Like many people across the country, I was anticipating Monday night’s debate. President Obama slept-walked through the first one. The second debate saw an invigorated incumbent who, off the heels of his vice president’s strong showing, demonstrated that he in fact could debate and debate well. With the presidential debates essentially tied, I tuned in wondering which Barack Obama would show up: the sleepwalker or the man that captivated millions?
I wasn’t disappointed in President Obama’s performance. As I live-tweeted the debate, I realized there were so many quotes that were worth discussing. Romney was on the defensive all night, complaining that the President was attacking him instead of focusing on foreign policy issues. That sounds a lot like the kettle calling the pot black (the irony!). You could see after each Obama “zinger” that Romney’s face got tight. With that said, here are my five top quotes from President Obama on Monday night:
1. “Governor Romney, I’m glad that you recognize that Al Qaida is a threat, because a few months ago when you were asked what’s the biggest geopolitical threat facing America, you said Russia, not Al Qaida; you said Russia, in the 1980s, they’re now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because, you know, the Cold War’s been over for 20 years.”
I’m glad that Obama finally called Romney on his flip-flop approach when it comes to foreign policy (or any policy for that matter). Russia shouldn’t be ignored. I’m sure Sarah Palin would agree. But last time I checked, they didn’t have nuclear missiles sitting in Cuba. Perhaps Romney would like to have Joseph Stalin assassinated as well.
2. “Well, let’s talk about what we need to compete. First of all, Governor Romney talks about small businesses. But, Governor, when you were in Massachusetts, small businesses development ranked about 48th, I think out of 50 states in Massachusetts, because the policies that you are promoting actually don’t help small businesses.”
Romney’s platform is that as a former businessman, he will use that acumen to turn the economy around and lower the unemployment rate. Ranking 48th out of 50 states in small business development doesn’t indicate that Romney is that great at his claim to fame.
3. “Nothing Governor Romney just said is true, starting with this notion of me apologizing. This has been probably the biggest whopper that’s been told during the course of this campaign. And every fact checker and every reporter who’s looked at it, Governor, has said this is not true.”
President Obama just called Willard a boldfaced liar to his face. If Romney’s skin wasn’t already tangerine (or Jersey Shore) orange, I believe he would’ve turned bright red.
4. “But what I think the American people recognize is after a decade of war it’s time to do some nation building here at home. And what we can now do is free up some resources, to, for example, put Americans back to work, especially our veterans, rebuilding our roads, our bridges, our schools, making sure that, you know, our veterans are getting the care that they need when it comes to post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury, making sure that the certifications that they need for good jobs of the future are in place.”
This might be my favorite quote, not because it was a jab at Willard, but it’s how I’ve felt for some time now. We’re spending millions and millions of dollars per day in the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. Imagine if half of that money were spent on domestic issues? Half of the problems our country faces would be solved overnight.
5. “But I think Governor Romney maybe hasn’t spent enough time looking at how our military works. You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military’s changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines.”
This was the quote of the night. The best part was the clever pictures of horses and bayonets that I saw on Instagram and Twitter. The look on Romney’s face was priceless as the crowd, who was instructed to be quiet, laughed at him.
I thought the final presidential debate was the most entertaining, mainly because President Obama came out swinging on one of his strongest issues and because Willard cried most of the night about being personally attacked. I still think a lot of issues weren’t covered during the three debates that needed to be heard; more specifically, crime and immigration. However, it did enough to get people buzzing. We’ll see what happens on election day.
What did you think of the final Presidential debate? Did either of the candidates change your mind on your vote? What were your favorite quotes from the night?