(CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama, speaking at a campaign rally in Denver, Colo., on Thursday the day after GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney was declared by many media outlets to be the winner of the first presidential debate that the Mitt Romney that was on stage last night was not the real Mitt Romney.
“When I got onto the stage, I met this very spirited fellow who claimed to be Mitt Romney, but it couldn’t have been Mitt Romney, because the real Mitt Romney has been running around the country for the last year promising $5 trillion in tax cuts that favor the wealthy,” he said.
“The fellow on stage last night said he didn’t know anything about that. The real Mitt Romney said we don’t need anymore teachers in our classrooms, but … the fellow on stage last night, he loves teachers, can’t get enough of them,” Obama said.
“The Mitt Romney we all know invested in companies that were called pioneers of outsourcing jobs to other countries, but the guy on stage last night, he said that he doesn’t even know that there are such laws that encourage outsourcing – has never heard of them, never heard of them, never heard of tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas,” he said.
“He says that if it’s true, he must need a new accountant. Now we know for sure it was not the real Mitt Romney, because he seems to be doing just fine with his current accountant,” Obama added.
“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 the last year,” he said.
“So Governor Romney may dance around his positions, but if you want to be president, you owe the American people the truth,” the president added.
During the debate Wednesday night, the president said: “And this is where there's a difference, because Governor Romney's central economic plan calls for a $5 trillion tax cut -- on top of the extension of the Bush tax cuts -- that's another trillion dollars -- and $2 trillion in additional military spending that the military hasn't asked for.
“That's $8 trillion. How we pay for that, reduce the deficit, and make the investments that we need to make, without dumping those costs onto middle-class Americans, I think is one of the central questions of this campaign,” Obama said at the debate.
Romney corrected the president on his $5 trillion tax cut claim during the debate.
“I'd like to clear up the record and go through it piece by piece. First of all, I don't have a $5 trillion tax cut. I don't have a tax cut of a scale that you're talking about. My view is that we ought to provide tax relief to people in the middle class. But I'm not going to reduce the share of taxes paid by high-income people. High-income people are doing just fine in this economy. They'll do fine whether you're president or I am,” Romney said.
Later in the debate, Obama referred to the $5 trillion figure again, saying, “When you add up all the loopholes and deductions that upper-income individuals can -- are currently taking advantage of, you take those all away, you don't come close to paying for $5 trillion in tax cuts and $2 trillion in additional military spending.”
“And that's why independent studies looking at this said the only way to meet Governor Romney's pledge of not reducing the deficit or -- or -- or not adding to the deficit is by burdening middle-class families. The average middle-class family with children would pay about $2,000 more.
Romney corrected the president again, saying, “So if the tax plan he described were a tax plan I was asked to support, I'd say absolutely not. 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 deficit. 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,” Romney added.
Obama brought up the claim a third time later in the debate.
“You may want to move onto another topic, but I -- I would just say this to the American people. If you believe that we can cut taxes by $5 trillion and add $2 trillion in additional spending that the military is not asking for, $7 trillion -- just to give you a sense, over 10 years, that's more than our entire defense budget -- and you think that by closing loopholes and deductions for the well-to-do, somehow you will not end up picking up the tab, then Governor Romney's plan may work for you,” Obama said.
Romney disputed Obama’s claim again.
“I think first of all, let me -- let me repeat -- let me repeat what I said. I'm not in favor of a $5 trillion tax cut. That's not my plan. My plan is not to put in place any tax cut that will add to the deficit. That's point one. So you may keep referring to it as a $5 trillion tax cut, but that's not my plan,” the GOP presidential candidate said.