Hempstead, N.Y. — In no particular order:
Romney to 20-year-old questioner Jeremy Epstein: “When you come out in 2014, I presume I’m going to be president — I’m going to make sure you get a job.”
Obama: “Governor Romney says he’s got a five-point plan. Governor Romney doesn’t have a five-point plan; he has a one-point plan. And that plan is to make sure that folks at the top play by a different set of rules.”
Obama: “Governor Romney say he’s a big coal guy — and keep in mind, when — Governor, when you were governor of Massachusetts, you stood in front of a coal plant and pointed at it and said, “This plant kills” — and took great pride in shutting it down. And now suddenly you’re a big champion of coal.”
Obama: “He said, when I took office the price of gasoline was $1.80, $1.86. Why is that? Because the economy was on the verge of collapse. Because we were about to go through the worst recession since the Great Depression, as a consequence of some of the same policies that Governor Romney is now promoting. So it’s conceivable that Governor Romney could bring down gas prices, because with his policies we might be back in that same mess.”
Romney: “I appreciate wind jobs in Iowa and across our country.”
Romney: “If you’re getting interest from a bank, if you’re getting a statement from a mutual fund, or any other kind of investments you have, you don’t have to worry about filing taxes on that because there will be no taxes for anybody making $200,000 a year and less on your interest, dividends and capital gains. Why am I lowering taxes on the middle class? Because under the last four years, they’ve been buried, and I want to help people in the middle class. And I will not — I will not under any circumstances reduce the share that’s being paid by the highest income taxpayers. And I will not under any circumstances increase taxes on the middle class.”
Romney: “You heard what I said about my tax plan. The top 5 percent will continue to pay 60 percent, as they do today. I’m not looking to cut taxes for wealthy people. I am looking to cut taxes for middle-income people.”
Obama: “We haven’t heard from the Governor any specifics beyond Big Bird and eliminating funding for Planned Parenthood in terms of how he pays for [his tax cut].”
Romney: “I went to my staff and I said, how come all the people for these jobs are all men? They said, well, these are the people that have the qualifications. And I said, well, gosh, can’t we find some women that are also qualified? And so we took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet. I went to a number of women’s groups and said, can you help us find folks? And they brought us whole binders full of women.”
Romney: “Every woman in America should have access to contraceptives.”
Romney: “Our party has been focused on big business too long. I came through small business. I understand how hard it is to start a small business. That’s why everything I’ll do is designed to help small businesses grow and add jobs.”
Obama: “When he talks about getting tough on China, keep in mind that Governor Romney invested in companies that were pioneers of outsourcing to China, and is currently investing in countries — in companies that are building surveillance equipment for China to spy on its own folks. Governor, you’re the last person who is going to get tough on China.”
Romney: “Any investments I have over the last eight years have been managed by a blind trust. And I understand they do include investments outside the United States, including in Chinese companies. Mr. President, have you looked at your pension?”
Obama: “You know, I don’t look at my pension. It’s not as big as yours so it doesn’t take as long.”
Romney: “It took the President 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.”
Candy Crowley: He did call it an act of terror. It did, as well, take — it did, as well, take two weeks or so for the whole idea of there being a riot out there about this tape to come out. You are correct about that.”
And finally, our pick for the best exchange of the night:
Obama: Oil production is up; natural gas production is up; and most importantly, we’re also starting to build cars that are more efficient. And that’s creating jobs. That means those cars can be exported because that’s the demand around the world, and it also means that it will save money in your pocketbook. That’s the strategy you need, an all-of-the-above strategy, and that’s what we’re going to do in the next four years.
GOVERNOR ROMNEY: But that’s not what you’ve done in the last four years. That’s the problem. In the last four years you cut permits and licenses on federal land and federal waters in half.
THE PRESIDENT: Not true, Governor Romney.
GOVERNOR ROMNEY: So how much did you cut it by –
THE PRESIDENT: Not true.
GOVERNOR ROMNEY: By how much did you cut them by then?
THE PRESIDENT: Governor, we have actually produced more oil –
GOVERNOR ROMNEY: No, no, how much did you cut licenses and permits on federal land and federal waters?
THE PRESIDENT: Governor Romney, here’s what we did: There were a whole bunch of oil companies –
GOVERNOR ROMNEY: No, I had a question, and the question was how much did you cut them by? How much did you cut them by?
THE PRESIDENT: You want me to answer a question, I’m happy to answer the question.
GOVERNOR ROMNEY: All right, and it is?
THE PRESIDENT: Here’s what happened: You had a whole bunch of oil companies who had leases on public lands that they weren’t using. So what we said was, you can’t just sit on this for 10, 20, 30 years, decide when you want to drill, when you want to produce, when it’s most profitable for you. These are public lands, so if you want to drill on public lands, you use it or you lose it. And so what we did was take away those leases, and we are now re-letting them so that we can actually make a profit.
GOVERNOR ROMNEY: And production on private — on government lands is down.
THE PRESIDENT: And production is up. No it isn’t.
GOVERNOR ROMNEY: Production on government land of oil is down 14 percent –
THE PRESIDENT: Governor –
GOVERNOR ROMNEY: — and production of gas is down 9 percent.
THE PRESIDENT: — what you’re saying is just not true. It’s just not true.
GOVERNOR ROMNEY: It’s absolutely true. Look, there’s no question but that the people recognize that we have not produced more oil and gas –
THE PRESIDENT: I’ll give you your time. Go ahead.
GOVERNOR ROMNEY: — on federal lands and in federal waters. And coal — coal production is not up; coal jobs are not up. I was just at a coal facility where some 1,200 people lost their jobs.
The right course for America is to have a true all-of-the-above policy. I don’t think anyone really believes that you’re a person who’s going to be pushing for oil and gas and coal. You’ll get your chance in a moment. I’m still speaking.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, Governor, if you –
GOVERNOR ROMNEY: And the answer is, I don’t believe people think that’s the case because I –
THE PRESIDENT: — if you’re asking me a question, I’m going to answer it.
GOVERNOR ROMNEY: It wasn’t a question.
THE PRESIDENT: Okay. All right.