John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


Missed Opportunities

Posted on November 15, 2012

My opinion of the Presidential debates is that they were about like watching a "Rocky 100" reunion movie in 2046 where Sylvester Stallone and Carl Weathers have another fight when they are both 100 years old!  I think both Obama and Romney missed several legitimate opportunities to make their key points stick against the other.

Obama missed these key opportunities that all he had to do was DIRECTLY QUOTE which Romney probably could not have effectively refuted in only 2 minutes per answer:

1) Romney quotes to show he is out of touch with middle America such as "corporations are people," "I like to fire people," Ann drives two Cadillacs, and his $10,000 bet offer with Rick Perry.

2) Quotes to show Romney is too weak to stand up to the fringe base of his party: "Romney Blasted for Silence on Voter's Obama Treason Charges" (unlike how John McCain corrected someone in his audience who called Obama an Arab in 2008) and asking when Romney has ever once stood up to the Tea Party on any major issue since he ran for President (point being the fringe of his party would possibly take over the country if he ever became President).

3) Quote David Frum on Morning Joe and MANY other prominent Republicans to tangibly prove to the country that he was being intentionally sabotaged by the Tea Party for partisan and political purposes and then ask Romney what he thinks about those quotes.  This would have embarrassed Romney, forced a response out of him that he would not want to give, and some people probably would not have fully blamed Obama for our problems.

4) Pro-Obama SuperPACs: Ask how this embarrassing but real Mormon "scripture" Romney believes about ALL other churches would affect his policies: "they were all wrong," "their creeds were an abomination in his sight," "those professors were all corrupt," and more.

5) Bring up the "trust issue" to "close the deal" that Romney cannot be trusted as President: His biggest flip-flops, his offending the Mayor of London over the Olympics, Newt Gingrich calling Romney a "liar & saying "He's not telling the American people the truth" while Rick Santorum said he lied "to the American people” (way too far to walk back), and by especially explaining how Romney stood behind his first ad against Obama where he intentionally quoted him out of context saying "If we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose" when the quote really was “Senator McCain's campaign actually said, and I quote, if we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose.”  I would then close emphasizing the trust issue by asking the audience is someone who intentionally lied (even coming from prominent Republicans), who cannot stand up to the fringes of his party, and is so out of touch with the poor & the middle class ready to be President?

Romney also missed these key opportunities that all he had to do was DIRECTLY QUOTE which Obama probably could not effectively refuted in only 2 minutes per answer:

1) Romney should have made Obama take full ownership of the economy because he got his stimulus (there was some waste in it) and his spending: He should have asked Obama about his true supporter (Velma Hart) directly saying to him I am “exhausted of defending you, defending your administration, defending the man for change I voted for, and deeply disappointed with where we are right now” and then asked Obama why he laughed at her when she started saying that!  Romney should have also brought up Obama's "one-term proposition" quote and Christina Roemer's 8% quote.

2) Obama's priorities: Both David Gergen and Fareed Zakaria (pragmatists) blasted Obama for having "time to tape an interview yesterday with the women of "The View," but not talk with world leaders, especially Benjamin Netanyahu, who arrives tomorrow in New York" when "we checked and the official White House schedule shows a campaign appearance tomorrow and nothing else all week."  Romney could have also directly quoted Nicholas Kristof on CNN about Obama & Netanyahu issues and it was "unfortunate that he (Obama) basically left the heavy lifting for Hillary Clinton."

3) Obama's problems relating to people: Fareed Zakaria criticized Obama because "He tends not to place a lot of weight on what David (Gergen) was talking about, the person-to-person meetings, the schmoozing" and "Look, the reality is personal chemistry is very important. Also, remember most of these leaders, you are speaking through an interpreter. And as you well know, Anderson, when you're doing it on the phone, you have an interpreter there. You're doubly or even triply removed from the person.  When you meet them in the flesh, even though there are interpreters, it's a much more human interaction."

4) Foreign policy inconsistencies and passing the buck: Ask Obama how Susan Rice was so sure saying "Chris, absolutely I believe that. In fact, it is the case" when Chris Wallace asked her "You don't really believe that?" (Jay Carney saying about Benghazi "This is not a case of protests directed at the United States writ large or at U.S. policy. This is in response to a video that is offensive.") and ask Obama who told her to say that? (make sure to directly quote Rice).  I am sure Obama would not want to answer that and it would have cleared up what Romney misspoke about that in debate 2.

5) Obama allowing Hillary Clinton to take the blame for the Benghazi attacks which did not even sell to the liberal Dan Rather when Ronald Reagan took full responsibility for Iran-Contra and would not allow Admiral Poindexter to take the blame saying the buck "stops with me."

All Obama and Romney had to do was have these DIRECT QUOTES ready (they would have had them if I was preparing them for the debates).

I have never in my lifetime of 46 years seen two such bad candidates which is why I compare the debates to about watching a "Rocky 100" reunion movie.  I am only calling things how I really see them right down the middle just like how a truly honest umpire does regardless of which team or player is at bat!


Mitch Dworkin is an Independent political consultant who lives in Dallas, Texas. He has worked on many campaigns and he specializes in research, analysis, writing, and rapid response. What makes Mitch different from some other political analysts is that he always calls things right down the middle as he honestly sees them and he will always tell people the truth as he sees it and as how he can document it even if it is not popular.  Mitch is also for bipartisanship and compromise while opposing extremism in both parties.

Mitch graduated from Rhode Island College in 1988 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and from Bridgewater State College in 1992 with a Masters Degree in Education.  You can follow him on Facebook at, and reach him by e mail at, or by phone at 469-556-7026. Credible documentation for all of the claims in this post is available on request. Mitch never makes any claims that he cannot tangibly prove.  Please feel free to contact Mitch if you would like to receive any documentation.

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