Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are debating tonight having a Town-Hall style event. We will be providing live coverage of the event, expected to begin at 9:00PM EST and last until 10:30PM EST. The forum will take place at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y. Mitt Romney and Barack Obama will answer questions from 80 undecided voters. Mitt Romney has surged in polls since the first debate and now has the moment. The polls are extremely close, and this debate could decide the election.
The topics of the debate is both domestic and foreign policy. The first debate focused entirely on domestic policy. Although the vast majority of our articles are related to domestic economic policy, there is a reason we are covering the debate. Besides for the fact, that I am trying to provide more and quality topics on a variety of news issues, I think that foreign policy does not get enough attention.
Every website, News channel etc. has a bias. I will be honest and note that I was going to write a lengthy article detailing the failures of Barack Obama’s foreign policy in the Middle East. I thought that not enough Americans were paying attention to foreign policy, but ,unfortunately, that changed when the US embassy in Libya was attacked by terrorists. I still plan to write a short article on what I think is by far Barack Obama’s biggest blunder in the region, Egypt. I plan to discuss a bit about Pakistan and the Osama Bin Laden raid, as well.
Libya will be a topic tonight, but Egypt with a population approximately 12x larger than Libya is a bigger issue. The Egyptian embassy attack is still murky. If the local US embassy staff wanted to protect themselves from a mob, why would they issue a statement in English on their website? Perhaps 50% of Egyptians speak English. I do not want to go on a tangent, however. It should be noted, one of the Muhammad masterminds of the Libya Embassy attack, Jamal Abu Ahmad, is an Egyptian, released from jail in early 2011. I think if Mitt Romney does not attack Barack Obama on his handling of Egypt, Mitt Romney deserves to lose. I have no idea what Mitt Romney’s foreign policy will be (he flip flops on it), but I will have a bias in this reporting. I also will be focusing more on foreign policy rather than domestic policy. Finally, Barack Obama might be able to claim honestly that the GOP forestalled many plans he had for the economy, however, this is not the case with foreign policy. The buck stops here when it comes to foreign policy (since Congress does not authorize wars these days). On that note, I will begin live coverage when Barack Obama and Mitt Romney enter the hall shortly. My views do not reflect those of other writers for ValueWalk. Many of our writers are avid Barack Obama fans, and we try our best not to have a political agenda.
9:03PM EST: 82 people from New York submitted questions, according to the moderator, Candy Crowley. The debate is taking place at Hofstra University
9:05PM: College student asks Mitt Romney about getting a job after graduation. Mitt Romney starts with thanks to everyone. Mitt Romney notes that he just spoke to someone in Pennsylvania who has the same issue. Mitt Romney states that pell grants should grow and loans should grow. He wants people to get a job, and says he has what it takes to get the economy going, and there is more debt and less jobs.
9:06: Mitt Romney notes that the middle class has been crushed.
9:07: Barack Obama thanks the student for investing in college. Barack Obama notes that it is important to create good paying jobs. Barack Obama states that he created 5 million jobs. Obama states that Mitt Romney wanted Detroit to go bankrupt. Obama wants to 1. help experts 2. improve our education system, and make it the best in the world. Community colleges should also offer opportunites 3. We need to control our own energy, thinking about the future. Wind, solar and biofuels. Obama calls for tax increases, and use money spent on war to invest in America.
9:09: Mitt Romney is asked what he can practically do. Mitt Romney notes that the unemployment rate would be 10.7% if people were still in workforce, and had not dropped out. Mitt Romney says his five point plan will create 12 million jobs. Mitt Romney says that the President took the companies bankrupt. Mitt Romney would have taken General Motors (GM) through a managed bankruptcy.
9:10: Obama responds that Mitt Romney never had a plan to have a managed bankruptcy, and this issue has been confirmed by executives from the car companies, some of whom are Romney supporters. Obama says Romney has a one point plan, and that is to help the wealthy.
9:14: Sec of Energy has said it is not the policy to help lower gas prices is that true? Obama responds that Oil production is at a 16 year high, and natural gas at a high in several decades. However, we must make more energy efficient cars, and this has led to America importing less oil. We have 100 years of energy in natural gas, but we have to use energy efficiency. Governor Romney will allow the oil and gas companies to control the energy policy. He notes that China and Germany are controlling their own energy policy, so should we.
9:17: Romney notes that the increase of gas came from private sources and not Government sources. He notes that oil, coal, gas and renewables will be important, but the President is preventing coal through regulation. President Obama said you can build a coal plant but the regulations will make you bankrupt. Romney says we will be energy independent, we will bring in the Keystone XL pipeline, and this will bring back manufacturing jobs.
9:17: Are high gas prices the new normal?
9:18: Obama says that Romney’s statements are not true. Romney himself cut down coal when he was Governor of Mass. Oil and gas are up. Cars are now more efficient, which will bring more jobs.
9:20: Romney says Obama cut permits by 50%, Obama says this is false. Obama says the companies have permits for public lands, and you use it or lose it. Obama took away permits but is now leasing it. Obama says coal production and jobs is not up. No one really believes you will be for energy, gas and coal. Romney says he will fight for coal, gas and oil. The proof will be the price at the pump. Gas prices and electricity prices are up. Romney re-iterates his support of Keystone XL and support for offshore drilling.
9:22: Obama states that the reason gas prices were so low when he came in, is because the economy was doing so poorly. Obama jokes that Romney’s policies will bring us back to the low gas prices. Obama says we have built enough pipelines to go around the country. Obama notes real energy jobs created.
9:23: Romney interrupts moderator, and then Obama joins in.
9:24: Romney asked about taxes for all tax brackets and deductions will be eliminated, such as the child tax credit, education credit etc. what is your position?
9:27: Romney says he wants middle income tax payers to pay less. He notes that gas prices, health prices and many other ‘stuff’ is up. Romney says he will eliminate deductions for people at the high end. The people at the high end will still pay the same, 60% of taxes. Middle class people will get deductions, which they can decide to use. No taxes on savings, such as interest or dividends. Anyone making under $250,000 will not pay taxes on gains. Romney wants to help the middle class. He will not under any circumstances raise taxes on the middle class. President Obama’s policies will lead to higher taxes for the middle class.
9:30: Obama promised to cut taxes for small businesses and middle class families, and he did that. This is genuinely a moral obligation for the wealthy to do a bit more. 98% of Americans will not see a tax increase. Romney is holding the the 98% hostage. Obama cites Bill Clinton who raised taxes and reduced the budget. Romney said it is fair for him to pay less taxes than a nurse. Obama says his theory is completely different than Romney. Romney stated that top down economics has not worked.
9:32: Romney says that Obama’s statements are not true. Mitt Romney says this about jobs. 54% of Americans work in businesses taxed as individuals. Romney says we can do better than 23 Americans out of jobs, he says women are also suffering. Romney says he will crack down on China, help small businesses which he did in his private life, energy independence.
9:34: Obama states that lowering rates will cost $5 trillion, and Romney wants to spend another $2 trillion on military spending, and continue the Bush tax cuts. Romney says he will cut taxes and balance the budget, but he has not specifics on how to pay for this spending. Romney had very successful investments. Obama says Romney would not invest in a ‘sketchy deal’ like the one Romney purposes.
9:35: Moderator asks Romney what if it does not add up, would you be willing to re-evaluate?
9:36: Romney says ofcourse they add up. He knows how to do math, but notes that President Obama has produced four