Looking at the reaction Democrats and the Obama campaign are having to the debate this morning, I sense some may be making a form of the mistake I said President Obama made last night.
Are they coming to have a discussion or coming to make a point? Debates are seldom graded by the debates themselves. The verdict comes as people and the press pick apart what was said over a period of news cycles.
The crux of the campaign for months has turned on what Romney’s actual policies are. Who do they benefit? He’s been consistently vague or misleading on those points. In this debate when pressed he simply lied on numerous points. On the issue of pre-existing conditions, he said his plan would cover those people. Minutes after the debate his top advisor admitted that wasn’t true.
More significantly, his tax plan simply has now way to cover the costs of $5 trillion of upper income tax cuts without pushing through really massive tax increases on middle income voters. Romney said, don’t worry I can make it work. CNN said, he said you need to take his word for it. And as long as you do, he’s right and Obama’s wrong.
But the numbers simply don’t add up. It really is simple math. The studies Romney cited aren’t even studies. A couple are just opeds by his advisors. Dems need to bring this back to the simple fact that Romney double-down on lying about what his plan does. It cuts taxes for wealthy Americans, raises them for middle class Americans. And called on that point, Romney just lied.
The facts are straightforward and have been chronicled in endless reporting up to this point. Romney is much more vulnerable on these points than most now realize.
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.