When even Pat Buchanan at the top of Fox News’ post-debate coverage gives the win to the President “on points,” you know Romney had a bad night. How bad a night?
When Gerald Ford flubbed his response to a debate question in 1976 denying “Soviet domination of Eastern Europe,” the debate moderator tried, unsuccessfully, to let Mr. Ford take it back. When Romney, in tonight’s debate, incorrectly charged that Obama had taken 14 days to call out the attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya as an act of “terror,” he got fact-checked, real-time by moderator Candy Crowley.
Here’s the quote from the President’s Rose Garden speech on the day after the attack:
No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for. Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America. We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done.
Obama knew what he had said. Crowley did too, and she said so. Romney’s facial expression was priceless – going from primed for the kill to confusion over his misstatement.
Obama got in another great line about Romney’s supposed 5-point plan for the economy. Obama distilled it down to a single, solitary point:
Governor Romney doesn’t have a five-point plan. He has a one-point plan. And that plan is to make sure that folks at the top play by a different set of rules. That’s been his philosophy in the private sector, that’s been his philosophy as governor, that’s been his philosophy as a presidential candidate.
Then, in the second-to-last response of the night, Romney gave the President an opening to bring up his “47 percent” remarks without a chance to reply, by saying, “I want 100 percent of the American people to have a bright and prosperous future.”
And Obama pounced:
I believe Governor Romney is a good man. Loves his family, cares
about his faith. But I also believe that when he said behind closed
doors that 47 percent of the country considered themselves victims who refuse personal responsibility, think about who he was talking about: Folks on Social Security… Veterans… Students… [and] Soldiers….
And I want to fight for them. That’s what I’ve been doing for the last four years. Because if they succeed, I believe the country succeeds.
And that’s not even getting into the twitter winner of the night, when Romney referred to viewing “binders full of women” to fill his Massachusetts cabinet. Awkward.
The old Romney is back, and so is the old Obama.