There's nothing like watching a debate knowing that it's happening live, but if you couldn't tune in last night, we forgive you! No judgment, just the facts — we've transcribed five quotes from the candidates that you need to know to keep up with the heat, over the next month.
1. Since the first whisperings of the President's gigantic health care bill, the term "Obamacare" has entered the vernacular — first among conservatives and others who opposed the legislation, but now, across the mainstream. And, surprise! Obama isn't bothered by the term in the least, in fact, he told viewers last night that he actually likes it after Romney apologized for using it and clarified that he meant it respectfully. Said Obama, “I don’t mind it being called Obamacare because, it’s true, I do care.”
2. Last night, Mitt Romney responded to the recent demand for further details of his specific economic plans. One clarification that made waves? As president, he would end government funding to PBS, although he likes the educational channel, moderator Jim Lehrer and "Big Bird, too." That caused quite a stir on social media, as the bird himself can tell you.
3. Referring to a phrase in the Constitution stating that Americans are "endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights," Romney made the controversial comment that "we’re a nation that believes that we’re all children of the same God," and, later, that “we are all children of the same God, and we have to come together to solve our problems and not be fighting so much."
4. As expected, Obama and Romney spent a good portion of the debate talking about the GOP candidate's proposed $5 trillion tax cut. Romney insisted that he would not raise taxes on the poor or on the middle class, and that his plan would be "distributionally neutral," cutting out loopholes and credits that allow some wealthy citizens to pay a lower portion of their income in taxes, and then lowering the rate base to protect small businesses (which don't file as corporations). Obama responded with the following: "If you're lowering the rates as you describe, governor, it is not possible to come up with enough deductions and loopholes that only affect high-income individuals or burdening the middle class. It's math, it's arithmetic."
5. Obama has maintained his position that, despite criticism, his economic policies have actually helped to reverse the deficit in the last four years. Last night, he acknowledged that "we've got to do more...and the way we do it is $2.50 for every cut, we ask for $1 of additional revenue, paid for, as I indicated earlier, by asking those of us who have done very well in this country to contribute a little bit more to reduce the deficit. Governor Romney earlier mentioned the Bowles-Simpson commission. Well, that's how the commission — bipartisan commission that talked about how we should move forward suggested we have to do it, in a balanced way with some revenue and some spending cuts. And this is a major difference that Governor Romney and I have."
Photo: Courtesy of Obama 2012.