Greater Fool / Past Work

Pre-Debate Notes: Likely Talking Points

Barack Obama

Barack Obama (Photo credit: jamesomalley)

As we are just hours away from the first Presidential debates of this election cycle only one thing comes to mind… Finally.  This election cycle has been a headache for many Americans throughout the country. 


Romney (Photo credit: Talk Radio News Service)

Negative ads, and political back and forth over every word said, the 24-hour news cycle of today has made coverage almost unbearable to non-political junkies. 

 Well fellow Fools, the nonsense will take a back seat tonight (one can hope) as President Obama and Mitt Romney take the stage.  One on one.  Mano y mano.  This is the first time the country will hear the candidates lay out their plans for America at the same venue.

With all that has happened so far in this election cycle there are a number of topics that are likely to arise.  Don’t worry you won’t have to scour the internet searching for information on all these subjects.  The Greater Fool will list them all out for you right here.

  • The Economy and Jobs
    • Romney– The subject weighing heaviest on American’s minds will undoubtably come up multiple times throughout the debate.  Mitt Romney will most likely focus on slow job growth and follow the similar message of “Are you better off.”  Romney, making the claim his plan will create 12 million more jobs,  has come under heat in the past months for not being clear about what his jobs plan will entail.  Romney will have to clearly lay out to the public some of what he plans to do to be successful tonight. 
    • Obama will most likely point to his automotive record, pointing out that his opponents opposed the plan.  The recent report that auto sales are up 10% the past month will help Obama.  The number of 4.5 million jobs created will likely be expressed as well.  Depending on where your starting point is, the resulting number can be skewed.  The 4.5 million jobs number is correct if you start from January 2010, when many Obama supporters say his policies started to be implemented.  The other side of the aisle will counter this by saying Democrats are leaving out a full year of Obama’s Presidency in the numbers.  Either way, this will be the most hotly debated subject of the debate.
  • Education
    • Obama– Education will be a major issue in this campaign as both candidates look to capture the youth vote.  One thing is certain, America is falling behind when it comes to education.  In an interview with Savannah Guthrie during the NBC’s Education Nation, Obama talked about “Race to the Top,” his support of the Common Core standards, and stated that teachers are not the sole issue.

“We’re going to give more money to those schools that are serious about reform but we’re not going to let people make excuses and suggest that it’s just a money problem,” said Obama during the interview.

College cost has been a hot topic as well.  Obama will likely talk about his support of student loans and Pell Grants, and admit the need to find a way to make college affordable to all Americans.

    • Romney’s focus has been notably different when it comes to education policy.  Romney has strongly opposed Federal money being used in education.  Both candidates have said they would not endorse colleges and universities who raise tuition, and would support those who drive down cost.  Romney has said he would like to simplify the financial aid system, and refocus Pell Grants so that only the most needy students received them.  In an interview with Brian Williams for NBC’s Education Nation Summit Romney explained why he opposes the implementation of Common Core in US schools.

“I don’t want to step in and try to run schools for local school districts or for states. Education is largely run at the state level,” said Romney in the interview.

He also comments on teachers unions in the interview saying that he supports teachers rights to strike, but has a problem with unions being able to donate to political campaigns because of the “extraordinary conflict of interest.”

  • Healthcare- President Obama need to explain the Affordable Care Act to quell the worries some voters still hold over the law, but will surely refer to the recent Supreme Court ruling in the White House’s favor.  Romney has said that he does agree with some aspects of the law, but admits that there are flaws he would like to change.  Both candidates will likely lay out their own plans for further health care reform.
  • Military Spending- Both candidates hold strongly opposing views on this subject and it will likely be a topic that arises again in other debates of foreign policy.  Obama supports $500 billion of military budget cuts set to begin in January.  Romney has strongly opposed cuts to military spending saying that it will hurt national security.  This is not a new argument.  There are those on both sides of the aisle who feel differently about this subject.  With US troops returning from Afghanistan, and the recent turmoil in the Middle East, this is an issue we will continue to hear in future debates.

One thing is certain, this debate hosted by Jim Lehrer of PBS will certainly be exciting TV.  Make sure to tune in when it starts at 9:00pm ET tonight, and be sure to come back tomorrow when we analyze the results.


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