There is almost no discernible difference between President Obama and Governor Romney on issues of foreign policy; even Obama admitted as much, 20 minutes into the final presidential debate, when he said, "[Romney] doesn't have different ideas." Despite a few minor gaffes by both parties, the playing field was pretty level on Monday night. The result? A draw.
So, just how similar were their stances? Judge for yourself. Here's a recap of some of their responses (notice the diction):
Obama: "We're doing exactly what we should be doing to try to promote a moderate Syrian leadership and an effective transition to get Assad out."
Romney: "I believe that Assad must go. I believe that he will go."
Israel under attack:
Obama: "I will stand with Israel if they are attacked."
Romney: "If Israel is attacked, we will have their back."
Iran & Nuclear Weapons:
Obama: "As long as I'm President of the United States, Iran will not have a nuclear weapon."
Romney: "A nuclear Iran and a nuclear-capable Iran is unacceptable."
Sanctions on Iran:
Obama: "We then organized the strongest coalition and the strongest sanctions on Iran in history, and it is crippling their economy."
Romney: "Crippling sanctions are something I called for five years ago...and they do work. You're seeing it right now in the economy."
Afghanistan Security Transition:
Obama: "We're now in a position where we can transition out...Afghans are perfectly capable of defending their own country. Now that transition has to take place in a responsible fashion. We've been there a long time."
Romney: "There are now a large number of security Afghan forces -- 350,000 -- that are ready to step in to provide security and we are able to make that transition by the end of 2014."
China: Friend or Foe?
Obama: "China is both an adversary, but also a potential partner in the international community -- if it is following the rules. We are going to insist that China play by the same rules as everybody else."
Romney: "We can be a partner with China...if they're willing to be responsible. …I've watched year in and year out as companies have shut down and people have lost their jobs because China has not played by the same rules."
And then, we consider how much time they spent during this debate discussing domestic policy...
...can we really declare a winner?
Since the only differences between their foreign policies seem to be how they plan to arm Syrian rebels and how much defense spending each would implement, neither candidate wins the debate.
Check out my live blog of the debate here.