In case you missed last night’s presidential debate, we have the rundown of what went down.
+ Best factchecks of the night
Thanks to our buddies at Flackcheck.org, we were able to give real-time takedowns of candidate misstatements. Here are two favorites:
Obama: “I think it's important… that we take some of the money that we're saving as we wind down two wars to rebuild America.”
Flackcheck: "Drawing down wars that were already set to wind down and that were deficit financed in the first place should not be considered savings" - Maya McGuinness, The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget
Romney: “Let's focus on getting the costs down for people rather than raising it with the $2,500 additional premium.”
Flackcheck: "The actual increase has been $1,700, most of which was absorbed by employers and only a small part of which was attributable to the health care law." - Factcheck.org
+ The education debate
The candidates repeatedly referred to education over the course of the debate, with Obama mentioning the word “education” during the debate twelve times to Romney’s eight.
Romney argued that training programs need to be reformed to help kids get jobs and proposed grading schools to encourage them to improve. Investment in education, Obama said, would grow under a tax plan that increased tax rates on people who earn over $250,000 per year. And a Romney plan, he said, would end up “gutting” investment in schools.
+ Big Bird’s updating his resumé
The biggest loser of the night? Big Bird. When talking about cutting the deficit by reducing government spending, Romney offered up PBS as an example. “I’m sorry, Jim,” he said to the moderator, Jim Lehrer, who reports for PBS. “I’m going to the stop the subsidy to PBS. I’m going to stop other things. I like PBS. I love Big Bird. I actually like you, too.”
Pretty bold to fire the moderator in the middle of a debate! And this’ll lose him some Muppet votes for sure. He doesn’t have much to lose since Sesame Street is in Manhattan, and New York State has been in the Obama column since day one. We’ll see whether the gambit pays off and the message resonates with voters.
+ “Obamacare” will enter the dictionary
Obama pretty much announced tonight that he’s okay with calling his health reform package “Obamacare,” which originated from conservatives as a pithy way to pop the law’s bubble. In a defense of the reform bill, Obama said “I have become fond of this term, ‘Obamacare,’" while gazing upward with a look of childish wonder on his face. Okay, not really. But that’s actually what he said.
Health care was one of the big topics of the night. Romney said Obamacare increases the government spending and taxes. Obama retorted that repealing it would increase the cost of care to seniors while benefiting insurance companies and would lead many people with long-term conditions to be unable to get health insurance, as was the case in the previous system. To sort it all out, head to Factcheck.org