Who is Winning the Debate: Romney, Obama Try Outhawking Each Other


On Monday President Obama and former Governor Mitt Romney will hold their final debate before the election from Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida from 9-1030 PM EST.

After two debates, it is becoming increasingly obvious that the President and Governor Romney really do not like each other, often growing testy and impatient with another.

From my libertarian perspective, I will be focusing on the debate from a non-partisan stance with little enthusiasm for either candidate but a keen interest on how they portray themselves to the American public. Obama and Romney will predictably be trying to distance themselves from each other and how they offer two different "visions" for the country despite their many, many similarities. From this lens, I will attempt to help navigate the messages from a perspective that values peace, individual liberty, and a free economy and trying to answer a few questions: Who really is the lesser of two evils? Who would be better on domestic policy? Foreign policy?

With this debate focusing on foreign policy, this should be even more exciting than the first two debates. Both of these candidates are nearly indistinguishable on every important issue, but foreign policy may be the only slight difference. While President Obama has pursued an incredibly and unabashedly aggressive foreign policy, when it comes to a key foreign policy issue -- Iran -- Romney might actually be worse. It will be interesting to see how far to the right Obama portrays himself against Romney and if Romney will continue to outhawk a warmonger like the president. 

Also, please check out my liveblog/recap of the first debate, the vice-presidential debate, my PolicyMic piece on how a Ron Paul-Obama debate would have fared, and my liveblog of the second debate as well as the post-debate recap.

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

10:30 PM Romney says he doesn't want a repeat of the last four years. Well, Gee, Romney, you sure spent the whole night agreeing with the President. Your basic argument is that you will run the welfare-warfare state in a slightly more right-wing manner and manage it a little differently. But something tells me the American people would rather choose the devil they know than the devil they don't know. The only problem is: it is still a devil they will be choosing.

10:27 PM Obama attacks Romney for his insufficient lack of socialism on GM and the bailouts. Obama is absolutely wrong when he says there would be no private funding if we let GM go bankrupt.

Romney criticizes Obama because he thinks the President's corporate welfare and subsidies are the wrong kinds. But stealing from the American people to transfer wealth, on principle, is completely okay.

10:25 PM Obama says that America is a "pacific power" and will continue to be so, ensuring commerce, etc. This is exactly the mantra of the British Empire. Let's see how long China puts up with American warships in the South China Sea, Japan, Taiwan, etc.

10:18 PM Romney: China will be labeled as a "currency manipulator." Meanwhile, Bernanke's QE infiniti rolls on.

Romney is putting all of his chips on portraying Obama as some weakling appeaser. I highly doubt it will work.

10:15 PM Obama the Protectionist comes out again. "Cheap" tires may be bad for manufacturers here, but the consumer sure isn't complaining. That's exactly what free trade is supposed to be about it. Countries that are better at producing certain things allow the rest of us to pursue for more productive work.

The greatest threat in the future?

The rise of China?

10:13 PM Obama sure has a laundry list of reforms he would like to implement in other people's governments. I sure wish we'd see some transparency and free markets here instead!

10:11 PM Romney supports the use of drones "entirely." Once again, Romney says that he agrees with Obama. Man, Romney really looks foolish when talking about foreign policy.


10:06 PM Obama: repeats the lie that Afghanistan was about "safe havens" of 9/11. But 9/11 was plotted in Germany and Florida by Saudis and Yemenis. Obama is a liar.

Romney: I will do the exact same thing as Obama. Obama's surge has been successful. "We shouldn't just walk away from Pakistan." Why not?


10:03 PM Those who have harmed us to "justice?" Shooting an accused, but not tried, man and then dumping his body in the ocean? Sounds like the Mafia to me.

Well I'm surprised it took so long for Obama to bring up OBL, but here it is.

9:57 PM Romney says America has "liberated" countries. Even if that were true (which it's not - take a look at the world's worst dictators and you'll find an American hand in them), it is not the role of a constitutional republic to be the vindicator of anyone except herself.

The Neocon cabal has been warning of Iran's "nuclear program" for thirty years now. Why do people buy this stuff?

9:55 PM Obama comes back to defend himself as "not an apologizer," plays hawk, then attacks Romney for some China nonsense. He's right. Obama's cruise missiles, drones, and cluster bombs are all the apologies he's ever needed.

9:55 PM "centrifuges" Romney has no idea what he is talking about. Seriously.

Romney, once again, taking on Obama's dovish rhetoric and ignoring his warmongering, hawkishness. I swear if I hear Romney say "apology tour" one more time I am going to lose it. Obama is sitting next to you, bragging about what a hawk he is, and all you can do is recite your neocon talking points.

What about Israel's nuclear weapons program?

Iran is ALREADY abiding by all of the terms of the NPT and the IAEA inspections. Obama is asking them to prove a negative.

9:47 PM Romney: We have Israel's back militarily. Nuclear Iran is unacceptable, a threat to the world and to us. Dissuade Iran from obtaining nukes. Oh ya Obama? I would've starved innocent Persians waaaay sooner than you, Obama!

9:45 PM Obama said it first!!!!! I could have sworn Romney would have said the "wipe Israel off the map" LIE first. WOW.

Obama brags about his relationship with Israel, military intelligence, exercises, etc. Obama says Iran "will not get a nuclear weapons," brags about all of the Persians he has starved and their currency destroyed. Let the hawk-screeching begin!

Question: An attack on Israel is an attack on America?

9:43 PM "We also have fewer horses and bayonets." HAHAHAH line of the night. Wow Obama sounds like the President right now.

Sigh...God I miss Ron Paul and wish he was up there. Or at least Gary Johnson.

9:42 PM


9:39 PM Obama is right to attack Romney for his plan to increase the empire. But then Obama brags about his huge military budgets!

9:38 PM I would love to know how Romney plans to cut taxes, balance the budget, and increase military spending at the same time. Obama looks amused at Romney trying to answer this.

Back to business. Where are you going to get the money for your Navy and military expansion Romney?

9:35 PM Hmmm...I thought this debate was supposed to be about foreign policy.

9:33 PM Neither of these guys are answering the question. Both answers are the same mix of American military dominating the globe, and leading by force, bombs, and bribes.

Bring manufacturing jobs back to America.

Obama: "the one indispensable nation." He sounds like a neocon evangelical right-winger.

Romney: promote principles throughout the world, honor and privilige to be global dictator. America must be STRONG. Strengthen military long term...whatever the world throws at us. Yes, but how are we going to protect ourselves from threats when our troops and weapons are spread out all over the globe?

Summary: military socialism.

America's role in the world?

9:27 PM $1 trillion cuts??? LIE! And even if there were cuts, aren't you the "conservative" Romney?

Romney brings up how debt is our biggest national security threat. Alright!

Romney talks about "peace!"

9:27 PM How many times has Romney said that he agrees with Obama?

9:26 PM

9:23 PM Obama "America has to stand with democracy." Wow. Okay, time for some more whiskey.


9:22 PM Gadaffi has "more American blood on his hands than anyone other than OBL." Come on, Obama, you got to be kidding me! It is so pathetic watching him justify the slaughter he unleashed in Libya. And by the way, the U.S. government has way more American blood on its hands. Waco, Ruby Ridge, just a few examples.

9:20 PM Yes, Romney, Obama is soooo weak and doesn't know how to lead. If only!

9:18 PM Romney-Iran count: 4.

You know what would prevent weapons from getting into the hands of the wrong guys? Stop sending guns over there!

Obama is lying through his teeth right now about Syria. Humanitarian aid? Moderates? Most of the "rebels" are non-Syrian jihadis, sent there by the worst of the worst Islamic crazies.


"Make sure these countries are supporting our counterterrorism efforts." -Obama. Oh, like supporting dictators in Yemen and a whole bunch of Stans in central Asia?

9:14 PM Third time Romney's brought up Iran in 15 minutes.

9:12 PM Obama: strong and steady leadership in the Middle East? NO! Butt out!

Obama cites "no WMDs" in Iraq. Fine, I agree, but then why did you vote for every single war resolution and funding for the Iraq War in the Senate Mr. President?

9:11 PM Romney: "We" have to see progress in the Middle East. Who is this we you speak of, Mitt? If it's the American people, then my heart is with all people fighting tyranny. But as for the U.S. government, no thanks. Get the hell out!

Romney proscribes "gender equality" and nation-building. Yikes.

Obama falls over himself defending the "liberation of Libya." What about the police states and military weaponry you are sending to Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Yemen.

9:10 PM Obama lies again about "ending the war in Iraq."

Obama says his first job is "took keep Americans safe." NO it's it not! It's to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution.

9:06 PM It only took TWO MINUTES for Romney to bring up Iran and their phony nuclear program. He brought up Mali too...why do you think it's a mess Mitt? Not because of American non-intervention.

9:04 PM Uh...they're starting off with Libya and the mess in Benghazi. Okay, but what about Obama's illegal war and bombing of Libya that has resulted in chaos and Islamic crazies taking over?


8:41 PM Some rare common sense coming from Israel's leadership: "We need to talk to Iran" says former Mossad chief Efraim Halevy.

8:25 PM The Twitter wars have started. Glenn Greenwald and John Glaser against some Obama apologist.

8:21 PM Destroying Obama's foreign policy credibility in three easy steps (via the Daily Caller).

8:18 PM Both candidates will undoubtedly have a laundry list of countries and regions that need the blessed benevolence of the American government, but how will it be funded? Ron Paul, as usual, makes sense:

8:15 PM Will Romney actually offer a concise plan for the war in Afghanistan?

8:13 PM So that's why we're still in Afghanistan over a decade later...

8:10 PM George McGovern, RIP. While I disagreed with much of what you said and advocated, your anti-war message is needed more than ever. Especially at tonight's debate.

8:06 PM Goldman Sachs vs. Goldman Sachs.

8:03 PM Scott Horton's usually sunny optimism:

8:00 PM David Franke at LRC had a great "faux poll" over the weekend for tonight's debate:

The third and final presidential debate of 2012 will take place Monday, October 22. It will be on foreign policy. How many wars do you think Mitt Romney will suggest we pursue during the course of the evening?

One: Afghanistan Two: Afghanistan and Iran Three: Afghanistan, Iran, Syria Four: Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, China Five: Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, China, Russia Six: Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, China, Russia, (back to) Libya Seven: Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, China, Russia, (back to) Libya, (back to) Iraq Eight: Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, China, Russia, (back to) Libya, (back to) Iraq, Mali Nine: Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, China, Russia, (back to) Libya, (back to) Iraq, Mali, Venezuela Moderator: Your time is up, Gov. Romney! No more – the debate is over! We’re shutting off the lights! Good night, Gov. Romney….