News / USA

Foreign Affairs the Focus at Third Obama-Romney Debate

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U.S. President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, are set to debate for a third and final time Monday, this time on foreign affairs.

For months during the long campaign leading to the November 6 election, surveys showed voters giving the Democratic incumbent a strong foreign policy edge over Romney, especially for President Obama's approval of the 2011 raid in Pakistan that killed Osama bin Laden, mastermind of the 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States.

  • Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama wave to the crowd following the first presidential debate in Denver, Colorado, October 3, 2012
  • President Barack Obama speaks during the second presidential debate at Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York, October 16, 2012.
  • Mitt Romney smiles at his rival at the debate in Denver.
  • Barack Obama and Mitt Romney at the first presidential debate at the University of Denver, moderated by Jim Lehrer of PBS.
  • Mitt Romney and Barack Obama spar over energy policy during the second presidential debate at Hofstra University, October 16, 2012.
  • U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (L) debates Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan (R) during the vice presidential debate October 11, 2012.
  • Customers at the Havana Social Club in Seattle gathered to watch the second presidential debate, October 16, 2012.
  • President Barack Obama smiles at moderator Jim Lehrer at the University of Denver, October 3, 2012.
  • Members of the audience were invited to ask questions at the second presidential debate in Hempstead, New York, October 16, 2012.

The Republican candidate's foreign affairs expertise has largely been limited to overseas business deals he helped negotiate during his long career as a venture capitalist.

Third Presidential Debate

  • Held at Lynn University, Boca Raton, Florida
  • Focuses on foreign policy
  • Format is the same as the first debate
  • Divided into six, 15-minute segments
  • Each segment opens with a question by the moderator
  • Candidates have two minutes each to respond, rest of segment used for discussion

Source: Commission on Presidential Debates
However, newer surveys show that Romney has cut sharply into the president's perceived advantage on foreign affairs. Romney has pointedly criticized the White House's changing explanations about the September 11 raid on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya that killed four U.S. diplomats.

Aside from debating the Benghazi attack, the candidates are likely to discuss a variety of other foreign affairs issues. Among them are the bin Laden raid, China's role in the world economy, Obama's plan to end American military involvement in the war against the Taliban in Afghanistan by late 2014, the deadly conflict in Syria, rising tensions between Israel and Iran over Tehran's nuclear development program, and relations with Russia.

Fifteen days ahead of the election, several surveys show the race virtually tied, with a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finding the race deadlocked at 47 percent each.

Boca Raton, FloridaBoca Raton, Florida
Boca Raton, Florida
Boca Raton, Florida
Monday's 90-minute debate is being held in the closely contested southern state of Florida and will be moderated by Bob Schieffer of CBS News.

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Comment Sorting
by: NVO from: USA
October 24, 2012 11:58 AM
This was a flawed question. The far more important question is: If diplomacy and sanctions and covert operations don't stop Iran from getting the Bomb, would you fully support Israel if Prime Minister Netanyahu feels he has no choice but to order preemptive military strikes on Iran.

Nevertheless, President Obama accepted the premise of the question and replied, "I will stand with Israel if they are attacked." Mr. Obama tried to portray himself as a strong ally of Israel throughout the rest of that answer and the entirety of the evening. But consider his answer more carefully. The President did not say unequivocally that he would stand with Israel in a preemptive strike on Iran, if that were the last option available. Rather, Mr. Obama insisted he would help Israel after Iran attacks the Jewish state. But if Iran attacks Israel with nuclear weapons, it would be too late for American military assistance to do much good. Indeed, it is immoral for an American president to vow to defend Israel only after she has been attacked with nuclear weapons. Yet this is the President's position.

by: Brandt Hardin
October 22, 2012 7:22 PM
The Romney team should be more knowledgeable of foreign policy since they know every corner of the world to hide Mitt's money! He's already has international financial ties which run all the way from Switzerland to the Cayman Islands. Never mind that he’s never been involved with politics outside of the US- only his millions of dollars have. Read about the role of Mitt’s money and his Magic Mormon Underwear are playing in the polls at where you can see for yourself the true power of both on display in full color!

October 22, 2012 5:55 PM
THANKS VOC,CEB AND BBC etc for keeping us updated espicially on presidental debate...i love the way USA conducts code election in impressive procedure

by: Anonymous
October 22, 2012 4:44 PM
Florida cops should give Candy Crowley a TPO restrain order, bar her from tonight debate because she debated while she was not allowed to.

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