>>> the two candidates provides plenty of fodder for fact checkers last night, claiming they'd have doubled, reduced, cut, fixed, supported any number of different programs and ideas on taxes, the deficit spending , health care and job. one of biggest back and forth centered around rorm's proposal for 20% across the board tax cut projected by the center for budget and policy priorities costing $5 trillion over ten which romney insisted would not add a dime to the deficit.
>> i'm not looking to cut massive taxes and to reduce the revenues going to the government. my number one principle is, no tax cut that adds to the deaf. underline that. no tax cut that adds to the deficit.
>> rorm's mney's insistence his tax cut is revenue neutral. monday he floated one idea to a local denver tv station .
>> you could do something, for instance, as an option, you could say everybody's going to get up to a $17,000 deduction and use your charitable deduction, home mortgage deduction or others, health care deduction and fill that bucket if you will, $17,000 bucket, higher income people might have a lower number.
>> last night romney ditched the $17,000 bucket and suggested he might make up a number.
>> one of the various ways to bring down deductions, a single number, make up a number, 25,000, 50,000.
>> yes, make up a number. anyway, who cares about specifics? or facts for that matter? instead, romney tried to remind voters about the president's broken promises.
>> the president said he'd cut the deficit in half. unfortunately he doubled it the president did say he would cut the deficit in half --
>> i'm pledging to cut the deficit we inherited by half by the end of my first term in office.
>> that clearly didn't happen. but did the president double it? according to the congressional budget office the deficit is projected to decrease, decrease, from $1.4 trillion in 2009 that would be when obama took office to $1.1 trillion in 2012 . arithmetic is never mitt romney 's strong suit. $300 million decrease is not the same as $1.4 million increase at least according to the law of mathematics on planet earth . hugo, this is the question, right?
>> you're not going to ask me a math question?
>> no. i know what the strong suits at this table are. but you know, there is -- we've talked about the wall of obfuscation. we've spent some time in this program talk about style over substance . can mitt romney get away with just saying this stuff? there's an article, cover story in "time" magazine saying the american public is increasingly less and less concerned about facts.
>> i guess that's the big we'll see here. i think that the -- as some commentators noted, there's a lot of fodder in there for nice ads for the obama campaign to drive a truck through some of these ambiguities, vaguenesses, misstatements, whatever they are, and i guess we'll see that. i -- you know, again, i think the big thing is how he says it. he seemed nimble on his feet and seemed -- he seemed to believe what he was saying, which is a big part of persuasion. i think you know, i mean when you hear numbers, it does get very confusing. i don't know what my taxes will be until i have my meeting with my accountant and they're hire than i expect. it's a confusing world. if you're clear and passionate and you know maybe it doesn't mat.
>> mitt romney , last night, demonstrated the creed of politicians, and for that matter anchor people, frequently in error but never in doubt. if you say it forcely, you don't doubt it no one else will doubt it it makes an impact.
>> talking about the tess testostero testosterone, using sports metaphors, no question mitt romney 's in a zone.
>> there is no question. but the president is now 14 hours after walking off the stage last night, he's holding his first post debate rally in denver sloane lake park . let's take a listen to the president.
>> but it couldn't have been mitt romney because the real mitt romney has been running around the country for the last year promising $5 trillion in tax cuts in favor of the wealthy, the fellow on stage last night said, he didn't know anything about that. the real mitt romney said we don't need any more teachers in our classrooms. but -- don't boo, vote. but the fellow on stage last night, he -- he loves teachers. can't get enough of them. the mitt romney we all know invested in companies that were called pioneers of outsourcing jobs to other countries. but the guy on stage last night, he said that he doesn't even know that there are such laws that encourage outsourcing. never heard of them. never heard of them. never heard of tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas. he said, if it's true, he must need a new accountant. now we know for sure it was not the real mitt romney because he seem to be doing just fine with his current accountant. so you see, the man on stage last night he does not want to be held accountable for the real mitt romney 's decisions and what he's been saying for the last year. and that's because he knows full well that we don't want what he's been selling for the last year. so governor romney may dance around his positions, but if you want to be president, you owe the american people the truth. so here's the truth. governor romney cannot pay for his $5 trillion tax plan without blowing up the deficit or sticking to the middle class . that's the math. we can't afford to go down that road again. we can't afford another round of budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthy. we can't afford to gut our investments in education or clean energy or research and technology. we can't afford to roll back regulations on wall street . or on big oil companies or insurance companies . we cannot afford to double down on the same top-down economic policies that got nus this mess. that's not a plan to create jobs. that is not a plan to grow the economy. that's not change. that's a relapse. we don't want to go back there. we tried it. it didn't work. we are not going back. we are going forward. now i've got a different view about how we create jobs in prosperity. this country doesn't succeed when we only see the rich getting richer. we succeed when the middle class gets bigger. we grow our economy not from the top-down but from the middle-out. we don't believe that anybody's entitled to success in this country but we do believe in something called opportunity. we believe in a country where hard work pays off and where responsibility's rewarded and everybody's getting a fair shot and everybody's doing their fair share and everybody plays by the same rules. that's the country we believe in. that's what i'm fighting for. that's why i'm running for a second term for president of the united states . and that's why i want your vote.
>> that was president obama ? sloanes lake park outside denver , colorado. governor rendell there are not a few people on the democratic side of the aisle that wish that you could have transposed the president obama we just saw on to the president obama we saw last night.
>> interestingly, president obama said that wasn't really mitt romney that debated last because totally different positions. well, that really couldn't have been president obama on that stage last night because this is the president obama that we know that's proud of what he does, believes with all of his heart that the tax plan that governor romney 's pushing will destroy this country. none of that passion. none of the zingers. none of the come-backers were there.
>> a combination of passion, upbeat, edge at the end. that issue of fairness, that's where i would have liked to see obama finish the debate last night, really get behind that. and it's the perfect issue for him against romney . it speaks to all of these other things out there without him trying to take it on directly, which he obviously doesn't feel comfortable doing right now.
>> last night in the debate, we'd be talking about romney winning debate last night --
>> obama .
>> i think speaking to masses is his forte. one-on-one debate he has to call upon skills of confrontation and engage at that level may not speak to his own belief about the humanity of my opponent and not being der riicive.
>> the president is competitive. he came off the stage. you see the spin his folks have been giving. they know they didn't have a good night. there's a sense of indignation in his voice. you bet the next time he shows up on stage with mitt romney he's got to --
>> governor rendell is right. reality is don't panic, prepare. he said don't boo, vote. president, don't rhetorically engage us. stand up on stage and tell us what your passion and beliefs are, why people are voting for you. that's the kind of significant fundamental reality, as dan rather said that was missing there.
>> hugo's point great, too. on his closing, he promised he was going to work hard for us. george bush promised that in 2004 over and over again and it was a fiasco. people understand the president's going to work hard. but he should have said, i want a fairer america, an america where everyone benefits at same time. we can do it, folks, he should have been upbeat and passionate.
>> very good point about the dangers of incumbency. when you're an incumbent, and particularly when you're an incumbent president of the united states , people don't challenge you. if you start running your hands through the mashed potatoes at the dinner table, everybody else starts running their hands through the mashed potatoes . nobody challenges you.
>> i don't think obama 's unaccustomed to people opposing him in such a way because of the assault upon him in public, but i do think there's some comforts that come from having the stage to yourself and then having to share that stage with somebody else who is as vigorous in defensive in his ideal in opposition to your.
>> he doesn't like sharing the stage with joe biden .
>> i don't know about that.
>> you read the story in "time" a couple of months ago.
>> what dan said, go back to the best moment of his presidency in the first term, when he appeared before the republican house breakfast, remember? they invited him in. and he made mince meat of them. and he did it in a smiley, upbeat manner but he was firm, and he destroyed them.
>> he kept saying, i'm just saying.
>> he's a morning person obviously.
>> they will have the next debate at breakfast.
>> what's the possibility, this was his anniversary, the president, that he celebrated the anniversary before he got on stage last night? maybe with a glass of champagne, whatever, celebrated.
>> gladded you added --
>> i'm glad you qualified that.
>> i knew one thing, i'm not --
>> alex is having trouble.
>> i'm not having mashed potatoes for lunch, that's for sure. watch dan rather 's live election night cov an on act is tv. a plav to haeasure to have you.
>>> the split screen says it all. can you tell who won the debate by turning off the sound? we'll evaluate the stage presence, james licthen joins the table next on