Who Won the Presidential Debate 2012: Obama Makes Slight Gains


 October 22 will be the last presidential debate and the last chance to see both nominees argue for their vision of a better America. The debate will take place at Lynn University based in Boca Raton, Florida. This debate is significant for both nominees. The latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News polls indicate that President Obama and Romney are locked at 47% in a “dead heat.”

According to Real Clear Politics, Romney is currently leading 2.5 percentage points over President Obama in Florida, a key battleground state. Mitt Romney is currently in Florida hunkered down to prepare for Monday’s debate. Similarly, President Obama has been at Camp David (Maryland) since late Friday with his entourage of security and senior advisers and campaign strategists to prepare for the foreign policy debate.

It will be an interesting discussion considering the late breaking news that Iran will start the one-on-one nuclear talks once the presidential election is over. National and economic security will be themes touched on at Monday’s debate. You can expect questions on China, Iran and Libya to be probed.

Bob Schieffer will be the moderator for this debate. In the 21st century, viewers focus their attention on the moderators just as much as the presidential nominees. There’s been talk that the moderator’s selected for this year’s debates are old and questions about their ability to handle the arduous tasks of moderating a debate comes up. The New Republic’s Timothy Noah thinks that age rather than gender may be a determining factor for controlling the debate though: “…Raddatz’s and Crowley’s mental agility is very likely speedier and more limber today than it will be 15 years from now. It is also, I suspect, speedier and more limber than Lehrer’s and Schieffer’s is today.” 

The new form of aggressiveness both nominees have been exhibiting in the presidential debates is a challenge not previously seen by veteran journalist Jim Lehrer (age 78) who moderated the first debate. He described the aggressive behavior of both candidates as a “form of hell” in the sense of "I’ve got more to say, and to hell with the rules.Yikes.  Let’s hope Bob Schieffer, nearly 76, learned some lessons from his colleague.

 PolicyMic will be covering the presidential debate live. For live updates, bookmark and refresh this page

Update: 10:57 pmClosing thoughts

I think POTUS dominated in the second half of the debate. There was not much of a big difference between both nominees. No big gaffes. No major drama. I liked how POTUS was more ready for Romney than in the first debate. Bob Schieffer did a pretty good job moderating. Tough but fair.

And here's a poll that gauged tonight's performance. 

Some pundits have commented how Romney positioned himself as more centrist in today's debate.


10:29 closing statements. 

Romney: promote principles of peace and confident future that's secure. How is he going to get companies to pay people more? Did he just invoke the 47% by not cutting food stamps but getting people, good jobs? Romney claims that he is 'honest'. Sorry-I just don't buy it.

POTUS: States that foreign policy as envisioned by Romney is wrong and reckless and invokes class warfare.  Build up our strengths and bring manufacturing, small business on US lands. our own energy sources and reduce deficit and asking wealthy to step up. 21st century income. Knows that in this decade of war, people are tired. and Vets . "we bounce back because of our character. " Impassioned plea. 

10:28pm Romney talking about how he's going to make the US the most attractice place to work but what about immigration? education? 

Romney: "I love teachers" but wants to push the jobs agenda. 

10:26pm POTUS making a really clear argument on the differences as it relates to China. 

 10:23pm Straight from President Obama/Biden campaign website.

10:21pm POTUS attacks Romney's record on China. Nice! Private sector isn't doing much to facilitate R& D says Obama. 

Obama: China can be a partner but US is a pacific power with trade relations as the foundation to pressure China to adhere to international relations.

10:19pm Romney still insisting on labeling China as a 'currency manipulator' on first day as POTUS.

Schieffer: asks won't this start a trade war?

What Romney doesn't get is that there are other factors that play into globalized economy and China. I think, they are getting better, but China's facing a downturned economy. 

10:17pm Interesting that Romney isn't answering the question considering his business and financial dealings with China (Sensata Tech) along with Paul Ryan's brother is a Cargill exec in China.

10:17pm Romney: greatest nuclear threat is Iran. I thought we were talking about China? 


POTUS: sees China as an adversary and partner if China plays by the rules. That's a fair assessment. Plus under Obama administration, there's been a record filing of cases to WTO.

10:14pm Finally: Rise of China and future challenges.


Drones: Romney is a believer in drones to battle extremism. Ok, Romney is pinning the peace talks on drones. 


Q: what would you do if the deadline for withdrawing US troops comes and the Afghans aren't prepared to take over?

POTUS: time for nation building.

10:00pm Romney trying to make a situation worse by making Israel a bigger situation than it really is. 

9:58 pm Wow, POTUS making a genuine and sincere connection with people. While Romney talks about the 'apology tour' and was miffed because Israel-our closest ally wasn't visited. Come on, people! It's because we have a strong relationship with Israel-moot point.

9:54pm Romney thinks it is so easy to demonstrate strength in the global community. Just appear 'manly'. Hello! Countries are sovereign and don't have to listen to what the US says.

9:53pm Romney criticizing POTUS on 'apology' tour. Not so! I don't see anything wrong with trying to draw our allies closer. 


Romney talks of how sanctions would be further used to punish Iran...One question: didn't he say it didn't work in the last debate and that the US is too soft on Iran? #romnesia

9:45pm Would either of you be willing to declare than an attack on Israel an attack on US?

POTUS: confirms our allegiance to Israel. Nuclear weapons won't be given to Iran. 


Romney: cut $5 Trillion of discretionary budget spending (not military).First thing will be Obamacare.Will take program after program out. 

Obama: military spending ---we spend more than 10 countries combined. Sick!

Especially, given this:

 9:33pm Site went down for a little bit. 

But here's what we missed:

Q3: Would Romney have stuck with egyptian president Mubarak?

Romney's plan: strong economy + allies+ good leadership will increase our influence in our global standing.

Q2: Should the US reassess its policy in Syria and find a better way to influence voters? 

Romney wants to see Assad go but arming new gov't coalition without having US military intervention. Just arm people with guns?! seems very dangerous.

Obama: We need to make sure to finish the job in a careful and thoughtful way.

9:02pm Q1: On the face of 50th anniversary of Cuba Missile crisis: 

a.) Libya :what caused it? spontaneous? intelligence or policy failure? 

Gov. Romney goes first. 

9:02pm Both nominees come out looking more cordial than last. 

9:01pm And we're off. Bob Schieffer making the intro statements. Ssssh! 

8:51pm Can't we just get along?

8:47pm aaaand...here's our first gif of the night. (Courtesy of The Guardian)

8:28pm Here's the live stream of tonight's presidential debate on foreign policy via Youtube.

 8:15pm Less than one hour to go. Here's some background info on how tonight's format is going to run (via NPR):

Schieffer plans six, 15-minute segments. According to the Commission on Presidential Debates, they will be on:

— "America's role in the world."

— "Our longest war — Afghanistan and Pakistan."

— "Red lines — Israel and Iran."

— Two segments on "the changing Middle East and the new face of terrorism."

— "The rise of China and tomorrow's world."

 7:15pm For those that have time, ThinkProgress came out with a comprehensive timeline that details Mitt Romney's Foreign Policy positions throughout the campaign. 



6:56pm Another great video documentary from Frontline. 

It deals with the political financing of campaigns and data mining. It's relevant to how our campaigns are being run considering that we read so much about GOP voter suppression, and increasing tendency for coal and mine industries to pressure their workers into voting for a specific candidate ( the 'Mine the Vote' website initiative).  

Watch The Digital Campaign on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.

6:47pm Looks like POTUS is ahead in foreign policy areas as polled by Polltracker.

5:52pm So tonight's presidential debate is going to be focused on foreign policy. On the topic of China, if given the choice, I'd prefer Jon Huntsman's policy ideas over Romney. 

In the past debate, Romney was very adamant that should he be elected president, his first day on the job would entail labeling China, a "currency manipulator".  And as a somewhat cheeky retort, here's my take on China's currency manipulator. 

She's known around the chinese social media sites as 'basketball granny'. She is pretty awesome. Read about her here. She's been playing for past 20 years and keeps herself in tip-top shape because she's afraid that there won't be a safety social net: no pension, no healthcare. But thanks to the 'net, some college students are making her life better. Just some things to think about. And, apparently she's got 100% accuracy. 

 4:44pm Just a few hours until tonight's presidential debate. An entertaining look at the first presidential debate in 'songified' format. It's catchy as H-E-double hockey sticks as Mitt Romney would say: