Republican Mitt Romney scored a narrow victory over President Barack Obama in Monday night's Third Presidential Debate, which focused on foreign policy. Romney won despite being more cautious than expected--avoiding confrontation on the Libya issue, for example, and emphasizing areas of agreement with Obama where possible. He had a better command of the facts, defended his positions well, and looked more presidential.
Obama was very aggressive throughout the debate--perhaps still trying
to compensate for his lackluster first debate--using every single
question to attack his opponent's record and policies. That approach may
have backfired, as it allowed Romney to strike a calmer, more stable
Romney's apparent strategy was to give up scoring points on
particular issues in favor of appealing to war-weary, politics-weary
But that did not mean Romney failed to fight--and fight he did,
particularly on the issue of Iran, which he stressed repeatedly as the
biggest threat to the U.S. and the greatest failure of the Obama
administration. He also repulsed some of Obama's attacks--when given the
opportunity by a moderator who once again showed far greater favor to
the incumbent--and occasionally used some of them to pivot to his
favored policy points.
Obama went overboard in some of his criticisms of Romney, not only by
striking a less presidential posture but by relying on factual
assertions that were bound to be proven false afterwards.
When Romney criticized looming defense cuts, for example, Obama
countered by expressing contempt for Romney's alleged ignorance about
the military, saying that it was as outdated as military bayonets.
The problem? The military still uses bayonets.