At the second presidential debate at Hofstra University in Long Island, New York, a member of the audience asked Mitt Romney to explain how he was different from former President George W. Bush, the last Republican to occupy the Oval Office. "President Bush and I are different people, and these are different times," Romney said. However, other than saying that he'd get tough on China and stop adding to the deficit, Romney was short on specifics. Here, some reactions from Twitter:
Romney's 5 point plan is actually almost identical to Bush's plan in 2004. Try again!
— davidfrum (@davidfrum) October 17, 2012
Not sure the average undecided voter will believe Romney somehow just Sister Souljah'd Bush by claiming he'll be tougher on China
— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) October 17, 2012
Bush was for tax cuts, for deficit reduction he wouldn't specify, for domestic energy production, and campaigned on getting tough on China
— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) October 17, 2012
Obama seized on the question to say that Romney did indeed differ from Bush — by offering proposals that are far more conservative than Bush's. "You know, George Bush didn't propose turning Medicare into a voucher," Obama said. "George Bush embraced comprehensive immigration reform. He didn't call for 'self-deportation.' George Bush never suggested that we eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood. So there are differences between Governor Romney and George Bush, but they're not on economic policy." More from Twitter:
Obama's best answer so far is how the differences between Bush and Mitt on policy are all bad.
— AdamSerwer (@AdamSerwer) October 17, 2012
But this Obama riff is pretty effective.
— Ross Douthat (@DouthatNYT) October 17, 2012
Obama ended well but could have done more to tie Romney to Bush. Easiest softball Q of the night, didn't capitalize.
— Jonathan Chait (@jonathanchait) October 17, 2012