Obama's record is so weak, his only hope against Romney is to lie and distract, says John Andrews in the September round of Head On TV debates. No, retorts Susan Barnes-Gelt, the challenger's own weaknesses will undo him and reelect the incumbent. John on the right, Susan on the left, also go at it this month over Colorado legislative races, but find themselves in rare agreement that municipalities and schools haven't earned the tax increases they're asking for. Head On has been a daily feature on Colorado Public Television since 1997. Here are all five scripts for September: 1. PRESIDENTIAL RACE / DOMESTIC POLICY
John: Here's all you need to know about the presidential race. Any incumbent with a failing economy and a foreign policy meltdown is an underdog. Obama's only hope against Romney is to lie, distract, and change the subject. He’s doing that, and the media are helping. I think it won’t work.
Susan: What’s not working is Romney’s duck and dodge on every issue: domestic policy, foreign policy, Medicare reform, tax reform, education reform, balanced budget, student loans, the deficit, healthcare, climate change, fiscal policy, immigration, the dream act, women’s health, energy dependence, human rights – You name it. He dodges.
John: Romney will get government out of the way so free enterprise can put Americans back to work. Romney will respect the constitution and religious freedom and stop the war on churches, war on unborn babies, war between income groups. Romney will stand up for Israel and stand against Iran. America needs Mitt.
Susan: Which Mitt? The moderate, pro-choice, pro-affordable healthcare, pro-gay marriage former governor of Massachusetts? Or the elitist rich guy whose written off seniors, single moms, working people and minorities – nearly half the voters. If he governs with the same clumsy incompetence that he’s running his campaign – BIG TROUBLE!
2. PRESIDENTIAL RACE / FOREIGN POLICY
Susan: Voters must think about whom they want answering the phone at 3 AM, in the White House Residence? Mitt – Russia’s-our-greatest-threat Romney? Or President Obama, who killed Bin Laden and his key operatives, ended the war in Iraq and has kept our country safe for four years?
John: It was Hillary Clinton who warned of Barack Obama’s unfitness to deal with that 3am foreign policy crisis, back in 2008. We now know from the recent 9/11 debacle in Egypt and Libya that both are unfit. Obama’s Muslim appeasement policy has collapsed. Voters should dial a call to Mitt Romney.
Susan: Romney has NO foreign policy experience – to wit: his diplomatic gaffs at the London Olympics; his uninformed reaction to the attack on the Libyan consulate and murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens; including injured veterans in the 47% of victims who refuse to accept responsibility? PULEEZE!
John: Reagan had no foreign policy experience either. All he did was win the Cold War without firing a shot. Because he had what Gov. Romney also has – proven ability as an executive and a leader. Obama has neither, and it’s killing us around the world. This apologizer, this appeaser, has to go.
3. DENVER & CENTENNIAL SEEK TO DE-BRUCE
Susan: Denverites should vote NO on 2A. The measure promises to repave streets, add police training classes, expand library and recreation center hours and eliminate furlough days for city employees. Truth is, it’s a substantial tax hike with no guarantees – just unenforceable promises.
John: Government always wants more. It never has enough. Politicians always believe they can spend our money better than we can. I too would oppose Denver’s tax hike, if I were an urban guy. I am opposing Centennial’s tax hike as a suburban guy. Our little city wasn’t created to be a revenue hog.
Susan: Denver voters have a choice. Approve a blank check that never expires for higher taxes, or send Mayor Hancock back to the drawing board to craft a balanced initiative with a mix of reduced expenses and tax increases. 2A is bad for jobs, small business and homeowners. Vote NO.
John: The first word in Tea Party stands for “taxed enough already,” and I’m delighted to hear you of all people urging Denverites to vote that way on school construction and the Hancock proposal. If Coloradans look at the huge tax increase Obama plans for Jan. 1, they will vote him out too.
4. PUBLIC SCHOOL TAX INCREASES
Susan: Several school districts are on November’s ballot with tax increases for K-12 education, including Denver. DPS wants more than a half a billion for new schools, renovation and updating of existing schools and increased operating funds. It’s a tough time to ask for the biggest tax increase in history.
John: I’m voting no on Cherry Creek school taxes. And I agree with your no vote in Denver. Taxpayers in Jeffco, Aurora, and all 29 Colorado districts where a total of $1 billion is being requested should join us. The answer for better education is more choice, not more money.
Susan: Regarding DPS, I’m undecided. Should Denver build new schools when existing ones are way under capacity. Should the District go to a 12-month school year to support student achievement? Yes – I support 3B – increased operating funds. I’d like to see more reform before we build more schools.
John: A lot more reform. Something is happening when I as a conservative Republican and you as a liberal Democrat begin agreeing that taxpayers forever digging deeper while teacher unions keep making excuses is no longer a viable strategy for helping kids learn. For devastating proof, see the new movie “Won’t Back Down.”
3. LEGISLATIVE RACES
John: The battle for the White House is intense, but don’t overlook the state House and Senate. Control is divided now. If Dems take over, it means tax and spend, regulate and redistribute. If Republicans take over, it means economic growth and fiscal responsibility. Vote with care, fellow Coloradans.
Susan: Truth is, Colorado’s legislature is constrained by Gallagher, TABOR, Amendment 23 and federal mandates. The real difference between whose in charge is simple. Small government Republicans will focus on what happens in the bedroom. Dems will pay attention to rebuilding the economy and job creation.
John: Legislative Democrats here don’t understand job creation any better than Obama Democrats in DC. As Coloradans vote for a new president to revive prosperity, they should also elect a Republican state House and Senate to energize our economy with oil and gas. Plus send Joe Coors and Kevin Lundberg to Congress.
Susan: There’s no more informed advocate for the pursuit of conventional and alternative energy that democrat, former geologist Governor John Hickenlooper. If Colorado’s Republican agenda reflected a commitment to small government instead of fascination with people’s bedrooms – we would all be better off.