Category Archives: Barack Obama

Critics say Romney won the first debate

The importance of presidential debates are a common topic for debate. Many people claim that the debates have no bearing on who they vote for, so whether or not Romney and Obama could swing enough interest to their side through the debates to win is somewhat unknown. Many, however, tune in to see what the candidates have to say and do not hesitate to share their opinions afterwards.

Many raved and said that Mitt Romney won the first presidential debate, which was held on October 3, 2012. According to the Baltimore Sun, people had predicated that Romney needed to use the opportunity to convince people that he was the right option for America. He was well versed and had little trouble expressing himself during the debate, and the charm he conveyed won over a lot of viewers.

Romney was not met with total praise, however. Some felt that although he delivered his message with smooth words, what he said was not entirely truthful. Others also were upset because he said that although he loves big bird he would cut funding to PBS, a comment that has been blown up and shared through almost every news and social media outlet. It’s not surprising that Romney met some unfavorable responses because every candidate faces that, but the specific comments about his “lies” will likely be up for debate throughout the next month.

Obama had a less then stellar night, overall. He had trouble delivering his thoughts with the smooth presentation and his presences was hardly noteworthy. It was not like the usual Barack Obama that we are use to seeing and people did not hesitate to express their disappointment. Obama even made innuendos towards his poor performance. Some wonder if this is the beginning of his end.

How do you weigh in? Do you think Romney was untruthful, or are his critic simply attacking him? Did Obama just have a bad night, or has he already lost the people’s vote?

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Obama’s Immigration Policy Change: Is it a step in the right or the wrong direction?

Are children who are brought here illegally responsible for their actions? Or is the decision their parents made for them when they were young beyond their control? That has been a debate in the realm of immigration, and people tend to stand on one side of the issue.

Some feel that being here illegally is a black and white situation, and regardless of ones age, they are responsible for breaking the law. Others argue that many children are brought here without a say.

On Friday, Obama made a policy change to reflect those concerns. Under his new policy, people younger than 30 who entered the United States under the age of 16 can receive a two-year deferral from deportation. In order to qualify, these individuals have to pose no security or criminal threat and either have to be enrolled in school, a graduate or in the military. Those who qualify can also apply for work permits.

In his announcement, Obama said, “This is not amnesty. This is not immunity. This is not a path to citizenship. It’s not a permanent fix. This is a temporary stopgap measure.”

According to CNN, this policy change is expected to affect approximately 800,000 people. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told CNN, “I’ve been dealing with immigration enforcement for 20 years and the plain fact of the matter is that the law that we’re working under doesn’t match the economic needs of the country today and the law enforcement needs of the country today.”

Obama has received many complaints, including a tweet from Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who called the decision “a classic Barack Obama move of choosing politics over leadership.”

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith released a statement that said, “Many illegal immigrants will falsely claim they came here as children and the federal government has no way to check whether their claims are true.” Other complaints the CNN article shared included that now more illegal immigrants will be taking jobs from Americans in an already tough economy.

Others are in praise of the policy change. Democratic Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois said the new policy “will give these young immigrants their chance to come out of the shadows and be part of the only country they’ve ever called home.” In a response to claims that this was to earn more votes, he rejected the idea and said that this move will cost Obama votes as well, making this a leadership decision not a political gain decision.

Clarissa Martinez del Casto, director of immigration and national campaigns for the National Council of La Raza, stated, “There is overwhelming support for the protection of these children, as there is in the rest of the country. I think this could have an energizing effect on Latino voters,” she added, according to an NPR story.

Presumed Republican Nominee Mitt Romney shared that he believes a more permanent conclusion needs to be found. “I believe the status of young people who come here through no fault of their own is an important matter to be considered and should be solved on a long-term basis so they know what their future would be in this country,” said Romney, according to an article on Examiner.

How do you weigh in? Do you think this was the right move, or do you oppose the new policy change?

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Did Obama leak information?

Did President Obama leak classified documents in an effort to forward his political campaign? That was the buzz this morning as Obama made an address regarding the economy. The leak was not the topic of Obama’s briefing, but he did address a question regarding it when asked.

“The notion that my White House would purposely release classified national security information is offensive. It’s wrong,” Obama said in his briefing at the White House.  “We are dealing with issues that can touch on the safety and security of the American people, our families, or our military personnel or our allies. And so we don’t play with that.” He went on to add that those who leaked the documents will suffer consequences.

The leak included information about a U.S. cyber-attack against Iran’s nuclear program. It also looked at Obama’s role in directing drone attacks against terrorists. CNN reported that Obama may have been involved in creating a “kill list” against militants in Yemen and Pakistan. According to Bloomsburg Business Week, the New York Times and the Associated Press, among other news organizations, reported on the information.

Some argue that Obama’s team leaked the information in an effort to boost him before the election this fall. The Bloomsburg article included a quote from Senator John McCain of Arizona, who said he saw “deeper political motivation” for the leaks. “What is grossly irresponsible is U.S. officials divulging some of the most highly classified programs involving the most important national security priorities facing our nation today,” said McCain, according to Fox News.

Fox News quoted GOP Sen. Roy Blunt, who said “It’s outrageous that the White House would allow these ongoing alleged disclosures to jeopardize the safety of our intelligence professionals and the well-being of the American people.” Blunt is one of many congressional lawmakers who want hearings and investigations to look into the leak. Blunt was also quoted in that article as saying “I fully support moving forward with a special prosecutor to conduct an independent investigation immediately so that we can hold the appropriate people accountable.”

Fox News reported that The Associated Press held their story for days due to the request of the Central Intelligence Agency and the White House. Some say that validates that statement that the Obama administration did not release the information.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said “This administration takes all appropriate and necessary steps to prevent leaks of classified information or sensitive information that could risk ongoing counter terrorism or intelligence operations. Any suggestion that this administration has authorized intentional leaks of classified information for political gain is grossly irresponsible,” he said.

How do you weigh in? Do you think Obama or his administration had a hand in leaking the information? Comment with you opinion.

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Should Obama foot the bill?

If a politician makes a visit that that ensues extra costs for the town or city where the function was held, should that politician pay the bill for the extra costs? That is the current debate on the table in sunny southern California.

 President Barack Obama visited Newport Beach in Orange County, California back in February. The visit drew a need for extra police officers and reserve officers in the city and the cost rang up a bill of $35,043.04. That bill has been forwarded to the Obama for America Campaign to be paid off.

According to the Huffington Post, City Manager Dave Kiff released this written statement:

“I think it is appropriate to treat it like a private event — if another private event that large and which required that much police presence occurred, we would bill the event sponsor … If the president was here on presidential business, we likely would not have billed for that.”

Kiff also included in his statement, however, that having Obama visit the city was an honor. Some residents agreed that Obama needed to foot the bill. In that same article, resident Scott Mason said “I don’t care what the political party is … I am not in the President’s party. If you are using the public sector to support fund-raising … you have to pay for that.” Mason lives on the same street the fundraiser was held on.

According to the NY Daily Times, during the event Obama held a breakfast with wealthy donors. It was one of several stops made in a California on a fundraising trip. The Los Angeles Times reported that the breakfast was held at the home of Jeff and Nancy Stack. To gain entrance the ticket was $2,500 a person. Additional opportunities included a $10,000 photo reception and a $35,800 “greet and breakfast” option.

The bill dated May 10 and due June 9, was sent to Obama’s office in Chicago. There has been no response yet to the bill.

Some argue that Obama is being sent this bill due to the fact that he is a Democrat. Registered Republicans outweigh Democrats in the city three to one, making the right wing influence in the area very strong. Other complaints include that no other politician has been given a similar bill when their visits drew costs for the city.

How do you weigh in? Do you think Obama should pay the costs he racked up in his visit? Or do you think Obama is being targeted due to his political affiliation?

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Does the young vote matter?

It’s no secret that the young generation of voters rallied around Barack Obama and helped push him into the presidential spotlight in the 2008 election. Can he count on that vote to carry him through 2012?

The Harvard Institute of Politics conducted a survey of voters ages 18 to 29 to see who they preferred. Obama had 43% of the vote, whereas Romney has 26%. In December, Obama was at 37% and Romney was at 26%.

Obama may still have the young vote in his favor, but he should not consider the presidency in the bag. The LA Times writes about how although young voters favor him, they are also less likely to vote or volunteer for campaigns.

John Della Volpe, polling director for the Harvard Institute of Politics, gives some reasons why the interest in voting may be tapering off. “There were some factors that led people to increase engagement in ’02, ’06, ’08 — Katrina, Iraq, Afghanistan, not agreeing with Bush, 9/11, and obviously Obama and the use of new tools to mobilize,” explained Della Volpe. Della Volpe went on to say as students focus on getting an education, paying loans and staying afloat, political involvement is not at the forefront of concern anymore.

That is part of the push behind Obama’s current trip. Obama is visiting the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Colorado at Boulder and the University of Iowa this week. His main topic? How to keep the costs of college loans down. It’s a popular topic among the young voters, and if Obama’s message is loud and convincing enough, he might motivate some more voters to participate.

The problem Obama is running into? Romney voiced that he agreed with Obama’s focus. This could mean Romney could snatch some voters Obama was counting on. Overall, however, Romney has been focused middle class families.

What do you think? Do Obama and Romney need to fight to gain the young vote? Or will it be a different crowd of people who carry the election this fall?

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