Presidential Campaign Update

Graphic by Sarai Presman

Graphic by Sarai Presman

Graphic by Sarai Presman

After several months of campaigning and fundraising, President Barack Obama and Former Mass. Governor Mitt Romney went to Denver, Colo. and participated in the first of three presidential debates.

Debate moderator Jim Lehrer focused on the issues that will move our economy forward. The president began by discussing the financial crisis that he was presented with when he took office four years ago. Governor Romney by contrast, gave his five step plan to improve the economy.

Romney’s central plan focused on energy independence, free trade, education, a balanced budget and small businesses. Obama discussed improving education and gaining North American energy independence as well.

Deficit reduction was also highly debated between the two candidates. Romney focused on Obama’s record of raising the federal government deficit while in office. Obama responded by arguing about Romney’s perceived plan of reducing taxes. He said, “Governor Romney’s central economic plan calls for a $5 trillion tax cut on top of the extension of the Bush tax cutsa��”

Romney disputed these claims by saying he believes that the government should provide a tax relief to the entire middle class. Additionally, Romney stated that he will not raise taxes and said the president has issued an “economy tax.” Romney plans to lower tax deductions, credits and exemptions.

Romney promoted offshore drilling and building the Keystone Pipeline which will send oil from Canada into the U.S. Romney also said, “And, by the way, I like coal. I’m going to make sure we can continue to burn clean coala��I want to get America and North America energy independent so we can create those jobs.”

Later in the debate, the topic was switched to health care which provided some of the most heated debate of the night. Romney stated that he would repeal the Affordable Care Act if he is elected.

By contrast, Obama vigorously defended the merits of the act and what it would provide to everyday Americans. He mentioned two key provisions of the bill: that young people up to 26 can stay on their parents’ insurance plan, and that individuals with pre-existing conditions must be covered by insurance companies.

The debate highlighted the philosophical contrast between Obama and Romney and allowed voters to hear both sides discuss substantive issues that have a great impact on America.