Rhetoricians - students of the persuasive word - will use President Obama's closing statement. It was his good fortune that Candy Crowley selected as the last - and surprising question - a voter who asked how the candidate would correct any mis-impression that people may have of him. Romney said he was caring - caring about 100% of the American people. It came in slow and low over the plate. And Obama crushed it to straight-away center:
Barry, I think a lot of this campaign, maybe over the last four years, has been devoted to this notion that I think government creates jobs, that that somehow is the answer. That's not what I believe.
I believe that the free enterprise system is the greatest engine of prosperity the world's ever known. I believe in self-reliance and individual initiative and risk-takers being rewarded. But I also believe that everybody should have a fair shot and everybody should do their fair share and everybody should play by the same rules, because that's how our economy is grown. That's how we built the world's greatest middle class.
And — and that is part of what's at stake in this election. There's a fundamentally different vision about how we move our country forward. I believe Governor Romney is a good man. He loves his family, cares about his faith.
But I also believe that when he said behind closed doors that 47 percent of the country considers themselves victims who refuse personal responsibility — think about who he was talking about: folks on Social Security who've worked all their lives, veterans who've sacrificed for this country, students who are out there trying to, hopefully, advance their own dreams, but also this country's dreams, soldiers who are overseas fighting for us right now, people who are working hard every day, paying payroll tax, gas taxes, but don't make enough income.
And I want to fight for them. That's what I've been doing for the last four years, because if they succeed, I believe the country succeeds.