Who Won the Obama vs Romney Debate Foreign Policy


Tonight President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney will be in Boca Raton Florida for the third and final presidential debate. Outside of body language the three essential issues in this debate in my opinion are Iran, the U.S. embassy attack in Libya, and national security budgeting. Below I break down the most important and the one on everyone’s minds tonight: Iran.

The last couple of days have been a whirlwind with news about U.S. relations with Iran. New York Times White House correspondents Helene Cooper and Mark Landler on Saturday reported that the United States and Iran have engaged in under the table nuclear talks. White House National Security Council Spokesman Tommy Vietor quickly proceeded to deny that talks were occurring.

This puts President Obama in a very different position while acknowledging talks would be a huge benefit for him, that might jeopardize the substance of the talks presenting a direct conflict between his job as a candidate and as President. For Governor Romney the Iran dilemma presents a huge opening that he could pursue in three possible ways.

1. First he could target why there are leaks occurring in the first place, bringing us back to the controversy over the New York Times reports about the U.S. cyber and drone attacks.

2. The second attack is Romney asking why the president is negotiating with Iran (our enemy) behind the American People’s backs.

3. Or lastly Romney might not say anything at all. Since the end of the conventions Romney has been receiving intelligence briefings and so he may stay silent at the risk of jeopardizing the negotiations.

The other two areas to look at are how Governor Romney will attack President Obama on the U.S. embassy attack in Libya and how President Obama will attack Governor Romney on wanting additional defense spending. 

I will be providing my thoughts and analysis along with informative and funny tweets below throughout the debate.

Thanks for following along!

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You Can Watch the Debate Here:

This was a very effective line! 


So far the point about Libya has not been a big one in the debate - great place for Romney to try and draw some contrast but Obama did a great job giving a very Presidential answer in the last debate.

Great information from global issues about defense spending and how we compare to the rest of the world.  

"Those reports in the newspaper are not true." -President Obama on the possability of one on one negotiations with Iran. 

Great op-ed in the New York Times by Graham Allison about the internal politics in Isreal that would prevent a strike and make it unlikely we would only get two hours of notice. 

Interesting the amount of times President Obama has called Governor Romney "all over the map." One tweet I saw had the number at 3.  Bill Clinton's big advice to Obama was not  to call Romney a flip-flopper but I think the campaign has correctly applied that only to domestic issues.  On foriegn policy flip-flopping just makes Romney look weak. 

The latest Harvard Institute of Politics Poll showed 35% of young people approve of drone strikes while 24% are against. 

I stuggle with this as an answer because Governor Romney doesn't explain why Iran is the largest national security challenge.  Obviously it is a threat but why is it the largest? Look at this report on America's National Interests which gives a better look and what exactly is a National Security Challenge. Since Iran can't get a weapon to the U.S. I don't think it is the largest. 

What a great end of the debate: "Go vote - it makes you feel big and strong." -Bob Schieffer's mom.