CORRECTION: As dedicated reader, Jeffrey points out down in the comments, China is NOT hold the majority of U.S. debt. He said, “As Steve Benen points out just about every week, China holds less than 8% of US debt. China is the largest holder of *foreign-owned* debt (21.5%, with Japan close behind at 20.9%), but foreign-owned debt is only 33.8% of the total.” The link to that Benen article is here: or try these instead

1. The story Romney told about his requesting a list, binders, of qualified women soon after he was elected as Gov of Mass is a lie. It happened before the election as the result of a bipartisan effort. Whoever won that election would have received those binders. Mitt did not order them to be created. He was given them.

2. The President pointed out that Romney the candidate’s proposed economic policy would never have been deemed acceptable by Romney the businessman. Money quote:

If somebody came to you, Governor, with a plan that said, here; I want to spend 7 (trillion dollars) or $8 trillion, and then we’re going to pay for it, but we can’t tell you until maybe after the election how we’re going to do it, you wouldn’t have taken such a sketchy deal.

3. In response to the question about gun violence and banning automatic weapons, Romney started talking about single parent households. Since most single parent households are divorced or single women, this answer is sure to push undecided women even further toward Obama. No woman wants to hear that people are getting gunned down because she got pregnant out of wedlock or because she got divorced or because her husband up and left her. It’s not only factually incorrect but it’s insulting.

But gosh, to tell our kids that before they have babies, they ought to think about getting married to someone — that’s a great idea because if there’s a two-parent family, the prospect of living in poverty goes down dramatically.

4. Loved the way the President took responsibility for the situation in Libya while at the same time pushing back hard on Mitt’s attempt to make political hay out of it. Romney also outright lied about what the President said the day after during the press conference in the Rose Garden claiming it took 14 days for the President to call it a terrorist attack. Both the President and Crowley, the moderator called him out on it. The audience actually cheered when she did it, which was not supposed to be allowed at this debate. Also not mentioned at the debate was that two days after the incident in Libya, the President called it a terrorist attack during a campaign stop in CO. To see how masterfully done his response was, you have to see the video. Here is that segment:

5. Again, when asked what deductions he would do away with, Romney did not answer the question. To cover for all the revenue the government will not receive because of Mitt’s plan to eliminate the Capital Gains tax, he would have to get rid of all the major deductions (see #6).

6. Romney just doesn’t seem to understand that getting rid of capital gains taxes only really helps the wealthy. Middle Class Americans don’t have that much money invested and even if they do, it’s not the majority of their income nor is it the category in which they pay the most taxes. I found one source that says millionaires derived more than two-thirds of their income from investments. Or another way to look at it is that the top 1% in income will receive 71% of all capital gains, while the bottom 80% will receive only 10 percent of all capital gains. Can you imagine how much lost revenue that will be if the capital gains tax is removed? The only way to make that up is to have everyone else pay more, by getting rid of deductions (see #5).

(also regarding the cons meme of saying 47% of people don’t pay taxes, it’s total BS….this source explains very simply why that’s not the case–

7. Romney said that the President had quadrupled regulation. Wrong again. Pres. Obama actually approved fewer regulations than did GWB

8. Romney and his tough talk about China is all posturing. As the President noted, Romney is “the last person who’s going to get tough on China” because of his personal investments. Furthermore, it would be patently stupid to antagonize the country that holds the majority of the U.S. debt. Not because we’re scared of them….can’t stand it when cons accuse libs of being wimps on this issue…..but because it’s just pragmatic. The best long term strategy in dealing with China is to ensure that we are economically entwined to our mutual benefit. Then their success helps our success and vice versa. They will continue to buy our debt IF we need that (hopefully we won’t). Why would be want to be tied to the Chinese? So they are much, much less likely to consider military options to resolve our differences. Countries that depend upon one another for mutual economic benefit don’t go to war. Again, we’re not wimps, this is just smart. China is actually beginning to develop a Navy or the first time. They have a huge standing army, that regardless of the quality of their training or tactics, would overwhelm our forces in a traditional land war. Both America and China are sleeping giants….why would we to antagonize them and wake the other giant up? Furthermore, Romney with his cowboy diplomacy (shades of GWB, BTW) is putting us at a disadvantage with them before he steps foot into the White House.

That’s because many Asian cultures have a concept called “face”. The simple way to define this is, “the respectability and/or deference which a person can claim for himself from others”. It is the public view that they want to project. So Romney is insulting them openly and challenging that projection. We’ve seen, time and time again with North Korea and other nations, that openly challenging their “face” pisses them off and makes them dig in their heels deeper. It makes real negotiable progress much, much harder. That’s why our diplomatic corps may speak softly in public about Asian nations, but be much tougher in the actual negotiations. Think about it–60% of the worlds population lives in Asia and to varying degrees live according to this concept of “face”. And Romney is already pissing a goodly percentage of them off. I want a President who is smart enough to understand how to deal with those cultures so that the U.S. will benefit. Cowboy diplomacy as being practiced by Romney right now is a total disaster. Just wait until the 3rd debate focusing on foreign policy.

9. Also in regards to China and economy there was back and forth about Romney’s investments in China and his conflating the President’s pension/retirement fund being invested in China. Do you have mutual funds, a lot of middle class Americans do. Almost every single one of those funds has a portion of it invested in international markets including China. In fact you would be hard pressed to find funds that only invest domestically or invest internationally but not in China. Why? Because their economy is the world’s second largest. That investment is one of hundreds if not thousands in your 401K, IRA, etc basket. Do you think that your tiny mutual fund investment in China is morally equivalent to the head of an investment capital firm who buys and operates a Chinese companies that employs hundreds if not thousands of workers to produce cheap goods to sell to us instead of investing in American companies? No, I don’t either.

  1. rumpydog says:

    As a woman who hides behind a dog to write, I can say I was flabbergasted at Romney’s talk about the binder and about gun violence being the fault of single parent households. Funny how he talks out one side of his mouth about being against abortion and how women who find themselves pregnant should keep their children, then on the other side blames these women for gun violence.

    What upset me even more was that this was an afterthought with the talking heads this morning, and it wasn’t until later in the day that I heard or read anything of substance in the media about this. They were more interested in talking about ‘the argumentative stance’ both took. Typical male response. Blow off the women’s issues. Again.

    • drangedinaz says:

      I think, to date, that was the only time that Romney has been forced to discuss issues affecting women and he failed so badly. In regards to his “single mother” comment when asked about gun control, I’m seeing a lot of stuff online to indicate that his religion plays a definite role in his thinking. There is actually a story (I need to fact check it) that says Romney visited a Mormon girl in the hospital who had a baby out of wedlock (as part of his Bishop duties) and told her that she has to give up the baby to a Mormon adoption agency so he/she could be raised properly. The girl told him to get stuffed. I don’t know if this is true yet, but it sounds about right.

  2. alopecia says:

    I watched only a few minutes last night. When Mitt Romney started whingeing again that he should get the last word in an exchange—he did the same thing in the first debate—I switched off. You are to be commended for watching the whole thing and not hurling things at your television.

    Your larger point on China is spot-on—the cowboy diplomacy of Romney and the Bush-era leftovers advising him would be a disaster for Sino-US relations—but …

    “Furthermore, it would be patently stupid to antagonize the country that holds the majority of the U.S. debt.”

    As Steve Benen points out just about every week, China holds less than 8% of US debt. China is the largest holder of *foreign-owned* debt (21.5%, with Japan close behind at 20.9%), but foreign-owned debt is only 33.8% of the total.

    Sorry, but this has become something of a pet peeve for me.

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