My Debate Analysis Defies the Uniformity of Thought That Pervades Virtually All Media
Oct 17, 2012
RUSH: I’m seriously amazed. I really am, ladies and gentlemen, seriously amazed at the uniformity of thought and opinion across the spectrum on the debate last night. I must tell you, in all honesty, my view of what happened last night is not even close to what I’m hearing on Fox News, on MSNBC, on CNN, in the New York Times and the Washington Post. Well, actually, you know, some of the newspaper editorials are closer to the way I saw this last night than some of the people on television.
Let me start out by stating something patently obvious. Maybe put it to you in the form of a question. Addressing one of the things that I have detected that people on our side are most concerned about, outside of Candy Crowley, which we’ll deal with here in just a second. Libya. Romney had a big opening. He didn’t close it. He didn’t secure it. He could have said, “What are you talking about, terror attack? You blamed a video for two weeks.” He didn’t say that.
Are any of you not going to vote for Mitt Romney because he didn’t have something to say at a crucial moment that you wanted him to say? Is somebody gonna vote for Barack Obama that wasn’t going to because Mitt Romney didn’t say, “You were talking about a video for two weeks.” No, of course not. There weren’t any votes lost by Romney last night, and there weren’t any votes gained by Obama. Seriously. So the whole notion I’m hearing of scoring this thing on points, this isn’t a college debate where you lose for technique according to some scoring system. This was an entirely different dynamic, and it’s one that Obama came nowhere near overcoming. The problem that he had going in is not one that he got anywhere near solving.
My friends, I want you to know something here. I’m not speaking with preferences guiding my comments, and I’m not speaking with hope or false promises. I’m shooting you straight as best I can. I watched this debate last night and I saw another halting, choppy, staccato-speaking Barack Obama, wandering aimlessly, speaking in theory, speaking in faculty lounge lizard theoretical non-reality. I saw cliche after cliche. I heard liberal cliche after cliche.
The first question was some college kid who wants to know about a job and Obama talks to him about manufacturing jobs? This kid isn’t going to college to learn how to weld. He’s not going to college to find a manufacturing job. And Obama answers his question that way? Through most of this debate I was thinking, here’s Romney, Mr. Smooth, he is in total command of the facts. He is once again totally decimating Obama’s economic performance. Obama, in his closing remarks, was reduced to sounding like me, when everybody knows he doesn’t believe a word of what he said. He doesn’t believe in rugged individualism. He doesn’t believe in self-reliance. He doesn’t believe in any of those things.
Why doesn’t that matter when people start scoring these debates? They look at these debates and they score some system that’s foreign to me. Style points or any number of odd things that are irrelevant in a presidential campaign. But I didn’t see Barack Obama dazzling anybody with a defense of his record. I didn’t hear Barack Obama talk about his great plans for the future. I heard Barack Obama even at one point say “when I was president” as though it’s in the past tense. I saw a nervous, staccato speaking, choppy. In fact, everybody talks about how Romney got a raw deal from Candy Crowley, and he did, but it is what it is.
There was a point in that debate last night — Kathryn and I are sitting there watching it — and I was so stunned by what I saw that I hit the pause on the DVR. And I said, “Do you realize what we just saw here?” And what it was was a full-fledged destruction of the Obama record by Mitt Romney. Every stat you could want. Household income falling, unemployment up, the number of people out of the workforce, the number of jobs lost since Obama took office, the number of people totally out of work, 23 million. Every economic statistic that detailed the crumbling aspects of this regime. And Candy Crowley — on second thought, maybe she did him a favor — did not let Obama respond. She didn’t make Romney stop prematurely, he finished, and then she went on to the next question.
Now that I think about it, and now that we know what we know, there’s no question she was trying to save Obama by making sure he didn’t have to deal with that. But the bottom line is, for everybody who thinks that Romney had a minor screw-up here because he didn’t point out that Obama had been saying it’s a video for two weeks, Obama did not have a syllable to say in refutation, in disagreement with Romney’s sterling recitation of his failures. There wasn’t one retort. There wasn’t one reply to it. There wasn’t one accusation that Romney had said anything that wasn’t true.
In fact, today, the day after, the only people who are accused of saying things that are not true are Barack Obama and Candy Crowley, not Mitt Romney. I kid you not. That’s the debate I saw. I once again saw an Obama who looked uncomfortable and unprepared and full of, “Eh, uh, eh, uh.” I didn’t see Mr. Smooth. I didn’t see Mr. In Command of Facts. I didn’t see anybody who was eager to defend his performance and his record. Folks, I’m gonna apologize to you because I simply do not have a recollection or an analysis of what I saw last night that is anywhere close to what I’ve seen — and I haven’t seen it all — to what I saw on television last night.
Now, I have some friends, I must admit, exchanging e-mails and texts during the debate. They’re naturally nervous, worried about this detail or that detail, wish Romney would have said that, Candy Crowley is a cheating, lying moderator, all that sort of stuff. But I look at it in a much different way. Romney didn’t lose a vote last night. Quite the opposite, I think he picked up even more undecided voters last night, folks. And Obama surely didn’t gain any votes out of that Libya exchange. The Drive-Bys continue to forget that what happened last night is now in the ether, and we have a chance now with the New Media and the net, everything else, to put it all in perspective.
It used to be that a lie takes place on television, and that goes around the world, then the next day the correction takes place, which nobody sees. That’s out the window now. More people are hearing about Obama’s lies and Candy Crowley’s lies than saw them apparently get away with it last night. More people are having the truth explained to them today than saw what they thought was the truth last night. Now, let’s talk about this scoring system, ’cause the inside-the-Beltway wizards of smart are all looking… and I don’t mean to sound sarcastic. Just my natural flair for description.
I know. I did call it. All Obama had to do was show up and they were gonna call him the Comeback Kid. They had the story written before the debate happened. But he’s not the Comeback Kid, folks. I’m telling you: In the deep, dark crevices of their minds, the Democrats and the consultants and the media people on the left know full well that this was not what they’re portraying it to be. This was not a game-shifting event last night.
Now, let me get specific and put some of this in context for you. I think, ladies and gentlemen, the analytical problem here is that the geniuses and the analysts and the experts in Washington inside the Beltway, judge these debates as if it’s a horse race or a chess game in which both people start out even and there’s nothing that’s happened before. They look at these things as taking place almost in a vacuum or a self-contained environment.
But that’s not reality.
You see after four years, nothing Obama says matters. He’s been president for four years! He can’t say, “Wouldn’t you love four more years of this?” He cannot say, “Are you better off today than you were four years ago?” We’re not starting off at the starting line with everybody equal here. We’re starting off with Obama in a huge hole, and it’s a hole so deep that there’s no amount of rhetoric that can get him out of it, and there are no amount of Romney “stumbles.”
“Stumble” being defined as, “Gosh, I wish he woulda said this then.”
He didn’t make a fool of himself. He didn’t say anything wrong. He came across once again as confident, assured, informed, steady. Nothing of game-changing status happened. See, these guys, ladies and gentlemen, are not trying to get the same thing out of these debates. People, voters, have already made up their minds about Obama. One debate, when people have made up their minds on Obama, particularly about education and the economy and so forth and Libya, doesn’t change anything.
Just because a bunch of lies were told last night does not erase the truth that they went out and they said, “It was a video,” and they sent administration figures out for two weeks saying, “It was a video!” Obama can sit there with the aid of Candy Crowley all night and claim, “I did call it a terrorist attack. Here, Candy, read ’em the transcript.” Everybody knows he didn’t! They don’t need Romney.
The audience didn’t need Romney to point out that Obama was lying; the audience already knew it. What’s going on in this country, what’s happening here is that people are really meeting Romney for the first time. Not guys like us, folks, who are political junkies. I’m talking about millions of people who don’t tune in to this stuff closely except at election time every few years.
They have seen the Romney portrayed by Obama and the campaign in TV commercials. They’ve seen Romney the felon, the tax cheat, the guy who let another man’s wife die of cancer. That’s the Romney they’ve seen. They’ve seen the caricature. Now people are seeing the real Mitt Romney, and they’re coming to terms with the fact that there is no dream candidate. There’s Choice A or Choice B.
Choice A, Obama, is already a disaster.
And there’s not a debate that can change that.
This country, this economy, as architected or authored by Obama is a disaster. Everybody knows this. Romney does not need to “win” this debate as if it were a college debate tournament. He simply has to appear as a competent, viable alternative to Obama, and he’s doing that in spades. All the rest of this chatter is BS. I hear that Obama “won on points.”
That can be a very cynical view about debates and the audience who watched them. Won on points? What points? Is the audience so stupid that they don’t recognize deceit? Is the audience watching so stupid they don’t recognize lies? Did you see the Frank Luntz focus group on Fox after the debate? A bunch of undecided voters? It was 90% Romney, big, hands down. People who had voted for Obama are now gonna vote for Romney.
Ninety or eighty percent. It was a slam dunk. MSNBC had a focus group. Romney wins it! Undecided people tilt Romney. Drudge has the link. Now, the people inside the Beltway who claim that Obama won “on points” apparently believe that if a lie is not contradicted in the debate — or if the lie is told in a convincing, assertive manner — that that’s a plus. That’s the cynical view.
The only way you can say, “Obama won on points” is to say that he got away with lying, and that assumes the audience is a bunch of idiots. That assumes that the audience doesn’t know. And I’m telling you, the people watching the debate, if they’re interested enough to watch the debate, know enough to know when they’re being lied to. I don’t believe that Mitt Romney has to point out, for example, every lie Obama is telling.
It’s not possible, by the way. There were too many last night. If the only way Romney can win is by pointing out every lie, and if Romney’s gonna lose votes because he doesn’t point out Obama’s lies, then it’s history. But that’s not the way this is gonna work! Romney’s not gonna lose votes because Obama gets away with lying.
Romney’s not gonna lose votes because he doesn’t call Obama on every lie. He may disappoint you. You may wish for your own satisfaction that he’d gone in there and lowered the hammer, but you’re not saying today, “Ah, screw Romney! To hell with it, I’m not gonna vote. He had a chance to nail Obama on this video business and he didn’t do it. The hell with it! I’m not voting.”
Nobody’s saying that today. So how does he lose on points? I mean, the cynicism here that the audience doesn’t know a lie and that their perception is that if somebody tells a lie and gets away with it, even though the after-debate commentator corrects everybody on it? A guy tells a lie and gets away with it and that’s “winning on points”? I just don’t think the American people see things this way. That’s just me.
I must say again: I’m stunned, I really am, at the uniformity of thought seemingly everywhere in the media, including Fox. I know what I saw last night. And, by the way, this horse race way these guys look at judging all this? Obama was not at the starting line last night. What is the standard by which we compare Obama? Well, there are two. A, we compare Obama to Romney. But we also compare Obama to himself.
If you go back and you compare the Barack Obama of 2008 to the Barack Obama we got last night (which is what I do), folks, it was pathetic last night. Last night was a shadow of the Barack Obama of 2008. Mr. Hope and Change, The One, Mr. Messiah, lowering the sea levels, everything to everybody. That wasn’t true in ’08, but even if people believed it, that’s not the same Barack Obama last night that people voted for in 2008.
And that is also a standard by which Obama must be compared and rated. I don’t care how you do this; you don’t have Obama winning on points. As I say, I’ve got a little bit more I want to add on this. But really, this was not a chess game or a horse race where everybody was equal at the starting point last night. Obama had a whole lot of things to overcome, and he didn’t get anywhere near it.
Not even with the media and Candy Crowley’s help did he get anywhere near it.
RUSH: Here’s another very simple question: If Romney lost that debate last night, and if Obama won the debate, why all the talk today about Libya and how Obama gave a false answer and how Candy Crowley was wrong? Why is that the focus of what everybody’s saying today wherever you go in the media? How does that fit? Obama wins on points but today everybody’s correcting the lie that he told about Libya, aided and abetted by an incompetent hack named Candy Crowley.
How does that equal Obama winning? Now, folks, I have to tell you something. I think when I talk about this uniformity of thought that I see everywhere in the media, I think most of you have the same reaction I had to this. I saw a stumbling, choppy Obama that looked like he was really expending a lot of effort, by the way. He didn’t seem to be flowing. He didn’t seem to be coming from his heart.
You know, when you really believe something, really know something, you don’t need a prompter, notes, prep, or rehearsals. It’s there. It’s just flows. Nothing was flowing out of Obama last night. He was trying to remember cliche after cliche after theory after theory. Tell me if I’m wrong. You’re watching the postdebate analysis, and you see these clowns in Washington give it to Obama on points, and I’ll bet your reaction is the same as mine.
“Ah, they’re just saying that ’cause they’re inside the Beltway and they want to appear to be fair, and the rest of the media is gonna be saying Obama won and so they want to look adult and reasonable and say, ‘Okay, Obama won this one,’ because there’s no sweat off anybody’s back.” So you look at them as going along with the crowd rather than telling you what they really thought. That was my reaction when I saw the postdebate analysis, and I’m sure that’s what you thought, too, in many cases.
But the cynical view that if somebody in a debate gets away a lie, if the other guy doesn’t correct the lie, he wins? I don’t understand. When I know one guy’s lying, I get upset that Romney let it go, but that doesn’t equal Obama winning. Not to me. Not here. Maybe in the way you score a college or high school debate. In fact, to me, with the stakes were there, and with Obama and the task he’s got…
He’s gotta overcome two things. He’s gotta overcome a four-year record and he’s gotta overcome the image people had of him in 2008, and don’t discount that. Obama has a bunch of standards he’s up against that he’s failing on big time. The reason people voted for him… Stop and now think of this: The reason people voted for Obama 2008, there was no evidence of that same guy on that stage last night.
That was not the same person, and that matters to people watching the debate who voted for Obama four years ago. It’s totally missed. It’s not accounted for by professional analysts. See, I think most of the audience knows all about the video and Obama using it and blaming it for the terrorist attack — which he didn’t even call “a terrorist attack” for a week. That’s another lie that got through. Everybody’s focusing on that today, correcting his lie about that, but the regime put that out to the world.
The regime went on The View. They went at the United Nations six times. They told the world for two weeks it was a video. We put the guy who did the video in jail. The Sunday talk shows, the audience knew last night whether Romney pointed it out or not, that Candy Crowley and Barack Obama were lying. How is that Obama won on points? Lying in a debate is a negative. That’s why there’s always a flurry of fact-checking afterwards, because lying is a negative.
You don’t score points lying. Lying is minus one and getting caught on it is minus two, if we’re gonna do the point system. See, I think, ladies and gentlemen, that this is the problem with the Democrat Party. In their world, lies are counted as truth if each one is not refuted. So, as far as they’re concerned, Obama got away with it last night. He got away with lying. He and Candy got away with it ’cause Mitt didn’t call ’em on it. So in their corrupt world, a lie is counted as the truth.
So, as far as the Democrats are concerned, as of last night Obama called it a terrorist attack that day or the next day. That’s what they live with. He told a lie, Obama got away with it, and Romney didn’t correct it. So therefore the lie is now the truth. The problem is, most of the country doesn’t live that way. It doesn’t operate that way. And truth be told, when they found out, they’re not gonna let the Democrat Party get away with that.
But to score points on somebody getting away with an un-refuted lie? Sorry, I don’t understand it. I don’t think the American people are numb to lies. Not the people watching this debate, anyway. Democrats get away with a lot of them, I know, but in this situation, with all this focus and all this attention? How could there be so many people upset with Romney for letting Romney get away with it if they didn’t know Obama was lying to begin with?
But the bottom line is, ladies and gentlemen: Romney did not lose any votes last night because he didn’t call Obama on every lie Obama told, including Libya. And by the same token Obama didn’t gain any, and that’s all that’s important here. That’s all this is about. It isn’t about points. It isn’t about who got away with what. And Obama did not accomplish what he had to accomplish to reverse the direction, to reverse the momentum, to stanch the bleeding, whatever phrase that you want to use.
I just don’t believe that lying wins debates. Not with us here. Not with the New Media here. What happened last night is a confirmation of what we know. Liberalism is a lie, liberals are liars, and that’s the first path they take if they think they can get away with it. But it’s important also realize that if you happen to see any videotape, replays, highlights, or whatever of this you’ll see in many instances Obama was really laboring.
He was expending a lot of effort to come up with the next sentence, the next thought, the next cliche, the next thing that he and some bud were talking about in some room when they were theorizing if they ran everything it would be good. But the people that are running things don’t know what they’re talking about, ’cause they’re a bunch of crooks. The Steve Wynns, Donald Trumps, all the successful people are a bunch of crooks. But Obama and his professorial theoreticians, authoritarian statists?
“Yeah, give them the power! They’ll fix this.” Right. Well, four years later, where are we? We also learned last night that the old media will enable these liars and they will facilitate them and they will help them. So thank you, Candy Crowley, for making our point. As for Candy Crowley, I think she actually did a worse job than Jim Lehrer and Martha Raddatz. Now, granted she interrupted Romney 28 times, and she only interrupted Obama nine times.
But she kept feeding Obama lines.
She did, folks. She kept feeding him lines. She kept prompting. You Democrats, you have to realize that he couldn’t have done this last night without her assistance. That was obvious, too. We put together… We like to illustrate things. We put together a condensed version of the debate. If you didn’t see the debate last night, we put together a short little contested version to give you a little bit of an idea of it from my perspective.
(playing of debate spoof)
RUSH: “And thank you for being with us at tonight’s presidential debate. Join us next week for the next one.” That’s basically how it went last night.
RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, there’s another debate. It’s next week. I forget what day it is. I just know I’ll know it when it happens. It’s Monday? I got a debate up against Monday Night Football? Okay. It’s a foreign policy debate moderated by Bob Schieffer, Slay the Nation. Let me just ask you a quick question: Do you think Obama and Bob Schieffer are going to get away with the Benghazi lie next week? So what good was getting away with it last night? And they didn’t, by the way. At the moment, they got away with it, and our guys Inside the Beltway scored it, and Obama won on points, yeah, Obama lied, Romney didn’t refute it, slam dunk Obama. Sorry, it’s not how the voters see this stuff.
What was Obama’s great line last night? What was his great policy argument? What was his great defense of his record? What did he say that helped him or hurt Romney? (imitating Obama) “Romney wants to kill Big Bird and Planned Parenthood, that’s right, Planned Parenthood. Romney investments in China.” Oh, you know, that’s another thing. That’s another moment in the debate, I ended up stopping — I hit pause ’cause Kathryn said, “Do you realize what we just heard there?” What happened was, we get this question, “How are you different from George Bush?” So Romney answers it. And Obama’s rebuttal, he started defending Bush!
And Kathryn said, “Do you realize how angry the bloodsuckers in his base are gonna be? They hate Bush more than they hate you, Rush, and here’s Obama defending Bush.” And I said, you know, she’s right. Kathryn’s right. And this will never be reported. Now, you might see these people on their blogs at some point later get ticked off. I guarantee you, the idea here that Obama cleaned up last night, the only reason people say that is because they wrote that narrative before the debate and the standard was very low, the bar was set very low. Show up and act alive, pure and simple, it’s all he had to do.