« Obama's pre-debate fuel: Joe's Stone Crab claws, key lime pie | Main | Lobbyist Steve Madden dies at age 43 »

Why Romney missed, Obama hit. And why it might not matter much.

The issue was teed up for Mitt Romney from the get-go at Monday night’s foreign-policy debate: What happened when four foreign-service workers were killed in Libya?

“Was it an intelligence failure? Was it a policy failure?” moderator Bob Schieffer asked. “Was there an attempt to mislead people about what really happened?”

The answer to the first two questions is probably “yes.” The last question, about misleading the American people, is being examined on Capitol Hill, where the Benghazi attacks are widely seen as an embarrassment for the Obama Administration.

But Romney didn’t say any of that.

Instead, the Republican challenger rattled of a litany of problems in the Middle East — from the fading hopes of the Arab Spring to the struggle of “women in public life” to the Bashar Assad regime’s killing of an estimated 30,000 civilians in Syria.

Then he mentioned Benghazi. But only briefly.

“We see in Libya, an attack apparently by, I think we know now, by terrorists of some kind against — against our people there, four people dead,” Romney said.

That was it. Opportunity missed.

That’s how much of the night went for Romney, who tacitly tried to blame Obama for much of the “chaos” in the Middle East. But when he had a shot to take, Romney didn’t at first.

And when Romney had a chance to draw clear distinctions with Obama, he often didn’t or couldn’t when it came to handling Iran, Egypt or Syria.

“What you just heard Governor Romney say is he doesn’t have different ideas. And that’s because we’re doing exactly what we should be doing,” Obama said during a discussion about Syria.

But Romney didn’t need to win Monday night’s debate.

Obama did.

And the president probably won, but he probably needed a far bigger win to clearly grab the lead. He didn’t score the type of knockout that Romney did during the first debate.

More here

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Peter Schorsch

Compilation of analysis and reaction to the third presidential debate.

wp.me/pShRp-jD5

amigay

Out of a job, looking for work that's just not there, why would I care about the Middle East, etc?

amigay

And as for the undecideds, if you haven't figured out by now who to vote for, do us all a favor and don't bother. You'll probably be casting an angry vote, rather than an intelligent one and it will be of little use.

AlvinR

Romney has demonstrated a wreckless pattern on changing his position on issues. But what is disturbing to me most is his record as a buisnessman. His record clearly shows that he would take healthy companies and load them with debt and essentially bankrupt them, skimming the millions off the top, but leaving middle class employees in the cold without a job and pension, then take the new company overseas or directly benefit countries like China. These are the facts. This is what got us into this mess. This is disturbing and a vote for Romney would reward this anti-american behavior. The only job you will get with Romney is flipping hamburgers or dumping trash.

ScottL

If you remember, it was the republicans that started the class war. They went after the teachers, cops, and others in the middle class. The republicans have temporarily halted the crusade against the middle class because its getting close to election. If Romney becomes president, it will all come forward again. So will their plan to voucher social security - so get ready seniors. This was their grand design. They have just gone underground with these issues because they were so unpopoular and they are hoping for all the votes they can get. They view the 47 percent as scum. They will slowly move back into these anti middle class positions after the election.

naplesbob

What "I" saw last night was a President, that has had several reasons to say vote for me. What "I" saw of former Governor Romney was; he clearly does not understand the world in general. Many of his answers sounded like a comedic routine; where fter a salo from one wise guy, the other wise guy would say; Yeah what he said. There was a time when Romney (Primary Mitt)would say things that sounded good to Neocons; but when it came down to "this" debate; he simply was in agreement with "America's" policies. "No" stark contrast, no reasoned approach that differed from the President.

The comments to this entry are closed.