tv PBS News Hour PBS October 4, 2012 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> brown: president obama questioned whether the real mitt romney was at last night's debate-- a criticism romney's spokesman dismissed as damage control. good evening, i'm jeffrey brown. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. on the "newshour" tonight, we get the latest on the candidates' appearances today, as they reprised last night's messages about jobs and the economy. >> brown: plus, we have our own debate on the differing approaches to taxes and deficit reduction. >> woodruff: then, we turn to the war in syria, as skirmishes spill over the border with turkey for a second day in a row. >> brown: we come back to last night's debate with two takes on how it was received. ray suarez talked to voters in the swing state of florida. >> i didn't hear what i need to about jobs. that is the number one interest of generally everyone in the united states.
>> woodruff: and in our regular "daily download" segment, margaret warner explores how the face off played in social media. >> brown: and it hasn't happened in baseball in 45 years. we look at 'triple crown' winner miguel cabrera of the detroit tigers. that's all ahead on tonight's "newshour." major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, technology, and improved economic performance and financial literacy in the 21st century. and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
>> woodruff: the first presidential debate is behind them, but the two sides went at it again today. republicans said their man took it to the president in the denver duel. the obama camp charged the truth got trampled in the process. >> la night i thought was a great opportunity for the american people to see two very different visions for the country. and -- (applause) -- and i think it was helpful to be able to describe those visions. i said the president's vision is trickle-down government and i don't think that's what america believes in. i see instead a prosperity that comes through freedom. >> reporter: romney's reception at the event was reinforced by
instant polling that he won last night's encounter by more than 2-1. but at an obama rally in denver, the president charged romney had repeatedly misrepresented his own positions on jobs and taxes. >> so you see the man on stage last night, he does not want to be held accountable for the real mitt romney's decisions and what he's been saying for the last year. and that's because he knows full well that we don't want what he's been selling for last year. (cheers and applause) governor romney may dance around his positions but if you want to be president, you yes to american people the truth. >> woodruff: the president's campaign hit that note again and again, insisting romney had not changed the dynamics of the race, even as they argued he had played fast and loose with the truth. david axelrod spoke on msnbc.
>> the problem isn't with his debate performance the problem is with his underlying theories and some fundamental dishonesty that we saw last night. the president came in treated people like adults talked about what we need to move the country forward and rebuild the middle governor romney came in and basically played a shell game. >> woodruff: but romney campaign officials dismissed the criticism as damage control. and senior advisor ed gillespie said the republican now has the momentum. >> i do think there's a sense of, you know, a dynamic shift in the campaign. and i know there's a lot of talk about the style, and governor romney was clearly very much in command of the facts last night and had solutions. >> woodruff: indeed, romney appeared to relish the chance to go directly at the president during the debate moderated by the "newshour's" jim lehrer. >> mr. president, you're entitled to your own airplane and your own house, but not your
own facts. look, i've got five boys. i'm used to people saying something that's not always true, but just keep on repeating it and ultimately hoping i'll believe it. i'm sorry, jim, i'm going to stop the subsidy to pbs. i'm going to stop other things. i like pbs, i love big bird. actually like you, too. but i'm not going to... i'm not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from china to pay for. >> woodruff: for his rt, president obama did not bring up romney's now-famous "47-percent" comments, his record at bain capital, or his stances on immigration or abortion. but the candidates did cover a range of other issues, sparring repeatedly over tax cuts. the president singled out a bipartisan analysis that concludes the romney plan would cost $5 trillion over 10 years. >> i'm not looking for a $5 trillion tax cut. what i've said is i won't put in place a tax cut that adds to the
that's part one. so there's no economist that can say mitt romney's tax plan adds $5 trillion if i say i will not add to the deficit with my tax plan. >> well, for 18 months he's been running on this tax plan. and now, five weeks before the election, he's saying that his big, bold idea is, "never mind." and the fact is that if you are lowering the rates the way you described, governor, then it is not possible to come up with enough deductions and loopholes that only affect high-income individuals to avoid either raising the deficit or burdening the middle class. it's... it's math. it's arithmetic. >> woodruff: with the first debate behind them, the president headed on to wisconsin, and romney to virginia. their next face-off comes october 16th in hempstead, new york. >> brown: we hone in now on some of the claims and counter-claims over taxes and the deficit. and for that we've asked back two economists who've joined us several times this election season. jared bernstein served as chief economist and adviser to vice president biden from 2009 to 2011.
he's now a senior fellow at the center on budget and policy priorities. douglas holtz-akin is a former director of the congressional budget office. he was chief economics adviser to john mccain's presidential campaign and is now president of the american action forum, a policy think tank. neither holds an official position with the current campaigns. jared, i want to stewart the $5 trillion number because there's a dispute over it, where it came from, what is the president referring to? >> mitt romney has proposed to cut taxes across the board by 20%. cut tax rates, i should be precise about that, because it matters. you lose $5 trillion in revenue over ten years if you cut tax rates by 20% across the board. that's the calculation of a non-partisan group widely agreed to be accurate, the tax policy center. now, here's where things get complicated because what the --. >> brown: you're going tligt there right away, aren't you? (laughter) >> it's like we're up there on the stage last night. what the governor says he will
do is fill that $5 trillion hole by getting rid of a bunch of deductions and loopholes, so he'll offset the revenue loss with closing of deductions and loopholes and the president made two points last night-- and i thought they were good points. first he said there's actually not enough deductions and loopholes, particularly for high-income people to offset the revenue loss. so that's when they said the math doesn't work. there's not enough dollars in those deduction loophole closures to offset the revenues. the second one is the governor's not said which deductions and loopholes he would close and that's pretty egregious because we're talking about $5 trillion over ten years. >> brown: doug, let me turn to you. mitt romney responded "i'm not looking for a $5 trillion tax cut." so what is he looking at? how does he see it? >> to get to $5 trillion the first thing you have to do is let all of the 2001-2003 tax laws sunset. go away. that's a tax increase, most of which the president wouldn't
support. then you have to cut by $5 trillion. so compared to where we are now it's a much smaller reduction in tax revenue which makes it easier to fill the revenue hole and we have five studies, one from martin feldstein, one from the tax foundation, one from the american enterprise institute, we have studies that show there are plans that meet the governor's goal, cut rates 20% across the board, don't lose revenue and make sure the rich pay their fair share of taxes so it can be done. >> brown: but as to filling the hole that we're talking about" those studies -- >> they fill the hole. >> brown: but it depends on where you're at in terms of your income. >> so i think the key is there are tax plans that can fill that hole. jared can write a tax plan that fills that hole and raises taxes and those are the one it is democrats are referring to. >> brown: go ahead. >> first of all, some of what doug just said confused me even more about this because governor romney has not said that wants
the bush tax cuts to expire, to the contrary. he wants to extend them. that's before we're talking about this new 20% across-the-board tax cut. so he actually has two holes to fill relative to what doug just told you. secondly --. >> brown: stop there. answer that. >> it's just wrong. there's taxes now, cut 20%, that's what the governor is proposing. the question is how big is that hole? it's a $2.3 trillion hole --. >> brown: but he has nod said about the bush tax cuts. >> are you saying the governor doesn't want to extend the bush tax cuts? >> i have no idea. it doesn't matter. >> he said many times he does. >> the question is what is t difference between where we are now and cutting by 20% and that answer is $2.3 trillion -- >> i think that's -- >> this is the tax policy center. the only way you get $5 trillion is let the rates go up and then go back down. that's just the math. and the studies. >> what the studies basically say the only way governor romney
can fill the hole, a five trillion dollar hole from the rate cut and another four and a half trillion from extending the bush tax cuts is by raising taxes on people below $200,000, starting at around $100,000, that's marty feldstein's idea. or to imagine that because of these tax cuts you're going to get large growth rates. no thaw's supply-side fairy dust and has served us very poorly. >> brown: give us specifics for what you see making what governor romney says a deficit-neutral tax cut plan. is it taxes or what specific cuts might be possible? deductions? what would happen? >> the cuts are the rates and that's the --. >> brown: i meant spending cuts. that's what i meant. >> he's not look at the spending side. he's saying let's look at things like mortgage deduction, exclusion of the health care, all of the personal exemptions, itemized deductions in the tax code right now and ask the question can we eliminate in part or in hole some of those
and make this revenue neutral? the answer to that is unquestionably yes because we've seen the bowles-simpson commission do it, we've seen the variety of these studies, jared might not like them. the question is how would the government do it? i don't know the answer to that to be honest and that's a fair point. >> brown: that he hasn't been specific enough about which deductions? >> we know jared can write a plan that raises taxes on the middle-class. we know i can write a plan that it doesn't. and the question is what plan will we get? >> it's unquestionably the case as lots of independent analysts have found this that if you're going to fill that hole you can't do it just by canceling those deductions and closing the loopholes on the upper income folks. you have to move down below, say 200. you have to get to 100,000, maybe lower than that. at that point you're hid people that we view as middle-class. i believe the governor should specify i'm going to close the mortgage interest deduction. i'm going to get rid of the
health care deduction if that's part of his plan. to leave that out strikes me as really quite confusing and misleading. >> brown: the president hasn't been specific about many of these things, too >> and he should as well. >> brown: and when he says he would only cut on the upper income, those studies suggest that's not enough to fill the gap, either. sgln >> on sfes f.i.s.ty, the president said he's going to cut the corporate rate 28% but we no nooz clue how, and the reason he hasn't specified it is because he believes it will make it harder to get through congress. the reason governor romney hasn't laid it out is that he wants to accomplish this and he has to work with congress in order to get it past. i have sympathy for that point of view. tax reform is hard. the tax code will be00 years old less year and we have had less than a handful of comprehensive reforms as a going-in proposition, it's hard to do. >> i have sympathy for what doug
said as well. however here's the thing i watched the debate with a bunch of students out of notre dame university and there was a ton of head scratching going on. i want to quote some of the things the governor said. >> brown: it's a good school so there should be smart students. >> he said "i will not reduce the taxes paid by high income americans. i will not reduce the taxes paid by high income americans." now this is a guy who's going around saying i'm going to have a very large tax cut. >> brown: what does that mean, do you think there? >> what it means is that mitt romney makes a real distinction between cuts in tax rates and cuts in tax liability cuts in what you have to pay the i.r.s. what he's saying is to the wealthy folks we'll cut your rates but raise your deductions so your taxes will be the same. by the way, i think there's a lot of probably wealthy people who don't want to hear that. >> brown: what did you hear? >> i think very simple fact is that we know a very tiny fraction of americans at the top 5% pay the vast majority of income taxes, over 60% at this point. what he's saying is that's not going to change.
>> brown: what about the president's saying he has a specific plan of cutting $4 trillion from the deficit, $2.50 in cuts for every $1 in revenues? let many ask your thoughts. >> this has been a claim that has been repeatedly debunked by every one of the fact check organizations that follows these things. the president relies on an enormous number of budget gimmicks to get close to that. he takes credit for the $1.2 trillion the congress has got on the books in the budget control act. he takes credit for the spending we won't have in iraq and afghanistan. he creates magic, free spending to pay medicare doctors, pell grants and emergencies. so once you strip out the sort of gimmicks, you don't have anywhere near close to $4 trillion. you're down to $600 billion. >> brown: that's the critique
i've heard. >> we do have -- part of that i agree with that we have disagreements on the facts. the $4 trillion does not include war savings. it doesn't count war savings. it does include $1.5 trillion that had been enacted already. so i agree with that. and i think people don't really recognize this congress has cut spending over ten years, it's $1.7 trillion. that's okay. the president has been specific on a tax increase. i give him credit for this. a minute ago we're saying mitt romney needs to get more specific. the president has said i will allow the bush tax cuts to expire for the top 2% of taxpayers. he's taken a tremendous amount of heat for that but he's on record saying it and this's how he accomplishes these savings. i have a lot less sympathy for him trotting out $4 trillion payments for deficit reduction when he -- the actual deficits are a trillion dollars. he promised to cut in the half and he didn't and if you open up the budget of the united states under his policies the debt
explodes, you can see it on page 52 of their analysis of the budget outlook. he said last night that budgets are about making choices. having a budget that chooses to have the debt explode and endanger our children is a poor choice. >> i think that's misleading because if you look at the c.b.o. scoring of the president's budget, he achieves a stable budget path within the ten-year budget window. so, again, we have a factual disagreement. >> i said if you look at the long-term budget outlook the debt explodes. so year 11 matters. my children are not yet -- >> well, let's deal with the first decade. >> brown: all right, we've cleared up everything. (laughter) thank you so much. douglas holtz-ae kin, jared bernstein, thanks. >> woodruff: still to come on the "newshour": rising tensions on the syria turkey border; how the presidential debate played for some florida voters and on social media. plus, an american league triple crown. but first, the other news of the day. here's hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: wall street rallied today on the latest labor market data. stocks rose after first-time claims for unemployment benefits
were up less than expected. the dow jones industrial average gained more than 80 points to close at 13,575. the nasdaq rose 14 points to close at 3,149. and oil prices in new york shot back up over $91 a barrel on rising tensions between syria and turkey. a major medicare fraud investigation has reeled in 91 suspects, including a hospital president, doctors and nurses. members of a federal strike force said today they uncovered nearly $430 million in false billings. the investigation focused on alleged fraud in seven cities. sensitive u.s. documents still aren't fully secured at the burned-out american consulate in benghazi, libya, three weeks after it was attacked. the "washington post" reported today the papers detailed weapons collection operations, personnel records, and the schedule for u.s. ambassador christopher stevens, who died in the attack. in washington today, state department spokeswoman victoria nuland acknowledged only two private guards are protecting the site. >> we have had some challenges securing the site.
we are continuing to talk to the libyan side about that. but this was not-- based on what we've seen-- any kind of breach of classified information. >> sreenivasan: meanwhile, the f.b.i. confirmed a team of agents visited benghazi yesterday, for the first time. until now, the group had stayed away, due to security concerns. a long-standing battle over google's book-scanning project was settled today. authors and publishers filed suit against the company back in 2005, saying it violated their copyrights. google launched the project a year earlier, making digital copies of books from major research libraries. in all, more than 20 million books have been scanned. now, publishers will get to choose which books are included. a lawsuit with authors is still ongoing. facebook now has one billion users. the number-one social media site announced today that it reached the milestone in september. it said the median age of users is 22 and the five top markets are brazil, india, indonesia, mexico and the united states.
despite the rising customer base, facebook stock has lost 40% of its value since the company went public in may. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to judy. >> woodruff: fears that the syrian civil war may escalate into a regional conflict grew today, as neighboring turkey shelled military targets inside syria for a second day. that's after a syrian mortar round hit a turkish home on wednesday killing five people. lindsey hilsum of "independent television news" filed this report. >> reporter: they were killed not in syria but over the border in turkey, casualties of a conflict that threatens to destabilize the region. the town of akcakale is dangerously close to the fighting-- a line on a map was no protection for three children and two women from the same family.
>> ( translated ): the dead people are my neighbors, just next door. we have been psychologically ruined during the past month and a half, both adults and children. we can't sleep at all, there is bombardment and noises until the morning. the stray shell, apparently fired by the syrian army, hit yesterday evening. it caused consternation in the town and the turkish military quickly fired back with artillery, killing several syrian soldiers. syria is furious that turkey lets the rebel free syrian army control some border posts, but even the russians were clear that their syrian allies should not widen the war. >> ( translated ): thorough our ambassador we maintain contacts with syria and they assure us also through the u.n.'s special envoy for syria mr. lakhdar ibrahimi that it is a tragic incident, such incidents will not be repeated in the future.
scuffles outside the turkish parliament in ankara, only a few protested, but many turks fear war erupting with their neighbor. once a friend, now deemed an enemy. inside the chamber, m.p.s granted the government powers to send troops over the border but that looks unlikely. by this evening the syrians had done exactly what the russians asked. inside syria, the war grows ever more bitter. neighboring countries and world powers have picked sides and are providing arms and other support, but as the u.n. security council meets tonight to discuss a resolution on yesterday's shelling, it's clear that no-one, least of all turkey and syria, wants the war to spill over the border.
>> woodruff: for more on this i'm joined now by henri barkey-- a specialist in turkish affairs and a former state department official in the clinton administration. he now teaches at lehigh university. and hisham melhem, washington bureau chief of al-arabiya news. gentlemen, good to have you both with us. so let me start with you, henri barkey, we heard in that report an accident, a stray shell. how did events come to this? >> well, there's a lot of fighting on the border. there's been shelling before. this is not the first time that shells fell on the turkish side. in fact, last week the turks sent a protest to the syrians because there was a whole series of shells that fell on to farm so if this had happened differently yesterday, in other words, if the shells had fallen on farmland and not killed five people we wouldn't be discussing this tonight and there would not be a security council resolution. so it's a little bit
happenstance to some extent. >> warner: but the tension between the two countries has been building? >> the tension has been building. the turks are supporting the free syrian army. they're allowing the free syrian army a base to operate against syria. the turkish government has taken a very strong position against assad and calling for him to leave and accusing him of terrible deeds. so, yes, but it's not in the interest of the syrians to provoke the turks. the turkish army is fairly strong and the syrians are already having trouble fighting the free syrian army why bring in another enemy? >> pelley: hisham melhem, you see it that way to? >> the syrians said they are investigating the accident but obviously we don't know if t exact circumstances. logically one would say assad can't provoke the turks because the turkish army is strong and
they can take out the syrian army which is already exhausted. at the same time there are those who would argue that it's in the interest of syria to force the turks to play their hand and even the threat of a regional conflagration could force the international powers, the russians, the iranians, others to push the turks not to help the syrian opposition as we talk now we can talk about a regional conflict albeit on a limited basis. we know iranians are sending technicians, trainers -- >> warner: you say it's already starting. >> of course, and we know for a fact that that hezbollah in lebanon is sending also trainers and people to help the syrian army and then, of course, we have the latest worrisome development which is the influx of so-called jihadists, volunteers coming to fight the syrian regime. so already you have a regional conflict but it's not as high as
leading to conventional warfare between the turks and the syrians. >> so given all that, enroy barkey, what's the significance of this dustup, if you will, between five people killed so it's serious but what's the significance of this? could it lead to something bigger? >> it's hard to see how it will get between something bigger because there's a position in turkey -- opposition in turkey to going into syria. the turks want us, the united states, to establish a no-fly zone. they don't want to do it themselves. >> warner: the turks want this? >> they keep pushing us to have a no-fly zone and we are saying we don't want to the do it and it's nod because of the elections. i think this administration were to win the election it would not because it's very difficult to establish a no-fly zone. but hirsch ham is right in that there are small signs of a
regional conflagration that the kurdish problem is emerging in syria. that the significance of this event is in the following. if this were to happen two, three, four, five times again and people get killed on the turkish side then the turkish government will put pressure on nato and the united states to act. and that's where the administration and nato will find themselves in a difficult position it's also true the turks are aiding and abetting an army that is fighting the syrian government. so it's getting murky in some ways. >> warner: so what happens if there were, hirsch hammel hem, several more accidents like what has happened in the last few days? what could it lead to? >> i think erdogan, the turkish prime minister, will be forced to intervene militarily. we don't know to what extent or on what level.
already the turks launched a jet plane in june. two pilots were killed. this is the first time we had five civilians being killed. if this occurs, erdogan will be facing a tremendous challenge from within and he would lose whatever credibility he has already many people are criticizing the turks because in the last seven months they've been huffing and puffing saying we won't allow this to happen in syria, we will impose a no-fly zone or have our own security zone on the borders and crying wolf many times and they will reach a point where erdogan will be forced to intervene. already turkey is housing almost 100,000 syrian refugees. yesterday they invoked national security -- a threat to their national security. there will be a point where erdogan will rely on the turkish army for the opposition. >> warner: so if turkey does get more involved, what does that
mean with regard to nato, with regard to the united states? does that compel other actors? >> it makes it very hard for the administration and nato. >> it would take enormous casualties for the turks to intervene directly in a major way. they can send a few aircraft across the border but it's not in the interest of the turks to get involved in a shoot war with the syrians. it's going to cost them. in terms of human casualties, resources it's going to make turkey look like an unstable country in terms of foreign investments so this government, i suspect, is going to use pressure on the u.s. and nato other than involving itself. >> warner: that gets to my question very quickly. how does this get resolved if that's the case? >> from turkish perspective it's
not going to be resolved as long as bashar al-assad is in damascus. this is the same view of the europeans and the americans. and if the conflict continues like that it's going to troll the neighborhood. it's inevitable. i was not surprised by this. already the war is spilling over to lebanon and we've seen violence in lebanon. now spilling over to turkey and iraq. it ininevitable this war is going to drag the neighbors into it. we've seen tension rising between the turks and iranians. turkey and iran are competing to shape the future of syria just as they are competing to shape the future in iraq. this conflict will continue and unless there's an intervention to end the regime in damascus it will be conflagration. >> warner: quick final thought? >> well, i think we all-- the turks, the americans, the europeans-- have to adjust our policies for the future. bashar al-assad will go but he won't go any time soon. so we need to come up with a new set of policies that protects
u.s. against what's happening in iraq. that's what we need to watch. >> thank you both. online. >> woodruff: online, we assess what it would take for syria to transition from the assad regime to a new government. >> brown: next, two takes on last night's presidential match-up. we start with ray suarez, who traveled to a southern battleground state to gauge reaction there. >> reporter: we watched the with a cross-section of florida voters, some intending to vote for the president, some for governor romney, and some still making up their minds. nancy riordan, who's 49 currently looking for work in the tough florida economy. suzanne kidd, a 65-year-old retiree who taught for 30 years in the detroit schools. chastity pellum, a student at the university of central florida training to be a science
michael weinbaum is 28, an engineer and self-described social conservative from jacksonville. and charlie adkins, a 56-year- old real estate manager, a former homebuilder who struggled we met in downtown orlando, in the heart of one of the most hotly contested regions, of one of the most hotly contested states in the 2012 election. welcome to you all. thanks for joining us both to watch and to discuss what happened tonight. i want to know if anybody's opinion of either candidate was changed by watching them debate each other for 90 minutes. did anybody see either of the two men in a different way when it was all over? >> i think governor romney, especially by opening with a story of how it was either him or his wife had met someone who was struggling to find a job, had one job, didn't work and happened multiple times, that was-- i don't know if i've watched enough of him on the stump but that was the kind of thing i was expeing him to say. that was a softer side. he did seem a little more
softer, a little more compassionate than i had expected him to. >> reporter: suzanne? >> i was going to say that i've had the opportunity to listen to the president's speeches in person for a number of times recently when he's been visiting florida. and i saw nothing inconsistent in what he said tonight versus what i've heard him say in person at each of those speeches. i find him extremely consistent. he does not move around necessarily in his positions. i did not see that with governor romney. he was very much against every aspect of the affordable care act at one time and now when he sees how popular the aspects of pre-existing conditions and no cap on benefits, he's suddenly jumping onboard with that. so i thought, saw that as another example of his changing his message to fit what he thinks is his audience. >> reporter: okay.
a lot of you before we got together said you wanted to hear specifics during tonight's program. did you hear what you needed to hear on the issue that makes you, as a voter, respond. the thing that you've been most worried about? nancy? >> i'm here for my kids and my parents. but that's how i feel right now and i'm worried about the debt with the economy the way it is and i'm worried for my father who's a veteran. and his care. and i'm worried about the debt for my kids and future grandkids. and that bothers me, you know and nothing got answered. when is the money going to stop and let's fix everyone. we're not doing it. we're not doing it. >> for the last three or four years, this president has been
balked every time he was tried to put forth a jobs bill. >> that is absolutely untrue. >> and that is very upsetting to me because there are people in this country who could be working today if there had been that cooperation across the aisle. >> reporter: well, suzanne, toward the end of tonight's program, we got specifically to that point when jim lehrer asked both them, pointed out that there had been a lot of contention on capitol hill, a lot of gridlock, a lot of things that didn't pass, how would you deal with it? both men got to answer, were either of them convincing for you. >> governor romney mentioned that if he were to be elected that one of the first things he would do would be to have meetings with the democratic leadership. the president did that when he first came into office in 2009. he reached across the table, i can't imagine how many times even to the point where the progressive base of the democratic party was upset with him >> reporter: okay, anybody have their concerns responded to? >> i didn't hear what i needed
to hear about jobs. i would have... i would have liked and actually i think that's where the, where the conversation should have started. that is the number one interest of... of generally everyone in the united states or the majority of the people in the united states. and to start with taxes, just you know, my eyes glazed over and, and, and they went on ad nauseum and really i felt like, talking about their program, maybe talking about each other's program. i kind of felt that obama spent a lot of time talking about romney's tax program and instead of talking about his own. he certainly didn't want to talk about jobs. and i... and i felt like, let's >> i think that nobody really mentioned either over on jobs, i think that's an important issue going on, that not enough people have them. but the, to turn to government for the answer-- government has been cutting jobs.
we know that the government especially state/local governments continue to... continue to cut jobs. and i think obama, he mentioned well let's hire more teachers and that, that would certainly alleviate it but, i think a lot of people don't expect government to necessarily solve the jobs problem but it would be nice if government wasn't the job's problem. >> reporter: well, i'm glad you brought that up because one subject that jim lehrer did introduce which is kind of tough to talk about in that forum, even here is the role of government. both men were talking in a very highly contentious way and also in some aspects agreeing about government having a role in the day to day lives of americans. did that help? did that clarify anything? >> for me, it helped soften romney. to hear it right from the horse's mouth that he does
believe in the role of government helping in day to day maybe not to the extent of obama does was helpful. >> i think that, you know, if we look at government in the, in the eyes of history there have been very important roles that government has played in changing, that various things that are very important to all of us today whether it be civil rights, whether it be, you know workplace safety, you know, how long you work every week, these kind of things are all things that were implemented from the top down and nobody here's going to say that the 40-hour work week was a bad idea. nobody's going to say that. that... that you know people of color can now vote. nobody's going to say that. it just, out of were they very, very popular things when they came out? no, they were not. voting right, voting rights act, civil rights act were very... very vilified in many parts of the country. but the idea that you know
obamacare is not the answer, it probably isn't, but something has to be done about this problem and if you don't do anything, which is going to keep ballooning this thing. >> obamacare scares me, you know. i don't want the government knowing my personal issues or my healthcare. i don't want them to tell me that i can't go to a-- my own doctor. and right now my family physician has a sign in the window that says, no obamacare. i'm scared. >> reporter: go ahead, chastity. >> but i think at the end of the day government is there like they said to kind of protect us. i'm not saying that it should take over completely, no, because we are democracy. we do have free reign, we, we are the deciding factor in our community or in our nation, but they should step in and like, president obama said that i do
like, and i agree with is that they should set the framework in how it should be done and what needs to be taken care of. >> reporter: was this worthwhile as an exercise? was it worthwhile for six american voters to sit down and watch this thing? are you going to watch the rest of them along the way? so you're gluttons for punishment. thank you all for joining me and thanks for watching with me and it was a very interesting evening. thank you very much. >> woodruff: and for more debate reaction, we turn to margaret warner. >> warner: for that, we turn to our regular look at the campaign as it plays out in social media and on the web. for that we're joined again by two journalists from the website "daily download." lauren ashburn is the site's editor in chief. howard kurtz is "newsweek's" washington bureau chief and host of cnn's "reliable sources."
how did last night's debate play out in social media? >> it was a big hit on twitter, that's for sure. there were 10.3 million tweets in the 90 minutes of the debate. that's more than all of the democratic national convention. so we're really seeing an increase in people's political interest on twitter >> what i felt fascinating is usually partisans choose up sides on twitter and in this case you had republicans who were very pumped up about mitt romney's performance. one guy wrote "who says romney doesn't know anything about domestic work? he just mop it had floor with obama." democrats were dispirited. so one african american gentleman wrote "for the first time in my adult life-- playing on something michelle obama said years ago-- i'm embarrassed for barack obama." >> warner: i noticed from a graphic of twitter it went in peaks and valleys but there was one particular high point and informs the -- during a discussion about regulation. and it was mostly mitt romney. let's watch that. >> there have been 122 community and small banks have closed
since dodd-frank so there's one example. here's another, in dodd-frank -- >> lehrer: do you want to repeal dodd-frank? >> i would repeal it and replace it. we're not going to get rid of regulation. you have to have regulation. there are some parts of dodd frank that make all the sense in the world. you need transparency, you need to have leverage limits for institutions. >> lehrer: well, there's a specific. but -- >> let me mention the other one. >> lehrer: excuse me. >> let's mention the other one -- >> lehrer: let's not. let's let him respond to this specific on dodd-frank and what the governor just said. >> warner: why was that a big moment? >> the reason for the explosion of tweets at that moment is some people were rooting for mitt romney, feeling he should be able to make his last point, some people were rooting for president obama who look bemused and some were voting for jim lehrer because this was a contentious debate in which both candidates ran through the moderator's stop sign. >> and the phrase "let's not" which jim lehrer uttered was tweeted. >> warner: a lot of high points dealt with substance. weighty issues, health care,
medicare. >> absolutely. so there was -- obamacare. >> there was a lot of focus on twitter, even though you have 140 characters. that was very substantive debate but there was another point when the president said "i have five more seconds." he was trying to get his point out. >> warner: so the moderator it was high point. >> and big bird was also trending. >> after romney said he would cut off the pbs subsidy. so there was a lot of rooting going on. >> warner: i read that google topped about their top four searches during the debate and two of them were dodd-frank and simpson-bowles. so it looked like people were using the web to research. >> right. and what's interesting as we look at facebook and facebook in the term that people were looking at. you've got romney obama debate. big bird. >> and jobs. so we see the focus on it was mostly about the economy, you see the focus on the substance
of this debate as opposed to just the zingers and squabbling between the candidates and i was fascinated by the role of xbox. >> xbox is a controller you can use in your living room to play games on your television set and there's a subscription called xbox live. you can play with people by using a game controller. well, what happened last night is that xbox decided to let the video of the debate stream and they posed questions to gameers saying "at this moment who would you vote for?" immediately you had obama 75% of the gamers say yes or mitt romney 10% of the gamers say yes. it's a big figure but you get the point. >> even though this is only about 10,000 participated in this microsoft game, these are mostly younger men, 18 to 29 not plugged into politics who are harder to reach and the fact that they were engaged in answering these questions about presidential debate i think is a watershed moment. >> or a game changer. >> a game changer.
>> it could grow in future cycles. >> warner: watching social media as you both do, what kind of a moment do you think this debate was last night? >> watt >> a watershed moment, i think. >> because people were engaged. >> a moment in time when you are double and triple screening it. that's the difference from the past. you had someone typing maybe on a blackberry whool they're watching their television set. they have their computer here. and it's changing the way that people actually watch. they're watching with more input >> to me the takeaway is is you don't to wait for the network polls which are after the candidates are going at it and the more nuanced nature rather than asking do you think the president or governor won this debate. you have people talking about medicare as well as big bird. so you have a better clearer picture of what these americans were thinking in social media. >> warner: howie and lauren, thank you very much, we'll see you again.
>> brown: finally tonight: an historic and nonpartisan event. this one on the baseball diamond. >> and a standing ovation for miguel cabrera and his teammates are there to greet him. >> brown: it's a major league milestone that no one had reached for nearly half a century, until last night. detroit tigers third baseman miguel cabrera claimed a triple crown-- most home runs, best batting average and most runs batted in. cabrera finished the regular season with a 330 batting average. along the way, he slugged 44 home runs. >> high drive deep right field. way back the other way and gone! >> brown: and had 139 runs batted in. all of them, best in the american league. the last player to complete that trifecta was boston red sox hall of famer, carl yastremski, back in 1967. in fact, only 15 players have done it, including the likes of lou gehrig, ted williams and mickey mantle.
now, the newest triple crown winner, and his detroit teammates, head into postseason play, against oakland, on saturday. the playoffs officially begin tomorrow, with a new format that includes two single-game showdowns between wild card teams. sports columnist drew sharp of the detroit free press has watched miguel cabrera's remarkable season up close. he joins us now. so, drew, how significant is this and why is it so hard to do? >> it's hard to do because it's a hard game in baseball and you have to have a lot of good luck in your favor to led the league in home runs, r.b.i. and average as well. and unlike 40 years ago, the game has become more specialized pitching wise, especially the (beep). whereas before a batter would face the starting pitcher four or five times, now you face the starter probably three times and
by the time he gets to the sixth inning he's out and someone from the bullpen comes in so you're facing three different pitchers the entire game and that gives pitching an advantage. >> brown: tell us a little bit about miguel cabrera, he had some difficulties. tell us more about him. how did he get to this point? >> he's one of the -- was a great hitter in baseball over the last ten years. as a 20-year-old rookie for the florida marlins, they went to the world series that year and he was one of these guys who just seemed to be -- didn't handle -- he handleded pressure very easily. he was in the clubhouse watching "the three stooges" before a world series game and people thought "you should be tight, don't you think?" he said he went out later that night and hit a key hole run off of roger clemens. so he's always been able to not let the pressure affect him on the field. he has had issues as a tiger. he had alcohol-related issues that made headlines and began to
make people question his character. but he's got -- he's trying to get that under control right now he remains a kid playing this game in a lot of respects. he's having so much fun. he's always smiling, always happy and in a sport where you see so many egotists out there it's refreshing to see a guy who is at the top of his game but looks like he's having fun. >> brown: i noticed in this sports conversation, still a question about -- i guess it's how complete a player he is on the field. as a fielder as well as a hitter. and then the question of who's the most valuable player. it is somebody who's done this or helped his team in another way? >> we talk about the romney/obama debate but i think the mike trout miguel cabrera m.v.p. debate has been just as polarizing. because you have to old school with those following miguel cabrera is saying the triple
crown is one of the biggest individual things you can get in sport. but the new age crowd says well, miguel cab rare, a he can't run to save his live, his defense is average, all he can do is hit the ball. well, isn't that the basis of the game? you have to hit the ball to score a run. so it's a very passionate debate but a lot of people think if you won the triple crown how can you not be the m.v.p.? especially -- because without miguel cabrera the detroit tigers would not be opening in the american league playoffs on saturday and mike trout's team aren't in the playoffs. >> brown: detroit has a very successful name the playoffs. detroit has had a rough patch for a long time. what role do the tigers play at a moment like this? >> an important role. i'm a born and raised in this town and i've known detroiters live vicariously and that's
basically all that we have in a lot of respects that we can embrace and take pride in. so when the teams do well it lifts everyone's spirits. they have three million people buying tickets for the tigers game this year and detroit's economy isn't all that good right now but that tells you how passionate these people are but they'll take whatever disposable income they have and they will invest in something that is very important, very sfoshl themselves. people are very, very excited with the fact that the tigers are in the playoffs. >> brown: we have t playoffs begin and we have this new format so some teams are in a quick one game. a couple teams play one game and that's it, right? >> yeah, but i loved it. i loved the change because i thought there was a problem before that if a team realized they already had the divisional championship wrapped up they might slack off a little bit in the last few games of the season. but now you saw with the new york yankees and the baltimore orioles and the oakland as and the texas rangers that it meant
quite a bit this year to win your divisional championship because you didn't want to have that one-game playoff. because if you did not only is it one game and you're removed but it forces you to use your starting ace pitcher for that one game and if you win that game you can probably only use him once in the next series. so i think it's done a great thing for adding more interest but it's made winning your divisional championship more value. >> brown: drew sharp, "detroit free press," thanks so much. >> woodruff: again, the major developments of the day: mitt romney won praise from republicans for his performance in last night's initial presidential debate. overnight polling gave him the advantage. president obama and fellow democrats charged romney did not tell the truth during the face-off. and turkish artillery shelled targets in syria for a second day, after a syrian mortar round killed five turks on wednesday. the newshour had extensive debate coverage on air and
online, starting with an all-day live stream. hari sreenivasan explains. and we closed out the morning hours with a live google plus hangout. political editor christina bellantoni chatted with two undecided voters about the debate's impact on their choice in november. >> the way i feel after watching this debate, i don't know how much good it's going to do for me to watch, to be honest. the idea of not voting seems terrible but when i'm picking between the less of two evils, like i said, i don't know how much good i'm doing, either. >> i'm against the political apathy that i see in a lot of kind of -- my peers and, you know, this is a big chance to be
able to vote and feel like your vote decides something and, you know, that people -- that someone out there is calling you wondering how you're voting. >> we'll keep up the coverage for the next debate, including the meeting of the contenders on thursday. you can watch all of last night's google hang-out and the debate in its entirety online. see how two analysts, one democrat and one republican, graded president obama and governor romney's performances. plus, on art beat, jeff talks to writer kevin powers. his new novel "the yellow birds" centers on a 21-year-old army private fighting in iraq. all that and more is on our website: newshour.pbs.org. jeff? >> brown: and again to our honor roll of american service >> brown: and that's the "newshour" for tonight. i'm jeffrey brown. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. we'll see you online and again here tomorrow evening with mark shields and david brooks among others. thank you and good night. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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