Obama, Romney prep for Boca Raton showdown

Presidential candidates face-off in final debate
Associated Press
Oct 22, 2012

Still neck-and-neck after all these months, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney head into their third and final debate with each man eager to project an aura of personal strength and leadership while raising doubts about the steadiness and foreign policy credentials of the other guy.

*

Be sure to get a copy of Tuesday's Register for local reaction to the last presidential debate. 

*

Each is aiming for a commanding performance Monday to settle the seesaw dynamics of the first two debates: Romney gave Obama an old-fashioned shellacking in the first round, and the chastened president rebounded in their second encounter.

The 90-minute faceoff at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla., offers the candidates their last opportunity to stand one-on-one before tens of millions of Americans and command their undivided attention before next month's election. Both candidates largely dropped out of sight and devoted their weekends to debate preparations, a sure sign of the high importance they attach to the event.

While the principals warm up for their evening debate in the battleground state of Florida, their running mates will be busy Monday seeking votes in two of the eight other states whose up-for-grabs electoral votes will determine the next president - Vice President Joe Biden in Ohio and Republican Rep. Paul Ryan in Colorado. Also still hotly contested: Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Virginia.

Deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter said Monday that "it really now comes down to that small segment of undecided voters."

Appearing on NBC's "Today" show, Cutter said, "The ground game is in credibly important at this point. We feel pretty good about where we are."

It fell to campaign surrogates on Sunday talk shows to frame the foreign policy matters that moderator Bob Schieffer will put before the candidates in a discussion sure to reflect "how dangerous the world is in which we live," as the CBS newsman put it. Iran's nuclear intentions, the bloody crackdown in Syria, economic angst in Europe, security concerns in Afghanistan, China's growing power - all that and more are on the agenda.

On Iran, senior Romney campaign foreign policy adviser Dan Senor said on NBC Monday that Romney's approach is that "we've got to reach a diplomatic solution." He said the Obama administration's policy on Iran for the past four years has not discouraged Tehran from moving forward with its nuclear ambitions.

On Libya, Senor said "they didn't have the proper security" at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi where Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others were killed on Sept. 11.

The series of interviews Sunday and Monday fed into the broader debate over which candidate offers the steady hand and sound judgment for a nation facing myriad challenges at home and abroad.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, arguing for the Republicans, faulted Obama for "his failure to outline broad goals, real goals, a real view of what America's role in the world should be." Romney, by contrast, would "use America's role in the world as a catalyst for peace, prosperity and freedom," he said.

Ryan, campaigning in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Sunday, faulted the president for potential defense cuts and said that when adversaries "see us projecting weakness, when they see us hollowing out our military ... they think we are a superpower in decline." It was a likely preview of one of Romney's arguments in the debate.

Obama adviser David Axelrod said that when the president took office "we were isolated in our position on Iran and in the world. And today, the world is unified against Iran with us, all because of the leadership of this president."

The Obama campaign released a blistering memo from Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry, D-Mass., accusing Romney of offering nothing but "endless bluster" on international issues.

"He is an extreme and expedient candidate who lacks the judgment and vision so vital for the Oval Office," said Kerry, who is considered a leading candidate to succeed Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of state if Obama wins a second term.

When it comes to their foreign policy credentials, both candidates have reasons for optimism and concern: While foreign policy has been a strength of Obama throughout the campaign, some recent polls show his advantage narrowing. The Pew Research Center's October poll, for example, found that 47 percent of Americans favored Obama to make "wise decisions about foreign policy," while 43 percent preferred Romney.

American University professor Jordan Tama said the difficult trick for Romney in the debate will be to challenge Obama on foreign policy without looking like he's criticizing the commander in chief, which can be off-putting to voters. Obama, for his part, must make the case that his policies are sound and his leadership strong despite ongoing challenges around the world, including unrest in the Middle East and the chaotic situation in Libya that left four Americans dead.

While foreign policy has been overshadowed during this campaign by concerns about the domestic economy and jobs at home, everything matters in a race this tight. A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released Sunday showed each candidate favored by 47 percent of likely voters, reflecting a boost of support for Romney following his strong performance in the first debate in early October.

With early voting under way in many states, there is precious little time for the candidates to break loose. More than 4 million Americans already have voted.

Comments

Contango

This next presidential candidate rutting should be fun.

Gotta hope that Mr. Romney pounds the H*ll outa Mr. Obama for his mishandling and mischaracterization of the Benghazi al-Qaeda attack.

It probably won't be an "optimal" night for him. Hope he's rested again.

Phil Packer

THE BEARS!

deertracker

The game will be much more entertaining! Keep hoping pooh bear!

coasterfan

What IS it with Republicans? Bill Maher was right when he said that they live in a bubble in which facts don't get in. During the last debate, Romney tried to lie about Obama not calling it an act of terrorism, which was obviously wrong. Obama is on record as twice calling it an "act of terror" the very next day after the attack. Candy Crowley set him straight, and still Mitt persisted.

Obama and the White House went on whatever info was made available to them at the time, just the same as any president would have. As more info came in, they responded accordingly.

For Mitt's part, he has tried to make this into a political issue showing supposed poor foreign policy of Obama, which is both ethically and factually wrong. Obama, as we know has had an overall very effective foreign policy (see Bin Laden, see Irag, see Iran) fixing several problems that Bush either caused or that Bush couldn't fix. Romney's only foreign policy experience was the series of rather embarrassing comments he made during his visit to the London Olympics this past summer. It's also disingenuous for Republicans to point fingers at the Obama administration for supposedly not providing enough protection to our Libyan ambassador, when it was Republicans who voted to curtail funding for this very thing.

The following Albert Einstein quote applies well in 2012 to anyone who actually thinks that Romney/Bush economic ideas will help the current continued recovery from the Bush Recession: "We can't solve problems by using the same thinking we used when we created them".

Some conservatives living inside the NO-FACTS-GET-IN bubble, I'm sure, would like to apply that Einstein quote to Obama's economic record. Unfortunately, they can't do that for the simple reason that Obama didn't cause the problem. Their guy did.

Phil Packer

THE BEARS!

Randy_Marsh

A guy with the last name of "Packer" Rooting for the bears seems odd.

Phil Packer

Who said I'm rooting for the Bears?

Randy_Marsh

They won Packer, Good for you!

Phil Packer

Bears won, WE lose(regardless).

Contango

@ coasterfan:

The "fact" that you get your factual info from "comedian" Bill Maher speaks to your vast political, economic and intellectual ignorance.

"We can't solve problems by using the same thinking we used when we created them."?

Exactly. Easy credit, low interest rates, Fed money printing, and massive govt. spending without increased taxes helped to foster the credit bubble and more of the disease under Pres. Obama is the cure????

You’ve stumbled onto the right answer, but have arrived at an erroneous conclusion.

BTW: Mr. Obama's excessive use of drones in Pakistan is gettin' ready to blow up on him. Far too many innocents are gettin' killed by the policies of the Nobel Prize winner.

--------------------

Isn't it strange that when Pres. Obama said "Get the transcript," that Ms. Crowley had it at hand?

Wonder how well Mr. Schieffer's been coached by the Obama team for tonight?

reese

Well, Contango, seems like tonight wasn't the night the drones in Pakistan got blown up.

Surprise, surprise...Mr. Etch-a-Sketch suddenly agrees with President Obama's foreign policies...the same ones he has been busy calling "failed policies".

Contango

@ reese:

Better read up on what Pakistan is sayin':

"There are no exact statistics on the number of people killed in drone strikes in Pakistan. Estimates vary from about 2,500 to over 3,000 victims. As many as 174 of them were reportedly children."

http://rt.com/news/pakistan-civi...

deertracker

You and your boys can't solve anything!

Contango

@ deertracker:

And it doesn't even have the potential to be solved until after the fiscal and financial collapse.

Mr. Romney will just bankrupt this country slower than will Pres. Obama.

EVERY major central bank in the world is printing money - 'not' a sign of economic stability.

Without Mr. Bernanke, this economy would be flat on it's back.

deertracker

No worries pooh bear, your portfolio is doing just fine. Enjoy!

Contango

@ deertracker:

Yep! Just investing in some of the same stuff as does your favorite druggie in the WH.

deertracker

Smart guy!

coasterfan

Lol Contango. Candy Crowley is a Republican. So you actually think she was plotting against Romney in debate #2? If she had a copy of the news release "handy"', it's probably because she knew Mitt would bring it up and try to pass misinformation off as fact -which he did. I don't get my factual info from Bill Maher. I listen to him because he puts a humorous spin on things I, and millions of other Americans already believe. But now that you mention it, Maher's information is absolutely a lot more ground in fact than the ideology that masquerades as News on Fox Network.

Enjoying the debate. Obama is showing his expertise and successes in the area of Foreign Policy. Romney is showing what a true novice he is in this area.

ramrod84

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

reese

Uhm...She did not say she was wrong when she said that. What she said the night of the debate was the same as she said in the link you provided. The second part of what she said that night was just down played by the media. Factually, she was correct. The problem was with the way that Romney chose to make his point, which was incorrect in the way that he stated it.

Riskkbreaker

There is no good way to spin what the Obama Admin. did in this incident.
Americans were killed and he blamed it on an American who made a video that offended Muslims.

Just like Obama does nothing about the fairly recent incident in Dearborn Michigan (a hotbed of support for Obama) where a mob of a hundred or so Muslims stoned a small group of Christians just because they were holding up signs of Bible verses at an event.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v...

And by the way, I am not saying Obama is a Muslim. No. I am saying he is just anti-American in general (or would it be more politically correct to say "Anti-colonialist?"). His book is not called Dreams OF my Father. It is called Dreams FROM my Father.

The New World Czar

Just where in the world is "Pockeestahn"?

mikel

to have someone like crowley be a moderator when she made it clear that she hates romney would be like having the kkk be the moderator tonight. just wrong.

coasterfan

Debate Scorecard.....
#1 Romney...clear win
#2 Obama....narrow win
#3 Obama...trounces Romney

Riskkbreaker

What debates were YOU watching?
Obama hasn't won a single debate.
You continually comment with timestamps that occur DURING the debate. You are not even 100% focused on them and you are scoring them?

eriemom

#3

Romney went into this to prove that he is not a war monger. He failed. He failed because he will make every threat political. He failed because he thinks like a business man and not as Commander In Chief. The world is not a board room where he can walk in and take charge. It is about who is more credible. Remember Mr. Bush's bluster and cowboy messages to the rest of the world. We can't trust Mr. Romney. He is using the same neocon advisors that Mr. Bush had.

"Bayonet and horses" statement will be all over commercials in Virginia. The President could have punted. He didn't flinch when he talked about the military budget. The money we spend as a nation on national defense should not be based on the location of the factories that build the equipment that we take into war.

Riskkbreaker

Yes, pls..harp on the Bayonet and horses thing as if it held any significance.
Comedy is all Mr. Obama has going for him..because he is a joke.

Reallypeople

If Candy is a republican, then I am the queen of England.... @Coasterfan, unglue your eyes from communist news network every once in a while..

luvblues2

"we have these things called submarines...they go underneath the water." ROTFLMAO!

reese

This one was definitely worth staying up for. No wonder Romney had to switch to all of President Obama's foreign policies. His own point of reference goes back to 1916 or 1917 to justify increasing military spending on ships??!! Say WHAT??!!!

real talk

Romney got spanked...again.

It is funny watching Fox and seeing them try to come up with ways Romney won the debate. Failing miserably

luvblues2

Like.

rjk1915

Both parties are misnamed. How about "Plebian" and
"Aristocratic" ?

KURTje

Coasterfan3-.-.-winniezip

Kimo

Re:communist news network

When logic fails use the "C" word.

Build that bomb shelter yet??

Contango

@ Kimo:

"Bomb shelter"?

VP Biden said that Iran doesn't have a delivery system.

"Fat Man" and "Little Boy" is 1940s technology and the info for building such is in the public domain.

Darwin's choice