Talking Points

Bill O'Reilly: What really happened at the debate last night?

Talking Points 10/4


By Bill O'Reilly

Shortly after the debate ended, I received an e-mail from one Dennis Miller who lives in Santa Barbara, California. Mr. Miller opining, "I hope the President's butt kicking is covered by Obamacare." Apparently Dennis Miller believes Mitt Romney won the debate. And that's true the Governor did win.

How do I know? Because I turned to MSNBC. The commentators there looked like Parisians watching the Germans march into Paris in 1940. There was genuine heart break on that cable network. But there was joy in the Romney precincts.

Now, how did Romney manage to outtalk President Obama? He did it because he was far more energetic and engaged in what he was actually saying. Here is the best line Mr. Romney had.


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I will not reduce the share paid by high income individuals. I know that you and your running mate keep saying that and I know it's a popular thing to say with a lot of people but it's just not the case.

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 is not the case. All right? I will not reduce the taxes paid by high income Americans.


O'REILLY: Now that was a scripted line but the Governor delivered it well. On the other side, President Obama's best line mocked Romney over the vagueness of his tax proposals.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: At some point, I think the American people have to ask themselves, is the reason that Governor Romney is keeping all these plans to replace secret because they are too good? Is it because that somehow middle class families are going to benefit too much from them?


O'REILLY: Again that was a scripted line. But the President didn't deliver it with much verve.

The mystery here is that Barack Obama is a good debater and a good public speaker. We all know that. But the mistake he made last night was coming off as a boring college professor. He simply droned on and on about people he met in Kalamazoo or someplace, who had a tough deal going on. Instead of making dramatic points, the President meandered.

And I couldn't believe, I couldn't believe that Mr. Obama didn't even bring up Mitt Romney's 47 percent remark. What happened to that? By saying he thought 47 percent of Americans wouldn't vote for him because they are tied to entitlements Mr. Romney put himself in a difficult position and the President doesn't even mention it? Astounding.

Also, Mr. Obama did not look to the future. He did not tell Americans how he is going to improve the economy. While Governor Romney said flat out that he wants to put more American dollars into the marketplace by cutting taxes. Even if you disagree with that, at least it's a strategy.

Mr. Obama has no strategy other than staying the course which is a disaster. So that's why Mitt Romney won.

Reaction to the debate was fascinating. Our pal Al Gore blamed the President's weak performance on the altitude in Denver.


AL GORE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: I'm going to say something controversial here. Obama arrived in Denver at 2:00 p.m. today. Just a few hours before the debate started. Romney did his debate prep in Denver when you go to 5,000 feet.


GORE: And you only have a few hours to adjust.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's interesting.

GORE: I don't know.


O'REILLY: Oh yes that right. Was Mr. Gore high when he said that? No. Some Obama supporters simply declared victory.


DONNA BRAZILE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: But look, I think the President won on poise, he won on grace. He won on substance. Mitt Romney came to play hard ball and it showed. Mitt Romney was on the attack, he was on the offensive. But at the same time he didn't really land any big punches on President Obama.


O'REILLY: Memo to Donna Brazile whom I like, the Governor didn't have to land any big punches because the President slipped to the canvas all by himself. Our pal James Carville was a bit more realistic.


JAMES CARVILLE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: It looked like Romney wanted to be there and President Obama didn't want to be there. He seemed like he was happy to be there debating; President Obama gave the impression that this whole thing was kind of a lot of trouble.


O'REILLY: And it was a lot of trouble for the President. A CNN poll taken immediately after the debate said that 67 percent of registered voters believe Mitt Romney won the contest. Just 25 percent said President Obama did.

A CBS News poll of uncommitted voters who watched the debate was interesting; 46 percent of them say Mitt Romney won; 22 percent believe the President came out on top; 32 percent say it was a tie.

So, it was a good night for Governor Romney indeed. Now, what does this mean going forward? Number one, the Romney campaign is energized. It will be easier to raise money. Number two, the President's attack ads on television against Romney not going to be taken as seriously because the folks have seen the Governor defend himself effectively.

Number three, President Obama will lose some steam in the polls and with the adoring media. But.. and this is big... Mr. Obama will come back hard on October 16th. You can count on that. Governor Romney has to again, be on his game.

Two more things from the very beginning of the campaign, I said the debates will tell the tale.


O'REILLY: What Mitt Romney absolutely has to do, if he hopes to defeat Barack Obama is win the three debates. Now, we have seen the Governor debate well and we have seen him get his butt kicked.


O'REILLY: Last night, Romney debated well and may be on his way to the White House if that continues.

Finally, I made this prediction last night.


O'REILLY: Mitt Romney will wish the first couple a happy anniversary. One of the first things he does.


ROMNEY: Congratulations to you, Mr. President, on your anniversary. I'm sure this was the most romantic place you could imagine, here with me. So congratulations.


O'REILLY: Way to go, Governor. Keep watching "The Factor."

And that's "The Memo."