The Romney campaign, expecting President Obama's team to attack the challenger's details during his commanding performance at the first presidential debate, stayed on offense Thursday, assailing Obama's "lies" during the 90-minute verbal Duel in Denver.
"They're going to try character assassination and we've just got to hit him straight back," said a campaign associate.
Before noon, Obama political advisor David Axelrod told reporters that Romney's claims "weren't rooted in fact" and that during the debate he changed positions on support for teachers and taxes. He attacked Romney's "character" and said the candidate suffered from "deception."
The campaign offered 12 "lies," where they say Obama either misstated Romney's positions or his own policies. They used news links to make their case and added that Obama possibly muffed because he didn't have a teleprompter.
From the Romney campaign:
LIE #1: OBAMA SAYS HIS PLAN REDUCES THE DEFICIT BY $4 TRILLION
THE CLAIM: Obama: "I've Proposed A Specific $4 Trillion Deficit Reduction Plan." OBAMA: "I've proposed a specific $4 trillion deficit reduction plan. ... The way we do it is $2.50 for every cut, we ask for $1 in additional revenue." (President Barack Obama, Presidential Debate, Denver, CO, 10/3/12)
THE FACTS: "Virtually No Serious Budget Analyst Agreed With This Accounting." "But virtually no serious budget analyst agreed with this accounting. Obama's $4 trillion figure, for instance, includes counting some $1 trillion in cuts reached a year ago in budget negotiations with Congress. So no matter who is the president, the savings are already in the bank." (Glenn Kessler, "Factchecking The First Presidential Debate Of 2012," The Washington Post's The Fact Checker, 10/4/12)
LIE #2: OBAMA CLAIMED HE WOULD RETURN AMERICA TO TAX RATES UNDER CLINTON
THE CLAIM: Obama: "We Should Go Back To The Rates That We Had When Bill Clinton Was President." OBAMA: "But I have said that for incomes over $250,000 a year, that we should go back to the rates that we had when Bill Clinton was president, when we created 23 million new jobs, went from deficit to surplus, and created a whole lot of millionaires to boot." (President Barack Obama, Presidential Debate, Denver, CO, 10/3/12)
THE FACTS: "Obama Repeated A Favorite Talking Point" But Americans Will Pay More Under Obama Than Clinton Due To New Taxes In ObamaCare. "Obama repeated a favorite talking point, saying that his tax plan would return rates for the wealthy back to where they were during economically prosperous times under President Bill Clinton. But those making over $250,000 a year would actually pay more than they did under Clinton due to new taxes imposed on upper-income people to pay for the health care law." (Brooks Jackson, Eugene Kiely, Lori Robertson, Robert Farley, D'Angelo Gore and Ben Finley, "Dubios Denver Debate Declarations," Factcheck.org, 10/4/12)
LIE #3: OBAMA SAYS ROMNEY'S MEDICARE PLAN WOULD COST SENIORS $6,000 A YEAR
THE CLAIM: Obama: "The Problem Is That Because The Voucher Wouldn't Necessarily Keep Up With Health Care Inflation, It Was Estimated That This Would Cost The Average Senior About $6,000 A Year." OBAMA: "The problem is that because the voucher wouldn't necessarily keep up with health care inflation, it was estimated that this would cost the average senior about $6,000 a year. Now, in fairness, what Governor Romney has now said is he'll maintain traditional Medicare alongside it ." (President Barack Obama, Presidential Debate, Denver, CO, 10/3/12)
THE FACTS: The Washington Post 's The Fact Checker: "He Still Clung To An Outdated Estimate Of An Earlier Version Of The Plan, Claiming It Will Cost Seniors An Extra $6,000 A Year. (He Had Previously Earned Two Pinocchios For This Claim.)" " In the debate, Obama acknowledged that the GOP Medicare plan, authored by Romney running mate Paul Ryan, has been changed. But he still clung to an outdated estimate of an earlier version of the plan, claiming it will cost seniors an extra $6,000 a year. (He had previously earned Two Pinocchios for this claim.)" (Glenn Kessler, "Factchecking The First Presidential Debate Of 2012," The Washington Post's The Fact Checker, 10/4/12)
LIE #4: OBAMA SAYS ROMNEY'S PLAN WOULD RAISE TAXES ON MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES
THE CLAIM: Obama: Under Romney, "The Average Middle-Class Family With Children Would Pay About $2,000 More." OBAMA: "And that's why independent studies looking at this said the only way to meet Governor Romney's pledge of not reducing the deficit -- or -- or -- or not adding to the deficit, is by burdening middle-class families. The average middle-class family with children would pay about $2,000 more." (President Barack Obama, Presidential Debate, Denver, CO, 10/3/12)
THE FACTS: "Romney Says His Plan Wouldn't Raise Taxes On Anyone, And His Campaign Points To Several Studies By Conservative Think Tanks That Dispute The Tax Policy Center's Findings." "Romney says his plan wouldn't raise taxes on anyone, and his campaign points to several studies by conservative think tanks that dispute the Tax Policy Center's findings. Most of the conservative studies argue that Romney's tax plan would stimulate economic growth, generating additional tax revenue without shifting any of the tax burden to the middle class." (Calvin Woodward, "FACT CHECK: Presidential Debate Missteps," The Associated Press, 10/4/12)
LIE #5: OBAMA SAYS HEALTH CARE PREMIUMS ARE BECOMING MORE AFFORDABLE
THE CLAIM: Obama Said "Health Care Premiums Have Gone Up -- It Is True -- But They Have Gone Up Slower Than Any Time In The Last 50 Years." OBAMA: "The fact of the matter is that when Obamacare is fully implemented, we are going to be in a position to show that costs are going down. Over the last two years, health care premiums have gone up -- it is true -- but they have gone up slower than any time in the last 50 years. We are already seeing progress." (President Barack Obama, Presidential Debate, Denver, CO, 10/3/12)
THE FACTS: Obama Was Wrong To Say That Care Premiums Have "Gone Up Slower Than Any Time In The Last 50 Years." "Obama wrongly said that over the last two years, health care premiums have 'gone up slower than any time in the last 50 years.'" (Brooks Jackson, Eugene Kiely, Lori Robertson, Robert Farley, D'Angelo Gore and Ben Finley, "Dubios Denver Debate Declarations," Factcheck.org, 10/4/12)
LIE #6: OBAMA SAYS GOV. ROMNEY'S PLAN IS A $5 TRILLION TAX CUT
THE CLAIM: Obama Said "Gov. Romney's Central Economic Plan Calls For A $5 Trillion Tax Cut." OBAMA: "Gov. Romney's central economic plan calls for a $5 trillion tax cut - on top of the extension of the Bush tax cuts, that's another trillion dollars - and $2 trillion in additional military spending that the military hasn't asked for. That's $8 trillion. How we pay for that, reduce the deficit, and make the investments that we need to make, without dumping those costs onto middle-class Americans, I think is one of the central questions of this campaign." (President Barack Obama, Presidential Debate, Denver, CO, 10/3/12)
THE FACTS: Obama "Is Off Base Here." "The president said Romney was proposing a $5 trillion tax cut and Romney said he wasn't. The president is off base here - Romney says his rate cuts and tax eliminations would be offset and the deficit wouldn't increase." (Brooks Jackson, Eugene Kiely, Lori Robertson, Robert Farley, D'Angelo Gore and Ben Finley, "Dubios Denver Debate Declarations," Factcheck.org, 10/4/12)
THE FACTS: "Romney Is Not Proposing A $5 Trillion Reduction In Taxes." (Brooks Jackson, Eugene Kiely, Lori Robertson, Robert Farley, D'Angelo Gore and Ben Finley, "Dubios Denver Debate Declarations," Factcheck.org, 10/4/12)
LIE #7: OBAMA SAYS HIS PLAN IS BALANCED IN THE MANNER OF SIMPSON-BOWLES
THE CLAIM: Obama Claimed His Deficit-Reduction Plan Was "Balanced." OBAMA: "Now, we all know that we've got to do more. And so I've put forward a specific $4 trillion deficit-reduction plan. It's on a website. You can look at all the numbers, what cuts we make and what revenue we raise. And the way we do it is $2.50 for every cut, we ask for a dollar of additional revenue, paid for, as I indicated earlier, by asking those of us who have done very well in this country to contribute a little bit more to reduce the deficit. And Governor Romney earlier mentioned the Bowles-Simpson commission. Well, that's how the commission -- bipartisan commission that talked about how we should move forward suggested we have to do it -- in a balanced way with some revenue and some spending cuts. And this is a major difference that Governor Romney and I have. (President Barack Obama, Presidential Debate, Denver, CO, 10/3/12)
THE FACTS: "Obama Made The Deficit-Cutting Plan He's Offered Sound Comparable To The Plan From The Chairman Of The Simpson-Bowles Debt Cutting Commission. But It's Not...." "Obama made the deficit-cutting plan he's offered sound comparable to the plan from the chairmen of the Simpson-Bowles debt cutting commission. But it's not: his proposal doesn't save as much money as Simpson-Bowles and doesn't offer the kinds of detailed entitlement cuts the panel's leaders did. The president's $4 trillion plan, including $3 trillion in spending cuts and $1 trillion in tax hikes from allowing the Bush-era tax cuts to expire, is spread over 10 years-a year longer than Simpson-Bowles. It sounds like a minor difference, but cuts and spending balloon in the so-called out years. Also, Obama doesn't touch Social Security in his plan. And the tax changes and war spending are accounted in ways that make Obama's plan substantially less aggressive." (Josh Gerstein and Darren Samuelsohn, "Fact-Checking The Denver Debate," Politico, 10/4/12)
LIE #8: OBAMA SAYS HE MADE ADJUSTMENTS TO SIMPSON-BOWLES FOR HIS OWN PLAN
THE CLAIM: Obama Said He Had Made Adjustments To The Simpson-Bowles Commission Recommendations. JIM LEHRER: "Governor Romney, do you support Simpson-Bowles?" MITT ROMNEY: "I have my own plan it is not as Simpson-Bowles. But in my view the President should have grabbed it. If you have some adjustments, make it, take it to Congress, fight for it." BARACK OBAMA: "That's what we've done. Made some adjustment to it. Putting it before Congress right now. $4 trillion plan." (President Barack Obama, Presidential Debate, Denver, CO, 10/3/12)
THE FACTS: MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell: "Just Ask Alan Simpson Or Erskine Bowles Whether President Obama Embraced Them In The Rose Garden." MSNBC'S ANDREA MITCHELL: "And then President Obama saying that he went with Simpson Bowles. Well we know that he didn't. You know I flew out on the same plan as Alan Simpson. Alan Simpson is on the debate commission. Just ask Alan Simpson or Erskine Bowles whether President Obama embraced them in the Rose Garden. Instead he walked away and sort of gave them a pat on the back." (MSNBC's "Morning Joe," 10/4/12)
LIE #9: OBAMA REPEATS THE WAR SAVINGS "FISCAL FICTION"
THE CLAIM: Obama: It's Important "That We Take Some Of The Money That We're Saving As We Wind Down Two Wars." OBAMA: "I think it's important for us to develop new sources of energy here in America, that we change our tax code to make sure that we're helping small businesses and companies that are investing here in the United States, that we take some of the money that we're saving as we wind down two wars to rebuild America and that we reduce our deficit in a balanced way that allows us to make these critical investments." (President Barack Obama, Presidential Debate, Denver, CO, 10/3/12)
THE FACTS: The Washington Post 's The Fact Checker: "This Is Fantasy Money." " This is fantasy money. The administration is counting $848 billion in phantom savings from winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, even though the administration had long made clear those wars would end. In other words, by projecting war spending far in the future, the administration is able to claim credit for saving money it never intended to spend. And Obama would still be borrowing [sic] the money to 'rebuild America' (Imagine someone borrowing $50,000 a year for college-and then declaring that they have an extra $500,000 to spend over the next decade once they graduate.)" (Glenn Kessler, "Factchecking The First Presidential Debate Of 2012," The Washington Post's The Fact Checker, 10/4/12)
LIE #10: OBAMA SAYS HE HAS CREATED 5 MILLION PRIVATE SECTOR JOBS
THE CLAIM: Obama: "Over The Last 30 Months, We've Seen 5 Million Jobs In The Private Sector Created." (President Barack Obama, Presidential Debate, Denver, CO, 10/3/12)
THE FACTS: "That Statistic Tries To Obscure The Fact That The Overall Job Record So Far In This Presidential Term Has Been Negative." "He claimed 5 million jobs have been created in the private sector in the past 30 months; that statistic tries to obscure the fact that the overall job record so far in this presidential term has been negative." (Glenn Kessler, "Fact Check: Obama's Jobs Stat," The Washington Post's Fact Checker, 10/3/12)
LIE #11: OBAMA MAKES FALSE ACCUSATIONS ABOUT GOV. ROMNEY'S ECONOMIC PLAN
THE CLAIM: Obama Attributed The Financial Crisis To Policies That Governor Romney Supports. OBAMA:"The approach that Governor Romney's talking about is the same sales pitch that was made in 2001 and 2003, and we ended up with the slowest job growth in 50 years, we ended up moving from surplus to deficits, and it all culminated in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression." (President Barack Obama, Presidential Debate, Denver, CO, 10/3/12)
THE FACTS: The Washington Post 's The Fact Checker: "Here, The President Comes Close To Repeating A Line That Just This Week Earned Him Three Pinocchios." "Here, the president comes close to repeating a line that just this week earned him Three Pinocchios. In a new television ad, Obama said that tax cuts and deregulation led to the crisis. But in the debate he broadened his language, bringing in the impact of the Bush tax cuts on the deficit and not directly linking the policies ('it all culminated' versus 'led to') to the financial crash." (Glenn Kessler, "Factchecking The First Presidential Debate Of 2012," The Washington Post's The Fact Checker, 10/4/12)
LIE #12: OBAMA SAYS SOCIAL SECURITY IS "STRUCTURALLY SOUND"
THE CLAIM: Obama Claimed That Social Security Is "Structurally Sound." OBAMA: "Social Security is structurally sound. It's going to have to be tweaked the way it was by Ronald Reagan and Speaker -- Democratic Speaker Tip O'Neill. But the basic structure is sound." (President Barack Obama, Presidential Debate, Denver, CO, 10/3/12)
THE FACTS: MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Said That "But According To The Congressional Budget Office, Social Security Will Run Into Financial Trouble Too." MSNBC'S ANDREA MITCHELL: "President Obama said that unlike Medicare Social Security does not have to be fixed to remain solvent but according to the Congressional Budget Office, Social Security will run into financial trouble too. By 2030 the amount Social Security pays out will exceed the tax revenue coming in. So in about 20 years the program will not be able to pay for itself through the payroll tax that's we all pay in. So Brian, the debate will continue on twitter and everywhere else as these facts are checked and counterchecked." (NBC, 10/3/12)