Who Won the Debate: Romney Starts Slow But Emerges the Victor


On Monday night, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney will face off in their third and final presidential debate in Florida at 9pm. It will focus on foreign policy. 

On September 11, few thought that a potentially explosive campaign issue would emerge from the streets of Benghazi, Libya. However, the murder of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans at the hands of terrorists has exploded into a twisted narrative of what happened and why. That narrative has put the Obama administration on its back foot in terms of how it acts to achieve foreign policy objectives, and certainly provides the presidential contest with another set of issues outside of domestic policy to discuss.

The third debate takes place at Lynn University in Boca Raton, FL. The moderator is Bob Schieffer, Chief Washington Correspondent at CBS News and host of Face the Nation. PolicyMicwill be covering the presidential debate live. Make sure to bookmark this page for live commentary. Coverage will be once again brought to you live from the Atlanta Young Republicans debate watch party starting at 8:30 pm.


11:03p:  Romney had a strong showing according to the Atlanta Young Republicans here.

10:35p:  The spin is going to be in full swing tonight, because it wasn't a knock out punch for either candidate.  Clearly, though, Romney came to play more than the President may have expected.  The issue of Iran didn't present a clear winner, but Romney understood the issues surrounding Syria much better than Obama.  Furthermore, he explained it better, meaning voters can wrap their brains around his statements a bit more than the professorial Obama.

10:30p:  The fourth person tonight has mentioned Obama's start to me.  Thank God this debate's over, because I'm just getting a bit creeped out on it.  Having said that, I'm still waiting on the fact checking Obama's claim to end the nightmares of teenage girls.

10:27p:  Someone texted this over to me:

"I don't think it's my wheelhouse to start talking about investments with Mitt Romney..."

Obama cannot hope to continue bringing this debate back to the economy and walk out feeling confident of being a winner.  Romney took him to task three weeks ago in the first debate, and polling in the second debate shows voters consider Romney the preferable candidate on the issues of job creation, taxes, debt, and the budget.

10:23p:  Quality.  Pure Quality.

"@Integrilicious: If you put bayonets on drones piloted by horses, could they defeat sharks with frickin' lasers on their heads? #debates"

10:20p:  Everytime Obama tries to bring this back to the economy, Romney puts the kabash down.  "It's not the government that makes businesses successful."  Romney's also owning the concept of the "currency manipulator" unlike most people thought he would.  We are already in a trade war is a fantastic way to point that out.

10:14p:  Right now, the debate is starting to wind down...and thank god!  Romney is smart to lay out his vision and foundation in the way he has, because Obama's personality is one to answer point-by-point.  Obama's trying to make himself appear presidential.  It's coming out as a wash, because neither Romney nor Obama is really coming off as being the "better" guy.  They're expressing their opinions, and that's that.  However, this next segment might offer a chance at differentiation - China...

10:10p:  Nation-building here at home mentioned again.  Speaking of mentions, here's a text I got from Andres Celedon, former chairman of the Georgia Tech College Republicans, commenting on the debate:

"Romney is portraying a clear vision for America's role in the world, with Obama doing more attacks on Romney than saying what he will do if re-elected. Obama seems too set on delivering prepared zingers."

10:04p:  I hope someone fact checks Obama's claim to end the nightmares of teenage girls.

10:02p:  The debate is coming back to be a bit ticky-tacky.  Romney punched back strong, but the debate is still a bit nuanced.  On that note, from the twittersphere:

"joey_pett: @jcbush03 @rwlee2 bad idea to do foreign policy debate last. Too much nuance. Too little public knowledge on the issues. #Debate2012"

Good thought or no?

9:58p:  "Mr. President, we have not dictated to other nations.  We have freed other nations."  Obama's response is to say what he did as a presidential candidate in 2008. Too bad he didn't do it as President...

9:56p:  Romney's a liar!  Romney's a liar!  Had to come out at some point.  Still yawning...

9:53p:  I gotta admit, the whole debate about Iran is boring.  Obama is right to say you can't agree but say things louder and hope foreign policy changes.  Yawn...

9:49p:  Romney had a good chance to really smack Obama around here, but he's really playing a bit too softly.  He's talking hard on Iran, but he's not saying much beyond what Obama said.

9:44p:  Undetterred, President Obama just played his douchebag card that Biden usually plays during hte poker game.

9:43p:  "Did Obama just admit that his deficit put us at risk..."  Yes Bonnie, I think he did.

9:41p:  There's a feeling here at the Atlanta Young Republicans that Romney is owning this debate.  Obama was hoping to come in and dominate on foreign policy, but Obama's turn towards the economy is at his own peril.

9:37p:  Romney is clearly outdebating Obama in this debate.  Solid, solid to bring up the economic opportunities in Latin America.

9:33p:  George W. Bush!  Dick Cheney!  Vote Bin Laden!  Obama on overload...

9:32p:  I kill Osama Bin Laden!  I killed Osama Bin Laden!  Vote for me!  I killed Osama Bin Laden!

9:29p:  Romney survives the first test of the debate - understanding the Middle East and many of our troubles there.  Obama's not failing to show the energy he needs to keep up, but he is showing the wonkish side that came out in the first debate.  Problematic if he wants to control the debate.

9:24p:  Someone texted over asking what's up with Obama's creepy staredown.  All I can think of is that he's showing leadership.  I guess it's how Obama organized the Friends of Syria, his Middle Eastern fundraising arm of Organizing for America.  With that, the Atlanta Young Republicans show their enthusiasm for Romney's first big punch against Obama.

9:20p:  Romney dropping some knowledge on the issue of Syria and its relevance to issues of the Middle East.  Governor not prepared?  Governor is prepared.

9:14p:  Obama is starting off hot.  Romney hits back.  "Attacking me is not an agenda."  Just to emphasize the point, Romney blasts him on the "off microphone" comment about having more flexibility with Russia.  Video of the local response coming soon. 

9:09p:  Obama is trying to justify the deaths of four Americans by saying Libyans like us.  Okay, well what about the fact that Libya is now a haven for terrorist cells?  No answer...  

9:03p:  The men take their seats.  How do you have a knife fight sitting down?  Interesting that this is the 50th anniversary of learning the Soviets had the nuclear bomb that would ultimately lead to their demise.

8:58p:  The Atlanta Young Republicans are really packing the joint, eager to see the kind of debate peformance from Mitt Romney that they witnessed three weeks ago.

7:16p:  Huh, this is one way to expose the naked truth...Keep that all in mind when you're watching the debate on a totally unrelated topic to nudity.

6:38p:  Just in case you are not a nerd like the rest of us and plan on spending the evening in the man cave, the Lions are facing Da Bears on Monday Night Football while San Francisco will attempt to pull a St. Louis in Game 7 of the NLCS.

For those for you who are nerds like the rest of us, Monday Night Football is a weekly broadcast of professional football pitting two teams against one another in primetime, helping the NFL to make money hand over fist in broadcasting revenues.  The NFL is the National Football League which is comprised of 32 teams....ya know what, nevermind.  You're a nerd.

4:55p:  Just doing some interesting reading before the debate tonight, and I tuned into this story about Hawaii's low voter participation rate.  1 Republican state senator of 25, 8 Republican state representatives of 51, and cultural bonds that aren't shared with the mainland United States all contribute to the turnout.