Gillespie: Obama’s Poor Debate Performance Was Caused by Lack of ‘Substance’

Sunday, 07 Oct 2012 11:55 AM

By Paul Scicchitano and Amy Woods

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Romney campaign senior adviser Ed Gillespie charged on Sunday that President Barack Obama’s poor debate performance was not merely a matter of style but was caused by a lack of “substance” in his record.

“The problem they have is that the debate's performance on Wednesday evening was not a matter of style, it was a matter of substance. And Governor Romney laid out a plan for turning this economy around, getting things moving again,” said Gillespie appearing on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” “He had a fact-based critique of President Obama's failed policies that the president was unable to respond to.”

Gillespie likened the response by Democrats to a game of checkers with a child.

“They remind me a little bit of a 7-year-old losing a checker game,” he observed. “Instead of being frustrated at the outcome, they sweep the board off the table.”

Americans can expect more of the economic woes that have marked Obama’s first term if the president is re-elected, according to Gillespie.

“As Governor Romney pointed out, we'll have continued chronically high unemployment. We're going to have continued massive debt instead of moving toward a balanced budget,” he asserted. “We've had this week the fourth trillion dollar deficit under this president. Healthcare premiums are going to continue to rise. Up to 20 million Americans will lose their employer-based health insurance under Obamacare, and they'll raid $716 billion from Medicare.”

He said that Mitt Romney offers a different approach “that would move the country in the right direction, and that's what they're frustrated about.”

Gillespie defended Romney’s plan to cut taxes across the board by 20 percent and to offset those cuts by eliminating deductions and loopholes for upper-income taxpayers while “protecting them” for middle-class families.

When Stephanopoulos asked Gillespie whether Romney would scale down the tax rate in the event the loophole closures were not enough, Gillespie answered, “He’s not going to increase the deficit.” Further, Gillespie said there are six studies that show loophole closures can sustain Romney’s proposed tax cuts.

“You can broaden the base and lower the rates,” Gillespie said. “That would foster economic growth.”

He also charged that Friday’s job numbers are “very damning” to the Obama administration.

“When you look at it, we had fewer jobs created in September than were created in August, fewer jobs created in August than were created in July,” said Gillespie, who noted that the unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent because more than six workers have left the labor force for every new job created.

“If labor force participation was what it was when the president took office, unemployment would be around 10.7 percent,” he explained. “These jobs that were added in September were largely part-time jobs.”

Gillespie questioned the Obama campaign’s welcoming of the unemployment report.

“The fact that you have a White House celebrating an unemployment rate of 7.8 percent, with 23 million Americans out of work or unemployed or underemployed, tells you a lot about the failure of this administration’s policies, George.”

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