How Romney and Obama name dropped their way through the first debate

President Barack Obama, right, and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney speak during the first presidential debate at the University of Denver, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012, in Denver. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)


How Romney and Obama name dropped their way through the first debate

Presidential candidates drop names for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they call on a higher authority – like Ronald Reagan – for approval. Sometimes they call out someone they’ve met along the campaign trail to make a poignant point. Here’s who Mitt Romney and Barack Obama mentioned in the debate.

Storified by Digital First Media · Wed, Oct 03 2012 22:01:47

Presidential candidates drop names for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they call on a higher authority – like Ronald Reagan – for approval. Sometimes they call out someone they’ve met along the campaign trail to make a poignant point. Here’s who Mitt Romney and Barack Obama mentioned in the debate.

Michelle Obama

Com
The debate happened on the Obama’s 20th anniversary. Obama sent his love and Romney offered his congratulations.

“There are a lot of points I want to make tonight, but the most important one is that 20 years ago I became the luckiest man on Earth because Michelle Obama agreed to marry me.” — Obama

A 55-year-old North Carolina woman

“You know, four years ago, we were going through a major crisis. And yet my faith and confidence in the American future is undiminished. And the reason is because of its people, because of the woman I met in North Carolina who decided at 55 to go back to school because she wanted to inspire her daughter and now has a job from that new training that she’s gotten; because a company in Minnesota who was willing to give up salaries and perks for their executives to make sure that they didn’t lay off workers during a recession.” — Obama

Ann Romney

Politico
Answering how he would go about creating jobs, Mitt Romney opened with an anecdote from a rally in Denver in which his wife Ann was approached by a beleaguered mother.
“Ann yesterday was at a rally in Denver, and a woman came up to her with a baby in her arms, and said, ‘Ann, my husband has had four jobs in three years, part-time jobs. He’s lost his most recent job. And we’ve now just lost our home. Can you help us?’” — Romney

The Romney sons

Glittarazzi
Romney attempted to quash a perceived misconception from the Obama campaign that if president he would cut taxes for high-income Americans, saying it was a lie. Romney pressed the point that he is used to hearing lies, having raised five sons.

“Look, I’ve got five boys. I’m used to people saying something that’s not always true, but just keep on repeating it and ultimately hoping I’ll believe it. But that — that is not the case. All right? I will not reduce the taxes paid by high-income Americans.” — Romney

Bill Clinton

weaselzippers.us
Obama appealed to a sense of nostalgia for the economic state of the country during Bill Clinton’s presidency twice in the debate, whereas Romney used Clinton as a point of contention in regard to the origin of his Medicare policies.
“I have said that for incomes over $250,000 a year, that we should go back to the rates that we had when Bill Clinton was president, when we created 23 million new jobs, went from deficit to surplus, and created a whole lot of millionaires to boot.” — Obama
“Bill Clinton tried the approach that I’m talking about. We created 23 million new jobs. We went from deficit to surplus. And businesses did very well.” — Obama
“And, by the way the idea came not even from Paul Ryan or — or Senator Wyden, who’s the co-author of the bill with — with Paul Ryan in the Senate, but also it came from Bill — Bill Clinton’s chief of staff.” — Romney

Donald Trump

Villagevoice
Both Obama and Romney used Donald Trump as an example of a plutocrat, questioning how he’s taxed.

“But under Governor Romney’s definition, there are a whole bunch of millionaires and billionaires who are small businesses. Donald Trump is a small business. Now, I know Donald Trump doesn’t like to think of himself as small anything, but — but that’s how you define small businesses if you’re getting business income.” — Obama

“Well, the economy is still growing slow. As a matter of fact, it’s growing much more slowly now than when you made that statement. And so if you believe the same thing, you just don’t want to raise taxes on people. And the reality is it’s not just wealthy people — you mentioned Donald Trump. It’s not just Donald Trump you’re taxing. It’s all those businesses that employ one-quarter of the workers in America; these small businesses that are taxed as individuals.” — Romney

Big Bird

Eonline
Mitt Romney mentioned Big Bird as part of PBS, for which he wants to cut government funding, saying that it’s not worth borrowing money to pay for.

“I’m sorry, Jim [Lehrer], I’mgoing to stop the subsidy to PBS. I’m going to stop other things. I like PBS, Ilove Big Bird. Actually like you, too. But I’m not going to — I’m not going tokeep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for. That’snumber one.” — Romney

A couple in Appleton, Wis. 

As an example of the problems with the Affordable Care Act:

“You know, I was in New Hampshire. A woman came to me and she said, look, I can’t afford insurance for myself or my son. I met a couple in Appleton, Wisconsin, and they said, we’re thinking of dropping our insurance, we can’t afford it. And the number of small businesses I’ve gone to that are saying they’re dropping insurance because they can’t afford it, the cost of health care is just prohibitive. And — and we’ve got to deal with cost.” — Romney

Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson

Dailycaller

Mitt Romney referred to former Wisconsin governor and Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson as part of an example of the federal government handing control over the details of social programs to the states.

“And, finally, Medicaidto states? I’m not quite sure where that came in, except this, which is, Iwould like to take the Medicaid dollars that go to states and say to a state,you’re going to get what you got last year, plus inflation, plus 1 percent, andthen you’re going to manage your care for your poor in the way you think best.

And I remember, as agovernor, when this idea was floated by Tommy Thompson, the governors —Republican and Democrats — said, please let us do that. We can care for our ownpoor in so much better and more effective a way than having the federalgovernment tell us how to care for our poor.


So — so let’s state —one of the magnificent things about this country is the whole idea that statesare the laboratories of democracy. Don’t have the federal government telleverybody what kind of training programs they have to have and what kind ofMedicaid they have to have. Let states do this.”  — Romney

President Ronald Reagan

Businessinsider
Ronald Reagan, along with former Democratic Speaker of the House Thomas P. (Tip) O’Neill, was brought up as an example of willingness to work in a bipartisan fashion.

“Which is — which is my experience as a governoris if I come in and — and lay down a piece of legislation and say, “It’smy way or the highway,” I don’t get a lot done. What I do is the same waythat Tip O’Neill and Ronald Reagan worked together some years ago. When RonaldReagan ran for office, he laid out the principles that he was going to foster.He said he was going to lower tax rates. He said he was going to broaden thebase. You’ve said the same thing, you’re going to simplify the tax code,broaden the base.” — Romney

“You know, I suspect that, on Social Security,we’ve got a somewhat similar position. Social Security is structurally sound.It’s going to have to be tweaked the way it was by Ronald Reagan and Speaker —Democratic Speaker Tip O’Neill. But it is — the basic structure is sound.” — Obama

A teacher in Las Vegas

To illustrate a point about taking a balanced approach to deficit reduction:

“It means that the teacher that I met in Las Vegas, a wonderful young lady, who describes to me — she’s got 42 kids in her class. The first two weeks she’s got them, some of them sitting on the floor until finally they get reassigned. They’re using text books that are 10 years old. That is not a recipe for growth. That’s not how America was built. And so budgets reflect choices.” — Obama

Madelyn Dunham, Obama’s grandmother

undefinedScrapetv
Obama brought up his grandmother as an illustration of how important Social Security and Medicare are.

“You know, my grandmother — some of you know — helped to raise me. My grandparents did. My grandfather died a while back. My grandmother died three days before I was elected president. And she was fiercely independent. She worked her way up, only had a high school education, started as a secretary, ended up being the vice president of a local bank. And she ended up living alone by choice.

And the reason she could be independent was because of Social Security and Medicare. She had worked all her life, put in this money, and understood that there was a basic guarantee, a floor under which she could not go.

And that’s the perspective I bring when I think about what’s called entitlements. You know, the name itself implies some sense of dependency on the part of these folks. These are folks who’ve worked hard, like my grandmother, and there are millions of people out there who are counting on this.” — Obama

Rep. Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney’s running mate

WordPress
Mitt Romney mentioned Paul Ryan along with Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon for their work on restructuring Medicare.

“The other thing we haveto do to save Medicare? We have to have the benefits high for those that arelow income, but for higher income people, we’re going to have to lower some ofthe benefits. We have to make sure this program is there for the long term.That’s the plan that I’ve put forward.


And, by the way the ideacame not even from Paul Ryan or — or Senator Wyden, who’s the co-author of thebill with — with Paul Ryan in the Senate, but also it came from Bill — BillClinton’s chief of staff. This is an idea that’s been around a long time, whichis saying, hey, let’s see if we can’t get competition into the Medicare worldso that people can get the choice of different plans at lower cost, betterquality. I believe in competition.” — Romney

A Denver woman with a baby

As an example of the need for lower taxes:

“Ann yesterday was at a rally in Denver, and a woman came up to her with a baby in her arms, and said, “Ann, my husband has had four jobs in three years, part-time jobs. He’s lost his most recent job. And we’ve now just lost our home. Can you help us?” And the answer is, yes, we can help, but it’s going to take a different path, not the one we’ve been on, not the one the president describes as a top-down, cut taxes for the rich. That’s not what I’m going to do. ” — Romney

Abraham Lincoln

Tqn
President Obama brought up Abraham Lincoln as an example of government partnering with private enterprise.

“Look, the genius ofAmerica is the free enterprise system and freedom and the fact that people cango out there and start a business, work on an idea, make their own decisions.

But as Abraham Lincolnunderstood, there are also some things we do better together. So, in the middleof the Civil War,

Abraham Lincoln said, let’s help to finance the TranscontinentalRailroad, let’s start the National Academy of Sciences, let’s start land grantcolleges, because we want to give these gateways of opportunity for allAmericans, because if all Americans are getting opportunity, we’re all going tobe better off. That doesn’t restrict people’s freedom. That enhances it.


And so what I’ve triedto do as president is to apply those same principles.” — Obama

Auto workers

To illustrate the best of America in the closing remarks:

“The auto workers that you meet in Toledo or Detroit take such pride in building the best cars in the world, not just because of a paycheck, but because it gives them that sense of pride, that they’re helping to build America. And so the question now is how do we build on those strengths.” — Obama

Comments are closed.