by JIM HARRIS

President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney met at Disney World on Tuesday in a town hall-style debate to answer questions from young children. The moderator was Goofy, long time companion of Mickey Mouse and a well-respected talking animal in his own right. The debate was not televised, but I attended and took the following notes.

•Goofy: “Yuk yuk! Hiya kids. Governor Romney won the ‘rock paper scissors,’ so he gets to go first and answer a question from 6-year-old Emmet Freebish.”

•Emmet: “Governor Romney, what… what are you going to be for Halloween?”

•Romney: “First of all, let me say it’s an honor to be here with all you fine young people. As you may know, I was a child myself once, so I know what it’s like to be a kid in an adult world. I didn’t even get my own speed boat and yacht and apartment complex until I was 10. Up until then, I was afraid my supply of caviar would be cut off.

“As for Halloween, I’ll be too busy campaigning to take part in that esteemed tradition this year, but let me tell you something, my friends, that under President Obama’s proposed plan, Halloween would be transformed from a day of fun into a real horror show.

“Under ‘Obamaween,’ as I call it, all treats would be strictly rationed. They would also have to be sugar-free and gluten-free. They could not contain nuts or have been prepared in a facility where the word ‘nut’ has ever been spoken. To me, that’s not candy. Let me tell you something, I love candy. In fact, if I’m elected, I will build a candy pipeline directly from Santa’s North Pole workshop to the USA so that we can have all the candy we need for the next 200 years.”

•Obama: “Look, in order to make things fair for all Americans, the distribution of treats has to be regulated. This means that every child must trick-or-treat, and no one can be turned away for any reason, no matter how much candy they already have, or what time of day or night they may arrive.

“As a bookkeeping measure, all trick-or-treaters must carry government forms 109982c and 19374A, keeping lists of all treats received and their retail value. These forms must be filed with the Bureau of Broken Records within 48 hours. That will allow us to ensure that everyone is treated equally.”

•Romney: “Listen, 47% of the trick or treaters out there have no costumes at all, and they still expect treats! Disgraceful! Some have really crappy costumes that required no work or ingenuity at all, like a trash bag with arm holes. Do these people deserve to be treated equally? I don’t think so. The only thing Obamaween will accomplish is to create a quagmire of paperwork and government intervention.”

•Obama: “Government intervention? Not true! In fact, former Governor Romney wants to require trick-or-treaters to carry ID cards and family histories with fingerprints of all family members.”

•Romney: “And I’ll tell you why. Some of these kids carry extra trick-or -treat bags for their so called ‘sick brothers or sisters at home.’ This is clearly a case of Halloween fraud, which could be eliminated with proper documentation. When I am president, the crooked kids will be shipped back to their country of origin!”

At this point, Goofy asked for any kids who had questions to raise their hands. All of the kids raised their hands. The first 12 who were called on didn’t have a question; they just wanted attention. Then several asked for ponies, and one said he had to pee.

Finally, a girl named Tinkerbelle asked, “What is a lobbyist? I heard my father use that word.” Romney replied, “A lobbyist is a person who hangs out in hotel lobbies, boys and girls. You want to stay away from such people.”

Another girl named Kitty Litter said her father told her that many people in other countries do not like Americans. She asked President Obama why this is so. He replied, “I do not know because we send our people to other countries only to make their life better. But many of those people simply have no gratitude. For example, anti-American protesters in Libya last week burned a KFC restaurant to the ground, which is a disgrace because now all customers can get there is the extra-crispy chicken.”

Finally, one little boy named Justin Case asked a question that was probably better than any questions asked by professional journalists in the previous debates. He asked, “My family is tired of hearing so many negative things said on TV by people running for office about their opponents. What can you say that is positive about your opponent?”

“Very good question, young man,” replied Romney. “I’d say that one good thing about President Obama is that he wears his heart on his sleeve … which is why I think he should make an appointment right away with a cardiologist!”

And Obama replied, “The best thing I can say about Governor Romney is that some of his top aides are real men of conviction … although they were eventually acquitted!”