Jim Leher: Hello, and welcome to the first Presidential Debate, where every fact is made up and the time limits don’t matter. I’m your host, Jim Leher, and I won’t be able to get another word in edgewise for the next ninety minutes once we introduce our guests, former Governor Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama, who will spe–
Barack Obama: Thank you, Jim.
JL: [sadly] …oh…
BO: I’d, uh, like to thank everyone, er, for being here, and, er, apologize in advance should, er, I seem, um, somewhat distracted, on the grounds that, er, (a) it’s my twentieth anniversary tonight and, um, I’m not sure if I had the Secret Service pick up a gift for Michelle and, um, (b) I’ve been a bit busy, er, you know, running the free world and things. However, I’d like to begin by–
Mitt Romney: If I could interrupt, I’d like to point out that my Plan for AmericaTM, trademark Mitt Romney, patent pending, all rights reserved, is a comprehensive 3 part plan for rebuilding America after 4 years of your failed socialist rule. It consists of
- Step 1: Cut taxes.
- Step 2: ???
- Step 3: Profit.
JL: Actually, it was still the President’s turn to–
MR: You complain about trickle-down economics, but what about trickle-down government? Amiright, folks, amiright? Ba-zinger!
BO: Actually, er, I would, uh, like to respond to that by saying that, er, basic mathematics, and in particular the, uh, subfield known as integer arithmetic, asserts that, er, Governor Romney’s plan to cut $5 trillion in taxes without increasing revenues by a, er, corresponding value would–
MR: I’m real happy for you and I’ma gonna let you finish, but I never said I was going to give a $5 trillion tax cut. That’s simply preposterous. I did say I was going to make a 20% across-the-board tax cut which economists and liberal mathematicians say would amount to at least $5 trillion dollars worth of cuts over my term, but that’s just their version of the “facts,” and I will not let my presidency be dictated by fact-checkers. Amiright, guys? Ba-zinger!
JL: Governor Romney, I think that Presi–
MR: Also, I’m not going to reduce taxes paid by the uber-rich. Except, of course, when I am, you know, with that 20% tax cut. Checkmate, fact checkers.
JL: I’m not sure that makes any logical sens–
BO: On the one hand, um, our plan is, er, slow and steady, and we’ve, er, cut taxes on the middle class by, um,$3600 per family. On the other, er, appendage, you know, Governor Romney as a, er, plan for which, um, no specifics exist. Independent economic analysis, er, shows that Governor, um, Romney’s plan will, er, actually increase the, er, tax burden on middle-class Americans.
JL: Governor Romney, would you like to res–
MR: That’s a pile of horse manure, right there. Dressage horse manure, right, guys? Ba-zinger!
JL: Could you be a bit more specific?
MR: Read my lips, no new taxes. I’m not going to raise taxes on the middle class. I love the commoners, all 47% of them. In fact, I’m going to lower taxes for those entitlement-happy personally-irresponsible people! You say you got one measly study that says I’m going to raise taxes on the middle class? Well, I’ve got SIX studies that say that my plan will not only decrease taxes on the middle class, but it will also give ponies to all the good little boys and girls in America. Well, five of them in fact say the opposite of what I just said but… LOOK! [ Points at Obama ] THERE’S 200 BILLION UNEMPLOYED AMERICANS, AND IT’S ALL HIS FAULT.
JL: Sir, there’s not even 200 billion people on the planet, much less… over, never mind. Let’s move on to our next topic–
MR: I’ma gonna let you finish there, Jim, but I’m also going to drop taxes on small businesses, because they’ve been hurting under Obama. He doesn’t seem to understand that corporations are people too, but I feel their pain. I’m an empathic guy. I’m respectful of others’ feelings. I’m a supportive, caring, friendly–
JL: If we could get back to—
MR: Shut the hell up, old man, I was talking. Man, when I’m President, you are so fired. In fact, I’m going deep-fry Big Bird and feed him to my 5 sons just to teach you a lesson.
Audiences across America: Gasp! Did he just say he was going to kill Big Bird?
MR: Um, ba-zinger?
JL: Can you give specific policies towards handling the deficit? President Oba–
MR: Hey, he got the first word last time, so I get the first word this time. First, like I said, I’ll axe PBS, which as you no doubt know makes up a staggering fourteen one-millionths of a percent of the federal budget. Then I’m killing Obamacare; after all, I’m its godfather, I have that right.
All of Mitt’s god-children at home: Moooooooommmmm? Can he do that?
MR: Then I’m going to do a, you know, a thing, and bam! government will run smoother. Also, I’m going, you know, close some loophole stuff, and then do another thing over there and, er…. [ Points at Obama ] PRESIDENT OBAMA RAISED THE DEFICIT MORE THAN ANY HUMAN BEING SINCE THE TIME OF JESUS! There, I said it.
BO: Now that accusation is… is just, er, well, when I inherited the Oval Office, I, um, also inherited the, er, worse financial crisis since, er, the Great Depression, which you might recall is a portion of, er, American history typified by, um, a worldwide economic fallout in the, er, decade preceding the, um, second World War. Interesting fact–
JL: You’re over your 2 minutes, sir.
BO: No, I, er, distinctly noted, um, that I had, er, at least another, um, five seconds, er, which which to formulate, er, a response to, um, Governor Romney and–
JL: Your argument in favor of allowing an additional five seconds has no passed the two-minute mark, Mr. Preside–
MR: And another thing. The president has all this voodoo talk about revenue. Look, we’ll get revenue when we get people back to work. And I’ve got a plan for that! Ba-zinger! Oh, wait, that joke wasn’t for saying out loud…
BO: That’s one of, er, the things we need to fix: tax breaks for, um, corporations that, er, are shipping jobs overseas. That’s not what made America gr–
MR: I hate to interrupt, but I just need to say that I am shocked, shocked, to hear that a company can make money by outsourcing jobs. Also, in a completely unrelated note, I’d like to remind people that I am now in no way affiliated with Bain, as I made clear in that completely honest and transparent note my accountant submitted in lieu of my actual tax returns.
JL: Let’s move to Medicare. Mister Presi–
BO: First let me point out that, er, I like the term “Obamacare,” which, um, as I understand it, is a, er, clever portmanteau of my surname, er, with the verb that indicates provisions of assistance and, er—
MR: Excuse me, but I need to point out that as President you stole $716 billion dollars from Medicare!
BO: My approach to, er, Medicare is to, um, strengthen it over the long ter—
MR: Seven hundred and sixteen… billion... dollars! From your grandmother!
BO: –and we’ve been able to, er, lower prescription drug, um, cost for, er, seniors by $600 and—
MR: $716 billion! $716 billion! $716 billion. That’s “716″ with a billion zeros after it! That’s the math.
BO: Er, what now? I’m sorry. I was, er, thinking of something else.
Bill Clinton at home: AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH! I done gave y’all that Paul Ryan “brass balls” joke at the convention for just this reason!
JL: Let’s move onto health car—
MR: That’s — that’s a big topic. Could we — could we stay on Medicare?
JL: Yeah, we’re going to — yeah. I want to get to it, but all I want to do is very quickly –
MR: Let’s get back to Medicare.
JL: — before we leave the economy –
MR: Let’s get back to Medicare.
JL: No, no, no, no –
MR: The president said that the government can provide the service at lower –
JL: No –
MR: — cost and without a profit.
JL: [Sigh] All right.
MR: If that’s the case, then it will always be the best product that people can purchase. But my experience –
JL: Wait a minute, Governo–
MR: My experience is the private sector typically is able to provide a better product at a lower cost.
JL: Can we — can the two of you agree that the voters have a choice, a clear choice between the two of you –
JL: — on Medicare?
[ Pause ]
* By the way, this last 20 or so lines aren’t me being snarky. This is actually from the transcript.
JL: I fear to even bring this up, but moving on to Obamacar–
MR: Kill it! Kill it with fire!
BO: But it’s, er, actually identical to, uh, to the plan that you, er, yourself put into place in, er, Massachusetts, which ensured that everyone in the, er, state, had access to—
MR: I hate to interrupt, but Obamacare has death panels. Paid for with the $716 billion taken from dying grannies on Medicare.
BO: To reiterate my previous, er, statement of fact regarding the factual mechanisms of, er, Obamacare, the two plans are, er, exactly the sam–
MR: No, they’re not. When I did it, it was a Republican plan that was put into practice by a Democrat-controlled legislature. That’s called “bipartisanship.” When you did it, it was a Republican plan put into practice by a Democrat-controlled legislature. That’s called “fascism.” Ba-zinger!
BO: If we were to apply, er, the transitive law to, um, your previous statement, we would come to, er, the unpalatable conclusion that—
MR: Besides, my new super-secret awesome-sauce health plan is way better. It’s guaranteed to cure cancer and and common cold, and every pre-existing condition is covered.
Eric Fehrnstrohm, Romney’s top campaign advisor: Well, actually, none of that is technically, you know, true…
MR: Quiet, you, or you’ll be out in the soup line with Big Bird.
JL: Your views on the role of government? Mister Presi–
BO: The first, uh, role of government is to, er, keep the American people, uh, safe. But then, er… uh… zzzzzzzzzzz… [ suddenly wakes up again ] …uh, Lincoln.
ML: Wrongo. The role of government is to promote the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. First off, that means a big ass military. Second, it means that we’re all children of the same God, and that we all put on our magic holy underwear one leg at a time.
JL: Does the government have a responsibility to improve the quality of public education in America?
BO: Uh, er, um, yes.
MR: No. I like teachers, don’t get me wrong, but what good is throwing my tax money at dumb poor kids?
Eric Fehrnstrohm: [ Facepalm ]
MR: I meant, “lower-income families.” Ba-zinger!
JL: It’s time for closing remarks. Mister Presi—
BO: I’m outta here. I’ve got, er, reservations at Olive Garden, and Michelle’s, uh, looking testy.
MR:If I’m elected president: no taxes, free ponies, a cure for cancer, and free passes for everyone to the Celestial Kingdom. If Obama’s re-elected president, we’ll have another 43 months of 8% and higher unemployement rates — wait, what, it went below 8%?…
[ pause ]
MR: $716 million! From your grandmother! On her deathbed! God bless America!
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