Obama, Romney Talk Foreign Policy in Final Debate

Candidates discussed the Middle East, defense and more.

With Election Day fast approaching, President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney faced off in the third and final Presidential Debate Monday night.

The debate, hosted by Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla., focused mainly on foreign policy, including conflicts in the Middle East, the civil war in Syria and the Sept. 11, 2012, killings of four American officials in Libya.

Romney congratulated Obama for successfully killing Osama bin Laden, but ultimately questioned his policies on the Middle East, charging that the unrest in Egypt and Libya had created a “rising tide of chaos.” He said America needed an expansive plan to handle the situation.

“We can’t kill our way out of this mess,” Romney said. “We’re going to have to put in place a very comprehensive and robust strategy to help the world of Islam and other parts of the world reject this violent extremism.”

Obama made it clear from the outset that he was on the attack, taking a jab at Romney’s views on Russia as a threat to the United States.

“Governor, when it comes to our foreign policy, you seem to want to import the foreign policies of the 1980s, just like the social policies of the 1950s and the economic policies of the 1920s,” Obama said.

The discussion of foreign policy and conflicts overseas also led to a discussion of defense cuts and sequestration, which could be devastating to the Virginia economy come January.

“I will not cut our military budget by a trillion dollars, which is a combination of the budget cuts the president has, as well as the sequestration cuts,” Romney said. “That, in my view is making our future less certain and less secure.”

But Obama pointed out that the sequestration problem was not his doing.

“The sequester is not something I’ve proposed,” he said. “It is something Congress has proposed. It will not happen.”

Romney continued, saying that the U.S. Navy was the smallest it has been since 1917. More cuts would only make it smaller, he said.

“Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military has changed,” Obama countered, setting off Twitter trends. “We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines.”

Obama also pledged the United States would support Israel in any instance of aggression from another nation.

Virginia Voters React

Del. Scott Surovell, D-Mount Vernon, said that the sequestration discussion would resonate with Virginia residents.

“The jet fuel of the Northern Virginia economy is government technology contracting, and especially defense contracting,” he said in an email immediately following the debate. “Our higher incomes, low unemployment, and quality of life are dependent on it. Governor Romney is stuck on a pre-1990's military vision.”

Ken Feltman, chair of the Falls Church City Republican Committee, agreed that Obama gave a good performance, but said that Romney ultimately did what was necessary.

“(Obama) was authoritative and rarely disdainful or condescending,” Feltman wrote in an email post-debate. “But Mitt Romney was not over-matched. He has a different vision for the United States and he had a different task tonight. Romney did not need to land a knockout punch. He needed to demonstrate that he can handle the job. He succeeded.”

Feltman also said Romney held his own with Obama on foreign policy.

“Romney stood out by showing he can go toe-to-toe with Obama in foreign policy, an area that Obama was supposed to dominate,” he said.

But Del. Rob Krupicka, D-Alexandria, said many of Romney’s comments were similar to Obama’s throughout the evening, shifting and changing.

“Romney me-too’d the president all night,” Krupicka said. “That isn't leadership. The president was strong and steady and knowledgeable. We need certainty to keep us safe in the world. Obama gave us that. He's won two debates in a row.”

Obama and Romney will now kick off two weeks of intense campaigning before Nov. 6.

Colter95 October 28, 2012 at 11:25 PM
What you didn't hear in the debate: The real flip-flopper is Obama... Obama has done that so many times it's hard to keep track. He voted against increasing the debt limit, and then supported raising it. Campaigned against the Bush tax cuts, and then extended them. Promised to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term, and then doubled it. Vowed the unemployment rate would be below 8% if his stimulus was passed, but then it broke 10%. Only an artificial stimulus by the Federal Reserve now has it under 8%, barely. Promised shovel ready jobs, then admitted they weren't shovel ready. Said if you like your health plan you can keep it, but then threw seniors off Medicare Plus and employers are now saying they'll dump people onto the public exchange. Promised to have health care negotiations on live tv, but then reversed himself. Indicated Bush violated the Constitution, then carried out warrantless wiretaps, indefinite detentions, secret renditions,quadrupled drone attacks, and kept Guantanamo Bay open. Voted against the Patriot Act, but then supported its extension. Said lobbyists wouldn't work in the White House, then gave them waivers to work there. Vowed to take public financing for his 2008 campaign, then refused it when he realized he would receive more without it. Obama said his administration would be the most transparent in history. Yet his lies and coverup attempts on Benghazi are still at hand, while he tries to wait it out past the election.
Colter95 November 01, 2012 at 10:58 AM
Every voter needs to read this article: http://spectator.org/archives/2012/11/01/benghazi-obamas-core-deceit/
Joe Brenchick November 01, 2012 at 11:53 AM
As a former Marine Security Guard (Embassy Duty), I have a fairly good working knowledge of how security id handled at American Embassies and Consulates. And what happened in Benghazi. Libya is just another example of what happens when Presidents deign the requests of those in the field! In Somalia the Clinton Administration deigned the requests for tank and armored personnel carriers and we all saw the results of it in the movie, Blackhawk Down. However, the press will let the Benghazi get swept under the rub just like Somalia was. Our Troops and Foreign Service Personnel deserve so much better!
Colter95 November 03, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Please don't let Obama sweep Benghazi under the rug... Lets not forget those four who were left to be slaughtered in Benghazi... Do not reward Obama for this epic failure… Every voter needs to read this excellent article... Very well worth your time... http://spectator.org/archives/2012/11/01/benghazi-obamas-core-deceit/ These are pretty good as well: http://www.gazette.com/opinion/romney-146793-obama-benghazi.html http://frontpagemag.com/2012/dgreenfield/benghazigate-obamas-many-lies-about-libya/ http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/50657 http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2012/10/25/CBS-Busts-Obama--and-Itself-Hidden-60-Minutes-Clip-Proves-White-House-Lied-About-Benghazi Romney/Ryan 2012
Colter95 November 03, 2012 at 06:34 PM
I saw Obama yesterday claiming the new job numbers are proof that his policies are working and that we are in an economic recovery... Fact is, that is not the truth, or even close to the truth... First, the unemployment rate ticked up to 7.9% and the year-to-date monthly average of 157,000 payroll jobs is barely enough to keep up with population growth -- much less make up for the 8 million jobs lost during the Great Recession. Second, the so-called real unemployment rate (U6) remains elevated at 14.6%, albeit down from 14.7% the prior month. Similarly, the labor participation rate is at 63.8%, up from its multi-decade low but still incredibly weak. Third, average hourly earnings fell a penny in October and average hours worked fell to 34.4 from 34.5 in September. Stagnant wages means "we're not generating income," Reinhart says. "That's a problem in terms of the durability of an economic expansion, which is usually fueled by consumption. To get consumption you've got to generate income." Also, just look at your checkbook. We are paying a lot more for everything now than we did in 2008. The price of gas has doubled. At the same time, wages have gone down, and that's if you're lucky to have a job. In 2008, 25 banks went out of business. In 2012, 48 banks have gone out of business. Almost double the amount. Does that sound like recovery to you? Don't believe the Obama lies!! Romney/Ryan 2012


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