Romney vs. Obama and Crowley

GETTY IMAGES Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and President Obama talk to each other during a town hall style debate … Continued

GETTY IMAGES

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and President Obama talk to each other during a town hall style debate at Hofstra University on Oct. 16, 2012 in Hempstead, N.Y.

The economy, abortion, and national security took center stage, but the moderator stole the show at Tuesday night’s presidential debate at Hofstra University. While liberals were racing to announce, “Obama is back,” the debate resulted in a firefight that clearly highlighted the contrasts between former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and President Obama.

From their leadership styles, approach to governing, and national security strategies, to their domestic, foreign, and economic policies, the contrast could not be clearer.

Regardless of the questions, President Obama found a way to steer them to the issues he wanted to discuss even if the answer was blatantly off topic. He turned a question about equal pay for women into an opportunity to promote more government funding for the abortion industry.

Five times he touted Planned Parenthood. He equated more taxpayer funding for the abortion industry as “a pocketbook issue for women.” In addition to defending Planned Parenthood funding in his response to a question about pay equity, President Obama promoted more taxpayer funding for the abortion industry in response to questions about what he had done to earn someone’s vote and how Romney was different than George W. Bush.


View Photo Gallery: A far more aggressive President Obama showed up for his second debate with Mitt Romney, and at moments their town-hall-style engagement felt more like a shouting match than a presidential debate.

It was clear he wanted to talk about abortion any chance he got, a continuation of his Democrat convention talking points.

He tried to assert that “Governor Romney feels comfortable having politicians in Washington decide the health care choices that women are making.” Yet, ironically, it is President Obama who used Washington politicians to force a government orchestrated health insurance system, Obamacare, on all Americans. It is President Obama who is forcing “everybody who is insured” to pay for contraceptive and abortion-pill insurance coverage regardless of the dictates of their faith through the HHS mandate.

Romney pushed back on the president’s implication that he didn’t want women to have contraceptives, saying, “I don’t believe that bureaucrats in Washington should tell someone whether they can use contraceptives or not. And I don’t believe employers should tell someone whether they could have contraceptive care or not.” As Romney has repeatedly said, people of faith should not be forced to pay for abortion pills and contraceptives that violate the “tenets of their own faith.”

On the economy, the former governor laid out a comprehensive and cogent contrast between his plan and President Obama’s record. He explained:

President Obama’s response to the sluggish economy was to say that he would bring about government takeovers of more industries like he did for the auto industry, saying, “I want to do that in industries, not just in Detroit, but all across the country.” He told the young man asking how he could find a good job that his plan was to bring “high wage, high skill jobs” back to America, and then proceeded to basically give him a choice to work in manufacturing or an auto plant.

It is clear that Romney won more favor with the American people on how he will handle the economy. CNN’s flash poll showed Romney gained “an 18-point lead on the economy,” and CBS’s poll showed Romney winning the debate on the economy 65 percent to 34 percent

On this key issue, which most agree is the key issue of the election, Romney dominated.

While the debate was heated from the opening question to the final moment, as it progressed, the moderator interjected herself more and more until an unfortunate moment at the most critical part of the debate – the Libya question.

Candy Crowley, CNN’s chief political correspondent and the first woman chosen to host a presidential debate in two decades, was given the unique opportunity to set the bar for aspiring female journalists. Instead, Crowley awkwardly went outside the boundaries, rudely interrupting the candidates when she saw fit, and conveniently making up the rules as she went along. In fact, it is estimated that she interrupted Romney 28 times while only interrupting Obama nine times.

South Carolina’s Charleston County Republican Party Chair Lin Bennett said, “Romney not only had to debate the president but he had to debate Candy Crowley as well.”

Crowley was caught in a blatant act of partisanship when she attempted to cover for President Obama’s statement on Libya. Don’t be fooled, Crowley’s defense of the president was no innocent mistake, but yet another example of journalistic integrity gone awry. At a minimum, viewers deserve a level of professionalism from a presidential debate moderator. However, Crowley’s lack of judgment only served to confirm the faults of the so-called “Fourth Estate.” When asked why she could possibly make such an error she replied, “The president kept looking at me going, ‘you know’ — and I thought, well, I did know then.”

This response is not the defense of a veteran journalist but rather the ramblings of a faithful follower of President Obama. A moderator should think twice before blindly following a candidate’s command to speak out on his behalf. Crowley became an Obama aide when she incorrectly decided to briefly become a surrogate for a candidate whose real goal was to end the discussion. While she may have succeeded in assisting Obama during the debate, what happened next is further insult to her integrity as a journalist.

If Crowley is a “veteran journalist” with unprecedented experience, she should know not to make statements without knowing the truth. But when asked what she thought of the candidates performance Crowley said, “So I thought they were both incredibly intense, they both came to play, but I didn’t totally get this kind of ‘we hate each other’ vibe from them at all. I just got an urgency vibe from the both of them.” Her actions did no not match her words, a convenient cover for the biased environment she created.

Crowley failed and ended up spending the rest of her night admitting that she was wrong. It was clear that her goal was not to deliver truth to the American people but rather to please the liberal establishment. No matter what side of the aisle you’re on, this sycophantic behavior by a moderator should not be tolerated in a debate.

Crowley’s journalistic failure could not have come at a more critical moment of the debate. In response to the only question on what happened when our consulate was attacked and our ambassador murdered last month in Libya, President Obama asserted that he told the American people the morning after the attack that, “this was an act of terror.”

Romney pressed him on this assertion stating, “I want to make sure we get that for the record because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.” Crowley interjected herself into the debate, with a sort of on the spot fact check, that Obama “did call it an act of terror.” An assertion by the debate moderated that was just plain wrong. The Washington Post, Washington Times, Politico’s Mike Allen, and even Crowley herself, later stated that Romney was right. The reality is that while Obama did say, “‘No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this nation,’ . . . he did not say ‘terrorism’—and it took the administration days to concede that that it an ‘act of terrorism’ that appears unrelated to initial reports of anger at a video that defamed the prophet Muhammad.”

Putting aside the fact checking, the moderator, the semantics, and the spin, the President’s handling of Libya and how he explained it to the American people leaves many questions to be answered.

If President Obama knew it was an act of terrorism on the day after the attack, why did he send his United Nations Ambassador out five days later to say it was a mob reaction to a video? Why did he himself go before the UN two weeks later and blame that video six times?

What President Obama essentially did last night was admit that he voted for calling it a terrorist attack before he voted against it, and then for it again.

These questions are only going to build until the final debate on foreign policy. Libya was the only question of the entire debate that Obama didn’t want more time to talk about and asked to move on from. He won’t have that luxury on Monday night.


Jordan Sekulow is executive director of the American Center for Law and Justice. He served as a consultant to Romney for President in 2008. Anna Sekulow is director of digital policy for the ACLJ. Matthew Clark is an attorney for the ACLJ.

  • thekidscaredoyou

    Dear “journalist” Jordan: I guess you know that 97% of Planned Parenthood is spent on detection of cancer, sexually transmitted diseases, family planning, contraception, right? If you eliminate those services for millions of women, you will get more pregnancies, more abortions, more unwanted kids, more diseases and corresponding health care costs (with or without Obamacare/Romneycare). So the return on investment in Planned Parenthood is pretty high. Eliminating that means we will be paying for it in some other way. It doesn’t make the problem disappear. It’s a lot more complicated than it is being presented.

  • Veritas1964

    Hey Jordan when you wrote this statement “On the economy, the former governor laid out a comprehensive and cogent contrast between his plan and President Obama’s record.” were you laughing? Obviously you must have your radar up receiving some kind of subliminal ‘Mitt’ waves or something. If you seriously believe for even one minute that Mitt has a “comprehensive and cogent” plan for anything you must have a pretty warped definition of comprehensive and cogent.

  • pr101

    Teriffic clear, fact-driven article! The best analysis I have seen of Obama’s claim to have said Benghazi was an act of terrorism on Sept. 12th. Send this to everyone you know.

  • pr101

    Romney has never proposed to end OB services for women. Did he do that in as governor? Of course not. In fact, many of us Massachusetts residents get free OB services via Mass Health, the healthcare program that Romney spearheaded for his state. If you are buying that depiction of Romney, you have clearly not done your homework on Romney’s history. The Obama team knows their only hope is to paint Romney as someone he is not because the real Romney has effectively worked with a Democratic majority in Massachusetts to blaze new trails with healthcare, education (Mass. schools no. 1 in the nation), fix fiscal problems, balance budgets and create a surplus rainy day fund that the state had not seen before. As for Planned Parenthood, if more of us had jobs, more of us could donate to the non-profit organizations of our choosing, not the government’s choosing. I trust my own decision making abilities when it comes to my hard earned money one-thousand times more than a body of people I do not know and who do not know me who live and work in the Washington bubble.

  • It wasn’t me

    “Five times he touted Planned Parenthood. He equated more taxpayer funding for the abortion industry as “a pocketbook issue for women.” In addition to defending Planned Parenthood funding in his response to a question about pay equity, President Obama promoted more taxpayer funding for the abortion industry.”

    What a load of malarkey as Biden would say …what debate did you watch ?

    Planned Parenthood according to you is just about aborting babies ..what a load of tosh .

  • dcofer

    Maybe plannedparenthood should open seperate facilites funded by the liberal left to do abortions. It is a violation of US law to use tax dollars for this but Obamas DOJ refused to do anything about it.

  • Zammana

    How did Crowley just happen to have that particular transcript on hand and how did the President know she had it ready?

  • Zammana

    I don’t understand how the model for Schwarzenegger’s costume when his character tried to sneak onto Mars got to “moderate” the debate…

  • Sebana W

    When you start using words like “essentially” you choose to deceive yourself. You cannot always wear colored glasses to see what you want to see. Romney has changed positions (lied) several times and you will not see it for what it is. Lies! You even think that calling something an act of terror is the main thing. How dumb can that be. The main thing is to pursue those that did the horrendous act.

  • @yooper

    Was Crowley’s debate intervention pre-planned?

    Carefully watch Crowley in the replay where Obama says:

    “The day after the attack, Governor, I STOOD IN THE ROSE GARDEN…”

    Notice Crowley drag some papers that had been laying off to the side. This is very important. As Romney fumbled to make the point that it took 14 days for the President to call the Benghazi attack an “act of terror”, Obama gleefully says “Please proceed, please proceed Governor”. Then at the moment when the trap had been set, Obama says:

    “Get the transcript”

    How did Obama know Crowley conveniently had a transcript of the Rose Garden speech? Theory: Team Obama had given Crowley the marked transcript, setting the focus on “Rose Garden” as her cue to tie the words “act of terror” to Benghazi, in a way that would defuse Romney’s argument.

    So much for the candidates not knowing the town-hall questions ahead of time.

    In the days following the Benghazi attack, the American people saw a vigorous cover-up attempt by the White House, to deflect attention away from radical Islamic terrorism. The bigger story is what happened before and during the second debate, when the moderator was enlisted by Obama spin doctors to help cover up the cover-up.

  • Penny1212

    To borrow from Marcellus’ “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark,” something is rotten in the state of Obamaland.

    How did Obama know that Candy Crowley had a transcript of his Sept. 12 appearance on Sept. 12? Remember? He said to her, “Get the transcript, Candy.”

    SIMPLE. IT WAS A SETUP FROM THE BEGINNING!

    A lie compounded. A setup exposed! A wrongheaded assumption that we’re too stupid to figure it all out.

    Obama is the most corrupt congenital liar ever to occupy the White House. Good riddance to him on Nov. 6!

    Hello, President Romney.

  • joev4012

    What about the MILLIOND of tax payer dollars Planned parenthood is spending on campaign ads supporting Obama? Is that ok with you? Did you know it is against the law for publically funded organizations to do this? Can you answer why the Obama Justice dept is allowing this?

    I know you cannot answer these questions because there is no answer but nonetheless you will keep your liberal head buried deeply in the sand as you drool over your “dear leader” who just happens to be the most unqualified individual to ever hold the office of president in this Nations history.

  • joev4012

    LOL, you really have to laugh at the dopey liberals here. Crowley has ADMITTED Romney was correct on the Benghazi point and she was WRONG to correct him and yet the libs here are STILL claiming she was right.

    You cannot fix stupid when it is elevated to this magnitude.

  • georgiarat

    Three Debates where the moderators gave more time to the Democrats than Republicans, average number of interruptions of the moderator of Republicans over three to one by the moderator (over 82 times by rude and crude Biden) and one example of blatant setup and trap coordinated by the President and Moderator. Just shows how shamefully partisan the press is in this country. What little credibility Candy Crowley had left has a journalists was totally shattered.

  • cricket44

    Whine, whine, whine. The only religious liberties in jeopardy are those of women being denied the benefits they have already earned because of their employers’ need to force doctrine.

    Your guy lost so it’s the moderator’s fault…uh-huh.

  • cricket44

    “most unqualified individual to ever hold the office of president in this Nations history. ”

    Nope, that was Bush. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

  • Bull S. Meter

    Hopefully there’s an antidote for your brainwashing in Mitt’s binder full of women.

  • donx65

    Since Armstrong can no longer compete because of his violations, should Crowley be allowed to publish after her compelling bias?

  • bigdog121

    Romney vs Candy and Eye Candy

  • bigdog121

    They are the biggest killers of unborn babies in this country

  • bigdog121

    i have no idea what you are talking about

  • persiflage

    Scott, the great confabulator……..churches are full of brainless twits, and quite a few of them are men.

    That never stopped them from trying to set the rules for their intellecual superiors…..many of whom are women.

    Romney has never supplied a straightforward answer to any question that’s ever been asked of him on the campaign trail and for a very good reason. He may change his mind tomorrow.

  • persiflage

    Michael Savage is a mental disorder………a particularly nasty one.

  • persiflage

    ‘That has always been its primary agenda, ever since Sanger founded it to reduce the black population.’

    Oh come on Scott, some of you guys are still fighting the war between the states over there in Old Virginny……….and still losing.
    Planned Parenthood? Nobody has ever abused and repressed black folks like the Deep South. Your current governor is no one to brag about either.

  • Sadetec

    @ScottinVA: “She thinks abortion trumps religious rights.”

    Everybody’s religious rights, or just YOUR religious rights?

    If a Christian employer is allowed a say over what healthcare is funded for their employees, can a Muslim employer do the same? Could a Christian Scientist refuse to fund any treatment that wasn’t prayer based?

    Are you, I wonder, going to play the Christian nation card? — effectively implying “religious rights” only apply to one particular religion, which (let me guess) coincidentally happens to be the one you belong to..!

  • Secular1

    Sadetec, it is SinVa’s MO that rest of us live by his book of fairy tales. This man with Magic underwear tell these fellow fairy tale believers that he is just like them and signs up to everything the fairy talers believe. Lets see these fairy talers believed some 12 years ago these fairy talers believed that budget surplus meant national debt was erased to “ZERO”. So they glad to believe the village Idiot Shrub’s tax cuts. Then these fairy talers believed that going on two needless wars on credit card meant it is free. Just so that their VI Shrub could compare the length of his manhood against his father and that dictator from Mesopotamia. Lo and behold eight years later they gained this new found thing called national debt. Guess what they went into convulsions as if it was all Obama’s doing, just less than two months after he took his oath. And of course it had nothing do with the fact that the man a is a few shades darker than themselves. Of course it had nothing to do with their charge that President was not born in USA. I had heard also that their man in magic underwear was actually born in Mexicao with their polygamist Romneys. I wonder how much investigations these patriots would undertake. Now this man with magic underwear tels them that he will further reduce the taxes by 7,000 billion, and add another 2,000 Billion in more defense expenses, Then he says his magic underwear will find not only the 7,000 billion dollars gains in taxes off of the deductions over $25,000. This dos not even address the existing deficits thanks to teh village idiot. But it does not surprise me that these fairy talers would believe in anything, especially coming from the man with magic underwear.