`On Monday, President Obama and Mitt Romney go head-to-head in their third and final presidential debate in Boca Raton, Florida on the issue of foreign policy.
According to a new poll, former Governor Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama are tied in the polls, both polling 47% among likely voters. Romney killed it in the first debate, the VP debate did little to sway undecided voters, and the second presidential debate nearly turned into a fistfight, but it looks like it’s all coming down to Monday night’s foreign policy debate.
Monday’s debate will be held at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida. The night’s schedule will be the same as the first presidential debate: the debate will last from 9:00 PM EST to 10:30 PM EST and will once again be divided into “topic segments,” though we all know how well that worked the first time. This time, Bob Schieffer, host of CBS’s Face the Nation, will be moderating.
What will be the key issues, you ask? One Boston Globe analyst argued that the dividing line between Obama and Romney is their approach to the foreign policy of President George W. Bush, with Obama actively seeking to separate his policies from those of his predecessor and Romney selecting the same foreign policy advisors as the man.
Americans, one Pew Research Center poll reported, just want stable governments in the Middle East: 54% responded that stable governments are important even if they mean less democracy. Still, 56% are in favor of a firm stand against Iran’s nuclear program, compared to only 35% who think avoiding military conflict is important, so Romney’s hawkishness may go over well with viewers. Finally, 49% want America to be harder on China economically, another opportunity for Romney to pull ahead.
As for me, I’ll be mixing up GIFs and videos, Aristotle quotes and snarky commentary to bring you constant live updates, so keep reading.
PolicyMic will be covering the presidential debate live. For live updates, bookmark and refresh this page.
Obama: An earnest appeal to the American people that, yes, tugged at my heartstrings. He's really been trying, and I would feel terrible giving up on him.
Romney: Makes you want to believe that America could become great again. The question is, are we willing to return to the morals of the 1950's if that's what comes with returning to the superior position we once held?
Romney (twice): "I love teachers."
My friend: "I have binders upon binders of teachers."
Obama: "Anybody out there can check the record. Governor Romney, you keep trying to airbrush history! You were very clear that you would not provide assistance to US auto companies even if they went through bankruptcy."
Romney is "a son of Detroit." How are we, again, back on the auto industry? The candidates' ability to tie every foreign policy question back to economic issues, particularly the auto industry, is fascinating. This really is all America cares about right now.
And they're talking about tires again. This is getting really tiring. This is more tired than the tire puns my friends are currently making.
And we're back on education!
ABC News Update: "The People's Republic of China is the largest nation in East Asia."
Thank you ABC for that incredibly useful information. Though it's good that we've finally gotten to the topic of China.
Obama: "Keep in mind, our strategy wasn't just going after Bin Laden. We've created allies all over the reason. In Somalia..."
My friend: "Yes, our pirate envoys."
Bob Scheiffer: "Governor, I'm going to ask you this, because we know President Obama's position of this subject: what is your opinion on drones?"
Bob Scheiffer's freudian slip of the night: "OBAMA'S BIN LADEN."
There's the SNL skit. There's the new facebook page. There goes the election.
Romney: "When I'm President, I'll make sure we get our troops out [of Afghanistan] by the end of 2014."
"I feel like this debate is just 30 minutes set to repeat."
"More like 5 minutes."
My friend, in response to Obama describing his trip to a Holocaust museum in Israel: "Wait, is he calling Romney a Nazi? What?"
Romney: "We're four years closer to a nuclear Iran. We're four years closer to a nuclear Iran."
In other news, I find it somewhat curious that Romney says "Ih-rahn" but "Ih-rack" rather than "Ih-rahk." Consistency?
Romney: "There are some 10,000 centrifuges spinning uranium creating a threat to the United States... we need to put the pressure on them as hard as we possibly can, because if we do that we don't have to take military action."
These candidates are literally saying the exact same thing. We get it, guys: nobody wants to go to war, let's make sanctions tougher, etc. etc. They're literally arguing about who will more effectively impose critical sanctions (paraphrase of what Obama just said). Maybe we should move onto a topic that will give them the opportunity to disagree with each other's policies, rather than criticize each other as leaders?
Obama: "We're not going to allow Iran to perpetually engage in negotiations that go nowhere... we are going to take all actions necessary to make sure that Iran does not get a nuclear weapon."
From Twitter, comedians weigh in:
Romney: "If I'm president of the United States, when I'm president of the United States, I will stand with Israel." Is that a little presumptuous? Apparently, Romney laid out 7 steps to stopping a nuclear Iran a few years ago. The economy can be solved in 5, a nuclear Iran can be stopped in 7... really?
Obama: "As long as I'm president of the United States, Iran will not get a nuclear weapon. We've organized the strongest coalition and the strongest sanctions in history against Iran."
Moving onto Israel and Iran.
Obama: "If Israel is attacked, I will stand with Israel."
Obama, in response to Romney's criticism of the size of the Navy and Air Force: "It's not a game of battleship. We're not counting ships."
Romney: "I had the fortune to be governor of a state four years in a row."
As opposed to four one-year terms? But now he's talking about the Navy and the Air Force, which is the closest thing to foreign policy they've discussed since 9:30.
ABC scrolling update: "FACT: Obamacare is the nickname for the Affordable Care Act."
"Let's get back to foreign policy" YES! Bob Scheiffer tries to pull it back. And now we're hearing about how wonderful education in Massachussetts is, and Obama is arguing that Romney tried to cut all of those programs. My take on it: we all know New Haven beats Cambridge... #yalepride
"I love foreign policy."
"I feel bad for the moderator."
"I feel bad for us. We're voting for these schmucks."
9:34 PM EST
Oh my god, Romney, I've already heard your five point plan in the past three debates. My friend just said it best: "I feel like he's now giving us a private equity pitch."
9:33 PM EST
I love how this debate is turning into a debate on the economy. It's true that foreign and economic policy can't be easily separated, but really, job creation? I'm not complaining, though- this is what Americans really care about.
9:30 PM EST
Sorry, site’s been down. Honestly though, the format of this debate (both candidates sitting next to each other, but presented in a split-screen) turns both candidates into talking heads. That’s all you’ve been missing—no gaffes, no near-fistfights, just two people talking circles around each other. Or, as one tweet put it:
9:03 PM EST
The first segment will be "that challenge of a changing middle east and the changing face of terrorism." The first question will be about Libya. They're jumping right into this, and the winner might be decided in the first question. Romney's first. Let's go.
9:01 PM EST
Debate starts "just seconds from now," let's do this!
8:57 PM EST
If you want a side by side comparison of the candidates' policies, check out this one from the Wall Street Journal. As an undecided voter, I don't think I could do enough research, and I'm probably not alone in that.
8:53 PM EST
Here's a livestream of the debate, so you can watch along!