Debates make big difference

The presidential debates will definitely affect the outcome of the November election.

For the first time, the viewing public is being told what has happened during President Barack Obama's watch, unfiltered by the media. They have seen what it has been like listening to slogans while America burns.

They have heard for the first time that the 8 percent unemployment is really fiction and the total is about double that number, while unemployment among government workers is 4.3 percent, signaling the massive growth of our government.

Obamacare does not mean lower health-care costs, just more government intrusion into our lives.

We have seen the president at a loss for words when confronted with the facts, and occasionally reacting like a 5-year-old when confronted with incontrovertible evidence that he is wrong.

Unfortunately, one result of the first debate has been the increase in name-calling by Democrats in the place of sound arguments. Fortunately, they will have to pile it a lot higher to cover the truth.

David Pastor

Pleasanton

Romney pandered to enemies of PBS

In the Oct. 3 debate with President Barack Obama, besides showing cloddish insensitivity by declaring his intention to fire Jim Lehrer with the whole country watching, Gov. Mitt Romney let ideology trump economic sense when he made closing public television a high-priority item for cutting expenditures.


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The Corporation for Public Broadcasting provides about $450 million in federal money annually to PBS stations. Although this money covers only about 15 percent of the stations' expenditures, other income coming from contributions of patrons, grants, commercial interests, state and local governments and viewers, the federal money is very important.

Children's and prime-time adult programs such as Sesame Street, the NewsHour, and NOVA get all their funding from CPB. In fiscal year 2012, this amounted to $26 million.

The above figures are minuscule when we're talking budgets and deficits of hundreds of billions and trillions of dollars. Obviously, Romney wasn't giving a serious answer to Lehrer, who asked him what plan he had to reduce the budget.

Romney was pandering, with a rude attempt at levity, to the enemies of PBS and was seemingly clueless as to its cultural and educational value.

Larry Waldron

Berkeley

Public is looking for entertainment

I strongly believe the debate will influence the outcome. American society has become "entertain me" in its dealings. The person who's more entertaining to the public gets the vote.

We Americans need to examine the issues presented with sustainable plans or road maps. The presidential election is not a popularity contest, but who's willing to roll up his sleeves and plow the land with us.

Anthony Siu

San Leandro

Debate shouldn't matter, but will

Unfortunately, yes. many people are too shallow and seem to put much too much emphasis on how a person performs in the debate, since that is one of the few times we see them.

It has little to do with their wisdom, decision-making talents, or their ability to lead and find compromises to the vast array of issues facing us today.

Awhile back, this newspaper compared Barack Obama and Mitt Romney in a side-by-side comparison of their stands on the issues. I think that was a great public service, and hope the paper runs it again before the election.

It makes me speculate what would happen if the ballot did not have names listed, only their views. That way, we could vote for their policies, not for the person.

This would take their age, gender, race and religion out of the equation. It would give us a chance to choose our leader based on their basic beliefs -- right to the core of the matter.

Jim Cauble

Hayward

What have the voters been doing for a year?

I don't watch TV, but read two newspapers daily and several periodicals.

Presidential campaigns last more than a year, during which time I have ample time to understand the candidates' values, beliefs and capabilities. Given this, I am regularly dismayed when I read that a substantial percentage of the electorate is waiting until the last debate to decide whom to vote for. Haven't they been reading about the candidates for the last year?

TV debates often turn on superficial things, such as the wrong choice of words, and by their very nature do not get into the substance of issues, which often cannot be adequately covered in short responses.

Mitt Romney has not had a real job for the last decade, during which time he has been running for president and practicing debating. This was a luxury Barack Obama did not have because he was busy at work as president.

William E. Jackman

Oakland

Give chance to see candidates

I believe this year the debates will influence the outcome, hopefully giving the American people an unbiased presentation of the candidates.

With one-sided advertisements and what seems more and more a very liberal media in the U.S., people are less informed and more influenced by headlines and social media blurbs that by content and facts.

Even heavily committed Barack Obama Democrats admitted Mitt Romney won the first debate, which means there must be some small form of awakening. The (liberal) media response? Leading headlines about the latest jobs report and how this diffuses Romney's main argument.

Romney is spot on with his economic philosophy, while Obama's brand of socialism continues to diminish our country. We literally cannot afford four more years of it. Tough decisions must be made, and which man is more ready to make them?

Obama has done a nice job villainizing the rich and trying to present Romney as the poster child. In reality, he stands for what this country used to admire -- a successful leader and great family man. The debates give opportunity for Americans to see real people without their scripts.

With a debate format where real questions are asked, hopefully enough voters are watching the distinct differences in the two candidates and can finally get information through real questions, not creative advertisements and media slant.

Ron Borchard

Pleasanton

Debates will help the voters decide

The presidential and vice presidential debates will definitely help voters to decide.

For years, the TV networks have shown President Barack Obama read speeches written by others from Teleprompters, and he is now spending a fortune on ads defaming his opponent and lying about how good he is and how bad his opponent would be.

The debates will be the first time a nationwide audience will instead see the candidates as they really are without major media spin, bias or editing. They will see Obama and Joe Biden, without teleprompters, as they stutter, fumble and finally get challenged on many of their untruthful claims.

And they will see Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan make complete, coherent and truthful points as to how they would fix the economy, create jobs, interact with other nations, repeal and replace Obamacare and have us become energy independent, creating more revenues without increasing taxes.

Seeing this firsthand and unedited, the first debate swung the polls from slanting toward Obama toward winning for Romney and Ryan. This is a trend that should expand with the remaining debates.

Pete Laurence

Clayton

Gives comparison of Romney, Obama

During the Oct. 3 presidential debate, for 90 minutes we saw and heard a sitting president and a hopeful vie for the people's business without media intervention or bias.

Mitt Romney was industrious.

President Barack Obama was illustrious.

Which is better for economics' sake?

Anna Koepke

El Sobrante

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