The third presidential debate between Governor Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama was a debate on Foreign Policy. The debate happened to be on the 50th anniversary of the night President Kennedy announced that the Soviet Union had nuclear missiles installed in Cuba, which only made the topic of the debate that much more important. The debate started well with a discussion of the attacks in Libya. However, throughout the debate the conversation often switched from foreign policy to domestic issues that tended to favor each candidate. Other than that this debate was much like the others- the candidates focused on attacking their opponent and their comments seemed repetitive. However, the President won this debate because he elaborated and explained his answers and policies, a practice which Governor Romney lacks.
Governor Romney didn’t do too badly in this debate against President Obama. He did exactly what his campaign needed him to do- pass the acceptability bar. He doesn’t need to come off as the best in national security because most Americans’ primary concern is the economy. He only needed to be acceptable and he did that. The problem is that he did it too much. He agreed with the President so much you would think they were running mates. Meanwhile the president came down with attack after attack against Romney’s competency and recklessness. It didn’t hurt Governor Romney too much to take this approach, but if he was looking to pull ahead in the polls then his strategists had it wrong.
President Obama on the other hand had a pretty good night. I’m sure he was probably caught off guard with how much Romney agreed with most of his policies, but that didn’t affect the president at all. Obama came to the debate with proof that he can handle the country’s national security, especially seeing the fact that his administration is responsible for the death of Osama Bin Laden. However the president was on the attack maybe too much. One of the quotes of the debate that has been getting a lot of play is one from the president where he notes, “Well governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets…” This was in response to Romney saying we have less Navy ships than under any other president. This scored the knockout punch in this debate for Obama because not only did he make Romney seem incompetent, but he made him seem old-fashioned as well.