Stirrett vs. Miller
Published: Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 9, 2012 17:10
Scott Stirrett Debate Analysis
Romney proved in the recent debate that he is a feisty debater and a better public speaker than most people give him credit.
While style is nice, what candidates say has to come down to the substance. In the debate this past week, Romney used "facts" that have been widely derided as untrue.
According to Politifact, a fact checking website, Romney was false in asserting that President Obama gave $90 billion in tax breaks to renewable energy companies such as Solyndra. In fact, the $90 billion was not given at all through tax breaks and was not even directed at specific companies.
Additionally on the deficit, Romney claimed that Obama doubled the deficit, which again is patently untrue according to Politifact. These are but a few examples of where in the most recent debate Romney was more than liberal with the truth.
In the next debate, Americans deserve to be spoken to by candidates who have not only a strong debating style, but also arguments grounded in actual facts.
Hannah Miller Response
It is absolutely true that the candidates ought to ground their political rhetoric in facts. Let's not forget that this goes for Obama just as much as Romney.
The issue with the facts that Romney used in the past debate is not so much that they are wrong as that they can have multiple interpretations. They are debatable. And, yet, Obama did not contest them. Silence is not compliance, but Obama's lack of response suggests that he might want to brush up on some facts for the upcoming debate as well.
Obama did challenge Romney's liberalness with the truth, and he has continued to do so through attack ads. Regardless, this is not really the most important issue.
Candidates should be judged on their actual rather than speculative behavior. You admit that Romney has been less than honest, but when you criticized President Obama's actions, you could only present an example of an instance in the future when you think the president will be liberal with facts. The fact that you used a speculative example is telling. While Obama's rhetoric in the past debate was not up to his usual high standards, he won where it mattered — on the issues, and on being transparent with voters.
Hannah Miller Debate Analysis
Romney proved many things in the first debate, one of which is that he is running a truly substantive campaign.
He pushed back on Democrats’ accusations that he is a candidate with a platform of fluff, laying out a clear plan for economic recovery: increase domestic energy, restructure and improve public education, cut the deficit, reward successful businesses and repeal Obamacare.
Those are all promises that are much easier made than effectuated. Even so, Romney did an extraordinary job delving into the details of what each would entail. And I would refer those who are still skeptical to the roughly 150-page plan found on his website, in which he expounds upon these goals in exhaustive detail.
Granted, Obama has a bigger burden than Romney does: he not only has to explain why economic recovery has been so sluggish during his presidency, but also what he would do differently to effect more successful results in another term. He did neither of those things. It is not enough for Obama supporters to defend their candidate. The incumbent should be able to explain his failures and articulate his plan for success in a second term. Failure to do so is indicative of his lack of qualification for reelection.
Scott Stirrett response
Last time I checked, President Obama has not been quiet on the issue of Romney's lack transparency in the recent debate. His campaign released an advertisement titled "Dishonesty," which actually quotes Romney from the debate. There is no silence and there is no compliance.
I'm not going to argue that stylistically the most recent debate was President Obama's best. Most pundits in the past week have written what has become stale analysis about how Obama needs to show more gusto in the next debate.
What I am going to argue is about the issues, which actually matter: that it's time for immigration reform, that Americans need marriage equality and that the way to achieve this is through voting to reelect President Obama.
Case and point: The Obama campaign — not the candidate himself — is doing the talking. Regardless of the delivery, the content of Obama’s rhetoric was sorely lacking in the debate. The issues do matter. Tired or rested, ill from altitude sickness or perfectly healthy, Obama should have been able to talk about them. Given the opportunity to directly debate Romney on economic policy, the presidential incumbent passed on it. A candidate who cannot articulate and defend his own policy should not be given the office to execute it.
Scott Stirrett is a senior in the School of Foreign Service. Hannah Miller is a junior in the College.