Third and final Presidential debate: President Barack Obama versus former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney  … 

  • Style:                        Sit-down table format
  • Date:                        Monday, October 22, 2012
  • Time:                        90 minutes: 6 - 7:30 p.m. PDT
  • Location:                  Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida
  • Moderator:                Bob Schieffer, Chief Washington Correspondent, CBS News and Moderator, Face the Nation  -- Potential Conflict of InterestSchieffer is the older brother of Tom Schieffer, a friend and former business partner (Texas Rangers Investment Group) of President George W. Bush, who was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Australia 2001–2005 by President Bush and also served as U.S. Ambassador to Japan from April 2005 through January 2009. On March 2, 2009 Tom Schieffer cut short a run for Democratic nomination for Governor of Texas. He was involved with the business affairs of the  Los Angeles Dodgers on behalf of Baseball commissioner in 2011. <Source>
  • Subject:                     Foreign policy.
  • Format:                     Six ten-minute segments
  • Announced topics:    "The Changing Middle East and the New Face of Terrorism" (Two segments); "Our longest war – Afghanistan and Pakistan," "Red Lines – Israel and Iran," "The Rise of China and Tomorrow’s World." and "America’s role in the world" is the fifth topic. 
  • Natural Advantage:  It appears that the natural advantage will accrue to the President based on the topics chosen and the respect for the Presidency, if not the man. While Romney may not be an expert in foreign affairs, he appears to know more than Barack Obama did when he assumed the Presidency.  

Both parties have given strong, aggressive performances in their last debate – turning a Townhall debate into a historically confrontational event. The President must overcome his record and Romney must press the attack without seeming disrespectful.           


Bob Schieffer, the moderator, was straightforward and effective.

Romney continues to look Presidential. Both parties were sometimes contentious and talked over each other. Romney as strong as the President. 

Contentious opening with both candidates challenging each other and talking over each other. This was a good debate with both parties making their key points. Obama continues to speak as he is in control even though many of his statements are demonstrably nuanced or false.

In the final analysis, it is who you believe will show the leadership to carry out the tough choices enumerated by both parties in tonight’s debate.

Obama, over the previous three years, did not show that leadership and has an abysmal record. Obama speaks as if what he originally proposed was accomplished – demonstrably false.

It appears that Romney agreed with Obama more than expected possibly to diffuse the idea that Romney was a radical with extreme views. Perhaps this was the Romney strategy to embrace the President on some of the issues – and then make the debate about leadership.

If one needed to score the issues, Obama edged ahead on foreign policy, Romney was clearly ahead on economic issues. Obama failed to put forth his grand vision for the next few years.

Closing Arguments:

(Obama)  We inherited a bad situation and we understand what to do and need another term to achieve our goals. Romney wants to take us back to the policies that got us to this point.

(Romney)  We can’t afford another four years of the Obama Administration. I can work with the democrats and fix government.

Time: Obama 42 minutes Romney 41 minutes

Fact Checking …

Troops in Iraq – Romney is right. There was always to be a residual force and Obama failed to get a status of forces agreement. Biden was in charge of the effort.

Military – accrues Romney of not knowing how the military works, trying to be funny. Someone should tell Obama that there is strength in numbers, economies of scale, especially when modern weapons can be deployed against ships. By the way, the Marines still use bayonets.

Romney: “Our Navy is smaller now than at any time since 1917.” “The Navy said they needed 313 ships to carry out their mission. We’re now at 285.”

Obama: “But I think Governor Romney maybe hasn’t spent enough time looking at how our military works. You — you mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets — (laughter) — because the nature of our military’s changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines. And so the question is not a game of Battleship where we’re counting ships. It’s — it’s what are our capabilities.”

Auto Bailout – Obama was wrong. Romney advocated for a managed bankruptcy with the government providing post-bankruptcy financing and assuring car buyers that their warranties were still valid.

Best line …

ROMNEY: “We’re four years closer to a nuclear Iran. We’re four years closer to a nuclear Iran. And — and we should not have wasted these four years to the extent they’ve — they continue to be able to spin these centrifuges and get that much closer. That’s number one.”

Number two, Mr. President, the reason I call it an apology tour is because you went to the Middle East and you flew to — to Egypt and to Saudi Arabia and to — to Turkey and Iraq. And — and by way, you skipped Israel, our closest friend in the region, but you went to the other nations. And by the way, they noticed that you skipped Israel. And then in those nations and on Arabic TV you said that America had been dismissive and derisive. You said that on occasion America had dictated to other nations. Mr. President, America has not dictated to other nations. We have freed other nations from dictators.”

No doubt that the American public will believe that Romney can best manage the military.

Personal feelings …

Mitt Romney won the debate based on the fact that he accomplished exactly what he wanted. To demonstrate that he was not a radical with extreme policies that would put America further at risk. Masterfully inserted domestic economic issues in what was essentially a “foreign policy” debate. Obama, while he may have appeared to win certain skirmishes, appeared somewhat aggressive and defensive when his record was cited.

Based on ideology:


Based on ideology:





Bottom line …

Disclaimer:  My personal bias is for the United States Constitution, fiscal and social conservatism. I abhor Marxism, Socialism, Communism and those who would use our politics and the use of our laws to destroy the United States from within. I believe our foreign affairs policy should be peace through strength.

-- steve

“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS