On Monday evening in Boca Raton, Florida, President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney will face off for their third and final presidential debate.
The debate will focus on foreign policy. The debate is broken into six segments and is moderated by Bob Schieffer. Viewers should expect for President Obama to attempt to appear strong as Commander-In-Chief, having presided over the killing of Osama Bin Laden and the Arab Spring. Mitt Romney will be on the attack tomorrow night, especially on the Obama administration’s handling of the assassination of the U.S. Ambassador in Benghazi a few weeks ago. Most of the debate will likely focus on the Middle East, specifically Iran, Syria, Afghanistan, Israel, and Lebanon. There will likely be at least minimal attention paid to China and perhaps an immigration question focused on Mexico. Look for President Obama to try his best to look like a strong leader who will not let any harm come to American citizens. Mitt Romney is likely to pivot as much as possible to the domestic economic situation.
I have the pleasure of covering the final Presidential debate live from Boca Raton, Florida for PolicyMic. Before, during, and after the debate I will do my best to provide powerful commentary for millenial voters. I look forward to interviews with both campaign’s surrogates and covering the debate from the press room at Lynn University, the site of the final presidential debate. Follow this live blog for up to minute updates of the entire debate experience.
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)
Live stream here:
PolicyMic will be covering the final presidential debate in its entirety.
10:27PM: Debate is closing out, look forward to a wrap up soon.
10:22PM: Republican surrogates are pouring into the media room ten minutes early, not a good sign for how they feel about the debate.
10:17PM: New Topic: China and America's Greatest Security Threat
Obama: Terrorist networks are our greatest threat and will continue to be. China is an adversary, but has the potential to be a great economic partner if they play by the rules. Governor Romney criticized me for being too tough on China in the tire cases, which we won. In the long run, to compete with China we have to take care of business at home. We have to invest in education, technology, and research. Governor Romney's budget and proposals will not work.
Romney: The greatest threat is a nuclear Iran. China wants peace. We can work with China, they don't have to be an adversary. They see a weak America. They have to play by the rules.
10:14PM: Romney is making it very difficult to see the differences between the candidates tonight.
10:12PM: What's your position on drones?
Romney: "The President is right. I support our use of drones."
10:10PM: Should we divorce from Pakistan?
Romney: Now is not the time for us to divorce from Pakistan. If it falls apart, there are nuclear weapons there that cannot fall into the wrong hands. Pakistan is an ally, but it is not acting like an ally right now. "Going into to Pakistan to get Bin Laden was the right decision."
10:05PM: New Topic: Afghanistan
Romney: "We will be finished by 2014. The surge has been successful." We need to support Pakistan.
Obama: "We have met many of the objectives that got us to go there in the first place."
10:01PM: Obama presses Romney on his flip-flopping foreign policy views.
9:59PM: Obama: "The rest of the world can look at America and know that we are on the right side of history."
9:56PM: Romney: "We are four years closer to nuclear Iran."
9:53PM: Romney: This administration has been weak since the beginning. The President's apology tour, his statement that he would sit down with the worst countries, and his lack pressure have demonstrated weakness.
Obama: Nothing that Romney has said is true. "We have put in the toughest, most crippling sanctions ever." When you (Mitt Romney) were still investing in a Chinese company that was entangled with Iranian oil, we were implementing sanctions.
9:51PM: President Obama really is on fire tonight, but he is being aided heavily by Romney's agreement with him on most issues, besides domestic policy, so far.
Obama says that Iran will not get a nuclear weapon while he is president and that Israel is our closest friend. Obama says that we have not taken any of the options off the table in Iran. "Putting our men and women in harm's way is the last resort, not the first resort."
Romney says that Iran cannot be allowed to get a nuclear weapon. "I would have put crippling sanctions into place earlier, now I would tighten those sanctions further." "We need to increase pressure. Of course, a military action is the last resort."
9:42PM: Romney is claiming that our military is too small. This seems to fly in direct conflict with the graph that I posted below on military spending.
9:40PM: Obama attacks Romney's arithmetic on his 5 trillion dollar tax cut and attacks Romney for increasing the size of the military when they're not asking for it. Obama says we should utilize better strategy not just more money.
9:39PM: Romney asked about increasing the size of the navy and how he would pay for it. Romney says that he would pay for it by cutting Obamacare and transitioning social aid programs to the states.
9:37PM: Romney touts his record on education in Massachusetts.
9:35PM: Obama takes on education policy as a major aspect of improving the economy. Touts Race to Top and his plan to hire 100,000 more math and science teachers. Attacks Romney for his record on teachers and education policy.
Both Presidential candidates are using this debate to talk about what they want to. This is not a foreign policy debate. This a free for all.
9:34PM: Romney has pivoted the debate to the economy. "I will get us on track to a balanced budget."
9:33PM: Here's a quick graph on American military spending via Peter G. Peterson Foundation
9:32PM: New Topic: What is America's role in the world?
Romney: America has a responsiblity to promote democracy around the world. We need to promote peace, equality, human rights, etc. In order to do that, America must lead and that starts with strengthening our economy at home. We need to strengthen our military. We have to stand for our principles.
Obama: America remains the one indispensible nation. Because we ended the war in Iraw we were able to refocus in the region. Our alliances have never been stronger. We can be stronger by focusing on our energy resources and at home we can strengthen our economy. Ties Romney to Bush and Cheney.
9:26PM: Romney is agreeing with the President too much.
9:25PM: Obama is clearly pandering toward the female vote so far, taking every opportunity to talk about women in other countries and the importance for them to be treated eqaully. Romney is on the attack in a strong way, but has to forward a plan of difference.
9:23PM: Obama: "Romney has not expressed any differences with how we are doing things in Syria because we are doing things right."
Obama: “What we have done is mobilize the international community.” Touts sanctions and humanitarian aid. “Ultimately, Syrians are going to have to determine their own future. We are coordinating with other countries in the region. What is happening in Syria is heartbreaking.”
“I am confident that Assad’s days are numbered.”
Romney: “30,000 people being killed by their government is a humanitarian crisis.” Ties Syria to the United States’ foreign policy with Iran. “The right course for us is to identify responsible parties in Syria and to assist them with arms to defend themselves.”
Obama attacks Romney for being “all over the map” on his foreign policy. Places Romney’s statement about Russia being the greatest international threat on the table.
Romney retorts by telling the President that “attacking me” is not an agenda. Romney contends that he did not say that Russia is the greatest international threat.
9:05PM: Topic: Middle East and New Face of Terrorism
Romney: Recounts the recent dilemmas in the Middle East. "Iran is the greatest threat of all. I congratulate the President on killing Osama Bin Laden, but we can't kill our way out of this mess. We must have a comprehensive strategy."
Obama: "My first job as President of the United States is to keep America Safe." Discusses how he pulled out of Iraq and is drawing down the war in Afghanistan. As it concerns Libya, the President says that we are focused on finding out what happened. President pushes back to a discussion of Libya's transition to democracy.
9:04PM: Romney opens with a gaffe in refence to the he and the President's event together over the weekend.
Update: PolicyMic got an exclusive interview with Senator Lindsey Graham and Congressman Jason Chaffetz. The interview can be found here.
Update: PolicyMic got an exclusive interview with Obama Campaign's Stephanie Cutter. The interview can be found here.
Update: Senator John McCain is in the Spin Room doing an interview for the Romney/Ryan campaign.
Update: Mitt Romney is staying at the Marriott on Delray Beach a little less than a mile from my hotel.
Update: The media room at Lynn University.