I'm not gonna let this battle be dictated by facts!
(Mitt Romney's campaign ran a misleading ad regarding President Barack Obama and current welfare statistics; when confronted by the media about fudging the data, Romney's pollster, Neil Newhouse, famously responded with, "We're not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers." The implication was that the campaign would say whatever they thought would work in order to win the election, and Romney says the same would apply here when he raps against Obama.)
I'm rich! I've got fat stacks and super PACs!
(Romney had a net worth of $250 million during his campaign for President of the United States. A super PAC is a Political Action Committee (PAC) that can raise an unlimited amount of money from corporations, people, etc. and use that money to promote (or oppose) candidates and issues. He spent liberally, employing both his own funds and those of the above giant lobby groups.)
We all know what went down in that 2008 election!
(Romney thinks Obama's victory in the '08 election may have just been one-sided.)
You're a decent politician with a winning complexion!
(Romney believes Obama's political skills are mediocre. To many Republicans, or at least to the people who didn't support Obama, the fact that he won in the first place was appalling. Such detractors were hoping that a black man like Obama would simply fail, or just give up his aspirations altogether and allow the status quo of a white president to remain in place. Obama was also characterized as an extreme liberal by those against him, who further inferred that the country could not tolerate such a thing. Nevertheless, Romney implies that Obama only won because he was black, rather than on the substance of his platform.)
You're all Barack and no bite! Been no change, and we're all still hoping
(A pun on the phrase "all bark and no bite" using Obama's first name, Barack. The phrase means that someone who talks big does not have the means to back up his words; Romney claims that Obama is a powerful orator, but he never fulfills his promises. Obama ran in 2008 on "Hope" for "Change" from the "Misery" and "Status Quo" policies of George W. Bush, and after his first term, people were starting to expect more from him.)
That you'll shut your mouth, but like Guantanamo Bay, they're both open!
(Romney wants Obama's lips zipped because it seems to him that most of what Obama says amounts to a cascade of empty words and promises never to be fulfilled. Obama's first executive orders in 2009 were aimed at closing the detention facility on Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, within the year. After seeing it first hand, he realized it would be impossible to do so, and he avoided bringing it up again. It is still open today, and Obama still talks about positive change.)
You're from the Windy City, where you're looking pretty with your blowhards,
(Obama was raised in a suburb outside of Chicago, nicknamed the "Windy City" for its history of producing long-winded (talkative) politicians. This epithet would later be appropriated to refer to the Chicago area's wind and weather patterns. Romney makes a play on "blowhards", meaning boastful supporters, like the kind Obama has, which ties in with him coming from a windy place, or one that "blows hard".)
But come January, you'll be left evicted and with no job!
(Had Romney won, Obama would have been cast out of the White House on the morning of January 20th, 2013. The way Romney says this taunts how Obama had also left many people homeless and unemployed.)
Raw rhymes, stronger than my jawline when I spit a phrase,
(Romney says his rapping skills are stronger since they are raw, or unfiltered. He also states that he has a strong jawline, an indicator of manliness.)
Knocking you harder than front doors in my old mission days!
(Romney talks about his former job as a Mormon missionary. Mormons and others often go door-to-door as they preach, but such people are often sent away when a homeowner gets the gist of what they are "selling". Therefore, they knock harder on doors to get attention from the people inside. Essentially, Romney says that he will hit Obama harder than anything else he has ever done.)
You see this silver spoon? This dug Mass outta debt!
(Romney claims to have balanced the budget in Massachusetts while he was the Commonwealth's governor in the 2000s. He may have been lucky to do so, as to be "born with a silver spoon in one's mouth" means that someone was born into a rich family or an upper class.)
Took you four years to drop unemployment down below 8 percent!
(During Obama's first term, the unemployment rate hovered above 8%, peaking just over 9% briefly. The ERB team, according to the Behind the Scenes video on the battle, originally had the line written differently as, "You haven't even brought the unemployment rate below 8 percent!", but they were forced to change it since the reports were released before production: the September number clocked in at 7.9%.)
You feel that, Barry? You're old news! Everyone's having doubts,
(Romney calls Obama by his nickname, Barry, which he used to go by with his friends during his youth. The American people were frustrated at Obama's inaction on a number of matters. Romney implies that they were ready to elect a new leader, as people might be better off under him.)
And your rhymes are as weak as this economy that you've done nothing about!
(Romney points out that one of Obama's least effective plans was fixing the economic crisis, which has been in bad shape even after Obama's first term. Therefore, Romney says Obama's rap skills are as feeble as the economy.)
Call me a vicious businessman 'cause Romney's stealing this race!
(Romney claims he can take the victory by any means he chooses, being a corporate businessman. "Stealing this race" might also be a dualism for "still in this race". Many political commentators at the time of this battle's release (about three weeks before the election) said that there was no way Romney could generate enough positive sentiment to defeat Obama on election day.)
I'll go Bain Capital on your donkey ass, restructure your face!
(The Democratic Party's mascot is the donkey, or, less politely put, an ass. Bain Capital was a private firm Romney restructured during his time there. Romney basically says he will mess Obama up badly.)
They say your father was a great man. You must be what's left.
(Romney's father, George W. Romney, was an accomplished automotive executive who tried his hand at politics and succeeded on many levels including the governorship of Michigan and as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Obama says Romney himself is nothing but a shadow of what his father was.)
Need to stop hating on gays; let 'em teach you how to dress!
(While Obama was a supporter of gay marriage, Romney was not particularly fond of homosexuals, so Obama tells him to stop with such needless homophobia. Furthermore, he taunts Romney's style of fashion by telling him homosexuals tend to wear better attire than he does.)
You got the momma jeans and a Mr. Fantastic face!
(Obama continues addressing Romney's poor choice of clothing from the previous line. In contrast to Obama's sophisticated attire, Romney tends to wear baggy, casual, unattractive jeans, which are commonly referred to as "momma jeans" due to moms often wearing this style of trousers. Obama, who grew up an avid fan of comic books, also states Romney has similar features to the Fantastic Four's elastic superhero, Mister Fantastic, as they both have the same type of face with salt-and-pepper colored hair.)
So rich and white, it's like I'm running against a cheesecake!
(Cheesecakes are popular for their rich taste and are known to be colored white. Romney is very rich and wealthy, and he is a white man; ergo, he resembles a cheesecake from Obama's point of view. Obama also states the insignificance of the sweet dish, which in this case is Romney, compared to an important political figure such as himself, which implies that Romney doesn't stand a chance against him, whether it be in the election or in this rap battle.)
Republicans need a puppet, and you fit!
(Obama says the Republicans are only using Romney, as he would often look for advice from the Republican Party on what to say, which led him to have mixed opinions on a subject.)
Got their hands so far up your rear, call you Mitt!
(A witty pun on Romney's first name, Mitt, in which Obama demonstrates that he is actually used as a puppet, as he is being coached by higher-ranking Republicans to do the things they say with little of his own input. Hand puppets are controlled by sticking one's hand into what might appear to be the puppet's rear end while the hand forms the mouthpiece. He compares Romney's name to mittens, or gloves.)
I'm the Head of State! You're like a head of cabbage!
(The President of the United States has several titles, one of them being the Head of State. A head of cabbage is a phrase for someone who is less intelligent than others.)
'Bout to get smacked by my stimulus package! (Hahaha!)
(A double entendre is used here: the stimulus package was introduced by Obama in 2009 to cope with the economic recession. It was to cut taxes, increase employment rates, education, and health care, and create jobs using federal grants and loans. This package focused on helping the middle class, and so was not out to help the rich like Romney. "Package" also refers to a male's genitals, the penis and scrotum together, which is often associated with large size. Obama essentially tells Romney that he will smack him with his huge genitalia.)
You're a bad man with no chance; you can't even touch me!
(Romney's premise for running and his reputation as a greedy businessman and political opportunist were perceived as hostile to the country. This gave Obama a leg up in the polls early on. Romney also had nowhere near the amount of support that Obama had, which led to Obama being the clear winner. This is also a likely reference to MC Hammer's "U Can't Touch This".)
I got four more years (two terms!) in the White House; just trust me!
(Obama thinks that his re-election is certain, and he will win another four years for his second term as the President in the White House. The way Obama interjects "two terms!" into his lyrics is identical to how American rapper 2 Chainz interjects his own name into his lyrics.)
I hope you saved your best rhymes for the second half
(During the presidential debates, Romney had an advantage at the first debate, though Obama was declared a winner in the others. This refers to the fact that Romney had probably used up all the good material for the first half of the battle, and he is now left with nothing else to use for the second half.)
'Cause right now, I'm 47 percent through kicking your ass!
(Romney was secretly filmed at a fundraiser in which he was overheard stating that 47% of the US voting public will still vote for the incumbent president because they receive government aid. Obama turns the comment to his favor because the voters are helping him beat down Romney. 47% is also rounded to 50%, which ties to the previous line in which Obama says he is halfway through beating him in the battle, as it is only finished to the midpoint at this time.)
Whatever! That 40 percent thing got you real mad!
(This line refers to Obama's last statement. In real life, Obama did not enjoy, in the slightest, Romney's standpoint.)
What, did it remind you how many decent parents you had?!
(Realizing he's been burned for comments in the prior stanza, Romney jabs at Obama's parentage. Obama was raised by his mother, so he had only one parent to aid him, or only 40% of good parenting as Romney states.)
(Uhh…) Look, I respect all religions (uhh…), but it might get crazy
(Obama is extremely liberal, respecting all beliefs. However, he thinks that the White House and/or the US as a whole might get a little crazier if Romney takes office. He explains this in the next line.)
If the White House has a First, Second, and a Third Lady!
(Should a sitting President be married while in office, his wife will hold the honorary title of First Lady, as Michelle Obama did from 2009 to 2017. From this, Obama delivers an obvious jab at Mormons, who could take multiple wives when the denomination was established in the mid-1800s. He says Romney, who is himself a Mormon, could follow this path, and possibly give the title to each wife he takes. While saying the line, he also counts to three on his fingers, subtly showing Romney his middle finger while doing this, resulting in another insult.)
(Ha!) Don't bring up wives, man! What are you doing?
(Romney tells Obama to back off, as he is already married to his high-school sweetheart, Anne Romney.)
You got hitched to the female version of Patrick Ewing!
(At its core, Romney disses Obama's wife, Michelle Obama, in retaliation for even mentioning polygamy. Michelle is tall and dark, which reminds Romney of NBA legend, Patrick Ewing, who has a similar appearance to her, if Ewing were a woman.)
(Uhh…) Let me be clear. (Uhhh…) Don't get it twisted.
(Obama, often stuttering in his speeches, normally says things like "Let me be clear" to have his point get across. He warns Romney not to misinterpret what he has said, or is about to say, which is "to get one's words twisted".)
We'll see how pretty your face is after my fist has kissed it!
(Romney was often said to have a better looking face than Obama. After hearing Romney's joke about his wife, Obama starts to get irritated and threatens to punch his face, which would therefore make him unappealing to look at.)
(Ahhuuhhaa…) You're a stuttering communist!
(Romney is poking fun at Obama's stutter. Many conservatives like to believe that Obama is a Communist and shouldn't be president.)
Oh yeah? Well, you're stupid!
(Having run out of material, the two candidates go to name-calling, and Obama just calls Romney unintelligent.)
(A quick rebuttal.)
(Obama, acting childish, denies that he is stupid.)
(Romney goes into a rage.)
(Obama overreacts as well. Tempers flare and tensions rise until…)
(…a bald eagle, the national bird of the United States, lets out a cry and drops a returning veteran from a previous ERB, Abraham Lincoln, in to end this debate.)
By the power invested in me by this giant bald bird,
(Since the eagle is an American icon, it interrupts the rap to allow Lincoln to speak. "By the power invested in me" is a typical introduction to a statement made from a position of authority, which Lincoln has, as a well-respected president.)
The President shall not be the shiniest of two turds!
(U.S. elections have historically involved only two parties at one time, despite the 2012 campaign having no less than five options. It came down to Obama vs. Romney. All the while, American mass media frequently made the case that neither man had a solid plan to fix the country's failings, so both were presented as less-than-ideal options. The Electoral College essentially had to pick one of them with little to go on except whose plan looked better, hence the use of "shiniest of two turds". Lincoln knows each candidate has faults which make him look bad. He wants neither to become president, claiming they'll be unable to run the country as well as he once did.)
You! I wanna like you! Don't talk about change; just do it!
(Lincoln addresses Obama first. While he is charismatic, he doesn't seem to be doing anything to back his words about promises of change; therefore, he's just a windbag. So, Lincoln wants Obama to back his own rhetoric and run the country as he said he would. "I wanna like you!" could also be a reference to how Lincoln had helped end black slavery.)
I fought for what was on my brain until a bullet went through it!
(Lincoln plays up his history: he crushed rebels, freed slaves, and made great speeches because he said and did what was on his mind, until his assassination in which he was shot in the head.)
And you, moneybags, you're a pancake: you're flip-floppity!
(Romney backtracked from his own opinions on many issues to appease the "base" he ran with, and at times returned to those original opinions, given the situation. When someone does so, he "flip-flops" his decisions. Lincoln thus compares Romney to a pancake, which has to be flipped and flopped in order to cook well and cook evenly.)
It's a country, not a company you can play like Monopoly!
(While Romney is a good businessman, he can't just throw money at America's issues and expect to fix them like Monopoly, a board game about economics.)
I'll properly reach across the aisle and bitch-smack you as equals!
(A double entendre is used here: to "reach across the aisle" is to come to a compromise on a particular issue. Here, Lincoln wants to physically reach across and slap both candidates in the face to have their issues settled. He plans to make them equals as he did to the slaves living among the white nation.)
Of the people! By the people! For the people! Eagle!
(While referencing the closing line from his Gettysburg Address ("…that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."), Lincoln does indeed keep his word and bitch-smacks both contestants. He then calls for his eagle.)
(The eagle lets out another cry after scooping Lincoln back up.)
You haven't even brought the unemployment rate below 8 percent!
(This lyric is what developed into the lyric, "Took you four years to drop unemployment down below 8 percent!" This lyric was set in stone as the lyric until the morning of filming the battle, when the line was re-recorded into the final product as a result of the unemployment rate being announced as below 8% that day.)
(Ahhhuuhaa…) Today, Jay-Z, what are you saying?!
(This lyric is what developed into the lyrics, "Don't bring up wives, man! What are you doing?", and "(Ahhuuhhaa…) You're a stuttering communist!" In this version, Romney compares Obama to influential rapper Jay-Z due to visual similarities between the two. His use of "Today" indicates that he is impatient with Obama not completing a timely thought or remark, implying that Obama's stuttering makes him sound dumb.)