Clarence Page: Obama's second-term blahs

BY CLARENCE PAGE Published: October 10, 2012

That's not the only cost Romney is vague about. He flatly rejected Obama's assertion that Romney's 20 percent across-the-board tax cut would cost $5 trillion over the next decade — and raise taxes on the middle class while giving a cut to the wealthy. “I don't have a $5 trillion tax cut,” Romney said.

“What I've said,” he continued, “is I won't put in place a tax cut that adds to the deficit.” Yet he offered no estimate of his own to counter Obama's number as to cost or who would bear its burden.

And Romney flipped enough flip-flips to make inviting targets for zingers, had Obama cared to zing a few. For example, after promising repeatedly to repeal, repeal, repeal Obamacare, he now says he wants to keep the popular parts like covering pre-existing conditions and children up to age 26. Yet he offers no indication as to how he would pay for the unpopular parts, such as the universal mandate that pays for the good parts.

Most viewers probably thought, as I did, that Romney hogged more time in this largely free-flowing debate. Yet it turned out that Obama grabbed almost 4 1/2 minutes more than Romney, according to a political website at the University of Minnesota. Who would have guessed? Yet Romney managed to squeeze in 541 more words, according to the Atlantic Wire. In short, Romney won the night by making better use of his time — and not just in his word count.

Obama's campaign did an excellent job of arguments like these on the day after the debate. Too bad for Obama that he didn't make more during the debate. Time is precious.