On October 3, 2012 the first debate between President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney took place and most pundits declared Mitt Romney the winner due to his animated retreat from prior policy positions. There was little talk of President Obama’s punch to Romney’s glass jaw when he got Romney to own changing Medicare. If the election is decided by Ohio and Florida then President Obama landed a devastating blow.
There was much made of the difference in styles between President Obama and Mitt Romney during the first debate. Many saw President Obama explaining issues with backup information from various sources and Mitt Romney making assertions without any credible or specific facts to support them. On the issue of Medicare the President got Romney to admit he supported Paul Ryan’s premium support/voucher plan. Romney then said that anyone currently on Medicare would not be affected, then President Obama looked directly into the camera and addressed the American people and said, “If you are 54 or 55 you might want to listen.” That was the segment of the debate where President Obama did damage to Mitt Romney with senior citizens and those within 10 to 11 years of Medicare eligibility. Romney now owns Paul Ryan’s Medicare voucher plan and took possession of it in front of millions of American voters.
America has become a reality obsessed television drama culture, but this debate was about swaying a small percentage of voters that are not already in one camp or another. Romney has to count on those on Medicare having an attitude that they would throw their children under the bus as it relates to voting someone into office that would change the program to a voucher system for their offspring that are in 50’s. That older and reliable voting block in Ohio, Florida and Arizona was paying attention to the substance and not theater. If you noticed, it was during the Medicare discussion that showed the President at his most attentive state during the entire night and he got the uppercut to Romney’s glass jaw that he was looking for all night.