Can You Fix It?

"I looked him in the face and I asked him one thing. I said, can you fix this?" Foxworthy said. "And he did not blink, he said 'yes, I can.'"

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sorrow and Determination

My five-year-old son had the same reaction I felt when he asked this morning 'who won' and we told him 'Obama' (I had to confirm it to him as he didn't believe it just from mom).  Although I wasn't fast enough with the camera to catch his reaction, he looked absolutely heartbroken and hid his face in the pillow.

It will take some time to analyze and figure out how to interpret the results of election day 2012, but it does bring to me both great sorrow, and even fears of what we have become as a nation and what we have ahead of us.

It also causes me to reflect and reinforce my commitment to my family and my faith.  Whatever lies ahead of us, if we stick together we will face it together.

I think we are in for some real and depressing changes ahead of us.  Obama has not shown to me any willingness to do what it takes to reign in the death spiral of our deficit, and what little he seems inclined to do will tend to further slow our economy and weaken our national defense, while increasing the iron grip of Big Government on our economy and our lives.

And yet, we will live to fight another day, fight for our freedoms and our country.  It will be on different terrain, and we will need to spread the word and gain more adherents to our cause.  But that's exactly what we will do.  We're down but not out, and thank heavens the House is still in the hands of the Republicans.  We will work from that base and move forward.

Yes, today is a terribly sad day, but it is also a day to find again our determination to fight for our future. Let's begin to prepare now for the elections in 2014 and 2016.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


It's E-Day - Election Day - my friends.  A really, really big deal.  I consider my "political life" - when I became politically aware of what was going on in the country - to have started with the first election of Ronald Reagan in 1980.  Since that election - and its follow up in 1984 - I don't believe we have had as important an election as this one.

You can argue that the last election presented us with the same basic choice as we have today, and in some ways that's right if Obama was properly understood in 2008.  But for very many he wasn't - he was an unknown, untested quantity who argued for vague "hope and change."  Now, however, we know who he is.  We know what he has and has not done in the past 4 years.

In 2012, we know that we have a very clear choice between Obama, who divides us by class and race and beliefs, a dictatorial president who finds ways to run over or undermine the constitutional system and the Congress, a president who believes the government should pick winners and losers and choose what we citizens are allowed to get and not get and that government should micromanage and control our economic lives, our health lives, our educational lives, even our religious lives - and an alternative, in Mitt Romney, who believes in freedom - free markets and free people, more freely living our lives; who believes in limited, Constitutional government, and a society in which we are not hyphenated or divided by class, race, or believes, but a civil society in which we respect one another as Americans first.

To be honest, we need Romney to win today; we need Republicans to win the House and the Senate.  Not because Republicans are perfect - they are not - but because we know that Obama and the Democrats will push Obamacare to completion and expansion and foist on us other big government control policies that will further cripple our economy and change the expectations of American citizens with regard to the government in a dangerous way.

This is the time to stand up.  Reach out to family and friends, reach out across your neighborhood and community and across the nation.  Get everyone out there to support and vote for Romney and the Republicans, no matter what it takes.  No matter how many minutes or hours you need to stand in line - no matter what.  Today is the day, and now is the time!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Tomorrow is THE DAY

We're at the doorstep now and ready to walk through.  It will take all of us to the last.  Vote for Romney tomorrow if you haven't voted already, and let nothing stop you!  Talk to family and friends all day long and get them out the to vote for Romney, no matter where you live and vote.  Reach across the country and get all you know to do the same.

I found a lot of my current thoughts on the state of the race in Peggy Noonan's article in the Wall Street Journal today.  Read the whole thing, but here are some excerpts:
“We begin with the three words everyone writing about the election must say: Nobody knows anything. Everyone’s guessing. I spent Sunday morning in Washington with journalists and political hands, one of whom said she feels it’s Obama, the rest of whom said they don’t know. I think it’s Romney. I think he’s stealing in “like a thief with good tools,” in Walker Percy’s old words. While everyone is looking at the polls and the storm, Romney’s slipping into the presidency. He’s quietly rising, and he’s been rising for a while.
Who knows what to make of the weighting of the polls and the assumptions as to who will vote? Who knows the depth and breadth of each party’s turnout efforts? Among the wisest words spoken this cycle were by John Dickerson of CBS News and Slate, who said, in a conversation the night before the last presidential debate, that he thought maybe the American people were quietly cooking something up, something we don’t know about.
I think they are and I think it’s this: a Romney win.
Romney’s crowds are building—28,000 in Morrisville, Pa., last night; 30,000 in West Chester, Ohio, Friday It isn’t only a triumph of advance planning: People came, they got through security and waited for hours in the cold. His rallies look like rallies now, not enactments. In some new way he’s caught his stride. He looks happy and grateful. His closing speech has been positive, future-looking, sweetly patriotic. His closing ads are sharp—the one about what’s going on at the rallies is moving.
All the vibrations are right. A person who is helping him who is not a longtime Romneyite told me, yesterday: “I joined because I was anti Obama—I’m a patriot, I’ll join up But now I am pro-Romney.” Why? “I’ve spent time with him and I care about him and admire him. He’s a genuinely good man.” Looking at the crowds on TV, hearing them chant “Three more days” and “Two more days”—it feels like a lot of Republicans have gone from anti-Obama to pro-Romney.
Something old is roaring back. One of the Romney campaign’s surrogates, who appeared at a rally with him the other night, spoke of the intensity and joy of the crowd “I worked the rope line, people wouldn’t let go of my hand.” It startled him. A former political figure who’s been in Ohio told me this morning something is moving with evangelicals, other church-going Protestants and religious Catholics. He said what’s happening with them is quiet, unreported and spreading: They really want Romney now, they’ll go out and vote, the election has taken on a new importance to them.
There is no denying the Republicans have the passion now, the enthusiasm. The Democrats do not. Independents are breaking for Romney. And there’s the thing about the yard signs. In Florida a few weeks ago I saw Romney signs, not Obama ones. From Ohio I hear the same. From tony Northwest Washington, D.C., I hear the same.
Maybe that’s what the coming Romney moment is about: independents, conservatives, Republicans, even some Democrats, thinking: We can turn it around, we can work together, we can right this thing, and he can help."
And watch this interview of the Speaker of the House, Mr. John Boehner of Ohio.  Great stuff.

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Closing Argument

President Obama today - I kid you not - asked his supporters to vote "for revenge" in voting for him. Romney shook his head at that, and asked the American people to vote "for love of country."  That's the contrast we see here at the end of the campaign.

Here's Governor Romney on the campaign train in Wisconsin today, making a closing argument to the American people and asking for our support.  This man needs to be our next President.  Let's work through the weekend and to the last minute and get out there to vote!

And if you have any doubt about how badly Obama has done with his 2008 campaign promises, this should remind you:

On Halloween, I ran into another father out trick or treating with his kids who was planning to drive out the next day to Ohio with 50 others to help work door-to-door, turning out the vote and helping at the polls. There's a movement out there - we need everyone to help.  "4 more days" and we can vote Obama out...and Romney in.  

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Heave Ho!

There is a lot of information out there in the polls to suggest that we are making progress in pushing Romney to where he has the potential to win this election.

Consider a few articles showing that there are a number of states that used to be considered safe for Obama to win, where Romney now has a real chance for the upset:

In Michigan: "Mitt Romney is within striking distance of Barack Obama in Michigan in the final days before the election, buoyed by more who are convinced the Republican is a viable alternative to the president, with the ability to turn around the economy.

Obama's lead over Romney has shrunk to just under 3 points, 47.7 percent to 45 percent, with 3.8 percent undecided, according to a new Detroit News/WDIV Local 4 poll of likely voters. Obama's lead was 6.7 points earlier this month and has eroded to within the poll's 3.8 percentage point margin of error. It's the smallest advantage for the Democratic president during the Michigan campaign."

In Oregon: "Earlier today, my colleague, Tony Lee, reported on a new poll from Oregon showing Obama up just six points over Mitt Romney. Surprisingly, Obama's support was only 47%, well below the 50% threshold deemed safe for incumbents. To say that Oregon wasn't expected to be competitive is a massive understatement. Obama won the state by 17 points in 2008. While he is certainly favored to win the state this year, his apparent struggles there are a sign of a campaign falling apart in the home stretch."

In Pennsylvania: "Mitt Romney is making his play for Pennsylvania with a new ad released Tuesday criticizing President Obama on his energy policies.

The Romney ad hits Obama for policies that the GOP campaign contends has led to the closure or conversion of 22 coal-powered plants in Pennsylvania. The ad opens with footage of Obama saying building a coal plant will "bankrupt" those who do so.

"People in the coal industry feel like it's getting crushed by your policies," Romney said to Obama during a presidential debate, in a clip used in the ad. "I want to get America and North America energy independent so we can create those jobs."

In Ohio: "The race for Ohio’s Electoral College votes remains very close, but now Mitt Romney now has a two-point advantage...Among all Ohio voters, Romney now has a 12-point lead over the president in voter trust – 53% to 41% - when it comes to the economy. Last week, he had just a seven-point advantage among voters in the state when they were asked which candidate they trusted more to deal with the economy. Romney’s also trusted more by eight points in the areas of job creation and energy policy but leads Obama by just two when it comes to housing issues. National security has been an area where the president has typically had an advantage over Romney this year. But, the Republican challenger now has a 52% to 42% advantage on the issue."

In Wisconsin: "The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Wisconsin Voters shows the president and his Republican challenger each earning 49% support. One percent (1%) likes another candidate, and two percent (2%) are undecided...Ninety-six percent (96%) of Badger State voters say they are sure to vote in this election. Romney leads 51% to 47% among these voters.

Among the 90% who say they’ve already made up their minds whom they will vote for, it’s Romney 51%, Obama 48%."

In Iowa: "Perhaps even more important for Romney, internal polls have shown him closing Obama’s narrow advantage in swing voter-heavy Scott County, where the GOP standard-bearer held a rally Monday in Davenport...Additionally, the Romney campaign believes that it is outperforming its goal in the heavily white, blue-collar counties that dot southeastern Iowa, an encouraging sign for any statewide Republican candidate. “Our state Senate tracking polls are moving [Romney’s] way in swing districts, and the sweep of endorsements over the weekend gives him a sense of momentum,” said Iowa GOP operative Steve Grubbs. “I predict he wins Iowa.” Indeed, The Des Moines Register’s backing of Romney this past weekend came as a surprise to just about everyone in Iowa politics."

In Colorado: "A confident Mitt Romney, two weeks out from Election Day, spoke about his campaign as a movement sweeping the nation during a moonlit rally at Red Rocks Amphitheatre on Tuesday night..."I think even the Republicans in the state have underestimated support for Romney," supporter Terri Miller said. Deb Lowry sat seven rows from the stage. "This is the first political event I've ever been to, the first politician I believe in," said Lowry, who owns a Liberty Tax franchise. "I feel like he truly gets the economy." The source of Romney's momentum is of little secret: Pundits largely agree his performance during the three debates elevated his stature in the race. And neither he nor Ryan on Tuesday was shy about talking about the debates, the most recent of which was Monday night."

In other news from Colorado, Republicans are leading Democrats in early voting - a good sign.

In Virginia: "When Jay Swiney emerges from the night shift in the coal mines to assume his duties as mayor of Appalachia, Va., it is hard for him to miss the partisan forces rocking the heavily unionized Democratic hamlets in the mountains along the Tennessee border. Mitt Romney held a rally in Abingdon, Va; Billboards proclaim “America or Obama — You Can’t Have Them Both!” and “Yes, Coal; No-bama.” Out-of-work miners are sporting baseball caps that say “Coal=Jobs” and T-shirts with the sarcastic message: “Make Coal Legal.” Yard signs and TV ads for Mitt Romney are everywhere."

In Florida: "Polls show Romney and President Obama essentially tied in the Sunshine State. The latest RealClearPolitics average of recent polls has Romney leading 49% to 48%."

And a general survey of the polls in some of these states: "In poll after poll of formerly safe blue states, the Republican is closing ground on Obama, far outpacing Republican totals from 2008:

In 2008, Connecticut went for Obama by 22 points. The latest Mason-Dixon poll has Obama up by just 7.
In 2008, Michigan went for Obama by 17 points. The latest Detroit News poll has Obama up by just 3.
In 2008, Minnesota went for Obama by 11 points. The latest Minneapolis Star Tribune poll has Obama up by just 3.
In 2008, Oregon went for Obama by 16. The latest Oregonian poll has Obama up just 6.
In 2008, Pennsylvania went for Obama by 10. The latest Morning Call poll has Obama up by just 3.

Romney, who along with his Super PAC is making a run at some of these states, will probably not win any of them. But he doesn’t need to. The simple fact that all of them are moving in his direction shows that more and more Americans are looking for a change of leadership in the White House this election year."

The election is there for us to win, but it'll take all of us giving it our very best.  Get family and friends out to support Romney and the Republicans, anywhere in the country, but especially if you know people in these close and battleground states it's especially important.  Heave ho!  We're not afraid of a little hard work and sacrifice, eh?  Less than a week to go!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Notre Dame & Brigham Young

So having had the opportunity of traveling to South Bend, Indiana to watch my BYU Cougars play the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame a week ago - which I thoroughly enjoyed minus one missed passed by our quarterback - the topic of Catholics and Mormons has been on my mind.  ND and BYU...Romney and Ryan...and then there's the issue of religious freedom.  I hope Mormons, Catholics, Baptists, Jews, and everyone else we can get to join the battle, will vote Romney-Ryan next week among other reasons to protect our freedom of religion in this country.

And on another topic...our hearts and prayers go out to those affected by the massive storm Sandy.  Time to help one another yet again.

Manhattan with lights out last night.

Hey and one more thing.  This, I hope, will really brighten your day and give you hope.  I know it did me. You may have heard of that great crowd of 10,000+ in Colorado in the past week for a Romney-Ryan rally.  Well, this caller to the Rush Limbaugh show was there and gives a terrific account of it.  We can do this, people!  

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Jobs & Benghazi

Three short videos I recommend watching.  The first is the CEO of Home Depot talking about his economic fears if Obama were to win reelection.  The second is Senator McCain talking about the impact Benghazi is having in severely undermining the credibility of President Obama.  The third is Pat Caddell, a Democrat, calling shame on the Obama administration and the mainstream press for their handling of Benghazi.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Letting Men Die

I'm sorry, but I just can't accept the efforts by the Obama campaign, liberals, and the mainstream media to avoid discussing what happened in Benghazi, Libya that led to the deaths of four Americans, including our ambassador to Libya.

Reports in the past two days have uncovered e-mails that show that the administration most certainly know that organized terrorism was at least very likely, if not certainly, involved in those attacks.  Also that key members of the administration, including in the White House itself, were in real time communication with those under attack in Libya, but failed to send help.

Today it is being reported that not only did they fail to actively send help to those under attack, but they actively blocked help from being provided.  It makes me sick to think about this.  To know that CIA assets within a mile of the Benghazi diplomatic complex asked to go help and were told to "stand down" and that military resources an hour away in Italy were not sent immediately to help.

The two former Navy Seals that died actually disobeyed orders to make their way to the diplomatic compound to help those under attack, helped them get out and over to the CIA Annex where they were attacked again in a firefight that lasted hours longer before they were killed, none of the help the requested being provided to them.  Why was not every resource provided, every effort made to quickly help our people under attack?  Words fail.

Watch for yourself.

Then read this article from Mark Steyn on "The Incredible Shrinking President."  An excerpt:
"We also learned that, in those first moments of the attack, a request for military back-up was made by U.S. staff on the ground but was denied by Washington. It had planes and special forces less than 500 miles away in southern Italy — or about the same distance as Washington to Boston. They could have been there in less than two hours. Yet the commander-in-chief declined to give the order. So Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods fought all night against overwhelming odds, and died on a rooftop in a benighted jihadist hellhole while Obama retired early to rest up before his big Vegas campaign stop. “Within minutes of the first bullet being fired the White House knew these heroes would be slaughtered if immediate air support was denied,” said Ty Woods’s father, Charles. “In less than an hour, the perimeters could have been secured and American lives could have been saved. After seven hours fighting numerically superior forces, my son’s life was sacrificed because of the White House’s decision.”"

The Real Obama

Peggy Noonan's opinion article today is - as she so often is - precisely attuned to reality.  I encourage you to read the whole article.  A few excerpts:
"Why was the first debate so toxic for the president? Because the one thing he couldn't do if he was going to win the election is let all the pent-up resentment toward him erupt. Americans had gotten used to him as The President. Whatever his policy choices, whatever general direction he seemed to put in place he was The President, a man who had gotten there through natural gifts and what all politicians need, good fortune.
What he couldn't do was present himself, when everyone was looking, as smaller than you thought. Petulant, put upon, above it all, full of himself. He couldn't afford to make himself look less impressive than the challenger in terms of command, grasp of facts, size.
But that's what he did.
And in some utterly new way the president was revealed, exposed. All the people whose job it is to surround and explain him, to act as his buffers and protectors—they weren't there. It was him on the stage, alone with a competitor. He didn't have a teleprompter, and so his failure seemed to underscore the cliché that the prompter is a kind of umbilical cord for him, something that provides nourishment, the thing he needs to sound good. He is not by any means a stupid man but he has become a boring one; he drones, he is predictable, it's never new. The teleprompter adds substance, or at least safety."  
And more:
"People back home, he [a U.S. Senator] said, sometimes wonder what happened with the president in the debate. The senator said, I paraphrase: I sort of have to tell them that it wasn't a miscalculation or a weird moment. I tell them: I know him, and that was him. That guy on the stage, that's the real Obama.
Which gets us to Bob Woodward's "The Price of Politics," published last month. The portrait it contains of Mr. Obama—of a president who is at once over his head, out of his depth and wholly unaware of the fact—hasn't received the attention it deserves. Throughout the book, which is a journalistic history of the president's key economic negotiations with Capitol Hill, Mr. Obama is portrayed as having the appearance and presentation of an academic or intellectual while being strangely clueless in his reading of political situations and dynamics. He is bad at negotiating—in fact doesn't know how. His confidence is consistently greater than his acumen, his arrogance greater than his grasp."
A man out of his depth, who thinks he's great but is actually bad at the job he's had to do?  A teleprompter man who thinks he can just wow his way to success through appearance?  That's our president, it appears.

Which is yet one more reason, to me, to underscore how important this election is - we urgently need a competent president who can face up to the brutally serious challenges we face as a nation.

Let's renew our efforts for the next 10 days - let's do it on behalf of our future, our families, our nation.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Civil Society and You

From a campaign speech by Paul Ryan in the past hour or so in Cleveland, Ohio:
So what is government’s duty when it comes to the institutions of civil society? Basically, it is to secure their rights, respect their purposes, and preserve their freedom.
Nothing undermines the essential and honorable work these groups do quite like the abuse of government power.  Take what happened this past January, when the Department of Health and Human Services issued new rules requiring Catholic hospitals, charities and universities to violate their deepest principles. Never mind your own conscience, they were basically told – from now on you’re going to do things the government’s way.
This mandate isn’t just a threat to religious charities. It’s a threat to all those who turn to them in times of need. In the name of strengthening our safety net, this mandate and others will weaken it.
The good news? When Mitt Romney is president, this mandate will be gone, and these groups will be able to continue the good work they do. 
But it’s not just the abuses of government that undermine civil society – it’s also the excesses of government.  Look at the road we are on, with trillion-dollar deficits every year.  Debt on this scale is destructive in so many ways, and one of them is that it crowds out civil society by drawing resources away from private giving.  
Even worse is the prospect of a debt crisis, which will come unless we do something very soon. When government’s own finances collapse, society’s most vulnerable are the first victims, as we are seeing right now in the troubled welfare states of Europe.  Many there feel that they have nowhere to turn for help, and we must never let that happen in America. 
Where government is entrusted with providing a safety net, Mitt Romney and I have our own vision for how to keep it strong. It is a vision that leaves the failures of the past in the past, and proposes instead to build on those reforms that have worked. 
For starters, a Romney-Ryan administration will clearly restore those parts of the welfare-reform law that have been undone or weakened. We will do this for the sake of millions of Americans who deserve to lead lives of dignity and freedom.
We have so much more at stake in this election than most people realize...and we need to succeed at every level from the presidency to the Senate to the House.

10,000+ @ Red Rock

This gives me great hope.  We need this kind of energy in every battleground state and across the nation. This was last night near Denver, Colorado.  Spread the word, folks...

And from the great Clint Eastwood:

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Big & Small After 3rd Debate

My initial impressions about the 3rd debate last night:

- To begin, Obama started out attacking and personal.  Romney took a bit to get his footing as he avoided taking Obama's bait and talked 'big picture.'  From there, the trend was Romney stronger and stronger, Obama looked mostly weaker as he appeared more petty and tried to trash Romney more than establish his own foreign policy goals and rationale.  Romney went 'big' and Obama went 'small' and by the end I thought Romney appeared more presidential, and Obama diminished himself - at least in the eyes of independents and Republicans.

- By being steady and reassuring but still strong, I think Romney got the most important thing out of the debate for a challenger to a sitting president: it was clear that he would be a strong, thoughtful, very capable leader in the world.  It continues to help remove any qualms most people would have about voting for him as president.  That is a big win for Romney.  I'm not able to come up with any new advantage Obama gained from this debate.  People expect a sitting president to be brushed up on details of foreign policy.  He didn't show anything new and as I say seemed competent but kind of petty.  I don't see how that does anything more than reassure his base.

- Overall, I don't think the overall trajectory of the campaign changes much from this...which is good for Romney as things have trended his way since the first debate.

There are two weeks to go.  The race is tight.  This is the time to rise up, redouble efforts, and let's get Romney in the White House and get this country and our economy back.  We can do this!

From Keith Koffler: "The impression that will linger through Election Day is that of the sunny guy to the left of the screen who seemed to have ideas about where to go and was interrupted repeatedly by the guy on the right who made lots of points but, in the end, had no new ideas, couldn’t defend his record the few times it was challenged, and seemed a little unlikable."

Monday, October 22, 2012

What We Know of Benghazi

What has been learned so far is tragic, but also looks awful for Obama.

Three specific failures I see from the Obama administration on this:
(1) Despite repeated requests for better security in Benghazi, the administration denied these requests and actually reduced security personnel in the compound in the months before 9/11.  Obama left Ambassador Stevens and his staff vulnerable.
(2) Perhaps the worst thing is that the administration had real time communication with Benghazi personnel from the start of the attacks and even had a video feed from a drone during the attack.  Planes from nearby US bases could have been there in an hour or less.  The attack was going on for more than 7 hours.  No help was sent.  The President didn't even meet with his national security staff during this time, and flew off to Vegas for a fundraiser.
(3) The blaming by the Obama administration of the YouTube video as reason for the attacks when all information during and right after the attack ran counter to this, and even though we now know that the assessment within 24 hours of the attack was that it was a terrorist attack, is more than poor, confused, incompetent messaging by Obama and his team.  If, as it appears, he and his team were misleading the American people based on political consideration, Obama will have to answer to us for that.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Romney's Core

This video segment deserves to be shared widely.  What a person does when they think no one is looking is one of the best indicators of the kind of person they are at the core.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Better and Better

Now that I've had a little time to reread the transcript from the debate, I have to say Romney looks better and better and better the more I read.  To be honest, he trounced Obama in terms of ideas and policies.

Let me give one example.  Here's a question where a voter asked what he (Obama) could do to improve gas prices (they have doubled under Obama):
QUESTION: Your energy secretary, Steven Chu, has now been on record three times stating it's not policy of his department to help lower gas prices. Do you agree with Secretary Chu that this is not the job of the Energy Department? 
OBAMA: The most important thing we can do is to make sure we control our own energy. So here's what I've done since I've been president. We have increased oil production to the highest levels in 16 years. 
Natural gas production is the highest it's been in decades. We have seen increases in coal production and coal employment. But what I've also said is we can't just produce traditional source of energy. We've also got to look to the future. That's why we doubled fuel efficiency standards on cars. That means that in the middle of the next decade, any car you buy, you're going to end up going twice as far on a gallon of gas. That's why we doubled clean -- clean energy production like wind and solar and biofuels. 
ROMNEY: Well, let's look at the president's policies, all right, as opposed to the rhetoric, because we've had four years of policies being played out. And the president's right in terms of the additional oil production, but none of it came on federal land. As a matter of fact, oil production is down 14 percent this year on federal land, and gas production was down 9 percent. Why? Because the president cut in half the number of licenses and permits for drilling on federal lands, and in federal waters.
So where'd the increase come from? Well a lot of it came from the Bakken Range in North Dakota. What was his participation there? The administration brought a criminal action against the people drilling up there for oil, this massive new resource we have. And what was the cost? 20 or 25 birds were killed and he brought out a migratory bird act to go after them on a criminal basis.
Look, I want to make sure we use our oil, our coal, our gas, our nuclear, our renewables. I believe very much in our renewable capabilities; ethanol, wind, solar will be an important part of our energy mix.
But what we don't need is to have the president keeping us from taking advantage of oil, coal and gas. This has not been Mr. Oil, or Mr. Gas, or Mr. Coal. Talk to the people that are working in those industries. I was in coal country. People grabbed my arms and said, "Please save my job." The head of the EPA said, "You can't build a coal plant. You'll virtually -- it's virtually impossible given our regulations." When the president ran for office, he said if you build a coal plant, you can go ahead, but you'll go bankrupt. That's not the right course for America...
We're going to bring that pipeline in from Canada. How in the world the president said no to that pipeline, I will never know.
Seriously?  Romney smashed Obama here.  First, Obama didn't even answer the person's question. Second,  Obama gave a general stat about amount of domestic oil production and a potpourri of his environmental agenda items.  Romney swipes all this off the table by saying "let's look at the actual record, not just hear nice sounding words" and proceeds to demonstrate in brutally efficient detail that the increase in oil production not only has nothing to do with Obama's policies (the increase is almost entirely on private lands developed by private businesses), but that Obama's administration has in fact worked hard against the development of these natural resources, with his EPA legally targeting developers.  Obama tried to claim the mantle as if he's the only one who wants to develop renewable energy sources.  Romney wouldn't let himself be defined by the President, saying 'of course we will continue to develop these areas' then personalized Obama's harsh rhetoric and record against coal by telling how Obama's policies are hurting the coal industry, then quoting Obama from the last campaign, and Obama's EPA chief since then, both slamming coal.  Bam.  Then for the cherry on top, he asks why in the world Obama said no to the Keystone oil pipeline from Canada (it's going to be built anyway, only an issue of whether it will benefit China or America more).  Check mate.

Read more about Obama's record of the last four years on energy here.

Obama Indictment in Long Island

Obama certainly came out more - energized - at last night's debate.  And considering how poor he looked in comparison to Romney at the first debate, that was enough for many to consider the debate close or a draw.  But I think if you look under the surface, Romney made strong progress on some of the most important issues that will determine the outcome of the election.

For one thing, although many of the "flash polls" right after the debate were very close or gave Obama a slightly edge in "who won," when details were asked in those same polls on things like who seemed the better leader, who was stronger on the economy, on the deficit, etc., Romney won resoundingly on those questions.  When independents/undecideds were asked who won the debate, they picked Romney.  It was only when already-committed Democrats were included that you saw the slight edge for Obama.

Where was Romney most effective?  For one thing, he is disciplined and strong in the most important message of his campaign: that his primary focus would be on the economy and getting good and higher paying jobs back in America.  And the corollary to that is that President Obama has a terrible record on this fact has failed to fulfill most of what he said he would do four years ago.  Obama has failed miserably.

Romney's strongest moment seemed to be when a questioner who was obviously disappointed in Obama's record of the past four years asked what the President would do differently in the next four years.  Obama really had no memorable answer, but Romney used the opportunity to give a two-minute indictment of Obama's record.  The comparison between Romney and Obama here was as clarifying as anything in the debate.

In terms of style, this debate was bound to be different from the first, and more difficult for Romney, if only because when your opponent is throwing around aggression and attacks, you have to give at least some effective response or you look weak.  Romney handled that OK, though perhaps not perfectly, and the result was a more contentious debate that will have turned some people off.  Most, however, will have expected this kind of thing from a debate like this and see it as "par for the course."

In the end, there is one matter that will get a lot of attention based on the discussion in this debate - and I predict it will redound to Obama's dishonor.  And that is the discussion about Libya and Benghazi.  Many are saying that Romney missed an opportunity to really nail Obama on this issue.  Well, maybe he could have done better, but in a way he will have set up the discussion between now and the debate next Monday on this issue very well, and the discussion in the press about it cannot look good for Obama at all.  When Candy Crowley, the moderator, tried to "fact check" Romney on the spot about Obama's initial reaction to the attacks in Benghazi, she not only looked bad herself in seeming to step into the debate on the side of Obama, but it turns out she was essentially wrong about the matter.  So in the discussion to follow that will be discussed, and Obama's handling of the situation will look worse.  And that discussion will continue in next Monday's debate, which has a focus on foreign policy.  Watch for Romney to be very clear on the matter there, and the public will be ready to pay full attention.

We have a lot to do in the last couple of weeks before Election Day.  Talk to your friends around the country and in your circles.  Let's get this done.  We need new leadership in the White House, and it can't come soon enough.