Obama vs. Romney: Final Presidential Debate (Live Blog)
Moderated by Bob Schieffer of CBS News, the topic of the final clash between the candidates is foreign policy.
It all comes down to this.
Well, not really -- election day is not for another two weeks -- but tonight's debate in at Lynn University in Florida will be the last chance that President Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney will have to go head-to-head and address each other directly.
The debate is of the utmost important for Obama; after a drubbing in the first debate three weeks ago in Denver, he lost his entire lead to the GOP nominee in general election polls (in some places, falling behind), and it took a strong performance last week to simply stop the bleeding. The two are now tied, trading statistically insignificant leads in national surveys.
Foreign policy has largely been a back burner issue in this campaign, in large part because there are fewer differences between the candidates on the issues within. Obama, who authorized the "surge" in Afghanistan, has pledged to remove all troops from that country by 2014.
Romney largely agrees with that timetable, though he wants more flexibility to keep forces there. The GOP standard bearer is advocating a hard line against Iran and its nuclear program, calling Obama weak on that issue and the defense of Israel; Obama will point to joint military exercises the US is performing with the Jewish state at this very moment. The NY Times reported that the US was going to enter into one-on-one talks with Iran about its nuclear development, though the administration denied the report.
On the issue of Libya, Romney may look to blame Obama for attacks in Benghazi that killed four Americans, but new CIA reports may undercut his message; in the last debate, Romney insisted that Obama hadn't called it an act of terror, and said it was perpetrated by al Qaeda, but it turns out that it may well have been in response to that amateur Innocence of Muslims film after all.
Twitter: 6.5 million tweets during tonight's presidential debate. #debatesby Matthew Keys via twitter 10/23/2012 2:42:34 AM
Romney supported government help for the autos AFTER they went through managed bankruptcy. not before. it's very clear.by Sam Stein via twitter 10/23/2012 2:42:35 AM
Twitter: Peak tweets at 105,767 tweets per minute during Obama's "horses and bayonets" moment. #debatesby Matthew Keys via twitter 10/23/2012 2:43:11 AM
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