Local Democrats were fired up over the comments Republican candidate Mitt Romney made on Social Security, Medicare and education during Wednesday’s presidential debate, but they weren’t totally pleased with President Barack Obama’s performance.
Brecksville Patch spent the first presidential debate at a small watch party with the Brecksville-Broadview Heights Democratic Club. The event was held at a member’s home and was hosted with Patch’s help.
The about 20 attendees were pretty subdued, but the topics of Social Security and Medicare got some big reactions—any one of the many mentions of Obama’s $716 billion cut to Medicare was met with groans from the crowd.
And attendees seemed frustrated by a lack of detail in Romney’s proposals. At one point, the president asked if Romney was holding back specific plans “because they’re too good?”, a line that was met with laughter and loud cheers of “finally” and “score.” And they were glad to hear Obama say that Romney hasn’t said no to the radical parts of his party this campaign, responding with applause.
Debbie Bernauer, a retired teacher, was upset by Romney’s comments on education. He made some cuts to education funding as the governor of Massachusetts, and he supported Senate bill 5, she said. His actions just didn’t support his “sound bites” on the importance of education, Bernauer said.
But local Democrats weren’t counting everything in the win column on Wednesday. They were disappointed in the moderator, and many wanted a stronger performance for the president.
Jack Petsche saw two points in particular where he wanted the president to push back: he wanted Obama to clarify that Medicare benefits would not be cut—the $716 billion is an accounting issue, he said—and he wanted to hear Obama say that cutting taxes alone won’t encourage businesses to hire. As a small business owner, Petsche said it’s demand that drives hiring.
“Business aren’t going to hire people to sit around and wait,” he said.
David Witt said he was disappointed in the style of the debate, and the fact that the candidates, especially Obama, rarely looked at the camera. He wanted to see the candidates sharper on the facts.
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