Romney indicated that consumers need transparency in the financial sector, as well as limits on leveraging transactions on Wall Street. He believes that the Dodd/Frank legislation is too much regulation. In addition, Romney criticized the idea of banks being too big to fail.
Romney praised what he did for health care in Massachusetts without raising taxes or putting into place an advisory board. He noted that in Massachusetts he had worked with a legislature composed almost exclusively of Democrats. He declared that people with pre-existing conditions would be covered under the Ryan/Wyden Plan, as will young adults, on their parents' plan, until age 26. Romney pointed out that the Cleveland Clinic positive experience is a private sector achievement. He asserted that government should not direct doctors and tell them how to treat patients.
Romney pointed out how President Reagan reduced tax rates to grow the economy. He explained that great schools like those in Massachusetts, rated first in the nation, are needed. He cited the Declaration of Independence and the need to protect life, liberty, religious freedom, care for the elderly and the pursuit of happiness. Romney would like individuals to have the right to pursue their dreams. He decried the fact that 23 million people are out of work and that 50 percent of college graduates cannot find work. He would like federal funds to follow each child rather than an allocation to a bureaucracy alone. Romney would not cut funding for education.
The debate closed with the candidates being greeted on stage by family members. Both President Obama and former Governor Romney performed well in the first debate. Neither candidate stumbled in any major way.
The candidates do differ in their approach to government. President Obama believes that the government has a role to play in health care, education and regulating financial institutions. Former Governor Romney believes that financial institutions need some regulation in areas like transparency and leveraging limits. He would put more Medicaid money directly into the hands of the states, as opposed to the federal government. In addition, he would not cut taxes for the rich. Instead, he would cut taxes for middle class small businesses.