Romney made absolutely no gaffes in tonight’s debate. The President, however, made quite a few.
For starters, those ships Obama doesn’t want to build are built in the swing state of Virginia and we still use bayonets.
Obama’s biggest gaffe, though, was his utterly bizarre comments about how there will be no “sequester” and how he had nothing to do with it. Both assertions are simply not true. He signed the sequester into law and it is law.
“First of all, the sequester is not something I proposed, it’s something that Congress proposed,” Obama said. “It will not happen.”
The remark stakes new ground for the president, who has said he wants to avert the sequester cuts by taking a “balanced” approach to solving the budget debacle — meaning he will not sign off on a deal that cuts spending, but doesn’t increase revenues. His strongest bargaining chip: the sequester cuts, which he may have just taken off the table.
After the debate, White House senior adviser David Plouffe toned down the president’s remarks, saying that “everyone in Washington agrees that sequester ‘should not happen.'”
And Obama’s senior campaign adviser David Axelrod also took a less firm stance on sequester, telling CNN that a balanced deal is widely appealing: “There are plenty of people on both sides who want to get that done, and will get that done.”
Republicans jumped at the news, too.
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) (R-Ariz) said the president is “not a dictator yet,” expressing surprise over the president’s prediction during the debate that sequestration “will not happen.”
By far the biggest gaffe–or deliberate evasion–of the evening was made by Mr.
Obama when he denied paternity for the sequester defense cuts now set for 2013
and said they “will not happen.” Mr. Obama’s aides rushed out after the debate
to say he meant to say the cuts “should not happen.”
But the truth is that Mr. Obama has been using the fear of huge defense cuts
as a political strategy to force Republicans to accept a tax increase. As Bob
Woodward describes in his recent book, Mr. Obama and the White House helped to
devise the defense sequester strategy–no matter the actual risk to defense.
Debates are won in post-debate and Obama’s going to lose this one.