Jansing and Co | June 20, 2013
>>> long before last night's debate was over fact checkers got to work, a theme mitt romney jumped on.
>> mr. president, your entitled to your own airplane and your own house, but not your facts.
>> joining me is shawn splicer and democratic national committee communications director brad woodhouse . we are going into the specifics of what was said last night, but brad, let me start with you. i want to ask both of you this, analysts say that these debates in a battle between style versus substance, style wins out in the end. how much does fact checking matter?
>> well, look, i think it matters. what i think you saw last night happened with mitt romney was he took some short-term gain for some long-term pain. i mean, look, chris , last night if mitt romney was talking, he was lying. he lied about his tax plan that cost $5 trillion. his campaign has never disputed that his tax plan costs $5 trillion until last night. he lied about medicare and what his plan will do.
>> we are going to get into some of those specifics, so here's --
>> here's my point, chris . i don't believe that style will win out over substance in the long run. one reason mitt romney --
>> let me ask the same question to shawn . shawn , style versus substance?
>> right. i think last night was a clear choice. and on style and on substance or any other measure that you want to judge it, mitt romney laid out a clear plan for this country and did it in a way that resonated with most americans. i think on the other hand it was not a question of style that the president lacked, it was a lacking of policies and a record over the last four years that he was able to pivot to. and i think the problem is that at some point in the middle of the debate last night the president finally realized, wait, i have actually been president the last four years, i can't bash the last four years because i was actually in charge. i had a democratic congress. and i don't have much to show for it. so i think that's the biggest problem. it was not just a style thing. it actually was a very clear substance issue that the president lacked last night.
>> all right. let's sort of truth chest one of the big issues of this campaign, the deficit. msnbc's richard luis, you are the truth squad. what about the deficit?
>> this is what the president said his plan would cut, the deficit, it would cut it by $4 trillion. take a listen.
>> i put forward a specific $4 trillion deficit reduction plan. it's on a website. you can look at all the numbers. what cuts we make and what revenue we raise.
>> well, chris , the president is counting money saved by letting the bush tax cuts expire for people making more than $250,000 a year. but he's also counting $1 trillion in savings by drawing down the wars in iraq and afghanistan. nonpartisan budget experts call that a gimmick because the wars were deficit-financed in the first place.
>> back to our panel. brad, your thoughts on the deficit?
>> well, look, first of all, you won't be surprised that i disagree with that analysis. you know the president, the savings from the wars is actually true and important. i mean, mitt romney , chris , wants to spend $2 trillion on the defense department the pentagon asked for and he wants to go back to war in iraq . those should be concerns of the american people . those would explode the deficit. he didn't lay out one single detail about how other than going after big bird how he would deal with the deficit last night. not one single detail.
>> what were the details there, shawn ?
>> okay, hold on a second. this is the same president who attacks -- hold on, brad, quiet down. i actually am going to make a point factual. you may want to take note. the president in the same debate said that he wants to achieve savings through drawing down the war in iraq and afghanistan, but it is also the same president who said the wars were not paid for, they were paid for with borrowed money from china. if you're borrowing money from china to pay for it and say i'm going to have deficit savings for money borrowed, as richard pointed out, it does not make sense. the other issue is that four years ago when the president stood on the stage with senator mccain , he laid out a plan and said, i'm going to cut the deficit in half by the end of my first term. not only was it not cut in half, but he added $5.4 trillion. we have a $16 trillion deficit now.
>> i want to do another fact check here. hold on, guys. the third reel of politics also came up last night. here's what mitt romney said on medicare .
>> what i support is no change for current retirees and near retirees to medicare . and the president supports taking $716 billion out of that program.
>> richard , what about that claim?
>> well, chris , in fact, that $716 billion comes from trimming plan future increases over the next decade, not cutting funding. now, those trims come from eliminating payments to health care providers and insurers, not limited care to seniors. medicare 's chief act ware says mr. obama's health form substantially improves the program's finances. romney's changes would not affect anyone currently over the age of 55. now, also last night, president obama said that unlike medicare social security does not need to be fundamentally fixed to remain solvent. take a listen.
>> social security is structurally sound. it's going to have to be tweaked the way it was by ronald reagan and speaker, democratic speaker tip o'neal.
>> according to the congressional budget office , social security will run into financial trouble. by the year 2030 the amount social security pays out will exceed the tax revenue coming in. so, chris , in about 20 years the program will not be able to pay for itself.
>> thank you for that, richard . we'll take a quick break, come back and let our panel weigh in on the medicare debate. we'll be right