This was my running commentary for the 3rd and final debate on foreign policy at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida. I say foreign policy, but they hit just as much domestic in spots. I take no responsibility for typos, grammar, syntax etc. By the way, this is all paraphrased; not complete quotes. Half of the time I forgot if it’s Bob Schieffer or Bob Scheiffer. Sorry. Meh.
Here we go:
Question 1 – Libya; what caused it and what really happened.
Romney neutralizes Bin Laden in first 2 minutes. Draws attention to Al Qaeda being still alive and well. Hits mass deaths in Syria.
Obama says it is his job to keep us safe. That worked out well for Stevens and the 3 other Americans in Benghazi. I, I, I… now trying to say he cut costs versus engagement in Iraq. What?
Romney redirects; broader strategy. Muslim world has to reject extremism on its own. Turns it to Egypt, Mali and Syria – region in tumult.
Obama – replies with geopolitical and Russia. Does he know what that means? Obama snipes Romney on ‘not actually having a position to execute foreign policy’.
Romney – attacking me is not a strategy for solving this. Sets Obama straight on what he really said about Russia and Iran. After the election Putin will get more backbone. Ouch.
Obama is flustered. Repeats back what Mitt just said instead of refuting.
Schieffer redirects on Assad. Should we reassess our policy?
Obama – Assad has to go, sanctions, isolation, humanitarian aid. Syrians have to determine their own future. Israel has huge interest in what happens in Syria. No shit sherlock.
Romney – 30k dead is a humanitarian disaster. Syria is Iran’s only ally; it’s the route to the sea and arm Hezbollah. We don’t want to be drawn into military conflict; identify responsible parties that can take the lead.
Obama – this is how we make choices line again. Not answering, but attacking Romney’s position again.
Romney – replace Assad; replace the government. We don’t want to see military involvement. Syria has been going on for a year. There has been no American leadership on it.
Obama stumbling. Moderate Syria? What choom is he smoking? Obama touts Egypt as a democratically elected state that promotes religious freedom? WHAT? Moves on to talking about not investing in our own economy and infrastructure? What was the stimulus, Obama? FAIL.
Romney – purpose in Middle East = peace. Mantle of leadership falls to America. For us to promote it requires we be strong — economy is key. Our debt is our own biggest threat. We need a strong military to back that.
Scheiffer – What is America’s role in the world?
Romney – America has responsibility and privilege to make the world more peaceful via our principles. Freedom of Expression is a biggie. We have to stand by our allies – Israel. Missile defense pull out was “unfortunate”. HEH.
Obama – Military is stronger now than when I came into office. I pulled out of Iraq; doing victory lap. Names all the continents. Impressive for the 57 state president. “What my plan does is rebuild America.” What ever that plan is? Admits America is in shambles now. Calls Romney’s policies “broad and reckless”. You mean like supporting the Arab spring?
Romney – I have a strategy- home and abroad. You don’t. Mentions 5 points again; needs to go back to foreign policy. Schieffer not steering. Hits China.
Obama – Uh uh… small businesses. You’re record as Governor was 37th in small business growth. Sigh. Yes, but unemployment was low, so fail. Goes on a tirade about schools now; I tuned out.
Romney – corrects Obama on Governor record; schools. Obama interrupting. Annoying.
Schieffer wakes up and turns back to the military and the navy. Where are we getting the money?
Romney – cuts to discretionary budget. Reducing spending; axe Obamacare. Take out the non-essential programs. Take the keepers and give them to the states to run since they do it more efficiently. States are proving it; AZ RI.
Obama interrupting or trying.
Obama – Look. Repeats 5 billion lie. Says the ‘math doesn’t work’. Uh, your math the last 4 years didn’t work, Obama.
Romney – you don’t balance your budget, you go out of business. Shorter: You haven’t balanced a budget yet; your math sucks. BTW, our navy is the smallest it has ever been. Same with our airforce. BOOM.
Obama compares navy and airforce to bayonets. Coming across like a dick; it’s ok we have less and we’re fighting the world. It’s all good.
Romney – We need strong military and I can make that happen.
Obama – but, but… Mission with Israel this week. Repeats Iran won’t get a weapon yet his WH is in talks with them. Yeah, ok. Obama blathering on about keeping all options on the table. That’s part of the problem; he won’t take anything off the table. Obama is evasive on Israel as usual.
Romney – Sanctions need to be tighter. We have to stand with Israel. He would indict Ahmadinejad under genocide convention. PRESIDENTIAL.
Obama – tries to make Romney sound like what Obama is doing already. Not working; they are day and night.
Romney – Iran is laughing at us. Obama went on apology tour in Middle East and criticized us; that’s weakness. Paints Obama has projecting weakness, which he has.
Obama – how dare you say I went on an apology tour? Thin skinned. Wah wah wah! Turns attack on Romney to get out of it and complains about Romney investments in China. Acting indignant and … and… and, stumbling.
Romney – redirects; Iran is 4 years closer. Reaffirms apology tour and how Obama skipped Israel. The other nations notice. Romney takes a big bite into Obama’s ass on Israel.
Obama – When I was a CANDIDATE I went to Israel. Haven’t been back since. Uh oh. Talks about missiles landing in Hamas areas, blows off Israel being bombed. Wow.
Romney – The world is going to pot and Obama is cheering it on. I don’t see our influence growing, I see it receding.
Obama – I got Bin Laden. Says, Paaahkeestan. Drink. We drove back Al Qaeda. Really? Obama walking right into Libya again if Romney gets a chance to answer. Moron.
Romney – Protests not being able to hit Obama back on that little Al Qaeda Bin Laden victory lap.
Scheiffer – What happens if the deadline comes in Afghanistan and we’re not ready to get out?
Romney – surge was successful, indicators are that we are going to be able to make that transition. I can’t tell you things won’t change. Mentions Pakistan. Importance to region and they have a lot of nukes. A Pakistan that falls apart would be a danger. We need to be cautious leaving region, basically.
Obama – we forgot why we went to Afghanistan. Invokes 9/11 when he just had 4 Americans die on 9/11 on his watch. Afghans are capable of defending their own country, just ignore all the bombings. They can die, just not us. Ignores Green on Blue attacks. It’s time to do nation building at home. Uh, Obama? We haven’t built a nation abroad nor at home thanks to you.
Scheiffer – Is it time to divorce Pakistan?
Romney – No. They have serious threats from within and without from terror groups. Hi, they have nukes and their civilian government is a mess.
Scheiffer – What do you think about drones (to Romney)
Romney – use when needed; valuable intelligence from them.
Schieffer – redirects again after Obama rambled on about how he got Al Qaeda and has ‘relationships’ in the region.
Obama – I put in trade rules task force on China. I’ve done more than any other president. Me, me me… I, I and more I. Obama looking a bit sickly tonight. We need to put more money into tech and research, schools too… because you didn’t build that.
Romney – You didn’t build that. Government doesn’t make business successful. China sees our economy and military cuts as weaknesses; inability to lead. Is America going to be strong? Not under Obama! China continues to cheat. Will label China a currency manipulator. China is stealing our tech, designs etc.
Schieffer – if you declare them a currency manipulator on day one, won’t that start a trade war?
Romney – no, because they sell us more than we sell to them. China doesn’t want a trade war. They can’t keep holding down their currency and stealing from us.
Obama snipes – ‘Governor Romney is familiar with shipping jobs overseas’. Cheap shot with little substance to follow-up. Dick. Says companies that sell over seas don’t pay taxes? Since when? Rambles on about Detroit…
I’m starting to feel like I should have re-watched The Walking Dead season 2 on Netflix instead. Romney has this in the bag. Sounds and looks presidential; only adult at the table.
Romney – attacking me is not laying out your plan. Nice try. I would not liquidate anything. Obama interrupts, wants to check the record again? What is this Candy Crowley part 2? Does Bob have the record??
Obama interrupting again. Not getting his way.
Romney continues. Romney nails another one. Tries to call Obama a liar. Romney says you”re wrong. Obama says no I’m not. I wonder who’s going to draw a line and tell the other to cross it now.
This debate is not going to change anything for Obama. Romney stood firm and laid out his plan. Obama barked and did Bin Laden laps. This debate has been painfully long, probably because the moderator isn’t participating this time. Snort.
Romney hits Obama on the economy again. Mentions food stamps and unemployment.
Wrap up time.
Obama goes first. Tries a joke about commericals. Bombs due to silent audience. Man, he is really good at saying nothing. Sounds like a commercial — hey, wait a minute…nope, it’s the debate and not a commercial.
Blah blah, invest in energy and infrastructure, blah blah hope and change. I will listen to families. Blah blah.. totally uninspiring.
Romney next. I am excited for the future and the opportunities. America has the chance to lead and create peace. We have to get economy going — two paths.
Sounds like his other wrap up a bit. Hoping he says something new. Btw, Mr. Liberty says the Greeks are likely not happy with Romney.
We need a president who can work across the aisle. Bingo!
Romney wins it. Looked like the incumbent. Obama looked like he was trying to keep up. Obama was unable to paint Romney as a warmonger. Romney passed the Commander In Chief test tonight.
Obama looks pissed, licking his teeth as he gets up to shake hands.
Romney smiles and laughs. He knows he won. This won’t affect the polls.
I’ll have the link around in the morning with video, transcript and my usual niceties.