Obama and Romney Clash over Foreign Policy | The Third and Final Presidential Debate


Senior Dan Poskus on the government shutdown.

By Dan Poskus

Obama and Romney wrapped up the series of debates Monday night at Lynn University with aggressive performances by both parties. Both candidates had a lot to lose, but neither dropped the ball.

The opening statement showed a lot about the two candidates.

“This is obviously an area of great concern to the entire world, and to America in particular, which is to see a — a complete change in the — the structure and the — the environment in the Middle East,” Romney said.

“Well, my first job as commander in chief, Bob, is to keep the American people safe. And that’s what we’ve done over the last four years,” Obama said.

Romney took advantage of every opportunity he could to direct the conversation to the failed promises of the president; for example, unemployment.

“The president said by now we’d be a 5.4 percent unemployment. We’re nine million jobs short of that,” Romney said. He went on to say he would fix this problem with his five-point plan. These are the three essential and known points:

  • North American energy independence, increase trade, “we’re going to have to have training programs that work for our workers and schools that finally put the parents and the teachers and the kids first, and the teachers’ unions going to have to go behind,” said Romney.
  • To have a balanced budget.
  • To finally champion small business, Romney said, “Small businesses are where jobs come from.”

Are we better off than we were four years ago? Romney doesn’t think so. “Look at the record,” Romney said. “You look at the record of the last four years and say: Is Iran closer to a bomb? Yes. Is the Middle East in tumult? Yes. Is Al Qaeda on the run, on its heels? No. Are Israel and the Palestinians closer to reaching a peace agreement? No.” Strong words from Romney.

Obama was much more aggressive than Romney, coming back with several slams for each of Romney’s.

He called his opponent’s foreign policies “wrong and reckless” and that he was trying to “airbrush history.” He called out Romney and his campaign for trying to “do the same things we do but say them louder.” He had many zingers prepared as well, like on Romney’s foreign policy.

“Governor, the problem is that on a whole range of issues, whether it’s the Middle East, whether it’s Afghanistan, whether it’s Iraq, whether it’s now Iran, you’ve been all over the map,” Obama said.

The night went on like that. Both men taking shots at each other. No new ground was broken in my opinion. The third debate just showed off more of Obama and Romney’s senses and styles of leadership.

In the end, there wasn’t much difference between the two candidates on foreign policy. Both men are in strong favor of international sanctions, using nuclear power to keep nuclear weapons away from Iran, and withdrawing from Afghanistan.