In the second presidential debate, President Obama stood up proudly for his record, offered a positive vision, called out Romney’s lies in a calm and cool way, and, most importantly, showed some real fire in the belly. (More)


Keep in mind that the post-debate impressions spread by the chattering classes in DC often shapes voters’ views about who won or lost a debate, so let’s all go out there and trumpet President Obama’s strong performance in social media, with your friends and family, in letters to your local newspapers, and by signing up to volunteer for the Obama campaign.

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Editor’s Note: Winning Progressive’s responses pick up 25 minutes into the debate, during a question on Mitt Romney’s tax plan. The previous two questions covered what the candidates will do to ensure that college graduates can find jobs, and then to reduce gas prices. A transcript of the full debate is available here.

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Is Romney also going to give us all magic unicorns? No. In reality, he’s going to raise taxes on the middle class and take away our Medicare and Social Security.

Nice. President Obama ties Romney to the House Republicans, while linking Democratic policies to economic growth under President Clinton.

So what will Romney do first – produce his tax returns, or tell us what tax exemptions he will eliminate?

If Romney cannot stop his own Bain Capital company from shipping jobs overseas, then why would we think he would create American jobs as President?

The only “sources” that Romney can claim supports his mystical tax plan are blogs and articles written by Republicans.

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Editor’s Note: The next questioner asked President Obama what he would do to ensure women receive equal pay for equal work. President Obama replied with stories of being raised by his mother and grandmother, and noting that women are increasingly the breadwinners in American families. He also noted the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the very first bill he signed, that ensured women could sue to recover pay lost through sex discrimination. Finally President Obama added that women’s health care, including access to contraception, is a paycheck issue for women and their families.

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Let’s see if Multiple Choice Mitt takes a position on Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. He has refused to in the past, because his party opposes every effort to achieve gender equality.

Romney simply lied about access to contraception. He vowed to “get rid of” funding for Planned Parenthood, and supported the Blunt Amendment, which would have allowed any employer to deny its employees health insurance coverage for contraception.

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Editor’s Note: The next questioner said she holds President George W. Bush responsible for our current economic mess and asked Romney how he would be different.

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The difference between Romney and W. Bush is that Romney is offering the Bush agenda on steroids.

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Editor’s Note: The next questioner voted for President Obama in 2008 and is disappointed with the cost of living and not optimistic about his future. President Obama summarized his first-term record, noted that he tried to keep all of his campaign promises, and said the audience should believe Mitt Romney would try to keep his campaign promises too … such as cutting taxes for the rich, defunding Planned Parenthood, and repealing Obamacare.

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President Obama has the real record of supporting actual small businesses.

President Obama has taken steps to make Medicare more efficient, without cutting benefits. Romney opposes those efficiencies, and wants to eliminate Medicare.

Under President Reagan, government employment increased significantly. Under President Obama, the GOP required massive layoffs of state and local government workers, which is largely what is holding the economy back.

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Editor’s Note: The next questioner asked Romney what he would do for immigrants who lack green cards but are currently living here as productive members of society.

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Here’s how reactionary Romney is on immigration – he vowed to veto the DREAM Act, and wants to make life so difficult for immigrants that they will “voluntarily” leave the country through “self-deportation.

Here’s the details on President Obama’s sensible policy to stop deporting DREAMers – law abiding immigrants who were brought here by their parents when they were children.

And the Obama Administration took on Arizona’s anti-immigrant SB1070 all the way to the Supreme Court, while Romney calls Arizona’s law “a model for the nation”.

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Editor’s Note: During the discussion of immigration, Romney wandered back to a previous topic about offshoring jobs and his investments in Chinese businesses, insisting that all of his investments are in a “blind trust” and asking President Obama if he knew the details of his own pension investments.

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Romney’s “blind trust” is not blind – as he said, “blind trusts are an age old ruse.”

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Editor’s Note: The next questioner asked President Obama who denied extra security at the consulate in Benghazi, and why. President Obama said U.S. diplomats represent not only the nation but him personally, that he assigns them, and that he holds himself responsible for their safety. He said that when the first news of the attack came in, he gave his national security team three instructions: beef up security at our embassies around the region, investigate what happened regardless where the facts lead or who was at fault, and find out who was involved in that act of terrorism and bring them to justice.

Romney insisted that President Obama did not even admit it was an act of terrorism until almost two weeks later. In fact President Obama called it an act of terrorism in the Rose Garden the morning after the attack, and when Romney repeated the charge moderator Candy Crowley fact-checked him on the spot.

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Nice to see the moderator call Romney out for being flatly wrong about Obama’s statement on Libya. Here’s what President Obama said in a Rose Garden statement on September 12 – “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.”

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Editor’s Note: The next questioner asked President Obama what he would do to keep AK-47s and similar weapons out of the hands of criminals in the wake of mass shootings like the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado. President Obama’s response largely focused on how to reduce violent crime generally, including the gang violence in his hometown of Chicago. Mitt Romney brought up the Fast & Furious operation, and when pressed by Candy Crowley admitted that he signed an assault weapons ban in Massachusetts before opposing such bans as a presidential candidate.

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Back in April, Romney went and kissed the ring of the NRA leadership, buying into their silly conspiracy theories rather than calling them out for opposing sensible gun safety legislation.

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Editor’s Note: The next question was about outsourcing jobs. Romney blamed President Obama for not pushing back hard enough against China, and for making the U.S. less attractive for business. Romney said he would “make America the most attractive place in the world for businesses of all kinds.” He refused to directly answer Crowley’s follow-up on whether the U.S. economy could function if U.S. workers were paid the same as Chinese workers, instead insisting again that he would “make America the most attractive place for entrepreneurs, for people who want to expand their business.”

President Obama conceded that many of the jobs lost to China will not return, adding that many of those are “low skill low wage jobs,” that he wants to replace them with “high skill high wage jobs” in the technologies of the future, and that will require investment in education and scientific research rather than tax cuts for the rich. At that point Romney twice yelled “Government does not create jobs.”

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On jobs, Romney could begin by making sure his Bain Capital companies stop shipping American jobs to China, like Sensata is doing in Freeport, Illinois.

Here’s an example of what Romney’s Bain Capital is doing to every day Americans by shipping their jobs overseas.

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Editor’s Note: The final questioner asked each candidate what was the biggest misperception about him, and asked each to debunk that misperception with specific examples. Romney said “I care about 100% of Americans” and talked about his involvement in the Mormon church.

President Obama said he believes in free enterprise, personal initiative, and rewarding people who take risks, and then pivoted to a devastating response to Romney’s infamous “47 percent” comment:

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 who’ve worked all their lives. Veterans who’ve sacrificed for this country. Students who are out there trying to hopefully advance their own dreams, but also this country’s dreams. Soldiers who are overseas fighting for us right now. People who are working hard every day, paying payroll tax, gas taxes, but don’t make enough income.

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.

When my grandfather fought in World War II and he came back and he got a G.I. Bill and that allowed him to go to college, that wasn’t a handout. That was something that advanced the entire country. And I want to make sure that the next generation has those same opportunities. That’s why I’m asking for your vote and that’s why I’m asking for another four years.

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If Romney cares about 100% of Americans, why did he tell his wealthy donors that he does not care about 47% of us?

President Obama knocked that closing answer out of the park – absolutely beautiful how he showed passion for every day Americans while making clear that Romney doesn’t care.