This debate was definitely a good one. Foreign policy is an interesting topic to debate because only one of the candidates can speak from experience, while the other would have to speak hypothetically. The moderator did a decent job balancing the time between the candidates, and standing his ground when the candidates tried to speak over him. I will be the first to admit that it was kind of hard to follow, but as the debate progressed I found that the questions and answers were easier to comprehend. With that said, I’m going to give a break down of each candidate’s delivery and then discuss my take on their answers.
Mitt Romney: Romney for the most part came prepared with a different strategy. He was very passive during this debate. Although he spoke over the moderator quite a few times, I thought he limited his assertiveness and aggression tremendously. He claimed to be attacked quite a few times during the debate as well, which I believe to be a very strategic move. For some people, it could have given the impression that President Obama was bullying Gov. Romney. Throughout the debate, it was quite evident that Gov. Romney was upset about some of the things Pres. Obama said.
Barack Obama: President Obama definitely came prepared to defend his stance on foreign policies. He spoke clearly and concisely. He was assertive and aggressive, although he was spoken over a few times. The President was very poised and comfortable during this debate. I think he might have enjoyed this debate more so than the others. President Obama definitely exuded a sense of confidence throughout the showdown.
Mitt Romney: I’m not really sure where Gov. Romney stands on foreign policy, except on a few topics. For the most part, he agreed with practically everything President Obama is doing or has done concerning foreign policy. However, his stance on some things has changed over the course of his campaign. For instance, during the last debate Romney bashed the Chinese completely, but this time around he was more open to building a relationship with China. Although he said some of the same things from the last debate, he definitely portrayed a different attitude toward our relationship with China. I also thought it was quite interesting that Gov. Romney did not try to rebut Pres. Obama’s comment about Mitt Romney’s businesses doing business with Iran through China. In addition, I thought that Gov. Romney’s stance on the military should be duly noted because he wants to increase the military budget, although the Pentagon hasn’t requested it. His comparison of today’s military to the military of 1916 just proved how out of touch he truly is. As aforementioned, Gov. Romney’s answers were vague and very similar in some aspects to Pres. Obama’s.
Barack Obama: President Obama stance on foreign policy remained consistent throughout this debate. He emphasized along with Gov. Romney that America would have Israel’s back in a war. Pres. Obama went on to talk about how he ended the war in Iraq, and captured/killed Osama Bin Laden. Another key topic he spoke about was the departure of the troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014. This action was also interestingly enough backed by Gov. Romney, who previously did not support it. Although the President didn’t do an adequate job answering the question about America’s role in the world, I thought he adequately described what relationship the United States should have with China in the future. I also thought Pres. Obama’s point about taking care of home first was a very important one to be made. Although some may say that the Presidents’ comments about horses, bayonets, and battleship were unnecessary, I have to disagree. I think he made a valid comparison to show how uninformed Gov. Romney is concerning our military. Another point that I thought was important was Pres. Obama’s comment about Gov. Romney’s businesses working with Iran, the country we “despise”. The President spoke on experience during this entire debate; it was evident that he knew what he was talking about.
The media will have you to believe that there was no clear-cut winner, or that Gov. Romney played the part for a reason, which in turn provided him with a win. However, it was clear that Gov. Romney has no stance on foreign policy or at least it doesn’t differ much from President Obama’s. It would be negligent of me to say that this debate was a draw, or there was no clear-cut winner. In my opinion, the POTUS most certainly came out on top in this debate. The polls can also attest to that.
With this being the last debate, and with the race so close, all I can do is continue to encourage people to go vote. This is a very important election as are any other elections in America. So, please exercise your right to vote!
Disclaimer: This post is solely derived from my opinions on last night’s debate. I am not trying to persuade anyone to vote one way or the other. Nor do I want to have a debate with people who fail to realize that these are my opinions, and what I believe to be true.
Proceeding the Vice Presidential Debate, one could only expect that the next Presidential debate would be a good one. It most certainly was. I thought this debate was all around better than the first Presidential debate. The format allowed for both candidates to be more engaged, the moderator did a way better job moderating, and for the most part, the questions were well-thought through.
Here’s my breakdown of the 2nd Presidential Debate:
Mitt Romney’s Delivery: Mitt Romney came prepared, and reflected the same aggression he used in the first debate. Generally speaking, I thought that his demeanor remained the same, and he used the same tactics as he did before. He continuously attempted to speak over everyone, but the moderator did a better job controlling it. He invaded the space of President Obama. This act may have been seen as beneficial to Governor Romney, but in my opinion, I think it portrayed him as a bully. At times Gov. Romney looked very disturbed and upset. He was definitely on the defense throughout this debate. Something that I thought was disrespectful to the persons asking questions was that Gov. Romney would constantly revert back to a previous question before answering the present question. I think that showed he wasn’t very concerned with being respectful to the person asking questions, but rather more concerned with getting the last word in for a previous question. While Gov. Romney addressed the people asking questions, he also directed a lot of his attention to Pres. Obama.
Barack Obama’s Delivery: I don’t think anyone can deny that President Obama came more prepared to debate. He was assertive and aggressive, two qualities he lacked in the last debate. His answers where clear and concise. I don’t think he handled the act of Romney in his space very well; I think he should have stood his ground. However, he seemed to be more comfortable, and relaxed during this debate. Although at times he did look disturbed. President Obama did speak over the moderator a few times, but he also tried to move the debate on so that other people could ask questions. Throughout the debate the President addressed the moderator, attendees, and the Nation. The President remained on the offense during this debate.
I’m only going to speak on the points that stood out the most…
Cost of Gas: During this debate, Romney stated that he believes in finding alternative ways to get the cost of energy down, including coal. He emphasized his backing of finding use of coal. However, when Pres. Obama stated that he closed a coal mine, Gov. Romney did not rebut that statement. He also stated that gas prices were down to 1.86 when President Obama took office in 2008. Now, I know for a fact gas prices were not that low. Gov. Romney also said he’s not an advocate of wind energy, but if you’re an advocate of finding alternative ways to lowering the cost of energy, I’d think you’d be supportive of new ideas as they may be more beneficiary to the future.
Women and the Glass ceiling: The young lady asked about what is being done to minimize discrimination against women in the workplace. Governor Romney spoke about hiring more women, which didn’t exactly answer the question posed. Her question was about salaries, and women not being paid the same amount as their male counterparts for doing the same job with the same qualifications. Gov. Romney went on to talk about looking through “binders of women” so that he could hire more women for his cabinet. That was a very impersonal statement. Gov. Romney also said that by increasing the economy the outcome would be that employers would be looking for the best candidates. I don’t see the direct connection to hiring more qualified candidates and women receiving equal pay for equal work. He focused more on hiring more women, and didn’t answer the question about what he planned to do to make the pay rate of women and men more equal. I’m interested in knowing where he stands on the Lil Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
Libya: The Governor attempted to call out President Obama on how he handled the announcement on the killings in Libya. Romney said that on the day of the attacks, the President called it a spontaneous reaction from a demonstration, and it took 14 days to call it an act of terror. I don’t think Romney did his homework on this because Pres. Obama referred to the attack as an act of terror on the day of attacks.
Immigration: The biggest thing that I took away from this was that Gov. Romney suggested that the kids of parents who brought them to America should have a pathway to citizenship. A suggestion he stated was to have the kids commit to serving in the military to gain citizenship. I’m not so sure if I agree with that, especially if American-born citizens only have to enlist when they turn 18. (Under the Dream Act, the youth would have to enlist.) He also said he would not grant amnesty to those who came here illegally, but also said that he wants to get the illegal immigrants who commit crimes out. In addition, he supports self-deportation, but doesn’t want to round-up the illegal immigrants and cast them out. I’m confused.
Gas Prices: President Obama has repeatedly stated that he is an advocate of finding alternative energy. He stated that during his first term they’re drilling more on more public land than they’ve done with the previous President. The President also touched on energy production being up, oil imports being down, and the production of more efficient cars. In reference to wind energy, he pointed out that this was something for the future, and that it’s also providing jobs for thousands of people. Romney doesn’t support this research.
Women and the Glass Ceiling: The President answered this question well. He touched on how the first bill he signed was the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. If this doesn’t show that he’s an advocate of equal pay for women, I’m not sure what else he would need to do. Pres. Obama also mentioned that Gov. Romney has failed to express his views/thoughts on the bill. The President also spoke about enforcing the law upon employers who don’t abide by this. He emphasized that continuing to train women, and allowing them the opportunity to get an education will help them compete in the job field thus putting them in positions to get top pay for their skills. He was also able to relate the question to his grandmother who would train people who would ultimately become her boss and receive better pay. I thought this was a great connection.
Libya: The President took full responsibility for what occurred in Libya. He stated that this was an act of terror on the day of the attacks. President Obama also stated that when Americans are messed with, there will be consequences. Although Gov. Romney insisted that Pres. Obama did not call it an act of terror, and that it took 14 days to do so, the President remained unmoved by the claim. He also informed everyone that he went and spent time with the grieving families.
Immigration: President Obama’s stance on immigration has remained the same. He is not an advocate of the Arizona law, which was written by Gov. Romney’s top adviser on immigration (Romney said he doesn’t agree with the law in its entirety.). The President stated that his focus was to go after illegal immigrants that are criminals and are causing harm to the country, not after the folks who are making an honest living or are attending school. He also mentioned that Romney would veto the Dream Act, which would allow for millions of undocumented youth to gain citizenship if they fall under a set of criteria.
China was mentioned a lot during this debate, mainly by Romney. I personally think that if Romney was elected President we’d end up in some serious issues involving China. However, I think that what Pres. Obama said was true that some outsourced jobs won’t be coming back due to low skills and wages. I think both candidates would agree though that we have to find a means to create jobs here whether it be through creating more exports, or helping entrepreneurs expand their businesses.
I think Gov. Romney’s closing remarks reiterated a lot of what was said during the debate; however, it was a smart move to state that he cares about 100% of the people, especially after the 47% remark. The President also rehashed some of the things he mentioned during the debate, but I think his mentioning of the 47% Romney statement was a smart move as well, especially since Mitt Romney couldn’t have the final word. While several media outlets would say the debate was a draw, or that Gov. Romney won, I would have to side with several polls that say the President took this one.
Overall this debate was way better than the first debate. Both candidates came prepared to battle. At times, I thought it got extremely heated. I think the tone of this debate in part was set by the Vice Presidential debate. During a post-debate analysis, I heard one commentator say that you could tell they genuinely don’t like each other. I can definitely agree with that, but that observation should go without saying. At this point, they’re enemies. I think the Town Hall format was fitting for both candidates. It allowed for both candidates’ personalities to be seen, and it allowed the common folk to ask questions that many of us would like to know the answers to. I was more engaged in this debate than I was in the other, and I know this to be the same for others.
Here’s a link to my views on the First Presidential Debate: http://wp.me/p2sEQO-mB