While Obama did indeed show up to the second presidential debate, in the end the win went to Mitt Romney.
1) Mitt Romney successfully explained the failings of four years of Obama
"I think you know that these last four years haven't been so good as the president just described and that you don't feel like your confident that the next four years are going to be much better either. I can tell you that if you were to elect President Obama, you know what you're going to get. You're going to get a repeat of the last four years. We just can't afford four more years like the last four years. He said that by now we'd have unemployment at 5.4 percent. The difference between where it is and 5.4 percent is 9 million Americans without work. I wasn't the one that said 5.4 percent. This was the president's plan. Didn't get there.
He said he would have by now put forward a plan to reform Medicare and Social Security, because he pointed out they're on the road to bankruptcy. He would reform them. He'd get that done. He hasn't even made a proposal on either one.
He said in his first year he'd put out an immigration plan that would deal with our immigration challenges. Didn't even file it.
This is a president who has not been able to do what he said he'd do. He said that he'd cut in half the deficit. He hasn't done that either. In fact, he doubled it. He said that by now middle-income families would have a reduction in their health insurance premiums by $2,500 a year. It's gone up by $2,500 a year. And if Obamacare is passed, or implemented -- it's already been passed -- if it's implemented fully, it'll be another $2,500 on top.
The middle class is getting crushed under the policies of a president who has not understood what it takes to get the economy working again. He keeps saying, "Look, I've created 5 million jobs." That's after losing 5 million jobs. The entire record is such that the unemployment has not been reduced in this country. The unemployment, the number of people who are still looking for work, is still 23 million Americans.
There are more people in poverty, one out of six people in poverty.
How about food stamps? When he took office, 32 million people were on food stamps. Today, 47 million people are on food stamps. How about the growth of the economy? It's growing more slowly this year than last year, and more slowly last year than the year before.
The president wants to do well. I understand. But the policies he's put in place from Obamacare to Dodd-Frank to his tax policies to his regulatory policies, these policies combined have not let this economy take off and grow like it could have.
You might say, "Well, you got an example of one that worked better?" Yeah, in the Reagan recession where unemployment hit 10.8 percent, between that period -- the end of that recession and the equivalent of time to today, Ronald Reagan's recovery created twice as many jobs as this president's recovery. Five million jobs doesn't even keep up with our population growth. And the only reason the unemployment rate seems a little lower today is because of all the people that have dropped out of the workforce.
The president has tried, but his policies haven't worked. He's great as a -- as a -- as a speaker and describing his plans and his vision. That's wonderful, except we have a record to look at. And that record shows he just hasn't been able to cut the deficit, to put in place reforms for Medicare and Social Security to preserve them, to get us the rising incomes we need. Median income is down $4,300 a family and 23 million Americans out of work. That's what this election is about. It's about who can get the middle class in this country a bright and prosperous future and assure our kids the kind of hope and optimism they deserve.
2) Mitt Romney successfully explained what he would do differently from Obama (and Bush! funny how that was asked. Wonder why no one asked Obama how he differs from Jimmy Carter?) - and what his plans are.
3) Mitt Romney didn't back down, stood firm, and behaved with class and dignity.
4) Mitt Romney had to contend with a liberal moderator (who had Obama's back) and Obama.
5) Mitt Romney had more to offer in regards to swaying independents and the undecided, while Obama repeated the same empty rhetoric just to keep his base happy.
Romney will continue his surge. Obama did not do what he needed to. Obama appeared very negative and angry - making himself look petty and unpresidential. The constant smirk didn't help, either. Obama cannot do much more than attack Romney and lie about his own record, because his performance as president has been an utter failure.
In the end, the third debate is coming up - on foreign policy. Obama doesn't have any positives to offer - other than begrudgingly allowing the Navy Seals to kill bin Laden. Besides that, Romney has many Obama foreign policy failings to point out: the presidential apology tours to various countries, the Middle East cover-up, the lack of support for Israel, the dissing of our allies in favor of our enemies.
Going forward, I believe that Obama will not work as hard to prep for the third debate. After all, the liberal news outlets are giving Obama a slight edge for the second debate. Obama's narcissistic and arrogant personality may lull him into believing the upcoming debate is in the bag. Why waste time prepping when one could be golfing or rubbing elbows with JayZ and Beyonce?
As Mitt Romney stated:
"We don't have to settle for what we're going through."