Matt Welch on Romney’s Missed Opportunities in the Presidential Debate

Whereas Mitt Romney in the first presidential square-off was able to benefit from his steadfast, five-year refusal to detail any specifics about which big-ticket federal government programs or departments he would reduce or cut, that tactic backfired during Round 2 last night, writes Reason Editor in Chief Matt Welch. It's not just that President Barack Obama was able to argue plausibly that Romney's tax-plan numbers don't add up—they don't—but rather that across a series of topics, from foreign policy to domestic spending to international trade, the GOP standard-bearer was unwilling and maybe even unable to articulate a truly competing vision that would prune back government omnipotence. It should not be this hard to defeat a floundering incumbent president.

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