msnbc | October 03, 2012
>> lawrence o'donnell who is in denver in the spin room .
>> i'm in the spin room now where marco rubio is the star. he's telling them how great governor romney did tonight. i think we have to recognize here that we do not declare the winner of this debate. the voters are going to make that declaration. we're going to find out not tomorrow. we're not going to know for three or four days. we will see a first round of polling on this, minimum of four days from now. so we go into it with our personal expectations and our personal notions about which candidate should have said what when the other candidate said that, but the verdict is not ours. the verdict is delivered by the american people and you have to ask yourself what did mitt romney do here to close these polling gaps that he is the victim of at the moment in the battle ground states and in the national polls. and you have to find exactly where were those lines if you're making the theory that mitt romney was some kind of big winner here tonight. the president clearly came in with what i would call a presidential strategy in the debate. and they may, at team obama , look at that tonight and say we've got to change that. and that strategy was the president was not going to step down from the presidential podium into that courtroom and become a prosecutor. mitt romney was happy to take on the role of the smiling prosecutor, which i think we can all agree was exactly what he should have done. tactically what we saw mitt romney do makes sense from where we're sitting certainly, and when you are sitting where we're sitting, watching what the president was doing in the debate, being careful, protecting his lead, you might say, you can look at that and say that's not going to work in the next two debates. and i think team obama is probably looking at that right now and saying okay, we have to step into this debate. we can't stand back and i would differ with you, rachel about the moderator point in this debate. i actually like this kind of debate because the moderator is not a factor. he leaves it up to the debaters to make it a debate. mitt romney 's team knew that and mitt romney came into this debate determined to make it a debate. no one brought up green jobs . the moderator didn't bring up green jobs . mitt romney did to use it as a tool against the president. the president has to realize that his side and he is under the same obligation to drive the debate from his side himself. the moderator is not going to drive this debate.
>> that's exactly right. that's sort of the point that i was trying to make about how the different approaches of romney and obama played very differently with this sort of a format and that romney just rolled over the format and made it about everything he wanted it to be. everything on domestic policy on which he is the weakest was just avoided because he drove the agenda of the debate. lehrer got rolled over by romney again and again. and it was the president's fault that he did not do the same thing.
>> one more quick point. mitt romney is very, very hard to anticipate. we've been asking for months, how is mitt romney going to explain the deduction side of his $5 trillion tax cut . he's going to do a $5 trillion tax cut . he says he's going to pay for it by closing deductions. who among us anticipated that mitt romney 's answer would be, i will not do a $5 trillion tax cut ? that is not -- i could not anticipate it. i don't know if anyone on the obama team anticipated it, but that was a stunning way for mitt romney to get out of his obligation to answer how he's going to pay for this tax cut . he simply lied outright about the size of his tax cut .
>> over and over and over again. it is not complicated math here. this isn't one of those fact check things that you have to look things up and get a graph. mitt romney is proposing a 20% across the board cut in tax rates . that costs $5 trillion. and he's saying it doesn't cost that. like that's the only thing you need to know about what mitt romney is proposing. you don't need a phd to know that's the factual implication from what he's talking about.
>> but see, that's my point. i agree that it's going to be two or three