Election 2014  
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9 Best Blows Landed by Obama in Presidential Debate

The president punctured Romney’s armor of jovial smugness through a combination of rehearsed rejoinders, on-the-spot quips and deft deflections of Romney’s attacks.

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Obama was quick on the draw, per the transcript:

Governor Romney doesn't have a five-point plan. He has a one-point plan. And that plan is to make sure that folks at the top play by a different set of rules. That's been his philosophy in the private sector, that's been his philosophy as governor, that's been his philosophy as a presidential candidate.

You can make a lot of money and pay lower tax rates than somebody who makes a lot less. You can ship jobs overseas and get tax breaks for it. You can invest in a company, bankrupt it, lay off the workers, strip away their pensions, and you still make money.

4. “A sketchy deal.” Throughout the campaign, Romney has touted his plan for a 20 percent across-the-board tax cut, offering not much in the way of details about how he would pay for it. In an round on taxes, Obama painted Romney as trying to put one over on the American people. From the transcript:

Now, Governor Romney was a very successful investor. If somebody came to you, Governor, with a plan that said, here, I want to spend $7 or $8 trillion, and then we're going to pay for it, but we can't tell you until maybe after the election how we're going to do it, you wouldn't take such a sketchy deal and neither should you, the American people, because the math doesn't add up.

5. Yours is bigger than mine. After Obama took Romney to task for investments by Bain Capital in companies that outsourced American jobs to China, Romney circled back at the end of an answer on immigration, thinking he had a bit of information on which he could snag the president. Obama’s own pension fund, Romney claimed, included investments in Chinese companies and an investment in a fund listed in the Cayman Islands, a notorious tax haven where Romney has an estimated $3 million stashed. Instead of addressing the charges, Obama quipped that he doesn’t spend much time looking at his pension because, compared to Romney’s, it’s not all that big. From the transcript:

ROMNEY: Any investments I have over the last eight years have been managed by a blind trust. And I understand they do include investments outside the United States, including in -- in Chinese companies. Mr. President, have you looked at your pension? Have you looked at your pension?

OBAMA: I've got to say...

ROMNEY: Mr. President, have you looked at your pension?

OBAMA: You know, I -- I don't look at my pension. It's not as big as yours so it doesn't take as long.

6. Go after “gang-bangers,” not students. During a discussion of immigration, Obama tied Arizona’s draconian anti-immigrant law, SB 1070, around Romney’s neck, and noted Romney’s pledge to veto the DREAM Act, a proposal to allow a path to citizenship for children of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children. Today, these young people face deportation at every turn, especially as they pursue higher education. They cannot get drivers’ licenses or student aid.

When Romney denied that he lauded the Arizona law, which was written to allow law-enforcement officers to demand immigration documents from anyone they suspected of being in the U.S. without government sanction, as a “model for the nation,” Obama pointed out that Romney’s immigration adviser was the designer of SB1070.

But the DREAM Act is where Obama scored his biggest point on immigration. From the transcript:

What I've also said is if we're going to go after folks who are here illegally, we should do it smartly and go after folks who are criminals, gang-bangers, people who are hurting the community -- not after students, not after folks who are here just because they're trying to figure out how to feed their families. And that's what we've done. And what I've also said is for young people who come here, brought here often times by their parents. Had gone to school here, pledged allegiance to the flag. Think of this as their country. Understand themselves as Americans in every way except having papers. And we should make sure that we give them a pathway to citizenship.

 
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