Here are a few things to listen for in the debate tonight.
Obama will refer more than once to Romney’s trickle down tax cuts. What that means is Romney wants to cut taxes on all and believes the ensuing consumer spending will drive the economy.
Romney will refer to Trickle Down Government, meaning Obama wants to raise taxes so the government can spend the money.
The question is do you believe people should spend their own money, or should the government do it for you? Whoever presents their position better goes a long way to winning the debate.
Obama will refer to tax cuts for the rich, “who don’t need it”. He is referring to Romney’s plan for cuts across the board. He will say he is for the middle class.
Romney will counter that yes he wants to lower rates but he is going to take away deductions from the higher income to assure their share of taxes remains constant. He will say he wants to help the middle class because they need it the most.
So why would Romney want to lower rates but lower deductions too? The answer is when you lower rates you put money in people’s hands that they spend. The deductions cuts only show up at tax time.
The question for you is do you want to raise taxes on the “rich” (family income over $250,000) or have them remain constant? If Obama can paint Romney for the rich he wins. If Romney can convince people he is for the middle class and the weathly won’t profit he wins.
Are we on our way to recovery or not ….
Obama will say over and over we are on the right path. Jobs are coming back, housing is recovering, he saved the auto industry and that he inherited a mess so bad it took this long to get us here.
Romney will say this is not what a recovery looks like when you come out of a down period. He will ask the question wasn’t it the President who said if we elect him unemployment will never reach 8%, that it would under 6% today and that he would cut the deficit in half?
The question to answer: Is this recovery and do you want to stay on the same track or do we need a new approach? If Obama paints the picture that the economy is back he wins. If Romney illustrates that Obama has failed and has no plan for the future he wins.
Back to the future
Obama will claim that Romney’s policies are back to Bush’s and how we got into the mess.
Romney has to explain why his approach is different and call Obama out on it.
This will go a long way to deciding who shines tonight. Can Obama corner Romney as old school? Can Romney paint Obama as out of ideas?
Obama will highlight that Hillary took the blame today. He didn’t know they asked for more support. He will try and cut Romney’s attack off by saying the buck stops with him. He will I predict take responsibility. He will then act tough and mention Bin Laden is dead and that he will hunt down those responsible. (BTW, this may well be an October surpise as the U.S. strikes back).
Romney will challenge him here. It’s your administration and why did you walk around for weeks blaming a video when this was clearly a terrorist attack on 9/11.
Obama will try and emphasis all he has done “got Bid Laden, ended two wars” to show toughness and leadership. Romney will try and show his vulnerability. Your approach has not worked, you tried to sell the attack as a video reaction, the Arab spring is really an Arab Winter.
This will be a key segment as Obama’s strength at the outset of the campaign was foreign policy. Romney must dent him here.
What would Romney do different with Foreign Policy?
Ryan had trouble answering this and it’s a tough question. Obama might challenge Romney on it. What would you have done different in Iraq or Afghanistan? What would you do different in Iran, go to war? Romney needs a response.
Keep your eyes and ears open. The stakes are so high. Romney needs a strong performance to continue moving forward. He cannot stall now because as we pointed yesterday he may lead in the polls but he trails in electoral count. Obama needs to at least break even. If he loses here he may for the first time truly be in trouble.