Who Won the Debate Tonight: Obama and Romney Are Neck and Neck


Tonight, President Obama and former Governor Romney will exchange just one more awkward handshake as they meet for their final of three presidential debates. The debate will take place at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida at 9:00 p.m. EST. This debate will focus on foreign policy issues, warranting questions as outlined by moderator Bob Schieffer of CBS news, about our country’s role in the world, the perennial war in Afghanistan and Pakistan, our relationship with China and the nuclear crisis with Iran.

Much to the dismay of meme creators across America, the candidates will be in a traditional debate setting — no aggressive pacing around the stage. The debate is expected to be the most substantive of the three, touching heavily on the Arab rebellions. Both candidates will be looking to mend mistakes made in the previous two debates.

Romney will presumably set out to polish his critique of the Obama administration’s response to the attack in Benghazi, Libya, while President Obama will likely defend his recent statement that the attack was not "optimal."  

What do you think the candidates will spar over most this time? Iran? China? Libya?

Tune in here all night for live updates and/or potential Hillary Clinton related memes.

Also, here is the live feed of the debate: 

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


10:30 pm: Obama strays from foreign policy theme of debate with domestic issues to bring it home. 

10:28 pm: "Let the states and localities (deal with teachers)...I love teachers." -Romney

10:26 pm: "You keep trying to airbrush history" -Obama 

10:25 pm: "Research is great." So great that it shows us climate change is real!

10:24 pm: Auto industry brought up by Gov. Romney. Romney just described his own own Auto policies (#liquidation) as "the height of silliness." 

10:19 pm: "China can be our partner"- Romney

10:16 pm: Obama searching for applause on "bring it home" lines. 

10:14 pm: ???

10:11 pm: Romney is endorsing Obama's use of drones. "I support drone strikes entirely."

10:11 pm: DRONES!

10:09 pm: "Obama Bin Laden" #drink

10:07 pm:


10:04 pm: "I'll bring troops home by 2014"-Romney. This is the EXACT opposite of what he's stated before. 

10:03 pm: Obama laying out Israel policy, and Romney repeating it: 

10:03 pm: Obama is having a Bill Clinton-esque anecdote moment. 

10:00 pm: Drones has yet to be mentioned. 

9:59 pm: "Let's not get into the hypotheticals of the situation." Isn't that what a presidential campaign is built on? That's so unlike you, Mittens. 

9:56 pm: Romney is honestly portraying a shallow view of the world. I'm thankful Obama was able to rip him on the proposal to "build more ships." 

9:51 pm: "You'd do the same things we did, but you'd say them louder." -Obama 

9:50 pm: Romney just directly endorsed Obama's policy on Israel. 

9:47 pm: Crippling sanctions? #drink

9:45 pm: "I will stand with Israel, if they are under attack...as long as I'm president of the United States, Iran will not get a nuclear weapon."

9:43 pm: "We also have fewer horses and bayonets...we also have ships that go underwater, they're called submarines." -Obama 

Obama is winning in Battleship! Yay! 

9:41 pm: Wait, Romney were you a businessman? 

9:41 pm: 

9:37 pm: Who doesn't like education, but why? Bob Schieffer bring it back. 

9:35 pm: Sorry, Romney said (as we know) that he wants to increase military spending? And debt is our most important, largest security threat. I must be stupid, or you must be wrong. 

9:33 pm: Romney KEEP this on FOREIGN policy. Small business development? Really?

9:32 pm: 

9:31 pm: Romney claims we're weak with our policies in Syria. Can he offer a suggestion on ho we are supposed to successfully identify good, moderate leadership there and trustworthy rebels to arm? Name one group you would arm, Romney. 

9:25 pm: Obama mentions nation-building at home for the second time. 

9:21 pm: Obama is quick with rebuts tonight. 

9:20 pm: THEIR POLICIES ON SYRIA ARE THE SAME. I feel like I'm in middle school and Romney is plagiarizing Obama's International Relations report. 

Ironic they both keep talking about discussions with the UN. 

9:20 pm: Romney confuses Kofi Annan and Assad...yikes. 

9:16 pm: Also, let's be honest. Romney is insincere about actions on Iraq. He has continually said before he wants any SOFA to have remaining troops in Iraq. Obama has spent four years trying to get troops out. 

9:16 pm: Good question on Syria by moderator Bob Schieffer. And he's on time!

9:15 pm: "You've got to be clear." -Obama referring to Romney

Obama hits key point on protecting "religious minorities and women" so the all of the nations can develop. 

9:13 pm:


9:13 pm: "Russia is a geopolitical foe" -Obama 

9:12 pm: Wishlist is becoming lighter! Obama mentions Romney's flip-flopping on Russia

9:11 pm: "I know you haven't been in a position to actually execute foreign policy." -Obama

9:11 pm: YES. Obama calls out Romney on Russia as our ostensibly biggest threat. Says he has the economic policy necessary for the 1920s. 

9:10 pm: Romney with 3 mentions of Mali now. 

9:08 pm: "Go after the bad guys." -Romney

Recovers by saying he wants the Arab world to transform on their own. And mentioning economic and gender equality (ironic, but I'll take it).

9:07 pm: Both candidates are speaking very generally about Libya. Two softies right now.

9:05 pm: "We can't kill our way out of this mess." - Romney, on Obama's foreign policy.

9:03 pm: Romney brings on the awkwardness. Sweet. 

8:56 pm: 

8:55 pm: 5 MINUTES!!!

8:54 pm: Reminder- these are the official topics of the debate tonight: 

America's Role in the World

Our Longest War-Afghanistan and Pakistan

Red Lines-Israel and Iran

The Changing Middle East and the New Face of Terrorism

The Rise of China and Tomorrow’s World

8:46 pm: #MyDebateWishlist: get more details from Romney on U.S. Russian relations. 

8:40 pm: Final thoughts from the official Obama Twitter account tonight: 

Barack Obama ? @BarackObama RT if you’re ready to cheer on President Obama in tonight’s debate. #StrongerWithObama pic.twitter.com/YjiAKou8 22 Oct 12 Reply Retweet Favorite


8:34 pm: Interesting points to think about via Think Progress

8:15 pm: A girl can dream, can't she? Here are a few of my last minute hopes for the final debate tonight, on some more forgotten, or esoteric, topics:

Some discussion on foreign aid. Humanitarian efforts often gets lots among the hot button security issues of the few years. But with the Arab uprisings, both candidates need to address what they will do with aid to countries like Egypt, who we have a history of giving to, but now have a dodgy relationship with. 

The ongoing cyberwar. Both candidates need to address whether or not they qualify cyberweapons as an actual threat that America can utilize (in relation to Iran), or is it too risky, because as the New York Times puts it "the United States is the most vulnerable country in the world?" 

Eurozone Crisis. Obama has typically sided with people in the Eurozone that believe austerity is not the only answer. Romney has fluctuated on his answers to the calamity in the Eurozone. Romney has criticized Obama for encouraging Germany to stand up for weaker banks and smaller nations, but also argued for other modes of repair other than austerity.

8:10 pm: Funny, I had the exact same question: 

8:00 pm: One hour countdown. Yipee!

7:58 pm: Currently reading John Dickerson on Slate: 

"This is, by far, the most important immediate foreign policy question: Which man do you want to manage the delicate mess? On the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile showdown, we know that avoiding war requires patience, the willingness to deal with and sometimes ignore your advisers who come with biases of their own."

6:35 pm: Hillary on Romney's foreign policy: 

6:31 pm: Mitt Romney, you didn't build that.


6:15 pm: PolicyMic pundit James Connolly,  argues that "is clear then, that a Romney presidency would seriously imperil the global economy. The next question is if Obama recognizes the necessary policies for fighting the global downturn as well as America’s role in implementing them. The public should watch closely and evaluate whether Obama is serious about his commitment to a global recovery and be careful to avoid getting caught in the rhetoric of Romney’s attacks." 

6:07 pm: Getting anxious waiting for the debate to start? Me too. This is how I'm passing the time, and how you should too. 

6:06 pm: The Atlantic's Molly Ball talks about Romney's Achilles heel: 

"Foreign affairs has always been a weakness for the Republican, and not just because Obama, by winding down two unpopular wars and nabbing bin Laden, has made it one of his greatest strengths. From a summer foreign trip filled with mishaps to his widely criticized knee-jerk reaction to the events of this Sept. 11 to his flub in the last debate, Romney has consistently erred when it comes to foreign affairs, in ways that call into question not just his stances on these issues but his commander-in-chief chops. Luckily for him, foreign policy is far from the top of most voters' minds this election. But for those who place a priority on such things, this debate is the Republican's last chance to look serious and knowledgeable on international issues. As Matt Bennett, a former Bill Clinton adviser now with the Democratic think-tank Third Way, told Politico, 'So far, Romney is batting zero when it comes to landing a punch on foreign policy or national security.'"

5:52 pm: Hell YES, I am. 


5:50 pm: Check out what I'm reading in prep for the debate. What foreign policy issues were we talking about when Sarah Palin was trendy? 

5:44 pm: New ABC News/Washington Post poll puts Obama at 49% and Romney at 48%.

5:07 pm: Hello, America. Let's get it started in here (via the Black Eyed Peas). 

Information for the Final Presidential Debate:

Topic: Foreign policy?

Air Time: 9:00-10:30 p.m. Eastern Time?

Location: Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida (Tickets)?

Sponsor: Commission on Presidential Debates?

Participants: President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney?

Moderator: Bob Schieffer (Host of Face the Nation on CBS)