Monday evening marks the last presidential debate of this election season. As they are currently running neck and neck, this debate could very well make or break the election for candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. During last Tuesday’s very aggressive debate, the tension between the two candidates was thick. For those of you who missed it, here is a short and much more entertaining recap of the debate via Saturday Night Live:
In the first presidential debate, Obama was criticized for his lifeless performance. He did not defend himself or stand up for any of his positions when they were attacked. Romney on the other hand, appeared much stronger. He gave a solid performance and was later deemed the winner of the debate. The second presidential debate was a complete 360 for Obama who came across much stronger this time around. He defended his actions where appropriate and gave a relatively clear answer to how the events after the Benghazi attack occurred. Romney on the other hand, fell short in this debate. He came across to many as being very aggressive, and still has yet to fill in the holes of his economic plan. His attack on Obama for how he handled the aftermath of Benghazi was fact checked live by moderator Candy Crowley. This unprecedented and one sided action by Crowley did not leave a good impression on many viewers. Romney’s handling of the issue made an awkward situation worse. The main thing he did leave the American people with was a plethora of memes surrounding his “binders full of women” comment.
The topic of this last debate will be foreign policy. Questions about America’s role in foreign policy, the Middle East, and China are expected. Obama will need to be prepared to defend his actions over the last 4 years of his presidency while Romney will need to prove that his lack of foreign policy experience would not hinder his performance as commander in chief.
Watch a live stream of the debate here:
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A disappointingly dull final presidential debate ends in an Obama win over Romney. Both candidates were much more civil with each other than the previous debate. Maybe the Al Smith dinner left them with some warm fuzzies that carried over to tonight. It wasn’t until the end that the bickering started, reminding me somewhat of arguing 5 year olds who missed their nap. Keep reading for an overview of the debate:
Bob Schieffer- Tonight’s debate moderator seemed very in control of the candidates. When he told them to move on to the next topic they were fairly compliant. On the other hand, he let them stray off topic several times. Many of these ended up going to domestic policy. As this was a foreign policy debate I was disappointed by the continued talk about jobs and college. Schieffer was very quiet throughout most of the debate only commenting when he asked a question or tried to get the candidates back onto foreign policy.
Mitt Romney- This was a good solid debate for Romney. It was not one of his best, but he was able to hold his own. His lack of foreign policy experience put him at a disadvantage for this debate but it did not cripple him. It did seem as though he spent a good portion of the debate either agreeing with Obama on what had been done during his term or trying to bring questions back to domestic policy. During this debate Romney proved that if elected he will make a competent commander in chief. He knows his stuff and he does have a plan. He just was not as prepared or on top of things as Obama was.
Barack Obama- This was definitely one of Obama’s better debates. He was much more prepared and definitely knew his stuff. Having been president for the last 4 years gave him a large advantage because he knew the inside information and he has the experience. While they were neck and neck throughout most of the debate, I give the win to Obama because a good portion of the debate was spent with Romney either agreeing with him or Obama calling Romney out for incorrect statements. While they both had incorrect statements (see commentary during debate below), Obama came across as much more sure of himself and less defensive like Romney did. This debate proved that if re-elected, Obama will continue to be a competent commander in chief.
9:40pm- Best Facebook post ever: "So during this debate I learned what an aircraft carrier is, Obamas Bin Laden is apparently a person, 75% of foreign policy is domestic policy, Iran is just as bad as it was in Argo, and China does stuff."
9:34pm- I'm glad to see there wasn't nearly as much tension at the end of the debate as there was last time.
9:31pm- Closing statements! Who do you think won this debate? My preliminary opinion is that it was a tie. Excellent final preformance from both candidates.
9:29pm- Bob "I think we all love teachers"
9:26pm- "Govenor Romney, you keep trying to airbrush history"
9:25pm- I think they are both getting tired...the amount of bickering and interrupting have just gone up exponentially
9:19pm- Could labeling China a currency manipulator start a trade war?
9:15pm- What is the greatest threat to national security?
Obama: Terrorist networks and China (could be adversary or potential partner if it follows rules)
Romney: Nuclear Iran, China not because they want a stable world with no war-we can be partner with China...will label China a "currency manipulator" the day he takes office
9:14pm- I love foreign policy but this debate is much more dull than I thought it would be
9:12pm- "We should use any and all means to take out those who may harm us...but we need to do more than going after people and killing bad guys"
9:10pm- 'We need to support Pakistan...support that is tied to them making progress'
9:07pm- Obama: "We forgot why we were there (Afghanistan)" very true statement
9:04pm- Bob is doing a pretty good job at maintaining control when switching topics. He does let them get off topic and go on a bit too much though.
8:59pm- Bob: "What would you do if Israel calls and says they have bombers headed to Iran?" Interesting question. I'm not sure if this type of hypothetical question is appropriate for a debate though. Romney avoids answering it due to unrealistic nature.
8:57pm- Romney: We have not dictated other nations...we have freed other nations from dictators
8:54pm- Apology tour...ouch. Do you think it was an apology tour?
8:53pm- Neither candidate wants Iran to have nuclear weapons
8:51pm- Obama and Romney are both giving a good solid performance this time around
8:48pm- Both candidates: We will stand with Israel...we have their back
8:44pm- Not going to lie, I'm liking Obama's sarcastic explanation of what the military used to use. Also, Romney's business background is definitely a big plus for him. I would love to hear more on the math of his plan though.
8:42pm- It took 3 minutes to bring up bin Laden and 43 minutes to bring up the Olympics
8:40pm- Obama "Math simply doesn't work on Romney's economic plan"
8:35pm- Now Obama needs to get back to foreign policy and stop the job and college talk...how did we get from what America's role in the world is to why we need to hire more math and science teachers?
8:29pm- Romney needs to bring the debate back to foreign policy and stop talking about job loss and college education
8:28pm- They are actually acting more like grown men and less like arguing 5 year olds who missed nap time....I must say I'm impressed
8:26pm- Romney wishes we had realized the desire of freedom the Middle East had at the time Obama was elected
8:23pm- Romney doesn't believe military is necessary in Syria, Obama has no regrets regarding policy with Egypt
8:15pm- Romney to Obama: 'Attacking me is not foreign policy...attacking me has nothing to do with foreign policy.' Hypocritical much??
8:11pm- Obama "The 1980's are calling and asking for their foreign policy back" Boom.
8:07pm- Romney beats Obama on making bin Laden remark "congrats...but we can't kill our way out of this mess"
8:04pm- Bob wasted no time, first question on Libya
8:02pm- Personally I think they should be wearing bowties like at the Al Smith dinner
7:53pm- Bob Schieffer, CBS Chief News Correspondent and debate moderator, introduced
7:46pm- Did anyone see the Lynn University tshirt for the debate? The front said "We have never heard of you either." Best shirt ever.
7:36pm- Romney had better hope that the kids are wrong.
In the "Kids Pick the President" vote held by Nickelodeon, Obama won by a landslide. Over 520,000 underage Americans participated in this online vote. The kids have only been wrong once since 1988 (Bush/Kerry 2004).
7:30pm- 30 minutes till debate time!
7:15pm- Not many people have gotten to see much from Ann Romney so here is an interview to watch if you would like a chance to know her and Mitt better
6:16pm- This has got to be one of the best interviews with Michelle Obama I have ever seen. I think it shows exactly why she is loved by Americans regardless of party affiliation
6:09pm- For anyone wanting more information on Romney's foreign policy here is some information from his website:
Iran Mitt Romney’s strategy will be to end Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons capability, eliminate the threat of Iranian-backed nuclear terrorism against the United States and our allies, and prevent nuclear proliferation across the Middle East. His plan is four-fold. First, U.S. policy toward Iran must begin with an understanding on Iran’s part that a military option to deal with their nuclear weapons program is very real and very credible. Second, The US must implement newer and broader economic sanctions to increase pressure on the Iranian regime. He will also fully implement and step up enforcement of existing U.S. laws that bar commerce with Iran, such as the exportation of refined petroleum products to Iran. Third, unlike Obama who refrained from supporting the nascent Green Movement as it was facing a violent crackdown by the Iranian regime, Mitt Romney will increase internal pressure on the regime by making plain that the United States supports the emergence of a democratic alternative to the current repressive and reckless regime in Tehran. Fourth, Romney would commit to the on-time completion of a fully capable missile defense system.
China In the face of China’s accelerated military build-up, the United States and our allies must maintain appropriate military capabilities to discourage any aggressive or coercive behavior by China against its neighbors. The United States should maintain and expand its naval presence in the Western Pacific. We should be assisting partners that require help to enhance their defensive capabilities. A Romney administration will vigorously support and engage civil society groups within China that are promoting democratic reform, anti-corruption efforts, religious freedom, and women’s and minority rights. It will look to provide these groups and the Chinese people with greater access to information and communication through a stronger Internet freedom initiative. Mitt Romney will seek to engage China, but will always stand up for those fighting for the freedoms we enjoy.
North Korea - The United States will make it unequivocally clear to Pyongyang that continued advancement of its nuclear program and any aggression will be punished instead of rewarded, and any food aid will be de-linked from the nuclear weapons issue. Mitt Romney will work with allies to institute harsher sanctions on North Korea, such as cracking down on financial institutions that service the North Korean regime and sanctioning companies that conduct commercial shipping in and out of North Korea. He will also step up enforcement of the Proliferation Security Initiative to constrain North Korean illicit exports by increasing the frequency of inspections of North Korean ships and discouraging foreign ports from permitting entry to North Korean ships.
The Greater Middle East -
The Arab Spring - A Romney administration will pursue a strategy of supporting groups and governments across the Middle East to advance the values of representative government, economic opportunity, and human rights, and opposing any extension of Iranian or jihadist influence. His policy will be to support those individuals and groups that are seeking to instill lasting democratic values and build sturdy democratic institutions that will sustain open societies in countries that have been closed for too long. Romney will make available technical assistance to governments and transitional bodies to promote democracy, good governance, and sound financial management. He will convene a summit that brings together world leaders, donor organizations, and young leaders of groups that espouse the principles of representative government, religious pluralism, economic opportunity, women’s and minority rights, and freedom of expression and conscience in the Arab world. And in his first 100 days, Mitt Romney will engage Congress and relevant executive branch agencies and begin organizing all diplomatic and assistance efforts in the greater Middle East under one regional director.
Egypt - Mitt Romney will orient U.S. policy to marshal an international effort to encourage an Egyptian government that represents all Egyptians, maintains peace with Israel, and promotes peace throughout the region. He will condition the $1.3 billion in military assistance the United States sends to Egypt on maintaining its peace agreement with Israel. He will also place firm stipulations of good governance and peaceful relations on the $250 million in economic assistance, $1 billion in debt relief, and $1 billion in OPIC loan guarantees the United States grants to Egypt.
Syria - In regard to Syria, Mitt Romney will implement a three-part strategy to undermine the Assad regime and bolster responsible elements of the opposition in order to hasten the transition to a legitimate and pluralistic government. First, he will increase sanctions targeted at Assad’s regime, refrain from supporting any diplomatic initiative that allows Assad to remain, and encourage regime members to defect or seek exile. Second, Mitt Romney will work with regime defectors, marshal our intelligence resources, and work with regional partners to identify, secure, and prevent the export of Syria’s WMD stockpiles so that they do not threaten the stability and security of the region. Third, he will work with partners to identify, organize, and facilitate arms to responsible members of the opposition who share our interests and values. He will work closely with them to plan for a peaceful post-Assad government that respects the rule of law, rejects extremism, and protects the rights of all Syrians.
6:01pm- For anyone wanting more information on Obama's foreign policy stance and how he has handled it during his presidency, here is some information from his website:
Responsibly ending the wars The President kept his promise to end the war in Iraq, has a plan to responsibly end the war in Afghanistan in 2014, and has refocused our efforts on the greatest threats to our security, like al-Qaeda. Romney has refused to outline a specific plan to end the war and called the President’s decision to bring all our troops home from Iraq “tragic.”
Combating al-Qaeda Under President Obama, we have devastated al-Qaeda’s top leadership and have brought Osama bin Laden to justice.
Iran As he’s said before, the President will not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon and has implemented the toughest sanctions on Iran in history to assure Tehran complies. As a result, Iran’s economy is buckling—its currency has fallen about 80% since 2011. After months of dangerous saber-rattling, Romney now says the President’s sanctions are working.
Alliances Rejecting the failed go-it-alone approach of the previous administration, President Obama made it a priority to rebuild our strategic partnerships and international coalitions to confront shared challenges like the Afghanistan War, intervening to protect the Libyan people, and imposing the toughest sanctions on Iran in history.
Standing up to China President Obama has fought back against China’s unfair trade practices, bringing more trade cases against China in four years than President Bush did in eight. He also took aggressive action to protect American tire workers when China was flooding the market with Chinese tires, saving American jobs as a result.
Libya When Muammar Qadhafi threatened to attack and kill his own people, the President led an international coalition to stop an advancing army, prevent a massacre, and support the Libyan people as they overthrew a dictator. By working with NATO and Arab partners, the President accomplished this without putting a single U.S. soldier on the ground.
5:45pm- A little over two hours until show time! What topics are you most looking forward to?