The Rumble in Florida 2012

Photo courtesy of NBC News

12:30am- Talking Points Memo points out something else in Romney’s statement about having Ahmadinejad placed under arrest, that he justifies it by saying “his words amount genocide in citation, considering no concrete action has been taken by Ahmadinejad or anyone else to actually do this, it would seem hard to make charges of genocide stick especially since one hasn’t yet happened and there is no hard evidence that it is about to happen.

12:16am- CNN Snap poll on who won the debate: Obama 48%- Romney 42%, in other words a win but not nearly as decisive as Romney’s win over Obama in the first debate.

11:09- CBS Post debate ‘instant poll’ finds that 53% of undecided voters say Obama won the debate.

10:42- Will update with links and a wrap up soon.

10:31- Romney: ‘I want to see growing peace’. Emphasizes secure future, hits Obama on declining pay and claims he can work across the aisle.  Washington is broken, and I know what it takes to fix it.”

10:31- Romney gets last word.

10:29- Obama: ‘ After a decade of war, I think we all realize we need to do some nation building at home.’

10:29- Obama’s argument – we’ve made progress compared to where we were four years ago, Romney wants to take us back and coddle the wealthy.

10:29- Way too many commercials is right

10:28- Romney hits Obama again on the economy

10:27- Romney makes a good point on shrinking incomes.

10:26- Once again Obama turns discussion on competition with China to hit Romney on his budget cuts.

10:25- So Romney would invest in think tanks but not energy companies? By the way think tanks are basically welfare bodies for oped writers

10:23- Romney on the defense over auto industry after Obama dings him on the ‘Let Detroit Go Bankrupt’ oped, Romney insists he advocated government guarantees by going through bankruptcy.

10:22- Obama needs to hit Romney on his inconsistencies in real time.

10:19-  Romney wants a great relationship with China, but will declare them a currency manipulator on day way. In other words its the economic equivalent of saying killing is the best way of cuddling.

10:17am- Greatest future threats to America: Obama says terrorism, Romney says Iran.

10:16am- Now China.

10:14am- Can Romney really credibly say that Al-Qaeda is not weaker then they were years ago, even now that most of their senior leadership is dead and they have not carried out a successful attack on American soil since then?

10:11am- Finally talk about drone strikes. Romney says he supports it, but says we need a more comprehensive strategy in the Middle East and there is the word of the night again: Tumult.

10:10am Romney with talk of Pashtoons showing he is knowledgeable but risks getting bogged down in details.

10:10am- Pakistan ‘not acting very much like an ally now’ amen Mitt.

10:02- That story about the girl whose father called her just moments before he died in the Twin towers on 9/11 is powerful stuff.

9:58- Surprised Obama didn’t more openly hit Mitt on his disastrous campaign foreign policy trip when he said if we are going to talk about trips.

9:53-  Mitt seems to forget that Israel is not the fifty-first state, so of course their will be ‘day light between us’  we are two different nations,.

9:53-  Wow, just a half hour left and this is the first mention of the ‘apology tour’.

9:49- Saying he will indict Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on charges of genocide and comparing the Iranian regime to that of Apartheid  era South Africa, before then saying military action is a last resort, only Mitt Romney could sell such a contorted policy.

9:48- In essence Romney’s difference with Obama on sanctions is ‘I would have done it sooner’.

9:37- Mitt taking credit for the education policies signed into law by a predecessor. The most humane thing about Romney, he is always willing to take some of the weight of credit and praise off the hands of others after they have succeeded.

9:36- Somehow it all comes back to the tax cuts.

9:34- ‘North American Energy Independence’ is the most idiotic policy since America already gets 52% of its imported oil from within the Western hemisphere.

9:33- Romney promising 12,000 new jobs and higher take home pay, this from a guy who as Governor had the fourth worst record of job creation in the country?

9:30- Calling tension between Israel and America ‘unfortunate’ and hitting Obama on missile defense in Eastern Europe, John Bolton breathes a sigh of relief.

9:27- Romney says we have both’ weakened our military’ while at the same time saying our military is ‘second to none’ . Make up your mind Mitt.

9:25 Obama: Its very hard to project American leadership abroad when we aren’t at home”.  Great job linking Foreign and domestic policy.

9:20- Romney walking tight line insisting on more action against Bashir Assad in Syria, but not military action. John Bolton must be pissed.

9:19- ‘Arms get into the wrong hands’ a great bumper sticker

9:15- Romney flashes prep school douche bag  smile.

9:14- Wow, this is like the 2004 presidential election with the roles of the party’s reversed with a Democratic candidate hitting a Republican for inconsistency.

9:13- Wow, Romney hits Obama on flexibility remark he made to then Russian President Medvedev, good response.

9:12- ‘Rising tide of tumult in the Middle East’ the new catchphrase of the 2012 campaign.

9:10- Obama knocks Romney on “Russia is the biggest Geo political threat line’ says Cold War is over. Adds that Romney wants to  “import the foreign policies of the 1980s, just like the social policies of the 1950s and the economic policies of the 1920s”.

9:09- “We don’t want another Iraq, we don’t want another Afghanistan”, George W Bush winces.

9:06- Romney : “We can’t kill our way out of this problem” on the unrest in the Middle East, throws bone to the center.

9:03- Schieffer opens debate by evoking  the fiftieth anniversary of JFK publicly revealing that the U.S had discovered nuclear missile in Cuba.  Subtle message to Romney

9:02- Heard both Obama and Romney say ” good to see you’ amid the applause. How much you wanna bet that will last?

9:01PM/ET- Is it just me or are all these debate stages decorated the same?

President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney will square off in their third and final debate of the election, the last major event before voters across the country head to the polls on November 6.

Following a summer of campaign missteps and successful efforts by team Obama to cast him as out of touch and wedded to the most extreme elements of  his party, Romney rebounded after what many saw as a winning performance by him in the first debate two weeks ago. Both Vice President Joe Biden in his debate against Wisconsin Congressman and Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan, and the second debate between Obama and Romney last week were seen by many as winners of the subsequent debates, but as evidenced by the polls that have come out Romney still is riding high from his victory over Obama in Denver.

Tonight the candidates will meet at Lynn University in Bocca Raton, Florida. The debate will center around foreign policy, an area of policy that has been overshadowed by a weak economic recovery and domestic policy. The debate expected to start at 9am and last a half hour will be moderated by CBS Face the Nation host Bob Scheiffer and will be divided into six fifteen minute segments:

  • America’s role in the world
  • Our longest war – Afghanistan and Pakistan
  • Red Lines – Israel and Iran
  • The Changing Middle East and the New Face of Terrorism – I
  • The Changing Middle East and the New Face of Terrorism – II
  • The Rise of China and Tomorrow’s World

The substance will not be the only difference between this and the other debates. Unlike last weeks ‘town hall meeting’ style of debates which saw the two candidates circle each other like jungle cats preparing to pounce on one another, both candidates will be seated at a table and the audience will not taking an active part in the debate, that is if Bob Scheiffer can help it.

Expect to see Obama on the defense about his response to the September attack on the U.S Embassy in Libya.  Though Romney has muddled two attempts to turn this issue to his advantage, it has allowed him to begin to deflate what had been perceived as the President’s strength on foreign policy.

Governor Romney will repeat  his often mentioned criticisms of  the current administration including his trademark allegation that Obama ‘apologizes for America’ and that he has ‘led from behind’, while also seeking to perceive himself as trigger happy when it comes to military intervention.

For his part President Obama will seek to remind voters that he ended the unpopular war in Iraq, and that Romney represents what many see as the bellicose and ineffective policies of the previous administration.

I meanwhile will be live blogging this debate which starts in a matter of minutes.

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3 Comments to “The Rumble in Florida 2012”

  1. The key here is image, not the issues. The US electorate, by and large, do not care two hoots what goes on outside of the continental United States (they mostly don’t care about Hawaii or Alaska either). The questions are Bob Schieffer’s, not shared with campaigns or aides, and it is the 90 minutes of the debate that will burn into the television audience’s minds who they should elect to be the next President of the United States.

    (That said – the issues still matter: http://goo.gl/MrcgY)

    • Well don’t forget the vast majority have already made up their minds and they are competing for a sliver of the vote. In general I would agree with your statement on Americans and foreign policy, but remember we are a nation that is burned out by two wars and that there is no appetite for another, as evidenced by Romney’s often strange balancing act.

  2. how about when obama pulled out the j-card. BOOM!

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