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Round One - the First Presidential Debate
Mario Diaz, Esq.

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I guess you can say that President Obama's camp was right in lowering expectations for last night's debate. But I suspect you will get a lot of analysis from other news sources as to who won the debate and so forth, so I'll leave that to others who are smarter than me. I'm sure the fact checkers will have a blast going through the candidates' numbers and accusations against one another. From Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee's (CWALAC) point of view, I would like to highlight two areas where Gov. Romney really showed he has the proper perspective as to who we are as a nation and also what it will take to face the problems we currently face. First was Gov. Romney's view of the deficit. He said:
[I]t's a critical issue. I think it's not just an economic issue, I think it's a moral issue. I think it's, frankly, not moral for my generation to keep spending massively more than we take in, knowing those burdens are going to be passed on to the next generation and they're going to be paying the interest and the principal all their lives. And the amount of debt we're adding, at a trillion a year, is simply not moral.
President Obama also showed he was aware of the problem, but did not address it as strongly:
When I walked into the Oval Office, I had more than a trillion-dollar deficit greeting me. And we know where it came from: two wars that were paid for on a credit card; two tax cuts that were not paid for; and a whole bunch of programs that were not paid for; and then a massive economic crisis.
The second highlight came when Moderator Jim Lehrer asked about the role of government. Here is Gov. Romney's answer:
Look behind us. The Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. The role of government is to promote and protect the principles of those documents. First, life and liberty. We have a responsibility to protect the lives and liberties of our people, and that means a military second to none. I do not believe in cutting our military. I believe in maintaining the strength of America's military. Second, in that line that says we are endowed by our creator with our rights, I believe we must maintain our commitment to religious tolerance and freedom in this country. That statement also says that we are endowed by our creator with the right to pursue happiness as we choose. I interpret that as, one, making sure that those people who are less fortunate and can't care for themselves are cared by - by one another. We're a nation that believes that we're all children of the same god and we care for those that have difficulties, those that are elderly and have problems and challenges, those that are disabled. We care for them. And we - we look for discovery and innovation, all these things desired out of the American heart to provide the pursuit of happiness for our citizens. But we also believe in maintaining for individuals the right to pursue their dreams and not to have the government substitute itself for the rights of free individuals. And what we're seeing right now is, in my view, a - a trickle-down government approach, which has government thinking it can do a better job than free people pursuing their dreams. And it's not working. And the proof of that is 23 million people out of work. The proof of that is 1 out of 6 people in poverty. The proof of that is we've gone from 32 million on food stamps to 47 million on food stamps. The proof of that is that 50 percent of college graduates this year can't find work. We know that the path we're taking is not working. It's time for a new path.
Again, it is not that President Obama answered horribly, he was just flat. He said:
The first role of the federal government is to keep the American people safe. That's its most basic function. And as commander in chief, that is something that I've worked on and thought about every single day that I've been in the Oval Office. But I also believe that government has the capacity, the federal government has the capacity to help open up opportunity and create ladders of opportunity and to create frameworks where the American people can succeed. Look, the genius of America is the free enterprise system and freedom and the fact that people can go out there and start a business, work on an idea, make their own decisions.

Gov. Romney showed great awareness of the magnitude of this moment in history. He made it clear that our founding principles are essential to guide us as we move forward. The mention of religious liberty was most appropriate and desperately needed. The ever-increasing assault on our religious liberties is one of those areas of great concern for CWALAC, as it should be for all of us.

Obama, on the other hand, was much more subdued and did not show the same passion that Romney did in this debate. He looked tired. But there are still two debates more to come. Let's see what happens.



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Concerned Women for America
Legislative Action Committee
1015 Fifteenth St. N.W., Suite 1100
Washington, D.C. 20005
Phone: (202) 488-7000
Fax: (202) 488-0806
 
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