The presidential campaign has geared up for the final stretch going into the November 6 election and according to the current polls this campaign is still hotly contested. Tomorrow night, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney will meet each other for the fourth and final debate of the presidential campaign at 9:00 pm Eastern Time, at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida. The topic will be foreign policy and will address a host of issues ranging from the slowdown in the global economy to the current unrest in the Middle East.
The past three debates have been dominated by the present state of the economy and strategies for its recovery. Yet, foreign policy rivals domestic policy in importance and the current economic situation is vitally linked to the global situation. Global economic concerns are heightening and have been expressed by the recent IMF warning that global growth projections have fallen 0.3% for 2013. The fiscal crises in Europe and the economic slowdown in East Asia have put increasing pressure on American companies as earnings continue to miss analysts’ expectations, reflected by the Dow Jones Industrial Average that shed just over 200 points on Friday. The darkening global outlook will have to be addressed by each candidate in order to win over those voters worried about their country’s prospects in a time of growing global uncertainty.
As the clear leader in last week’s debate, Obama will have to defend his position against Romney’s continuing attacks against the administration’s security blunder in Libya that resulted in the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens. Expect Obama to receive further criticism for his recent callous ‘optimal’ gaffe on Jon Stewart’s Daily Show. For his part, Obama will focus on the successful closure to the Iraq war, the planned drawdown of American forces in Afghanistan in 2014 and the killing of Osama bin Laden. Both candidates will be hard pressed to provide realistic strategies for the worsening situation in Syria, which is now spilling over into neighboring Lebanon and continues to threaten the stability of the Middle East. And while the administration has denied talks with Iran, the US has commenced joint military exercises with Israel in a clear effort to intimidate Iran’s ayatollahs. With that in mind, the Middle East will be a hot topic the candidates will have to wrangle over during the debate tomorrow night.
As the aftermath of the first presidential debate indicates, these debates are potential vehicles for serious changes in voter sentiments. Thus, this contest is far from over. According to the most recent Gallup poll, Romney currently holds leads among registered and likely voters nationwide of 3 points and 7 points respectively. However, as Nate Silver illustrates, Obama currently maintains leads in key swing states, giving him a 68% chance of capturing the majority share of the electoral college vote to Romney’s 32%. This will be the last chance for the candidate’s to challenge each other’s positions and sway the votes of the undecided viewing public. Expect a good show.
Final Presidential Debate:
Topic: Foreign policy
Air Time: 9:00-10:30 p.m. Eastern Time
Location: Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida (Tickets)
Sponsor: Commission on Presidential Debates
Participants: President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney
Moderator: Bob Schieffer (Host of Face the Nation on CBS)
PolicyMic will be covering the final presidential debate in it's entirety. Check back here for all the latest analysis, polls, gaffes, news, zingers, thrills and spills. Bookmark and refresh this page for the most recent updates.
Stay tuned to this Live Blog as I follow the debate minute by minute and provide lively commentary, analysis and insight.
Update 10:37 pm I think the best word is anticlimactic.... Stay tuned for a post-debate recap! Coming soon!
10:35 pm Confidence is a word seriously misused.... Romney should check in on the confidence of American manufacturers, they're worried that the government will cut spending and derail the economy....
10:33 pm Closing statements: Obama reiterating what he has been saying all along, continue investing and ask the wealthy to contribute more: the key is nation building at home. That is what we need more than anything else right now.
10:32 pm The man likes American cars and he loves teachers! God bless!
He's right that we can't have a repeat of the last four years, there is too much suffering. That's why we need to get the Republicans out of Congress...
10:30 pm Obama is schooling the opposition right now. He's right, we can't return to the old policies, we need to keep plugging away and get out of this recession
10:28 pm Despite trying to impress, the truth is still ugly:
10:27 pm Gee golly, he likes American cars.... but not American parts
10:24 pm Obama's record is pretty good on China, he is on track to increase American exports to China by 50%
10:21 pm Out with the truth Romney, your fortune was made by shipping jobs out to China.
His private equity business would never have been successful without cheap Chinese labors. Check out the full 47% video to hear him talking about a trip to a factory in China
10:19 That's what needs to keep happening. We have to challenge China and push them on unfair trading practices.
10:17 pm Bob should have pressed him on the truth of the drone attacks. They are killing far more civilians and suspected targets, than actual terroists. Check out the Huff post piece on this.
10:11 pm The problem with Afghanistan is that the Afghans clearly can not maintain their security.
10:08 pm Withdrawal from Afghanistan by 2014 is Obama's policy. One thing that Romney is right about is the danger of Pakistan. Pakistan is the central issue in world politics right now. It is a slowly disintegrating nuclear state. Obama should address the drone attacks that are destabilizing the government of Pakistan
10:06 pm Bobby taking charge! Hopefully he doesn't pull a Candy and set everybody off
10:04 pm It's important to keep in mind that there are still special forces and government contractors operating in Iraq, it's definitely not an entirely free country, America still has a presence and plays a big role in the country
10:03 pm Obama is getting all serious! He's killing it right now, Romney doesn't know what's hitting him
10:00 pm A topic for foreign policy. A new form of torture, a real substitute for waterboarding after we rendition terrorists:
9:55 pm The Iran sanctions are working, Iran's major cargo shipping line is expressing worries that the damage is mounting and can't continue much longer.
9:53 pm Did Romney just say the same thing as Obama? I thought he was claiming to have drastically different policies than Obama
9:51 pm This silly question had to be brought up.... What serious candidate would say that they don't support Israel? It's a pointless waste of time to talk about this topic
9:46 pm Where did Obama learn that move:
9:46 pm Wow, fewer horses and bayonets, Obama is letting loose, this is great
9:45 pm The fire rises brother!
9:43 pm Whose performance is more impressive, Romney's or this guys'?
9:42 pm Where are you going to get the money? Where are you going to get the money? Out with it already...
9:40 pm 'But that was two years before you took office' Shots fired! Shots fired! Romney's getting the hurt
9:38 pm Wow! Obama is holding nothing back, he is all over Romney right now... And he definitely did his homework before this debate... Romney is having trouble keeping up! The small business exageration is spot on, Romney has been peddling this misrepresentation for a while.
9:36 Shots fired! Bringing in Dick Cheney! That's a hard hit....
9:32 pm That's intersesting, I did not realize that Adm Mullen came out with that statement: here it is
9:29 pm It should be kept in mind that the military is still storng in Egpyt and effectively acting independently. Not much has changed there.... Mubarak was largely a figurehead, it's the military that has the real political power
9:27 pm Obama is taking Romney to town right now and he is taking serious swipes at his record. This is a very different man from the first debate…. He's definitely winning right now
9:24 pm Apparently Romney is boys with Bibi and they go way back. He should make a statement about their relationship, I think Americans are concerned that Isreali interests may outweigh American interests during a ROmney presidency
9:19 pm The Syrina situation is growing deadlier. The chaos has spilled over into Lebanon. The Obama administration needs to do more. When Libya was in turmoil they moved immediately....
9:06 pm Here we go w00t! Do your thing Bob Schieffer!
9:03 pm The administration is denying that talks with Iran have commenced... Hopefully they do commence soon though
9:00 pm Speaking of deficits, Ezra Klein at the WaPo points out that Romney's calling for a $2 trillion increase in military spending. Why then the call for scaling back fiscal spending?
8:54 pm Take this gaffe! No you take that gaffe!:
8:43 pm OK so there is a lot of polling noise out there, and Gallup has Romney at a 7 point lead nationwide, but I think it's important to remember that this is just noise, and these polls all have different methods for getting their numbers. Nate Silver's blog is probably the best resource for deciphering the polls. His aggregates and averages have Obama at an advantage in the electoral college with a 70% chance of winning....
8:34 pm It's hard for me to believe that Romney has a chance here. He has zero foreign policy experience and Obama's record speaks for itself: Ending of the Iraq war, Osama bin Laden, and Iran that is giving in to economic pressure. I think all ROmney has is empty attacks, but we'll see...
8:28 pm Some topics to look forward to: The unrest from Syria is spilling over into Lebanon, a potentially serious situation that threatens to destabilize the region; Israel and the US are conducting military exercises to intimidate Iran; China's currency manipulation and the response from our president.
8:19 pm Online and ready for action! Looking forward to the final debate tonight. The topic: foreign policy.