Incumbent president Barack Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, debated foreign policy in Boca Raton, Florida tonight in what was their third and last televised debate before November’s election.
The Atlantic Sentinel‘s Christopher Whyte said the debate was “not a blowout for either candidate.” Both held their positions well on a number of fronts, he said.
However, it is fairly clear that Obama came out on top, even if only by a bit. Romney agreed with Obama so many times that it almost seemed to be the template for responses that had been decided upon beforehand. Obama clearly came to attack and prove himself the master of foreign policy that he, as commander-in-chief, is.
Romney, by contrast, “still has a lot to prove if he wants to be taken seriously as a strong leader,” said Whyte.
Steve Keller said Obama effectively defused two Republican attack lines.
By pivoting to stories of his trip to Israel and anecdotes about the people he saw and the things he experienced, he took a lot of the power out of the Republican line that he’s anti-Israel.
Moreover, the president came out of the debate with taking any serious punches on the Benghazi consulate attack.
All of this week’s windup was for a punch that never came but perhaps that’s because there was no way to land it.
In spite of those two issues, Daniel DePetris found it striking just how many similarities the candidates when it came to foreign policy.
Stripped of the political rhetoric and the bombastic television ads, the policy proposals that Obama and Romney have on many important global issues are roughly identical. Both were clear and direct in vowing that Iran would never have a nuclear weapon on their watch. Both were supportive of withdrawing troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014. Both agreed that Israel is America’s most trusted friend in the Middle East. Both agree that the United States cannot slide back to the days of isolation when the world is confronted with so many challenges.
DePetris agreed Obama came out stronger but “Romney came away as someone who has a grasp of how complex the world can be,” he said.