Tonight was the most important night in America: the first presidential debate between President Barack Obama and presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The presidential race is currently leaning in favor of Obama, but tonight, Mitt Romney seemed fresh and well-prepared while Obama looked tired and stumbled through a lackluster performance — and Vegas oddsmakers upped Romney’s chances.
The debate was held in Colorado at the University of Denver and began at 9 p.m. (ET). The heat lasted for an hour and a half and was televised live on every major network. Jim Lehrer, the executive editor and former host of PBS NewsHour, moderated the debate for the 12th time. The 90-minute debate was be divided into six 15-minute sections with each one on different topics that spanned from issues on the economy and taxes to healthcare.
1. Obama Wants to Invest in New Sources of Energy While Romney in Clean Coal and Canada Pipe Line
While the debate began with President Obama wishing the first lady a happy 20th anniversary and Governor Romney joking about spending it with him, the light-hearted beginning quickly turned into a fiery fight. The first question Lehrer shot off was how each of the candidates planned on creating jobs. Obama started off by advocating new sources of energy like solar and wind. Romney on the other hand is in favor of clean coal and wants to bring in the pipe line from Canada.
2. Obama Said “Romney’s Proposal Calls for an $5 Trillion Tax Cut”
Obama repeatedly accused Romney of proposing a plan that involves a $5 trillion tax cut, but Romney replied that his statement was completely false and that he will not make tax cuts that add to the federal deficit. They both came back to these contrasting statements again, and again, and again.
3. Romney Said “I Will Not Lower Taxes on the Rich and I Will Not Raise Taxes on the Middle Class”
In response to The President’s statements about Romney’s tax plan, the governor denied it all saying he will not lower taxes on the rich, nor will he raise taxes on the middle class:
“High-income people are doing just fine in this economy. They’ll do fine whether you’re president or I am,” Romney said. “I will not reduce the taxes paid by high-income Americans.”
“Well, for 18 months he’s been running on this tax plan. And now, five weeks before the election, he’s saying that his big, bold idea is, ‘never mind.'”
4. Romney Wants to Eliminate Obamacare
“I just don’t know how the president could have come into office, facing 23 million people out of work, rising unemployment, an economic crisis at the — at the kitchen table, and spend his energy and passion for two years fighting for Obamacare instead of fighting for jobs for the American people. It has killed jobs,” Romney said.
5. Both Put an Emphasis on Education
Although the two candidates disagreed on most issues, they certainly agreed on education. They both said that they want to improve education in the U.S. and plan on increasing its funding.
6. Romney Wants to Bring Republicans and Democrats Closer Together
— PolitiFact (@politifact) October 4, 2012
7. Romney’s “47 Percent” Statement Not Brought Up
Though Romney was hit hard recently for his statements about 47 percent of Americans being dependent on the government, Obama did not bring up the subject. In general the president was passive. Perhaps he didn’t want to appear defensive, but he came off as borderline apathetic.
8. Basically, Romney Kicked Obama’s Ass
Clearly, Governor Romney did very well during the first presidential debate. He gave off a very strong presence and aggressively took control of the conversation many times. Obama, on the other hand, often looked down at his podium and had less energy than his opponent. An instant poll from CNN found that registered voters gave the debate to Romney by a 67 percent to 25 percent margin.
9. Big Bird Trended on Twitter after Being Mentioned in the Debate
During the debate, Romney said that he would cut spending on PBS, despite his love for Big Bird. Shortly after, “#Big Bird” rose to the top of the trending list on twitter, and even the big yellow bird himself had something to say:
— Big Bird (@BlGBlRD) October 4, 2012
OMG. Big Bird driving a Tesla over clean coal while doing math problems. Someone made me a picture!! http://heavy.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/ejndm.jpg
— Ross Miller (@ohnorosco) October 4, 2012
It’s bad enough Bert and Ernie aren’t afforded equal rights as a loving and committed couple, but now he’s got to go after Big Bird, too!
— Heather Whaley (@HeatherWhaley) October 4, 2012
10. Two More Presidential Debates Will Follow
The October 3 debate was the first of three. The next one will be on October 11 between Vice President Joe Biden and Mitt’s Republican running mate, U.S. Representative Paul Ryan.