2012 Election: First Debate Recap

Were you as excited to watch last night’s debate at the University of Denver as we were? It’s such a great experience seeing the two candidates talk face to face and address accusations right there on camera. Poor Jim Lehrer couldn’t get a word in when it came to moderating… but the President and Governor were quite determined to explain their thoughts on a host of topics focused on domestic policy.

Takeaways from the debate included President Obama noting the challenges facing him when he came into office, focusing on the progress his administration has made (such as healthcare and tax cuts for the middle class and small businesses), and emphasizing looking to the future and the next four years. In contrast, Governor Romney focused on the past four years and what he believes to be the failures of the Obama Administration, specifically spotlighting the President’s policies on the economy, unemployment, and entitlement programs.

Both candidates focused on how they would improve life for middle-income American families through various policies, from healthcare to creating more jobs.  In keeping with conservative viewpoints, Governor Romney discussed making some federal programs instead based at the state and local levels and also emphasized the importance of the private sector. On the deficit, the President encouraged voters to check out his specific plan for lowering the deficit by $4 trillion, while suggesting Governor Romney has yet to share specifics for his deficit reduction plan, along with other plans.

Both candidates agreed that the general structure of Social Security policy is in good shape, but differed on their plans for Medicare. Governor Romney suggested President Obama’s plans for Medicare would cut $716 billion from the program.  On healthcare, the President defended Obamacare, while Governor Romney vowed to repeal the law and supports implementing a program similar to the healthcare program he implemented in Massachusetts.

While the candidates’ positions are imperative, we want to know your thoughts.  Did you watch the debate?  What did you think? Did anything surprise you?  What topics do you wish they had debated more or less?  Did this debate change your mind at all on any topics or either candidate? Who do you think, “won” the debate?

We’ll be back on October 12 to re-cap the Vice Presidential debate on October 11.

Did you miss the first debate? Check our Guide to the 2012 Elections for details on registering to vote, absentee voting, important swing states, and the official debates calendar!

Carrie Pastor
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