review's Jim Geraghty makes a great point: "Seventy-seven minutes in. What words have we not heard so far? '47 Percent.'"

Peter Roff 10:19: Governor Romney delivering a far superior answer to the question about the role of government. Starting with the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution and drawing it down to to basic programs like food stamps and long-term unemployment.

Robert Schlesinger 10:17: Here's another answer to the question about the role of the federal government: The government fills in where the free market fails. Social Security and Medicare weren't created because of creeping socialism or a desire to snatch away individual liberty; they were created because the free market was leaving seniors in poverty as they hadn't been able to save enough for their retirement or pay for their medical bills. Ditto clean air and water laws. Ditto regulations of Wall Street and so forth.

Peter Roff 10:12: Excuse me but did President Obama just admit he has been less-than-truthful about the pre-existing condition issue? That his much vaunted reform of the law was actually already law to begin with? That the pre-existing condition was already dealt with before Obamacare became law? I could be wrong but it certainly sounded like that to me. Robert Schlesinger 10:09: Sports break: With Tampa taking down the Baltimore Orioles 4-1, your American League Eastern Division champions are the New York Yankees. The fact that the Bronx Bombers are pounding the Red Sox (13-2 in the seventh inning) is just gravy. Anyway, back to the evening's political sporting event…