Candidates Tied in Polls, Spar on Foreign Policy in Last Debate

3 years 7 months 1 week ago October 22, 2012 Oct 22, 2012 Monday, October 22 2012 Monday, October 22, 2012 10:15:00 PM CDT in News
By: Meghann Mollerus

BOCA RATON - With the latest NBC and Wall Street Journal poll showing both presidential candidates dead even at 47 percent, both campaigns indicated Monday night's third and final debate on foreign policy at Lynn University in Fla. was a major opportunity for one to pull ahead.

But, according to political analyst and MU political science professor Marvin Overby, there was little disparity in the candidates' positions.  Thus, he predicted this debate, alone, would yield only minimal, if any, poll change.

"People tend to watch these debates very much with their partisan lenses on," Overby said. "I think Republicans are going to think Mitt Romney did OK. I think the Democrats are going to think President Obama looked very presidential. I think part of what we're going to see is President Obama trying to push this question of 'can you see Mitt Romney as Commander-in-Chief?'"

Competing for television viewership with a game seven bid to the World Series and Monday night football, Overby suspected the audience--as subtly but noticeably revealed by both candidates in their responses--consisted predominantly of women.

"We might see tonight there was a larger female audience watching because of those major sporting event, and I think we saw both candidates maybe playing to that," Overby said.  "In his very first response to a question from Bob Schieffer in talking about the Middle East, what [did] Gov. Romney talk about? He talk[ed] about empowering women in the Middle East--probably trying to close that gender gap."

In his segway into the first and largely anticipated question about the changing Middle East and new face of terrorism, Moderator Bob Schieffer from CBS News made note of the 50-year anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis.  Analogously, he then asked President Obama and Governor Romney whether there was "an attempt to mislead people" about what happened in the deadly Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya that left U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three other Americans dead.  The question came just hours after Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock called for a Senate investigation into the attack.

President Obama emphasized he "took leadership" post-attack, reminding the audience that the majority of Libyans condemned the seige and rallied in support of the U.S. and its anti-terrorism efforts.  Romney said his strategy to "go after the bad guys" and yielding the Muslim community to "reject extremism on its own" entails a three-part plan for better education, gender equality and "rule of law."

After briefly sparring on Egypt, Syria and the most plausible means of destabilizing the Assad regime, Schieffer redirected the discussion to America's role in the world--a topic that prompted dispute over the logistics of Romney's pledge not to cut the military budget.  Amid the discussion, Pres. Obama declared what analysts have deemed his most memorable jab of the evening, saying, "Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military's changed."

Iran also took precedence in Monday's debate, as reports now suggest the U.S. may engage Iran in nuclear talks after the election.  As indicated before and re-emphasized tonight, the President and Romney have slightly differing ideas on how to foster sanctions with Iran.  But, both expressed support for the U.S.'s protection of Israel if under nuclear attack. 

"President Obama again categorically denied this report about possible bilateral negotiations [between the U.S. and Iran], and also President Obama repeatedly tonight invoked Israel--talked about it six or seven times, probably because this debate took place in Florida, a swing state with a large Jewish population--probably trying to close the deal in trying to bring Florida back into the Democratic camp in this election," Overby said.

The last question regarding China exposed what Overby said were the candidates' consistent talking points.  At both Monday's debate and the previous debate, Romney professed he would crack down on China and label it as a currency manipulator. Both candidates stressed China, though a valuable trade hub, must be forced to abide by international trade rules.  "We like free enterprise, but we've gotta play by the rules," Romney declared.

As they frequently did with several questions, the President and Romney interjected domestic policy issues into their responses on China.  Overby said, "I think both candidates tried to make China about domestic policy, which was a common theme tonight in the debate. Even though it was about foreign policy, both candidates took every opportunity to turn the debate back to domestic policy, indicating...that's what's going to decide the Election, not foreign policy.

Schieffer did not ask the candidates directly about Latin America in the debate, but both candidates agreed Latin America is a "huge opportunity" in terms of trade relations.

The debate is the last event at which both candidates will be face-to-face until after the General Election, which will occur on Tues., Nov. 6.  On that date, KOMU 8 News will provide live coverage from polling centers and campaign headquarters across the state.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Dryer’s Shoe Store is one of Columbia's oldest downtown retailers, and it is currently running a shoe drive... More >>
44 minutes ago May 30, 2016 May 30, 2016 Monday, May 30 2016 Monday, May 30, 2016 10:13:00 PM CDT in News
GLASGOW- The Missouri River was more than six feet above flood stage levels in Glasgow Monday afternoon. The entire... More >>
3 hours ago May 30, 2016 May 30, 2016 Monday, May 30 2016 Monday, May 30, 2016 7:37:00 PM CDT in News
LAKE OF THE OZARKS - The Missouri State Highway Patrol tested new extended Water Patrol shifts this Memorial Day weekend.... More >>
3 hours ago May 30, 2016 May 30, 2016 Monday, May 30 2016 Monday, May 30, 2016 7:01:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis' police chief is calling the city's judges too lenient with defendants in alleged gun... More >>
5 hours ago May 30, 2016 May 30, 2016 Monday, May 30 2016 Monday, May 30, 2016 5:25:00 PM CDT in News
ZALMA (AP) — A southe astern Missouri man is charged with assault after authorities say he tried to set his... More >>
6 hours ago May 30, 2016 May 30, 2016 Monday, May 30 2016 Monday, May 30, 2016 4:29:29 PM CDT in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Authorities in southwester n Missouri's Gree ne County say a jailer is recovering after being seriously injured... More >>
6 hours ago May 30, 2016 May 30, 2016 Monday, May 30 2016 Monday, May 30, 2016 4:24:53 PM CDT in News
LONE ELM - Some people barbecue or head down to the lake to celebrate Memorial Day, but one community celebrates... More >>
6 hours ago May 30, 2016 May 30, 2016 Monday, May 30 2016 Monday, May 30, 2016 3:59:00 PM CDT in News
BOONE COUNTY - Mid-missourians honored their fallen service members at memorial services across Boone County on Monday afternoon. Boone... More >>
8 hours ago May 30, 2016 May 30, 2016 Monday, May 30 2016 Monday, May 30, 2016 2:53:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY – A 21-gun salute and triple bell service honored veterans Monday at the Jefferson City National Cemetery. ... More >>
8 hours ago May 30, 2016 May 30, 2016 Monday, May 30 2016 Monday, May 30, 2016 2:43:00 PM CDT in News
TIPTON - Members of the community in Tipton are mourning the loss of a 19-year-old Robert Ashbaugh who was shot... More >>
8 hours ago May 30, 2016 May 30, 2016 Monday, May 30 2016 Monday, May 30, 2016 2:32:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The 28th annual Salute to Veterans Memorial Day Parade has some remembering what this day means to them.... More >>
8 hours ago May 30, 2016 May 30, 2016 Monday, May 30 2016 Monday, May 30, 2016 2:15:00 PM CDT in News
TIPTON (AP) — Missouri state authorities say they are investigating a weekend shooting death involving a 19-year-old man in central... More >>
8 hours ago May 30, 2016 May 30, 2016 Monday, May 30 2016 Monday, May 30, 2016 2:14:38 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - KOMU 8 News viewer Sheila Baker said her family was awed at the Salute to Veterans Celebration and... More >>
9 hours ago May 30, 2016 May 30, 2016 Monday, May 30 2016 Monday, May 30, 2016 1:19:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Regulations aimed at helping companies such as Uber and Lyft expand in Missouri died in the... More >>
10 hours ago May 30, 2016 May 30, 2016 Monday, May 30 2016 Monday, May 30, 2016 12:41:00 PM CDT in News
HAVANA - Cuba formally accepted a 20-ton shipment of rice processed in southeast Missouri Monday. Gov. Jay Nixon announced the... More >>
10 hours ago May 30, 2016 May 30, 2016 Monday, May 30 2016 Monday, May 30, 2016 12:21:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - As an event promoter for Off Track Events, Colin LaVaute has planned plenty of races in his work... More >>
19 hours ago May 30, 2016 May 30, 2016 Monday, May 30 2016 Monday, May 30, 2016 3:01:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — Over 600 people in south Columbia experienced power outages around 10 p.m. according to Columbia Water and Light.... More >>
23 hours ago May 29, 2016 May 29, 2016 Sunday, May 29 2016 Sunday, May 29, 2016 11:44:00 PM CDT in News
BOONE COUNTY - Flooding along the banks of the Missouri River caused a change of plans for some Mid-Missouri residents... More >>
1 day ago May 29, 2016 May 29, 2016 Sunday, May 29 2016 Sunday, May 29, 2016 6:02:00 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 67°
11pm 68°
12am 67°
1am 67°
2am 66°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

10:35p
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
11:37p
Late Night with Seth Meyers
12:37a
Last Call with Carson Daly
10:30p
Cougar Town
11:00p
Raising Hope
11:30p
Community

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
2016 Stanley Cup Final
7:00p
Memorial Day
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld