The Daily Rundown | October 04, 2012
>> good morning. style and substance. mitt romney delivers and making republicans wondering where that guy has been during these many long months of the general election . as for the president, he was subdued and surprised by not attacking mitt romney more. never uttering words like bayne, bush, or 47%. it's going to be a long two weeks before the next debate in new york for team obama . and of course, it all happened right here in battleground, colorado. it's a state that's been trending quickly from red to purple in recent years. will the first debate keep it from going blue again for the president and going back to red? good morning again from the university of denver . thursday, october 4th . 2012 . this is "daily rundown." i'm chuck todd . a big hour ahead, including daily reaction from orrin hatch , governor martin o'malley and many more. let's get to the first read of the morning. in what may be the most substantive debate in the era of televised presidential debates. mitt romney performed as if his campaign depended on it, while a surprisingly subdued president obama allowed his challenger to dictate the terms of the debate. from the start, romney displayed confidence and demanding the presence on stage. he oned up the president on his own wedding anniversary shoutout.
>> i want to wish you, sweetie, happy anniversary .
>> congratligss on your anniversary. i'm sure this was the most romantic place you could imagine, here with me.
>> that set the tone as romney seemed to control the tempo. sometimes serving as the moderator himself.
>> let's get back to medicare . the president began this segment. so i get the last word.
>> you're going to get the first word of the next segment.
>> he gets the first word of that segment. i get the last word of the segment.
>> it didn't take long for the deep philosophical agreements to come through. first on taxes where the president pressed romney on what he characterized as a $5 trillion tax cuts .
>> he's saying he's going to pay for it by closing loopholes and deductions. the problem is he's been asked over 100 times how to close the deductions and loopholes and he hasn't been able to identify them.
>> virtually everything he said about the tax plan is enaccurate. if it were a tax plan i was asked to support, i would say absolutely not. i'm not looking for a $5 trillion tax cuts . i said i won't put in place a tax cut that adds to the deficit.
>> for 18 months, he's been running on this tax plan, and now, five weeks before the election, he's saying his big bold idea is never mind.
>> let me repeat what i said. i'm not in favor of a $5 trillion tax cut . that's not my plan.
>> it dominated the deficit reduction part of the debate as the president reached back to an iconic moment from the primaries.
>> governor romney stood on the stage with other republican candidates for the nomination, and he was asked, would you take $10 of spending cuts for just $1 of revenue. and he said no.
>> you've been president four years. you said you would cut the deficit in half. it's four years later. you raised taxes and you killed jobs. the rev new i get is by more people working, getting higher pay, paying more taxes.
>> much to the chagrin of more liberal members shlg the president didn't mention bayne capital. didn't question about his tax returns . somehow talked about the bush tax cuts without uttering the name bush. all lines of attack on the campaign pushing in tv ads and on the trail. the sharpest contrast was on medicare . though romney did try to blur the lines.
>> neither the president nor i are proposing any changes for any current retirees or near retirees, either to social security or medicare . so if you're 60 or older, don't need to listen any further.
>> you would turn medicare into a voucher program. it's called premium support. it's understood to be a voucher program.
>> and you don't support that?
>> i don't. and let me explain why.
>> again, that's for future people. not for current retirees.
>> i dunce. so if you're 54 or 55. you might want to listen.
>> that might have been the president's strongest rejoiner of the night. romney seemed to control many of the backs and forths, even the lighter moments.
>> i'll get rid of it. obama care is on my list. i use that term with all respect.
>> i like it.
>> the difference in the debate demeanor is most evident at the end during the closing statements.
>> you know, four years ago we were going through a major crisis. and yet my faith and confidence in the american future is undiminished. four years ago i said i'm not a perfect man and wouldn't be a perfect president. that's a promise governor romney thinks i kept. i also promised that i would fight every single day on behalf of the american people .
>> romney , a much crisper closing.
>> kbrn this is bigger than an election about the two of us as individuals. it's bigger than our respective parties. it's an election about the course of america . i will keep america strong and get america 's middle class working again.
>> romney had a bounce in his step post debate. it looked like a genuine moment on stage. romney lingered after the president left and parted with a triumphant wave. got a rousing response from relieved partisans. if romney 's goal for the first debate was to get a second look from voters, he succeeded. he was energetic and funny. came across as knowledgeable. especially to those tuning in for the first time. a clear winner in a handful. responders pick him as the winner by 40 points. uncommitted voters polled by cbs news called romney the winner by a 2 - 1 margin. and 56% said the opinion of romney changed for the better after last fight. 13% said that about the president. ron allen sat down with a group of undecided voters and watched the debate in colorado just a few miles for the university of denver . here's what he found.
>> how many of you were impressed by governor romney ? how many of you saw something in governor romney that you hadn't seen before? generally speaking.
>> ultimately i think he's very compassionate. he seems like his poll is are defensible.
>> i'm impressed by governor romney . especially with the hard hit about lack of specifics.
>> have any of you now made up your mind? you're still all undecided.
>> those stubborn undecided. you can hear more at 11:00 on msnbc. clearly for republicans who were thrilled to be in this room last night, this was a needed shot in the arm. and though the obama campaign has tried to argue romney 's aggressive approach, the president governor came off more likable.
>> were you satisfied with the performance?
>> well, he's never satisfied. he's always challenging himself.
>> i do think there's a sense of, you know, a dynamic shift in the campaign. i know there's a lot of talk about the style. governor romney was in command of the facts and had solutions. but he laid out a very clear choice.
>> oning the debate is always a two part deal. the night itself and then the aftermath. team obama with pressure to win the aftermath. they will draw attention to specific pledges that are mathematically difficult. his vow to keep any tax proposal deficit neutral. and then cutting taxes for the middle class . and then the obama campaign points out romney did not disagree that his medicare plan would consistent of vouchers for future retiree ls. white house adviser clark argued those positions will hurt romney in ohio and in florida in the long term in a couple of weeks.