Presidential debates: I've got all day

  • Article by: Ruth Marcus , Washington Post
  • Updated: September 17, 2012 - 9:04 AM

Or at least 90 minutes, and I'd be willing to wait for real answers.

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wardnjuneSep. 16, 12 7:21 PM

We know exactly how the debates will shape up. The moderators are gutless and will let both candidates avoid answering the questions - or they will accept vague, rambling, diatribes that don't address the original question. My favorite dodge is always the "let me go back to that last question....." As a Democrat, of course I'm hoping that the debates will expose Romney for the empty-suiter that he his but really, the televised debates are nothing more than theater any more. It's sad.

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omnipresentSep. 16, 12 9:16 PM

I'm imagining that these debates will look more like JFK versus Nixon, with Romney as wooden, buttoned-up, and defensive as Al Gore was. In one corner we have a man who's well-defined, intellectually curious, and fully grasping all the nuances of being commander in chief; in the other corner, a man who's deflected most every question about himself, his history, his proposed changes and who's unbelievably undefined. With only a few weeks to go, Romney's managed to duck and tuck, slip and slide away from any definitive responses. One is genuine; the other disingenuous. The real fun will be in hosting four debate parties over the month of October.

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comment229Sep. 17, 12 5:28 AM

Mr. Romney: If the recent attacks on our foreign embassies are a result of Obama's weak foreign policy, then can we assume that you think the attacks of 9/11 were a result of a weak Bush/Cheney foreign policy?

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comment229Sep. 17, 12 5:30 AM

Mr. Romney: Did you require all your potential VP candidates to submit their tax returns for the past ten years? If so, why?

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owatonnabillSep. 17, 12 6:43 AM

Hmmmm. Dictionary.com defines "debate" as "a discussion, as of a public question in an assembly, involving opposing viewpoints". The presidential "debates" will give us precious little of that. What we'll be treated to are vague regurgitations of talking points by coached-to-death candidates that will have precious little if any relationship to the softball questions being asked. They'll have as much resemblance to a real debate as the recently-concluded conventions had to an actual nominating process. Zip. Nada. We as Americans will continue to be treated (or more precisely, subjected) to this continuing charade of choreographed doublespeak, while the actual issues will not be addressed at all in any substantive way.

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firefight41Sep. 17, 12 7:33 AM

Why even watch the debates? Any real questions will have real lies for a response.

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kindaliberalSep. 17, 12 8:07 AM

I think the debates reveal a lot. Do all pertinent questions get asked or answered, no. But, when a candidate won't answer or be specific on a question such as what Romney will cut to pay for further tax cuts and increased military spending, many millions of Americans will want to know that answer. They of course want Obama to answer the questions too. But, the difference is Americans have already heard every negative possible about Obama. They also have seen how he handles being president for 4 years, good or bad. Romney and what he will do as president is not well known at all. That is because he won't be specific and his views change like the weather. Romney has way more to lose by not specifically answering questions. If he can answer them well he might win. If he can't or won't he will lose. More people choose the devil they know rather than the devil they don't.

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dschachenmeyerSep. 17, 12 8:29 AM

Mr. President, when you say people are better off than they were four years ago, what measures are you using as evidence for your claim and do you mean all Americans on average or only certain groups?

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CarolynKSep. 17, 12 9:07 AM

"Mr. Romney, we assume that you and other millionaires / billionaires already have told your families that they'll need to pay for the war you'll put our country in after your election. After all, we as a country have no money to pay for another war. Will you order a new draft of young people to risk their live in the war? The military we have is already too busy to engage in more battle. If you issue a draft, you do plan to start with young people in your own political party in order to set a good example for others ? Will you leave Paul Ryan in charge so that you can put on a uniform yourself and help fight in / lead the war? or will you delegate Mr. Ryan to fight while you follow the war on media? Regardless of your answer, please refrain from batting your eyelashes when answering questions during the debate and smiling inappropriately, as these things make you appear out of touch with serious topics. Thank you. "

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kindaliberalSep. 17, 12 9:50 AM

DSCHACHENMEYER says,"Mr. President, when you say people are better off than they were four years ago, what measures are you using as evidence for your claim and do you mean all Americans on average or only certain groups?"----If I was Obama I would say they are better off because instead of losing 700,000 jobs a month, as they were when I took office, we have seen 30 straight months of job growth and gained back 4 million of the 9 million jobs we lost during the recession. I would say we are better off because we no longer have troops fighting in Iraq. I would say we are better off because the stock market has almost doubled in value since I took office. I would say we are better off because most of the leadership of Al-Queda is dead. The poor and middle class are better off because less of their family members are fighting overseas due to the end of the Iraq war. The poor and middle class are better off because their children are now covered by their insurance until age 26 and can't be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions. The middle class is better off because the US auto industry was saved preserving millions of auto and auto service jobs. All people who have investments are much better off due to the recovery in their 401K's. The rich are way better off due to the tax cuts they have enjoyed during both the Bush and Obama administrations. Gay people are better off because they can serve openly in the military. Immigrants are better off because their children will no longer be deported if they are law abiding.

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