Analysis of media issues, politics and current events.
Romney’s winning debate strategy was a form of an aggressive rope-a-dope. Making ducking and dodging look aggressive because people focused on the attack style as leadership and command more than his actual message. He won on style by aggressively controlling the process of the debate so he could have the luxury of answering a self-defined questions. Then using those self-defined questions to imply an answer different from his real policy on an issue.
In short, Romney was able to push back on the President and the moderator, “You’re wrong because I’m not using those exact words you mentioned.” A rejection of the question or rebuttal premise, by rewording or re-framing his understanding of it. A version of answering the question you wished you were asked, not the question you were asked. Here are essentially some of Mitt Romney’s answers and rebuttals from last night debate. If you watch the debate again, you’ll see he avoided saying clear yes and nos and seized the perception of the middle ground by emotionally inferring openness to policies he previously held hard stances on. Paraphrased examples of Romney’s “yes, but no” policy arguments:
On his plan to cut taxes:
Mr, president, stop calling what I’m doing a 5 billion deficit increase (because in Romney’s world as promoted, it’s a 20% tax cut that might increase the deficit). Not the same thing.
Plans for Medicare:
I’m not cutting medicare, says Romney. I’m just supporting installing capped price vouchers to limit benefits and government financial obligation over time. Not the same thing.
Cutting the deficit:
Mr. President, you “should have grabbed Simpson Bowles,” said Romney. Though Romney implied that he thought it was so good, he also indirectly admitted he would never follow it. Because as Romney said told the moderator, “I have my own plan.” A plan that he says, “I’ve ruled out revenue” (tax increases) which the “should have grabbed” Simpson Bowles implicitly calls for. So Romney doesn’t believe in Simpson Bowles, but want credit for looking like he supports Simpson Bowles while pummeling Obama for not following it as well. He wins moderate points while not taking a true moderate position.
Romney gave the appearance he strongly supports federal education efforts by using words to change the argument about supporting student loans and public education to his definition, “liking teachers.” His argument flow: “Do I support education? Yes, I think teachers are great. I was Governor from a state with great teachers.” And Romney is right, if you include private schools like Harvard. MIT and Brown. And that’s nice but that’s not a state responsibility. So in his answer, Romney sounds like he is supporting good public education when by taking credit for private school performance and not specifically answering questions of public school support.
I’m proud of my MA healthcare plan. But yours, Mr. Obama that is the same yet so horrible and abomination deadly because it’s a federal program. So he gets credit for looking like he cares about healthcare without.