There are plenty of true things that Mitt Romney and Barack Obama can say about each other tonight. Romney can say that Obama has expressed no clear plan for getting any major bill passed in his second term. Obama can say that Romney's plan to balance the budget falls mostly on cutting health care spending and income-support for the sick, the elderly, and the poor. Both are pretty true statements.
But we're also going to see some kinda-sorta-true or only-barely-true statements as well. (I won't hazard to guess the outright lies.) Rather than wait for the media fact-check tomorrow morning, arm yourself with accessible rejoinders to the following likely zingers from the candidates.
If Mitt Romney Says ...
"This has been the worst recovery since the Great Depression"
Remember: Well, first, it also followed to the worst recession since the Great Depression. Second, yes, this recovery has been awful. No question about it. And since we can't run a control experiment on the last 4 years, we can't know for sure if it would have been stronger if we followed Paul Krugman's advice (more aggressive spending), Scott Sumner's advice (a more aggressive Federal Reserve), or the GOP's advice (tax cuts and spending cuts, or outright austerity). But here's something we do know for sure: Obama's recovery wasn't so much worse than the George W. Bush's recovery after a shallower recession in the early 2000s. In fact, private sector jobs have recovered faster under Obama than under Bush.
This is partly a function of timing (neither Obama nor Bush were president when the seeds of their respective recessions were planted). But it's also an important reminder that our modern trend of job-less recoveries on top of a historic recession was almost inevitably going to lead to a rough recovery.