The Instigator
Pro (for)
8 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
4 Points

Romney should be elected over Obama

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/14/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,623 times Debate No: 26215
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (34)
Votes (3)




This debate concerns whether Mitt Romney should be elected President of the United States over President Barack Obama in the upcoming election. Only these two candidates are to be considered in the debate, and the outcome is to be determined by the preponderance of evidence. The burden of proof is shared and the debater who makes a better case for his candidate is to be judged the winner. As Pro, I will advocate for Mitt Romney.

The first round is for acceptance and clarification only. I will present the Romney case at the start of the second round. Con may rebut in R2, but must present the pro-Obama case.

Thanks to my opponent for taking up this topic.


This opening round is for definitions and acceptance only. I will give the Pro case at the start of the second round.

Standard debate conventions apply. I list them here for the benefit of new debaters and readers. I believe there is nothing tricky or eccentric. Both sides agree to the following rules, and that violating the rules is a conduct violation, with anything contrary to the rules to be ignored by readers judging the debate:

DR 1. All arguments must be made in the debate. Evidence may be cited or linked from the debate, but only in support of arguments made in the debate. Arguments made in Comments are to be ignored.

DR 2. Source links or references must be included within the 8000 characters per round limit of the debate. No links or sources are permitted in comments.

DR 3 Any term not specifically defined before use is to be taken with the ordinary dictionary definition of the term that best fits the context of the debate.

DR 4. No new arguments shall be made in Round 4. Pro may rebut previous arguments using new evidence solely for that purpose, but no new arguments are allowed. Con may not present any new evidence in R4.

DR 5. DDO site rules always apply. Neither side may add or modify rules for the debate once the challenge is accepted.

DR 6. Dropped arguments are not immediately counted as concessions. They may be taken up again or left to be judged as part of the case.


I agree to all of the rules and conditions set forth by Roy & have no further elaboration. I eagerly await your case for Romney, well wishes!
Debate Round No. 1


1. We need a new President

A prosperous economy is the basis for all else. The economy provides money for individuals to support themselves, for a social safety net, for infrastructure construction, and for national defense. Governor Romney summarized President Obama's performance:

[Obama] said that by now we’d have unemployment at 5.4 percent. The difference between where it is and 5.4 percent is 9 million Americans without work. ...

He said he would have by now put forward a plan to reform Medicare and Social Security, because he pointed out they’re on the road to bankruptcy. He would reform them. He’d get that done. He hasn’t even made a proposal on either one.

He said in his first year he’d put out an immigration plan that would deal with our immigration challenges. Didn’t even file it.

... He said that he’d cut in half the deficit. He hasn’t done that either. In fact, he doubled it. He said that by now middle-income families would have a reduction in their health insurance premiums by $2,500 a year. It’s gone up by $2,500 a year. And if Obamacare is passed, or implemented -- it’s already been passed -- if it’s implemented fully, it’ll be another $2,500 on top.

The middle class is getting crushed under the policies of a president who has not understood what it takes to get the economy working again. He keeps saying, “Look, I’ve created 5 million jobs.” That’s after losing 5 million jobs. The entire record is such that the unemployment has not been reduced in this country. The unemployment, the number of people who are still looking for work, is still 23 million Americans.

There are more people in poverty, one out of six people in poverty.

... When he took office, 32 million people were on food stamps. Today, 47 million people are on food stamps. How about the growth of the economy? It’s growing more slowly this year than last year, and more slowly last year than the year before.

The president wants to do well. I understand. But the policies he’s put in place from Obamacare to Dodd-Frank to his tax policies to his regulatory policies, these policies combined have not let this economy take off and grow like it could have. [1.]

The Stimulus was promised to go towards building infrastructure, but “only 8% of the total, went to roads, public transport, rail, bridges, aviation and wastewater systems.” [2.] The Administration did not understand the basics of the government procurement cycle of proposal, specification, bid, award, and funding, Obama admitted the shovel-ready jobs did not exist. [3.]

President Clinton, in a candid moment, declared: “I’ve heard more from Bush, asking for my advice, than I’ve heard from Obama,” ... “I have no relationship with the president — none whatsoever. Obama doesn’t know how to be president. He doesn’t know how the world works. He’s incompetent. He’s an amateur!” [4.]

2. Romney has the skills to be President, Obama the skills to run for office

No one becomes President of the United States without some very strong skills. Governor Romney's skills are in business and administration. Business skills relate to understanding the capitalist system and that is what is required for jobs and prosperity. Administrative skills are derived from Romney's experience as a business executive and as a governor in a state with a legislature under 85% Democrat control. By contrast, Obama's skills are in the art of politics, and derive from his experience as a community organizer. The job of a community organizer is to get benefits from government to please a limited constituency. Community organizers do not worry about how they are paid for. On a national level, Obama divides the electorate into groups and promises each some benefit. There are not enough rich people to pay for what is promised, but he supposes there are.

Competence is measured objectively in terms of success. Romney ran Bain Capital and built an extraordinary record of success. Bain's business was mainly making failed ventures successful, and Bain had 70% success rate. In each case of Bain investment, the alternative was to let a company fail, losing all the jobs and nearly all the wealth. As Governor of Massachusetts, he worked successfully with an 85% Democrat legislative opposition. He met with Democrats weekly, and received high marks from his opponents. Romney turned around the 2002 Olympics, which had been struggling with scandals and financial problems.

Free enterprise versus Bureaucracy

Romeycare is sometimes claimed to be like Obamacare, but the differences are dramatic. Massachusetts is a relatively rich state, and had only 4% of the population uninsured. Romneycare was limited to helping that 4%. The legislation was 75 pages and it's worked fine in Massachusetts precisely because it did not revolutionize the system. Obamacare starts with 2700 pages of legislation setting up 159 new agencies and boards [5.] and imposing 23 new taxes. Compliance with the tax rules alone is estimated by the IRS to take taxpayers 80 million hours. [6.]

There is a fundamental difference in ideology. Romney used a minimum amount of government to provide a social safety net. Obama believes that government should determine the details of how society functions, and then impose that will through elaborate rules administered by a bureaucracy. The Environmental Protection Agency last year imposed rules on utilities that will ultimately cost consumers $7 trillion. Congress didn't vote on it, and it won't appear on anyone's tax bill. The Americans with Disabilities Act has new rules that require elevators in swimming pools, among a catalog of obscure and expensive regulations. A highly-trained professional is required to determine compliance.

The total regulatory costs are now estimated at an astounding $1.8 trillion per year. [7.] These are not taxes or the cost of any service, but the costs born solely to ensure compliance. By comparison, the IRS collects about $2.3 trillion in taxes each year. A crippling burden is put on the economy without any explicit taxes.

3. Leading from Behind in Foreign Affairs

U.S. status has plunged under Obama, damaging the country's ability to lead and to peacefully resolve disputes. The policy of deliberately diminishing U.S. status was dubbed “leading from behind” by an Obama aide.

President Obama's apology tour raised expectations in the Arab world, but recently a Zogby poll showed, “Arab approval of the United States in the Middle East has plummeted so drastically that it now is lower than it was during the presidency of George W. Bush, according to a startling new survey.” [8.]

A worldwide poll also shows the drop in US standing, “The overall rankings, based on the percentage of people who said the country or countries had a positive effect, in descending order were: Japan, Germany, Canada, Britain, China, France, the European Union, the United States, Brazil, India, South Africa, South Korea, Russia, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan and Iran.” [9. ]

The diminished status an Obama choice.

But underlying that style [of leading from behind], assures this Obama adviser, there really are ideas. Indeed, “two unspoken beliefs,” explains Lizza. “That the relative power of the U.S. is declining, as rivals like China rise, and that the U.S. is reviled in many parts of the world.”

Amazing. This is why Obama is deliberately diminishing American presence, standing, and leadership in the world? [10. ]

The education system is failing as well. “The United States has fallen to "average" in international education rankings released by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, ...” [11. ]


The country needs competence and freedom from government. It's Romney.



Hello DDO, thanks to all viewers and voters. Special thanks to Roy for agreeing to do this debate.

1) Obama is a man for the people, and epitomizes the American dream.

What is the American dream? The term “American dream” is used in many ways, but it essentially is an idea that suggests that anyone in the US can succeed through hard work regardless of birth unfortunates and having the odds stacked against you. ( Barack Obama grew up in a single-parent home with his mother who struggled to pay the bills. President Obama knows what it means when a family struggles, he knows the American Dream because he's lived it.( This certainly doesn’t qualify him for the presidency, however it does define a man’s character.
Say what you will about Barack Obama, but unlike the many presidents who preceded him, he cares about what is best for the greater good. He truly does represent “The People.” His actions have always been motivated by a sincere desire to do what is best for the majority, even if it meant losing ground with the wealthy, influential or powerful minority. An example of this is Obamacare, his stance on same-sex marriage, and his continuing support and fight for women’s rights in the workplace. ( More importantly, he understands how to fulfill the needs of the people. As stated by Obama, “Rebuilding our economy starts with strengthening the middle class. Extending tax breaks on 98 percent of families now would give hardworking Americans the security and confidence they need.” Unfortunately, the house rejected a bill that would have introduced tax cuts to the middle class and lower, and allowed the Bush-era tax cuts for the well-off to expire. ( My opponent claims that the President made a promise that unemployment would be around 5%, however—according to politifact, a non partisan fact checking site—this claim is untrue. ( Some concerned citizens claim (my opponent included) that this election is one of a free enterprise system vs Bureaucracy, the problem here is that President Obama is very much a fan of the Free enterprise system. “I believe that the free enterprise system is the greatest engine of prosperity the world’s ever known... I believe in self-reliance and individual initiative and risk takers being rewarded,” Obama stated in the 2nd presidential debate. This statement was a direct response to the question that asked what the biggest misconception people had of him. If by bureaucracy my opponent means his next sentence, “But I also believe that everybody should have a fair shot, everybody should do their fair share and everybody should play by the same rules,” I ask him what he thinks Romney would advocate, instead? His economic policies aren’t communistic, and they certainly aren’t any more socialistic (as if that’s a deadly sin) than what we currently have here in the United States. We already have tax money going toward subsidized food so everyone can afford relatively cheap meals including: Corn, wheat, soybeans, rice, beer, milk, beef, peanut butter, sunflower oil. ( We already pay for public education as a nation, and health care is rightfully next in line. It is not an attack on the free enterprise system & it is not to undermine the American dream—it stands to enhance it. My opponent’s claim that it will be a heavy burden on tax payers is a bit misleading. It will be a minimum of $95 in 2014, $325 the following year, and $695 when fully implemented. ( Though the numbers seem high, it is certainly less than the average person pays per year for health insurance. Not only that, the “tax” has an exempt status if you cannot afford the coverage, who are undergoing hardships, or whose income doesn’t meet the minimal threshold, according to, a non partisan website. More importantly to not, the President doesn’t influence the economy as much as my opponent would have you lead. In fact, it’s minimal at best. ( This leads me to my next contention, the President is much better at the most crucial role at this time.

2) Obama is better than Romney when it comes to foreign policy.

My opponent would have you believe that our President, Barack Obama, is on an apology tour. Yet, he has stated no country to which the President has apologized tomainly because such country does not exist. His claim is simply untrue. It’s right-winged propaganda. ( According to Biden in the VP debate, “This is the guy who’s repaired our alliances so the rest of the world follows us again,” completely contrary to my opponent’s 3rd contention. He continues,This is the guy who brought Russia and China together to make sanctions on Iraq to punish their efforts to acquire a nuclear missile.” President Barack Obama has been better at accomplishing George Bush’s foreign objectives on terrorism than he haseliminating Osama Bin Laden, Muammar Gaddafi, and many other worldwide terrorists. But enough on Obama, what has Romney done worldwide? Embarrass himself. He was seen as insulting in London with his comments on the Olympics (, he offended Puerto Rico with his comment that, “Spanish is the language of Puerto Rico, but English is the language of opportunity,” (, & he offended Israelis and Palestinians with offensive remarks ( More importantly than his words, we have his foreign policy plans. He has no definite withdraw strategy from Afghanistan. In fact, he truly isn’t sure what he wants to do at all in Afghanistan, ( which flows into my last contention.

3) Integrity matters

There is no one in the United States naïve enough to think politicians don’t lie. In fact, something they share with car salesmen, they have their own punch lines when it comes to lying. Problem is, Romney has no base. He stands on both sides of political issues to the point where no one can be for sure what side he’s on. He’s been on both sides of abortion, illegal immigration, auto-bailouts, foreign policy, health care, & women’s rights. Each are key issues in the debate. His own political party leaders question his integrity and refer to him as a man who will say anything to be elected. Though I don’t usually site extremely bias websites, this one has a video on it necessary to make my case. Ignoring the obvious, “Everyone hates Mitt,” bias, the video is of political leaders—Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, Fox News anchors (heavily republican channel), Newt Gingrich, etc—in the Republic party talking about the integrity of Romney before he became their primary candidate. ( So we have a man willing to insult half of America with his 47% comments, who embarrasses himself on tours overseas with his arrogance.

Though Obama may not be the best president the US has ever had, it is evident that he should be the choice over Romney.
Debate Round No. 2


Obama's Character

President Obama is a success. But his story is not one that reflects the classic concept of the American Dream. According to Obama's own account he spent high school and the start of college in a drug haze. He went to elite schools. He received his ideological and political tutelage from a from a far left radical. [12.] He spent a very short time in a private law firm, and called his time supporting private enterprise as "behind enemy lines." [13.] His career was built as a community organizer, charged with the task of getting benefits from government for constituents.

President Obama does not understanding the world of success by achieved by building something. Obama achieved as an agent for government redistribution of wealth. It defines his character. He achieved success through political skills, not through conventional hard work at a business.

Con claims that "unlike the many presidents who preceded him, he cares about what is best for the greater good." No, recent presidents each cared about the good of the people. The difference is whether the good of the people is best served by the redistribution of wealth of by the creation of wealth. As an extreme example, I don't doubt that Chairman Mao cared about the well-being of the people of China, just as the government of Hong Kong cared about the well being of the people Hong Kong. Since Hong Kong was under British rule, even though the British are civilized and caring, in all probability the Hong Kong governors cared less. Yet the people of Hong Kong did immeasurably better with a little less caring and a whole lot more freedom.

Obama wants a coalition of just large enough to elect him. To support that goal he has championed class warfare, pretending that "the rich" will pay for all the freebies he dispenses to his supporters. Romney will serve all the people, Obama serves his constituency.

Romney's Character

Obama's vision of helping people is to take money from taxpayers and have the government do good things at the pace and efficiency with which government always does things. Romney believes in personal commitment.

One of the partners in Bain Capital had his 14-year old daughter go missing in New York City.
"As the days went by and her parents, Robert and Lynette Gay, grew more and more frantic, they finally told Mr. Gay's partners at the private equity-investment firm Bain Capital. A few hours later, executives of the Boston-based firm were on the shuttle to New York for a huge volunteer effort, harnessing corporate manpower throughout the city and immersing professional baby boomers in a youth party culture many knew nothing about. ...

"Bain Capital's partners closed down the firm and drew on friendships and connections to find volunteers for the search. R.R. Donnelly, the firm's printer, printed more than 300,000 fliers bearing Ms. Gay's picture and last known whereabouts. Duane Reade, a drugstore chain in which Bain Capital is an investor, had clerks at 52 stores insert fliers in shopping bags. ..."


The girl was found.

In 2007, fires damaged a large area near San Diego, where Romney lived. Matt Romney, Mitt's son called a neighbor, Mr. Fisher to offer help. "We would like to come help. We would like to come do something. Fisher said, '...There is a big tree stump in my front yard. They took the tree down, the tree was torched in the fire. But the stump was still there.' So Matt insisted, he said, 'We would like to bring a couple of guys and do some service at your house.'"

On that day, Fisher said he ran out to get some breakfast for the volunteers. Fisher said, "As I drove down to my house, there are four men working in the hole there, ... and one of them is running for President of the United States of America."

"...[Mitt Romney] was the first one down the hole. He's the first one with the power saw. He's doing the hardest work of any of us."

And as Fisher made clear, not a single reporter was in sight.

"This wasn't a publicity event," Fisher said. "In fact, when they grew up as boys there was occasions where their dad...would get them up and they would go do a service project for someone."

Obama doesn't know how to fix the economy

Con contends that Obama knows how to fix the economy. I provided a list of the failures of Obama's economic policies, notably the average income shrinking $4200. It seems Con grants my points, except for Obama promising to reduce unemployment to 5.4% by now. The left-leaning Politifact claims that no such promise was made.

Con's link to Politifact is broken, but a web search reveals that the Politifact said the unemployment projections were not an Obama promise because the report produced by Obama's economic advisers to sell the Stimulus bill had caveats that there were uncertainties. [14. ] So, we are to believe that the Stimulus legislation was sold to Congress and the public on the basis that it might do nothing?

The report by Obama's economic team quantified the uncertainties. [15. ] The report claimed that by the end of of the 2010 fiscal year 3.67 million jobs would be created. “In light of the substantial quarter-to-quarter variation in the estimates of job creation, we believe a reasonable range for 2010Q4 is 3.3 to 4.1 million jobs created.”\The actual result was 2,105,000 jobs lost. The bottom line effect on employment is shown in the graph below. The policy failed. [16.

Obama's projection of unemployment after passage of the Stimulus compared to what actually happened.

Con quotes the President supporting free enterprise. Obama only provides lip service. I cited the vast bureaucracy that has foiled business growth, ranging from Dodd-Frank to the ADA to Obamacare.

Con argues that since government subsidizes food production, they ought to control health care. In fact, there is very little subsidy of food. Each consumer unit (2.5 persons) spent an average of $6,458 on food in 2011. [17.] The population was about 311 million. So the total amount spent on food was 311*6458/2.5 million = $803 billion. The subsidy in 2009 was $12.3 billion. Food costs under free enterprise have dropped from by half in the past three decades. the government has heavily subsidized medical care through Medicare, Medicaid, and the military health system. Health care costs have skyrocketed.

Subsidies cannot make anything genuinely cheaper. At most they transfer wealth. Obamacare increases the demand for health care while decreasing supply. No physicians are added to the system, and 83% say they are considering quitting. Medical school admissions are down 6%. [18. ]


Con's video apparently dates back to 2007 when Romney was struggling to master national issues. It's fair to say he changed positions. A national candidate has to expand his horizons to the national level, and in 2007 Romney had not arrived. He lost the Republican nomination as a result. Romney has now arrived at consistent positions on national issues.

One could cite videos of Hillary Clinton tearing into Obama in the race for the 2008 nomination, one of the most vicious campaigns on record. Better to ask what happened to Obama's promises of transparency, bipartisanship, and fiscal responsibility. Those were promises to the voters.

Romney is a sober guy. Obama is a politician.



I'd like to clean this debate up a bit for the readers and give the voters 3 main voting points. The arguments in the previous rounds brought forth by my opponent and I have categorized into 3 main areas: Domestic policy (to include the economy), foreign policy, and integrity (to include competency). This round will be my ideology heavy round, and my final round will be my fact heavy round (I will not introduce any new debate topics in my final round.)

Domestic Policy
My opponent has put forth some very compelling arguments. Starting from the beginning of his contention about Obama's economy efforts, it is very clear that my opponent is intending to make that the number 1 voting issue here on DDO about the economy as it has been made to the American public. In his efforts, he's attempting to make it appear as if this economy is doing worse than it was 4 years ago. If my assessment is true, he is wrong. In fact, Mitt Romney doesn't even hold this viewpoint. ( My opponent's motion to engage in a debate of smaller numbers to attempt to prove the point that the economy is doing worse, will not be granted. His own candidate is against him in that aspect, thus it doesn't garner a response. Romney just feels as if he's more capable at getting the economy up to speed faster than it is moving. ( If my opponent can make it clear that his minor debate has a realistic approach at the overall debate topic, I will be pleased to debate issue. Now that it is clear that our economy is moving forward, it is imperative that it be made clear that this section of the debate is to be about whether or not we prioritize military spending or social programs. It is clear that Mitt Romney wants to prioritize military spending, money that Obama wants to go towards social programs. But how does Mitt Romney's plan pan out? According to multiple sources, most importantly fact check. org, it doesn't add up mathematically. ( Saving the details of this plan for my final round to save space in this one, let's move to the last economic issue, Obamacare. It is clear that Romney wants to remove Obamacare, and allow states to then construct a health care system in which it would be more specific to their citizens. But when given that option as Governor, Romney chose a plan in which Obama seemed to have gotten the basis for his plan. He wants to prioritize the state's ability to make 50 different identical plans to Obamacare on the basis that we cannot afford it as a country. Essentially advocating that the more wealthy states afford these plans and extend benefits while the more poor states are forced to allow its citizens to suffer when it came to needing health care. If this is not the case, then it appears that the case is to be made that we have different types of human beings in different states to which each state won't benefit from having the same kind of plan to aid the sick. I ask the audience, do citizens in certain states get sick in different body parts than others? Is it accurate to say we can't afford it as a country? No ( but if it was accurate that we couldn't, would it make sense to extend our military budget more by the trillions if we could be using that money to provide each citizen with aid? Last question, if the reason we won't consider aiding each of our citizens because we fear socialism, is it reasonable to then say that we are enabling preventable death because of a false ideology? The notion is silly when you take into account that one of Romney's greatest achievement in Mass. mirrors The Affordable Care act in many ways.

The job growth chart my opponent brings into play is ironic because it cuts off just before we would see an extreme slope in our unemployment rate, but I will address this argument, and the argument my opponent has put forth in direct conflict with mine about subsidizing food, in my next round following a few charts of my own on economic improvement.

Foreign Policy
This is the main function of the Commander in Chief. A function that Romney is in neck deep with no understanding of, and it was very evident in the last foreign policy debate.

As February 28th, 2012, Romney criticized the president for giving a deadline for leaving Afghanistan. Stating in Detroit, MI that it was his, "biggest mistake," and he was, "wrong." On January 14th 2011 he stated, "It Is My Desire And My Political Party’s Desire To Support The People Of Afghanistan And Not To Leave." This just passing debate, he agreed that 2014 was an excellent leave date for Afghanistan.

On April 27th, 2011, Romney expressed disinterest in pursuing Osama, in the last debate he agreed that Obama chose the right plan of action and praised Obama's decision.

On August 22, 2011, Romney Attacked Obama For Calling For The Removal Of Qaddafi Saying "Who’s Going To Own Libya If We Get Rid Of The Government There?" The very next Monday he stated, Romney Said "The World Celebrates The Removal Of Qaddafi."

On September 27, 2006 Mitt said he would have taken the exact same action Bush had taken right down to the war strategy in Iraq. 2 Years later on January 24th 2008 Mitt stated in the GOP debate that, "The Iraq War, After Hussein Was Captured, Was Under managed, Under prepared, Under planned, Understaffed."

Not only this, he concurred that all of the President's actions on foreign policy were the right things to do, despite campaigning against nearly every single one of them over the last 4 years, and preceded to speaking on economic issues. Not mentioning troops or veterans a single time in his closing speech during his foreign policy debate. The issues he decided to discuss disinterest in, the smaller number of ships for example, proved that he had little to no knowledge of how our military operates. The man in charge of everyone's sons, daughters, husbands, and wives, would have no idea what to do if the country needed him. Much like GWB.

The fact of the matter is that Romney is a wishy washy candidate, who has no true stance on a large amount of key issues in this year's election, leading to the 3rd and final topic.

My opponent mentioned Obama is not the true American dream because he has used drugs, because he spent time helping the poor& homeless, and because he spent time around a far left liberal. But these have absolutely nothing to do with social mobility and is an attempt to skew Obama's character. He then goes on to talk about wealth distribution as if someone has attempted to take a wealthy citizen's entire pay check to redistribute amongst those who are less fortunate. Obama is not a communist, he believes in maximizing your potential and being rewarded for it. The difference is that he believes in a safety net, and that all should have at least a manageable starting point.

Not to say that Romney is a man against the people, just that no one knows Romney's true stance most anything. He has no consistency. In regards to the video I listed in the previous round, my opponent stated that it was 5 years old so that it should be inadmissible. However, that is not very long ago. More importantly, Romney has essentially switched positions on all of his foreign policy issues, wavered his stance on abortion, wavered his stance on economic issues, illegal immigration, auto-bailouts, foreign policy, health care, & women’s rights since the Winter/Spring of this year.

"Romney is a sober guy. Obama is a politician."~The Great Roy Latham

No man afflicted with Romneysia can or should be considered sober.

I've run out of characters and will address all dropped arguments in my next round.
Debate Round No. 3


The economy is most important, and Romney knows how to fix it

An impoverished nation cannot afford entitlements, defense, education, or anything else. A prosperous economy allows us debate other priorities, but the economy must come first. President Obama has fulfilled none of his promises, and GDP is growing at a snail's pace. Unemployment has not improved, and both deficits and household income are substantially worse.

Con says.”In his efforts, he's attempting to make it appear as if this economy is doing worse than it was 4 years ago.” I did not claim GDP was worse. My contention is that Obama has led the worst recovery of the post-War era. I provided the data to show that to be true. I acknowledged that the economy as measured by GDP is growing, but at a rate that has slowed in each successive year under President Obama.

Con originally took the stance that unemployment ought to be the measure of economic growth, while I argued for broader metrics. Obama claims he created five million jobs, but at the same time five million jobs were lost. Unemployment has gone down solely because people have left the work force. As a result of the workforce shrieking, unemployment is now where it was when Obama took office. Con has not disputed the data showing this.

Another metric is household income. Con did not dispute it has dropped by $4200. The recovery has hurt people worse than the original recession. Obama accused Bush of being unpatriotic for having deficits of $425 billion. Obama's deficits have averaged $1307 billion, with no end in sight. [19.]

Con's references Romney as agreeing the economy is improving. Sure, GDP is increasing, but nowhere did Romney say the improvement was satisfactory. When Boehner and others say Obama has made the economy worse, they mean worse than a normal recovery or worse than doing nothing. If government does nothing, a strong recovery comes from assets becoming cheap so investors rush in to buy them. That has not happened. The large and uncertain costs of Obamacare have kept small business from expanding. Dodd-Frank has greatly inhibited small business loans. Small business leads most recoveries, but not this one. Obama cut oil leasing on Federal land and stopped pipeline construction, preventing 4 million new jobs. The astounding regulatory burdens of the EPA, ADA, and the rest of the government have suppressed investment.

Foreign Affairs

Using whatever resources available, the President's oath of office ("to protect and defend") requires defense be top priority. Romney has articulated a measure and reasonable defense plan. [20.]

The costs of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have totaled around $150 to $200 billion per year, and have continued under Obama. [21.] Bush, Obama, and Romney have all assumed the costs will diminish, producing defense budget savings. The war costs were not a significant contributor to the recession. The recession was caused by Democrat-run Fannie and Freddie making, as a matter of policy, huge amounts of bad loans that ultimately led to the housing collapse.

Con's R3 arguments

In Round 2 I distinguished Romneycare from Obamacare. Romneycare is a small program, and it doesn't cut reimbursements or attempt to control methods of care. Con wonder's how states might have different needs for health care. They differ enormously in the makeup of rural and urban populations. Obamacare will effectively abolish the private practice of medicine by imposing regulations that require a large bureaucracy to ensure compliance. It will be devastating to rural states. States also have different circumstances with respect to geography (which especially affects emergency care), and factors affecting the prevalence of suicide, violence, drugs, and traffic accidents. Traditional living patterns vary. (Hawaiians have the best health, yet eat the most Spam.)

Con did not respond to my argument that it is impossible to improve health care with increasing the number of provider, and Obamacare reduces the number.

Even if all states were the same, people will have different ideas on what is best. The good ideas stand out by comparison. Federal programs freeze innovation to whatever the giant bureaucracy conceives. By comparison, if all people have similar computing needs, why should be have more than one computer company? It's obvious.

The math of Romney's tax plan is defended by studies of the American Enterprise Institute, argued by economist Alex Brill. [22.] Romney wants to cut tax rates amounting to $5 trillion over 10 years and to recover about $3 trillion of that by curbing deductions. He claims the remaining $2 trillion will come from economic growth. Separately, the white House has provided numbers saying that there are a total of about $11 trillion in revenue lost to deductions. The main controversy in the calculations is over whether the economy will grow. Liberals who think the job of government is to redistribute wealth are uncomfortable with claims of a growing economy. The whole purpose of tax deductions is to redirect money from more productive investments to less productive ones that Congress favors. It is therefore inevitable that reducing deductions will increase growth, by redirecting investment into productive ventures. Growth also derives from energy sector expansion, repeal of Obamacare, reduction of regulation, and expansion of trade.

My main argument is that beginning with his apology tour, Obama has systematically reduced American standing in the world through a theme of "leading from behind." That contention stands.

The gist of Romney's differences with Bush and Obama are that the efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan were wound down too quickly. Romney claims that Obama should have presented a soft deadline for withdrawal from Afghanistan rather than a hard deadline. Con claims that Romney has been ambiguous in specifying his policy. I agree Romney has not nailed down details, and that Romney has revised the details over the past five years.

The details are unimportant, because the Presidents job is setting the policy objectives. Obama had no foreign policy experience, and set the tone of leading from behind. Romney has set the tone of building credibility through military strength and supporting our allies.


Nothing Romney has done comes close to Obama's failure to fulfill his promises of transparency and bipartisanship. He's been an unswerving ideologue.

Debate issues

Con says he wants to save fact-based arguments for his final round. He agreed not to do that in accepting the debate, per “DR 4. No new arguments shall be made in Round 4. ... Con may not present any new evidence in R4.” The reason for the rule is that I have no opportunity to refute claims made by Con in his final round. Con must be content with summarizing previous arguments. and Politifact were once reliable sources, but they are now no better than liberal blogs. Con should not have relied upon them. Factcheck said Obama did not promise the Stimulus would work, but it was very clearly sold to Congress that way. As I showed, losing two million jobs is not "close enough" to meeting a promise to add three million. I have many more pertinent sources, and Con argued only a few of my claims of facts.

Con's heavy use of "wall of text" is difficult to parse. Sentences like, "If my opponent can make it clear that his minor debate has a realistic approach at the overall debate topic, I will be pleased to debate issue." cannot be parsed at all.

Con's calling me "The Great Roy Latham" is a gratuitous insult and a conduct violation. I never suggested that anything but facts and arguments counted.


Thanks to my opponent for a spirited debate.

The resolution is affirmed. It's about the economy and it's Romney.



Domestic Policy


"President Obama has fulfilled none of his promises, and GDP is growing at a snail's pace. Unemployment has not improved, and both deficits and household income are substantially worse"

This is not true. Obama has kept 188 of his promises (, GDP is growing a historical rates and is #1 in the world (, and unemployment has improved.

If you're looking at raw numbers, you'll be mislead. Raw numbers will show that at the second Obama took office, his unemployment rate was lower than what it is now. That is true. However, what it doesn't show is that it was declining at a rate of 700,000 jobs/month when he took office. To counter my opponent's graphs in the previous round, I have the following graph. His graph was an attempt to show that stimulus isn't going as planned based on job numbers and unemployment rate. Here's a graph, by the bureau of labor statistics, showing that the stimulus program worked, followed by a graph of the unemployment rate demagnified so that you can see the actual effect.

My opponent has stated that Obama has lost a total of 4,000,000 jobs and then says I have not refuted the point. Well, he is right that Obama has lost Jobs. However, as you can tell, he has not considered the fact that he was given a situation with 700,000 jobs being lost per month into the equation, and he has not entered the total number of jobs Obama has created to make a final job creation total. 4.5 million.

My opponent then states, "Sure, GDP is increasing, but nowhere did Romney say the improvement was satisfactory."
First off, my opponent is attempting to white wash what the GDP is, and what it means. The GDP (gross domestic product) is a primary indicators used to gauge the health of a country's economy ( So if it is indeed improving (Like you've stated) it is obviously satisfactory when someone is making the argument that the economy is worse than it once was by stating debt, unemployment, and food stamps.

It is very important for voters to note that my opponent has spent nearly all of his time looking at Obama' s economic plan and then doing virtually nothing except state that Romney is a successful, "business man,"
when upholding Romney's. The reason is simple, Romney does not have a plan that adds up. My opponent said nothing about my statements (backed with valid evidence) that Romney's economic numbers do not add up, which I provided in the previous round. Nothing at all. He white washes it with the fact that Romney is a successful businessman, thus he can create jobs. Void of the fact that Romney was ranked 47th out of the 50 states when it came to job creation is Mass. In regards to his statements about the economist. com, it's important to note that the Economist applauds Obama' s efforts in reaction to his situation ( and former vice presidential economic adviser Jared Bernstein and Columbia University Professor Jeffrey Sachs examine a new report in The Economist that once again says the numbers for Mitt Romney’s tax cuts and Paul Ryan’s budget plan don’t add up.
Foreign Policy

My opponent has stated that, "The costs of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have totaled around $150 to $200 billion per year, and have continued under Obama." It is important that we make it clear that neither one of these wars were started by President Obama. Moreover, it is important to note that it was Obama that took the troops out of Iraq and set a date for troops to leave Afghanistan. Both things Romney opposed. ( He also opposed the hunting for Osama Bin Laden. The fact of the matter, is that his fiscal conservative domestic policy does not match his aggressive spending foreign policy in a way that will lower our national deficit. More importantly, it should be noted that Romney would rather cut out programs for pre-existing conditions than stop spending on a military that has nearly 7x more in their annual budget than the next military budget in line. (

It is also an important voter issue that we pay attention to Romney's foreign policy plans. In the last presidential debate, Romney agreed with nearly every single one of Obama' s military actions. Actions that he had been campaigning and making articles against. If a candidate cannot take a true side on an issue, he has no true stance.


My opponent has not and cannot protect the flip flopping of his candidate in this debate. It is imperative that if you're running for office, that you have a true stance on something. As I provided evidence for before, Romney has been back and forth on health care, women's rights, abortion, equal pay for women, foreign policy, and many more. Romney has been on nearly every side of all of the main issues in this years election. His campaign doesn't even reflect his positions while he was running Mass. He was a moderate liberal there, and is attempting to run as a conservative republican now. All candidates have their dishonesty, almost as if it comes with the job. However, Romney doesn't have a solid stance on anything, that's a completely different story. No policy can be put forth that he has not wavered on.

Debate Issues?

+My opponent says that I have made wall of text arguments. Included, are statements such as, "If my opponent can make it clear that his minor debate has a realistic approach at the overall debate topic, I will be pleased to debate issue." I'd like to point out that this statement by me is essentially no different than his statement that says, "Liberals who think the job of government is to redistribute wealth are uncomfortable with claims of a growing economy." Not only have I not talked of redistributing wealth, my opponent assumed I was a liberal, and then he says I would not be comfortable with a growing economy.

+I attest that I have made absolutely no new arguments in this round and have only used evidence to refute points that my opponent has brought forth in today's debate; I have no new evidence to support any new assertions. I'm not sure that my opponent is going to attempt to bar me from refuting his statements in my closing rounds with evidence or not, but I would like it noted that he also stated that, "No new arguments shall be made in Round 4. Pro may rebut previous arguments using new evidence solely for that purpose," in round 1. He made up his own quote of “DR 4. No new arguments shall be made in Round 4. ... Con may not present any new evidence in R4.” The previous quote is not what it says in round 1 under DR4.

+My opponent has attempted to call the non-partisan (or maybe bipartisan) politifact, and fact check websites, "left-leaning." Being that they claim to be non-partisan and have evidence against claims by both candidates, it is only reasonable for me to assume he feels this way because their are more fact checked lies from Romney than there are for Obama. It is a baseless assertion to assume that because Romney lies more during his debate rounds and campaigns that the place that does the fact checking is left-leaning.

+I would also like to clarify my closing statements of last round. When I quoted him saying he was the Great Roy Latham, I was not insulting my opponent. It was based on his reputation here on DDO of being a great debater and his winning record that was on par with the previous notion that led me to say this. I'd also like to add that had I been actually trying to be sarcastic, it would be no different than my opponent referring to the president as drunk/high/not sober.

I have enjoyed debating this topic with Roy and look forward to the day we cross paths again! Good hunting.
Debate Round No. 4
34 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by UltimateSkeptic 5 years ago
Hey Roy, would you be interested in doing a variation of this debate? Perhaps changing it to should have been elected over?
Posted by RoyLatham 5 years ago
What's remarkable is that in an election year with heated discussions in the forums, only three people voted on the debate. That's pathetic. I think one reason is that anyone who votes on a controversial subject opens himself up to a torrent of criticism from opponents, many of whom don't have the nerve to actually debate.

I have no idea what kind of vote manipulation DeFool claims I practice, but if he has any evidence of a violation of site rules, he should go ahead and present his evidence to airmax. I think DeFool should be awarded a Guinness World Record for rationalizing losses.
Posted by DeFool 5 years ago
F-16, a carefully worded resolution, with injunctions against semantics in your R1 "rules" section, would provide adequate protection against such conduct.

Mr. Latham, although a skilled and talented debater, does not out score his debate partners by way of these talents alone - but by vote manipulation. You must give him a clear challenge to fulfill, and then evaluate his ability to fulfill that condition. On this site, the scoring currently depends more on the voter than the contestants. Some of the accounts that often support Mr.Latham in the debate scoring - belong to persons with multiple accounts. On my iPhone, it is difficult to demonstrate how this is done. Message me, and I can give well-known examples. I say "well-known" because the question has been litigated on this site previously. (Although the occasional beneficiary of such cheating, I do not wish to allege that Mr. Latham is also the cause of it.)

My point: do not take too seriously the scoring; this aspect of the game is random and corrupted. Those of us who take seriously this game quickly disregard "glorious" scoring levels, as unrealistic and unearned - more the result of vainglorious and careful conditioning than raw skill. I, and others, will recognize successful efforts... We often roll our eyes at "lawyering, semantics, and dueling dictionaries."
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
RoyLatham, I am not sure about the topics you suggested. You know what I would love to do though? I'll affirm - "Politifact is unbiased" or something similar to that. I need to figure out how to make a resolution that isn't vulnerable to semantics. I PM'd Axman and asked if he was willing but he seems busy. Anyways, since we both feel strongly about that topic, I think it will be a great topic for debate.
Posted by RoyLatham 5 years ago
F-16, It sounds like you would like to affirm "Understanding free enterprise is unimportant to the job of the President." or maybe "The supply of doctors is irrelevant to the quality of health care." Up for it?

Also explain how the "economy, healthcare, and foreign policy comparisons could have been expanded into more detail." when both of us were at the maximum character limit allowed by the site. Explain that in detail, and, oh, don't take any space to do it.

I would have preferred to have had a debate with a narrower scope, but my opponent wouldn't agree to that. I tried to get other election debates going by using a thread in the Politics Forum, but there were no takers.
Posted by RoyLatham 5 years ago
Politifact occasionally honks their horn at a leftist lie, but only enough to maintian the pretense of being impartial. Politifact claims that the GOP lies nine times as much as the Democrats, and that's ridiculous.

The point in the debate was whether Obama actually made claims about unemployment. About every media outlet on earth though that he did -- it was even quoted by the way-left outlets. But Politifact said that the because there were general caveats about things being hard to predict, that Obama is not liable for making any claims at all, not even when claims for increases panned out as decreases. That defies all logic. is one site devoted to Politifact bias. Politifact history is interesting in that years ago they were unbiased, then they drifted left.
Posted by ax123man 5 years ago
@F-16 google "politifact bias"

@DeFool I think we agree (on your first point). The way I'd put it is that the left will always call the right biased and vice-versa. They disagree on fundamentals that can't be definitively proven one way or another. That's why the dichotomy exists and won't be going anywhere anytime soon. What I find ignorant and troubling is bias without the admission.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
Axman, would you care to point out those websites? Also, yes, the debate has a character limit as does every other debate. I just didn't feel that it was used effectively.
Posted by DeFool 5 years ago
Politifact does have a liberal bias. I say so, and I am the fiercest of liberals.
Anytime facts and logic are employed, a liberal bias is created.

The basic mechanism of conservative ideology is to retard societal progress, not to advance it. A fundamentally restrictive worldview is required for this.
Posted by ax123man 5 years ago
@F-16 Given how easy it was to tell your liberal from this comment, I'm not surprised you don't see politifact's bias. However, there are web sites dedicated to pointing it out. Regarding the debate, you claim that Pro's args are weak, but given his record at DDO, I'm not so sure. Also, there was no room for "expansion into detail" - each post was near the 8000 char limit.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by DeFool 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Roy Latham, a skilled debater, was bested here by an overreliance on dubious facts that can be denied by an opponent of Mitt Romney. Important in my scoring was his repeated arguments against President Obama, which contrasted poorly with his lukewarm praise of Romney. Repeated grammar errors caused me to score for Con in this area - I found Con's argument readable, and clear. His "cleaning up the debate" tactic worked very well. A dirty win, in my opinion, for Con. See comments.
Vote Placed by socialpinko 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by RyuuKyuzo 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments EDIT* counter DeFool. Grammar? Are you serious? If anything, Roy deserves the spelling/grammar point due to Con's wall-of-text paragraphs. This sort of judging calls into question if your entire vote is biased imo.