LIVEBLOG: Third Presidential Debate
DetailsCreated on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 00:53 Written by DKS/TV2 Reporters Hits: 731
The debate has concluded. The candidates split up tonight's time fairly evenly - Obama spoke for 41 minutes and 42 seconds and Romney spoke for 41 minutes and 7 seconds. President Obama often brought up the difference between his policies and Romney's, while Governor Romney spent most of his time focused on his own potential policies. This tone of this debate was much less hostile and argumentative. Voters will now decide which of the two is best equipped to lead our country over the next four years. Who do you think won tonight's debate?
Governor Romney's closing statement: "I want to make sure we get this economy going ... America's going to come back." The governor says Washington is broken and he knows what it takes to "get this country back."
President Obama's closing statement: "We've made real progress over the past four years at digging our way out of the policies of prolonged wars." Obama says he wants to reduce deficit, maintain strongest military in the world.
Romney says he loves teachers. Schieffer says he thinks everyone loves teachers.
The president says Romney keeps trying to airbrush history, says the governor was clear that he would not provide government assistance to U.S. auto companies.
Obama says, unlike Romney, he's made a bet on American workers. "U.S. exports (to China) have doubled since we came into office," the president says. Governor Romney says he's a "son of Detroit" and loves American cars, then denies the notion that he would liquidate the auto industry.
Governor Romney says we can work with China, they don't have to be adversary. Romney says he will label China as a "currency manipulator" on day one. Schieffer asks if that could start a trade war. The governor says China wouldn't want a trade war because of how much they export.
The moderator brings up China and asks what the United States' greatest threat to national security is. The president says terrorism will always be the greatest threat ... China is an adversary but also a potential partner in the international community. Romney says greatest threat is a nuclear Iran.
Obama says he created partnerships to go after extremism in Somalia, Yemen and Pakistan. "There's no doubt attitudes about Americans have changed," says Obama.
Governor Romney says we should not divorce a nation on Earth with nuclear weapons, in reference to Pakistan. Says Romney, "They're technically an ally, but they're not acting like an ally."
Obama says it's time for some nation building at home after a decade of war in the Middle East. The president highlights the importance of putting veterans to work once they come back home.
Schieffer shifts to Afghanistan. Romney says troops would come home by the end of 2014 if elected. The governor mentions how important Pakistan is to the region as well, with its own nuclear warheads.
The president says "It was worth moving heaven and earth to get Bin Laden." Obama says some decisions are not poll tested.
Romney says Iran is four years closer to a nuclear bomb, there is a rising tide of violence overseas and our trade deficit with China has grown larger every year. "I don't see our influence growing around the world," Romney says. "I see it receding."
The topic stays on President Obama's travels. The president says he went to a Halocaust museum in Israel to remind himself of the nature of evil and why our bond with Israel is unbreakable.
Governor Romney says the president has gone on an "apology tour" throughout the Middle East during his tenure as commander in chief. Obama responds by saying the notion of him apologizing is "just not true."
Obama says the work involved with setting up these "crippling sanctions" is painstaking and meticulous, something his administration has worked on over the past four years. The president says Iran can regain its credibility, but in the meantime he will not let up on the pressure.
Romney says he would combat Iran with economic sanctions and not allow Iranian oil to come into our ports. The governor also says war with Iran would be a last resort.
Obama says America will stand with Israel if they are attacked. "As long as I am president of the United States, Iran will not get a nuclear weapon," says Obama. "We cannot afford to handle a nuclear arms race in the most volatile region in the world." The president says a diplomatic route is the first course of action, war is a last resort.
Romney says the highest responsibility of the president should be to maintain the safety of people. The governor says our Navy doesn't have enough ships. Obama says the nature of our military has changed over time. "We have fewer horses and bayonets too," he says.
"There are a number of things that sound good but frankly we just can't afford," Governor Romney says of Obamacare, which he would like to repeal. Obama says Romney's plan for $5 billion in tax cuts and plans to increase military spending will not reduce the deficit. The president says our budget should focus on "what we'll need in the future to make sure we're safe."
Romney brings up his 5-point plan and the topic shifts to the economy and which policies will help small businesses the most. Obama turns the focus to education, says he wants to hire more teachers, especially in the areas of math and science. Moderator Bob Schieffer attempts to get the two back on the topic of foreign policy, but Romney puts forth an answer to Obama's criticism of his education policies.
The president says America is stronger since he took office, relationships with countries in Asia, Europe, Africa and Israel are improved too. Obama says he's cut oil imports to the lowest level in two decades.
The moderator asks both what America's role should be throughout the world. Romney says we have a responsibility of defending freedom, but for that to happen we must strengthen our economy domestically. The governor says he won't cut our military budget, wants a strong military.
Romney says he wishes the Obama administration had recognized earlier the growing passion for freedom in the Middle East. "The principles of peace have fallen to us," he says. A bright, prosperous world begins with a strong economy at home, says Romney.
The president says he's made it clear to the international community that Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad "has to go." Romney agrees that such a move is critical, but we must identify responsible parties within the country to work with the United States. "I believe Assad will go," says the governor. "But we must coordinate with our allies, in particular Israel."
Obama says we must be clear to our allies and our enemies about what we stand for, mentions that Romney recently said we should still have troops in Iran. The president says other countries have supported his counter-terrorism efforts during his presidency.
Romney says Iran is the greatest national security threat we face and also that Russia continues to battle the United States in the U.N.
Obama responds by saying he indicated in the last debate that he made sure the "number one thing we did was to ensure Americans were not in harms way." The president says he took leadership in organizing an international coalition that made sure we were able to liberate a country that had been made under a dictatorship.
Romney says Middle East is an area of great concern to the entire world and to America. The governor wants to see complete change in the structure and the environment of the region. "We can't kill our way out of this mess," says Romney. "We're going to have to put in place a comprehensive, robust strategy to the world of Islam."
The moderator starts on the topic of Libya. Schieffer asks each their thoughts on the changing face of terrorism in the Middle East.
President Obama and Governor Romney enter to cheers and take their seats at the table. It is a sit down format with moderator Bob Schieffer, similar to the vice presidential debate earlier this month.
Thank you for joining Kentwired.com for our live blog of tonight's third and final presidential debate between President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Governor Mitt Romney. The debate is being held at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla., and will focus mainly on foreign policy.