EXCLUSIVE: Obama, Romney on Sports Debate Issues

EXCLUSIVE: Obama, Romney on Sports Debate Issues – Image 1

The DH

Obama: I like the designated hitter. Not everyone was given the tools to hit, just as most hitters can't pitch well. But pitchers do more than their share to help the team. I am okay if they get some help at batting. It's a team, after all.

Romney: Pitchers need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and learn to swing the bat if they want to make it in the big leagues. There are no handouts in professional sports. We've coddled these American League pitchers for far too long.

Elite Quarterbacks

Obama: I'm not too worried about the elite quarterbacks. They're doing just fine. In fact, the system is stacked in their favor. You can't touch a guy like Tom Brady without getting a flag. The elite quarterbacks get all the calls. What we need to do is focus more on the success of the middle class of quarterbacks — the Jay Cutlers, the Joe Flaccos — and make sure they have a fair shot. If we can build up that middle class of quarterbacks, the league as a whole will be better off.

Romney: I want all quarterbacks to improve and aspire to that elite status. But those who are elite already got there through a lot of hard work and are not to be demonized. Let's be honest: Are people tuning in to NFL games to watch Tom Brady or a guy like Joe Flacco? It's Brady. I want the elite quarterbacks like Brady to get more calls in their favor. If the top quarterbacks do well, ratings for the entire NFL will be strong — and that provides revenue for everyone.


Obama: Each league needs to mandate a program that will ensure that all of its players are getting equal access to necessary medical attention.

Romney: Hey, I don't want to see players walking around the streets with their brains half out. No one does. But it's not for the league to say how concussions should be prevented and treated. That's a decision that should be made on a team-by-team basis.

Salary Caps

Obama: Why is it that the NHL and the NBA and NFL have some parity while Major League Baseball has the same big market teams in contention every year? It's because those leagues leveled the playing field and made sure every team had a shot. Meanwhile, in baseball, the Royals and Pirates and Twins of the world simply don't have a chance to compete against the rich, big market Yankees no matter how hard they try.

Romney: The cream always rises to the top. Why are teams like the Steelers and Patriots and Packers and Giants in contention every year? It's not because the playing field is leveled, it's because they're the best at what they do. If we share the wealth, all you end up having are teams who become leeches on the system, happy to collect the free revenue sharing check every year without ever taking the initiative to build a winner themselves.

Paying College Athletes

Obama: The rich fat cats in the NCAA are making fortunes off of the hard work of college athletes. Selling their jerseys, selling their likeness in video games, and all the athletes get in return is a college education — a mere drop in the bucket compared to the millions made off of them. College athletes deserve a fair wage.

Romney: In these tough economic times, athletic budgets are being cut across the country. How can we possibly think we can afford to pay athletes? There is no money. Spending must be cut, not increased.


Obama: As basketball fan and a father of two daughters, I couldn't be happier that there is a professional basketball league for women that provides role models for girls around the world.

Romney: My opponent will claim this is a "war on women," but our tax dollars helped build the arenas they are playing in and, frankly, I have a problem with that. The WNBA is simply not sustainable and should stop being propped up with bailouts from the NBA. The American people back me up on this in poll after poll saying the WNBA should be done away with.


Obama: I think it's a great sport. A global sport. America is not very good at it, but I am confident we will improve.

Romney: I would never apologize for American soccer or criticize it. We can't show weakness to the world. And while I think soccer is fine, I'm more into baseball, basketball and American football. Those are the best sports.

Tim Tebow

Obama: He'll be president one day.

Romney: He'll be president one day.

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