Mitt Romney seems more likely to win the White House as economic woes dog Obama, says John Andrews in the June round of Head On TV debates. Maybe; but both candidates must give us something to vote for, not just against, objects Susan Barnes-Gelt. John on the right, Susan on the left, also go at it this month over congressional races, year-end tax hikes, the Syrian crisis, and Aurora's corporate welfare. Head On has been a daily feature on Colorado Public Television since 1997, with sponsorship by Centennial Institute since 2009. Here are all five scripts for June:
1. OBAMA FALTERS AS ROMNEY GAINS
Susan: This fall’s presidential race is shaping up as one of the most negative, least substantive in decades. Neither your guy – Willard Mitt; nor mine – President Obama, is talking about vision or priorities for the next 4 years. I want to vote FOR someone. Not against the other guy.
John: Obama tried the vision thing before. Look where that got us – stuck in the ditch economically. Desperate now to change the subject, his priority is divisiveness and fear. Romney’s priority is sound economic policy to put Americans back to work and decisive leadership to restore confidence in the presidency. He will win.
Susan: Romney – the guy who thinks Russia is the biggest threat to America’s security; young people should simply borrow money from their parents to pay for college and believes government power should be limited to the bedroom? Yes, he’s not Obama. That’s not enough.
John: The June economic slowdown is grim news for America’s hard-working families, and for our ill-qualified president, Mr. Obama. Even the liberal media is pleading with him to engage on the economy, but he hasn’t a clue of what to do. Ridicule and personal slurs won’t keep voters from flocking to businessman Romney this fall.
2. CONGRESSIONAL SEATS IN PLAY
Susan: Colorado may see Congressional upsets this November. Historically Republican CD-6 may go to Dem Joe Miklosi. Demographic shifts and missteps by incumbent Mike Coffman could be fatal. CD-3 Incumbent Repub Scott Tipton better get his foot out of his mouth or lose to challenger Sal Pace.
John: What a brilliant idea – electing the entire House every two years. It forces congressmen to pay attention to we the people. As does the two-party system. Even as a Republican, I say thank goodness for Democrats. If Obama carries Colorado, Coffman and Tipton may lose. If Romney does, Perlmutter may lose.
Susan: Dream on! CD 7 is a competitive district and a younger, moderate R might be able to beat incumbent Ed Perlmutter. But Joe ‘I am not a beer’ Coors, ain’t it. Blinded by greed, this experienced businessman lost millions in an investment fund, promising a 75% weekly return. Get real!
John: You’re such fun to spar with, Susan. But I thought the D after your name stood for Democrat, not “derogatory. Pick on the Coors and they’ll never sell you another glass of suds. I repeat: if Obama carries Colorado, Dems knock off Tipton. If Romney wins here, Republicans defeat Perlmutter. Stay tuned!
3. AURORA JILTED ON GAYLORD PROJECT
John: What a fiasco. Gaylord Entertainment has walked away from the Aurora convention complex that had local and state officials shoveling out hundreds of millions in taxpayer subsidies. But Gaylord is not to blame. The whole scam of corporate welfare is rotten to the core. It’s just a Colorado hometown version of Solyndra.
Susan: The massive Gaylord subsidy is a pathetic game of blind man’s bluff. Aurora electeds and state officials chose not to examine public information about Gaylord’s weak financial position, shareholder unrest and poor performance. The bluff was great for a few Gateway property owners – awful for Coloradans.
John: Government has no business picking winners and losers this way. Not in cities, or states, or DC. It is always a net subtraction from wealth creation and higher living standards – always. My Republican friends erred with their bill for a bigger tourism slush fund. Hickenlooper did well in vetoing it.
Susan: If the guv and the legislature turn their hearing aids on, they’ll realize a majority of voters despise this type of special interest giveaway. It’s a zero sum game – pitting local communities against one another at the expense of the whole state. Kill the Gaylord deal and the RTA.
4. US MILITARY INTERVENTION IN SYRIA?
John: Suddenly candidate Obama is playing the tough guy. First it’s drone strikes against Al Qaeda, then it’s a killer virus in Iran. But his amateurish handling of the so-called Arab Spring actually empowered the Islamic radicals. He missed a chance for regime change in Tehran. Should we now attack Syria? No.
Susan: You’re half-right: we shouldn’t attack Syria. Dependence on Mid-East oil has skewed our foreign policy for 50 years. Investment in renewables and an increased focus on resources in Brazil, Canada and the US suggest our marriage of convenience with the mid east may be heading for divorce court.
John: Obama the drone warrior, personally executing suspected terrorists to avoid interrogating them, is a showboat not a statesman. In Libya he boasted of leading from behind. In Egypt he gave billions to the Muslim Brotherhood. US interests are worse off as a result. This bumbler must go. Meanwhile, no war on Syria.
Susan: So you think putting American troops in grave danger on the ground, in brutal combat with insurgents and suicide bombers makes more sense than strategic – and highly successful – targeted drones? That’s a joke. Right? Why don't we simply go back to cannons and swords?
5. TAXMAGEDDON & DEBT CEILING LOOM
Susan: Once again, our ridiculous excuse for a governing body – the United States House of Representatives – is engaged in the phony charade over the debt ceiling and tax increases. Set against the fragile world economy – most of these ideologues should go home and find REAL work!
John: Speaker John Boehner and the Republican House are absolutely correct in getting started this summer to head off a killer tax hike and more unwise borrowing that will occur this winter unless Congress acts. It’s good policy to help that fragile economy, and good politics to frame the choice for voters.
Susan: Partisan Russian roulette is no way to calm anxious investors and business people, uneasy about what’s happening in Europe and fed up with the shenanigans of politicians. Both parties should embrace Simpson / Bowles and come up with a balanced long-term approach to investment and debt reduction.
John: According to Obamanomics, an Armageddon array of tax increases on Jan. 1 and another Greek-style trip to the Chinese debt window is just what business needs. Except business doesn’t think so. Hence the awful economic numbers in May. Employers are already hunkering down. Make the Democrats sweat this one out, Mr. Speaker.