Mitt Romney’s stated policies in business during the first presidential debate: champion the growth and development of the middle class.

Until now, Romney’s position was widely perceived as one of the biggest enemies to the middle class. One of his most powerful moments during the debate was the contrast he illustrated between the president’s decision to finance the five big banks while allowing small banks to fail across America. Some credit should be given to the president, however, for his short-term policies to save the banks and the wise business decision to make interest from the banks that were saved through the bailout.

It is clear that Romney’s business experience empower him with practical solutions for the restoration of the U.S. economy. There was a glaring contrast between President Barack Obama and Romney during the debate. Romney’s philosophy is a better friend to the middle class than Obama’s. The American people now must decide whether Obama’s experience and philosophy can provide a more sustained exit from our current recession.

Romney’s recent statement about the 47 percent of the population should be filtered through the lens of his business philosophy and business practices. Welfare is not a disgrace, but it should be a transition. Business-friendly policies that are transparent and fair are color- and gender-blind. Romney was passionate and compassionate about his determination in what he called helping “the hurting people.” You can mask your philosophy for a season, but eventually it will be exposed.

Obama’s philosophy on the economy is severely flawed and leads to a culture of entitlement, rather than a culture of earning, which is what actually makes and will continue to make America great. The entitlement culture creates a you-owe-me mentality, an addiction to the welfare economy. Access through fair policies, diligence and innovation creates and cultivates an ardent desire to dominate our U.S. and global economy. A welfare state cannot preserve or protect the legacy of our country, which stands tall among nations as the greatest economic engine ever known to mankind.

The consensus seems to be that Romney overwhelmingly won the debate. I think it was a slight victory in terms of debate performance, but, in terms of significance, a slight victory is more than it sounds. Romney hasn’t had much of a chance to speak directly to the American people. He has been mediated by spin for a year. A good performance in the first primetime debate can make up for a lot of that and help overcome some of the advantages that all incumbents necessarily have.

Romney got a full five minutes less in airtime than the president and often had to struggle to get rebuttals in. I would much prefer a Lincoln-Douglas style debate or even a simple conversation. Put the two men on stage, sit them down with a timer, and let them simply talk directly to Americans.

The president’s biggest weakness was his inability to stay focused. Romney subtly mocked this at one point. The president didn’t seem to know for sure what he was trying to say. He was forced–and willingly accepted–to defend the IPAB! When you’re defending the IPAB, you’re doing it wrong.

The president seems to think that it’s 2008 again, and not because he talked about George Bush–he didn’t mention that unutterable name any more than he mentioned Voldemort. Why hasn’t he done the things he says we ought to do? It’s not good enough simply to say that the Republicans control the House of Representatives. For the first two years, Obama had his hands on all the levers of the federal government.

And even if the Republicans did control Congress, why is the president so weak that he can do nothing despite it? Why won’t there be four more years of gridlock if he’s re-elected? The president’s complaints about the existence of Republicans in Congress sounds a lot like “this job is too hard for me.”

CBS News assembled 500 people for a poll after the debate: Romney won by a 2 to 1 margin. He did a great job and should take a great deal of confidence with him on the campaign trail.

The vice presidential debate is next, on Oct. 11. I can’t wait. If Ryan can thoroughly beat Biden–which no one, even the most confident Democrat, doubts–then the Republicans can regain some momentum.

Armstrong Williams is on Sirius/XM Power 169, 7-8 p.m. and 4-5 a.m., Monday through Friday. Become a fan on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.