Katy Perry Wears Ballot Dress at Las Vegas Obama Rally (via NewsLook)
Katy Perry brought some glamour to President Barack Obama’s latest campaign stop in Las Vegas.
Katy Perry brought some glamour to President Barack Obama’s latest campaign stop in Las Vegas.
By Tanya Blake – Follow EOTM! Online (Politics) on Facebook
Source (Newsday) President Barack Obama and rival Mitt Romney sparred over foreign policy last night in their third and final debate, touching on the turmoil in the Middle East, Iran’s nuclear threat, support for Israel, and, ultimately, on which man presents himself as the strongest leader.
At the campus of Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla., Obama and Romney found common ground on some issues, but battled over how best to focus American military efforts and contain threats.
Obama repeatedly emphasized his record over the last four years, reminding voters that he withdrew American troops from Iraq, began a wind down in Afghanistan and ordered the special-forces operation that killed Osama bin Laden. He said Romney “seems to want the foreign policies from the 1980s, the social policies from the 1950s and economic policies from the 1920s.”
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“America is stronger now than when I came into office,” said the Democrat, who was the aggressor during most exchanges.
Romney accused his rival of carrying out an “apology tour” around the globe and insufficiently funding the military.
“We’re four years closer to a nuclear Iran,” Romney said. “I see the Middle East with a rising tide of chaos, violence, tumult. . . . I look around the world and I don’t see our influence growing. I see our influence receding.”
On Iran, Obama said: “As long as I am president . . . Iran will not get a nuclear weapon,” adding that he has helped cripple Iran’s economy through sanctions.
While more reserved than the previous two debates, Romney frequently tried to turn foreign-affairs questions into domestic ones — saying that the faltering economy undermines the U.S. internationally.
Romney said he wanted a “peaceful world . . . and that begins with a strong economy here at home, and, unfortunately, the economy is not strong.”
Obama tried to emphasize his foreign-affairs experience and Romney’s lack thereof. He said the Republican has “been all over the map” when it comes to foreign policy.
“I know you haven’t been in a position to execute foreign policy,” Obama said at one point. “And every time you’ve had a chance to offer an opinion, you’ve been wrong.”
“Attacking me is not an agenda,” Romney fired back.
The former Massachusetts governor accused Obama of not providing enough leadership to help overthrow the Assad regime in Syria, failing to anticipate the violence in Libya that led to the killing of the American ambassador, and not showing enough “backbone” with Russia.
Romney also said Obama hasn’t sufficiently funded the military to provide long-term security. “I will not cut a military budget,” Romney said.
The candidates went to lengths to stress their support for Israel, each trying to imply he would be a stronger ally. For example, when asked about the Muslim Brotherhood winning the elections in Egypt, Obama used the question to show solidarity with Israel, saying: “They have to abide by their treaty with Israel. That is a red line for us, because not only is Israel’s security at stake, but our security is at stake if that unravels.”
Romney also stressed the relationship. “I want to underscore the — the same point the president made, which is that if I’m president of the United States, when I’m president of the United States, we will stand with Israel,” the Republican said. “And — and if Israel is attacked, we have their back, not just diplomatically, not just culturally, but militarily.”
The 90-minute format was broken down into six, 15-minute segments, moderated by longtime CBS newsman Bob Schieffer. Questions centered on America’s role in the world, Afghanistan and Pakistan, Israel and Iran, the changing Middle East, the rise of China, and tomorrow’s world.
Going into the final debate, polls showed voters slightly favor Obama over Romney when asked about foreign affairs. And it came as no surprise that Romney used his closing statement to go back to the economy. He also emphasized that in Massachusetts he worked with a state Legislature that was “87 percent” Democrat.
“I learned how to get along on the other side of the aisle,” Romney said. “We’ve got to do that in Washington. Washington is broken. I know what it takes to get this country back.”
Obama, as he has done through much of the campaign, tried to tie Romney to former President George W. Bush.
“You know, over the last four years, we’ve made real progress digging our way out of policies that gave us two prolonged wars, record deficits and the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression,” Obama said. “And Governor Romney wants to take us back to those policies . . . “
Barack Obama and Mitt Romney will not wait until the end of their first debate to proclaim themselves the winner or denounce the other’s claims — online campaign teams will already have done so. While aides and other interested parties spun their message in Denver, Colorado ahead of Wednesday’s 90…
“It sounds to me like the same old policies that we’ve seen: More spending, higher taxes more regulation – the same policies that haven’t helped our economy they’ve made it worse,” Boehner said on “Fox News Sunday.”
“If that’s what the president is going to talk about Tuesday night, I think it’s pathetic.”
Republicans have made it clear that they will spend their time investigating Obama’s record this campaign year, as there appears to be little common ground on the jobs and economic issues most important to Americans. They are also pressing forward with last year’s legislative agenda to revamp Medicare and curtail government regulation that found little support in the Senate, which is controlled by Democrats.
The Chicago Tribune contributed to this report.
Mitt Romney was projected the winner of Tuesday’s presidential primary election in New Hampshire by CNN.
Heading into the Granite State contest, the former governor was running ahead of rival candidates competing for the Republican presidential nomination. He emerged victorious in the 2012 Iowa caucus last week.
Mitt Romney’s victory in New Hampshire’s Republican presidential primary strengthens his standing before the South Carolina and Florida votes. More conservative candidates falter as libertarian Ron Paul and moderate Jon Huntsman Jr. place second and third.
The map below features real-time data provided by the Associated Press. Breaking down county-by-county results.
Republican candidates took the stage for their third major nationally televised presidential debate on Wednesday night at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif.
Read some of the highlights and share thoughts and opinions below –
Recap > Romney & Perry. Since he entered the race in August, Perry has sucked up all the media attention. He didn’t just shoot to the top of polls, where he now leads nearest-competitor Romney by an average of nine percent, he’s dominated headlines and discussion for weeks. Tonight was no exception.
The debate opened with a question to Perry, a question to Romney about Perry’s strategist calling him a “buyout specialist,” a follow-up to Romney, a rebuttal from Perry, and a rebuttal from Romney to Perry’s rebuttal. “We could do this all evening,” host Brian Williams said. And they almost did. From there, Perry and Romney sniped at each other over job creation.
As the debate became the Romney and Perry Show, viewers could see the GOP field separating. Visually and in terms of the time they were given to speak, it looked like the GOP race really had become a contest between Perry, Romney, and everyone else.
Which was too bad for Michele Bachmann. The Minnesota congresswoman attained real-contender status with her first debate performance in New Hampshire in June, then showed strong again in last month’s Iowa debate, effectively forcing former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty from the race by getting the better of him in a testy back-and-forth, and by winning the Ames straw poll the next day.
But Perry’s entrance has left her sinking in mid-ascent, like a hot-air balloon with some type of flap problem. Bachmann has enjoyed two benefits: tea-party appeal and a good stage presence. By sucking up support in polls and screen time on Wednesday, Perry is hurting her on two fronts.
Ron Paul can get you a gallon of gasoline for a dime! This debate was kind of boring, compared to the last one. In Iowa, candidates were all keyed-up for the next day’s straw poll in Ames. On Wednesday, fireworks were supplied by Perry and Romney in the opening minutes, but things fell flat after that. It lacked the awkward tension of Pawlenty digging at Bachmann, desperately clawing for Iowa straw-poll votes, and Bachmann hitting right back.
Thank God for Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas). His promise of gasoline “for a dime” was easily the most surprising line of the night.
Newt Gingrich hates moderators, the media, and their silly questions. If you ask the former House speaker a question, you’d better be ready to endure an indignant snarl cast across the stage for all of cable-news-watching America to see.
In the Iowa debate last month, an outraged Gingrich accused Fox’s Chris Wallace of playing “Mickey Mouse games” when the moderator asked him about his entire campaign team quitting. This time, Gingrich accused Politico‘s John Harris of trying to instigate intra-GOP squabbles. Harris asked Gingrich whether Romney or Perry had a better argument on health care. “I’m frankly not interested in your effort to get Republicans fighting each other,” Gingrich said. Zing. He then suggested the media is broadly trying to divide the GOP in an attempt to shelter President Obama:
For a moment, Mitt Romney appeared to be funny and cool. (But only for a moment) And he had Rick Perry to thank for it. In the Perry-and-Romney-fest of the opening minutes, all that attention played to the advantage of the Massachusetts businessman, who has a lot more national debate experience than Perry does. The latter sounded kind of wooden in at first while he got his bearings. (The book on Perry is that he’s unexciting in live debates but wins anyway — at the outset, he lived up.)
By the end of the opening exchange, both men looked good.
“Michael Dukakis created jobs three times faster than you did, Mitt,” Perry zinged.
“Well, as a matter of fact, George Bush and his predecessor created jobs at a faster rate than you did, Governor,” Romney zinged back.
But most notably, Romney made the audience laugh with a joke about Perry, Al Gore, and the Internet. Perry served as Texas chairman of Gore’s 1988 presidential campaign, but the joke wasn’t driven by an inside reference. Campaign strategists and media types were not the intended audience. It was Romney — the guy who always seems stiff, who’s reportedly weird around voters in casual settings, who once inexplicably asked “Who let the dogs out?” while talking to a group in Jacksonville, Fla. — actually being funny. Maybe he’s loosening up a bit. Skip ahead to 1:25:
Emerging rivalry: Paul vs. Perry. Ron Paul attacked Rick Perry, Rick Perry attacked Ron Paul. The Texas congressman launched a TV ad this week criticizing Perry for backing Gore against Ronald Reagan in 1988, and that drama played out during the debate.
“The governor of Texas criticized the governor of Massachusetts for Romneycare, but he wrote a really fancy letter supporting Hillarycare. So we probably ought to ask him about that,” Paul said.
“Speaking of letters, I was more interested in the one that you wrote to Ronald Reagan back and said I’m going to quit the party because of the things you believe in,” Perry later responded.
The drama played out off screen too, as Paul’s campaign blasted out no less than eight anti-Perry press releases during the debate, accusing the governor of “crony capitalism,” outlining his “liberal past,” etc.
Jon Huntsman’s Tim Pawlenty moment? The former Utah governor pulled essentially the same move that earned Pawlenty so much criticism in the June debate, refusing to stand by a prior criticism face to face with his rivals. Huntsman was asked about something his strategist, John Weaver, had said about the Republican field — that the GOP risks becoming “a bunch of cranks” — and while Weaver is not Huntsman, the former governor’s refusal to take the bait smacked a bit of Pawlenty backing off his aggressive charge against “Obamneycare.”
“Well, I’m sure you have John Weaver’s telephone number. You can go ahead and give him a call,” Huntsman said. Harris appropriately let him off the hook, acknowledging that “you speak for yourself.”
From this debate, it was evident Huntsman is running on an argument of electability. He repeatedly attacked Romney, the leading candidate in that mold, rather than Perry.
Rick Perry vs. Galileo. After saying two weeks ago that human-generated climate change “from my perspective is more and more being put into question,” Perry was asked by Harris to name a climate scientist whose work he agrees with. Perry gave a long answer, but no name. “Galileo got outvoted for a spell,” he said at one point, while arguing that “the science is not settled” and that it’s not worth risking the U.S. economy on unsettled science.
Huntsman, meanwhile, continued to beat the I’m-with-science drum. “Listen, when you make comments that fly in the face of what 98 out of 100 climate scientists have said, when you call into question the science of evolution, all I’m saying is that, in order for the Republican Party to win, we can’t run from science. We can’t run from mainstream conservative philosophy. We’ve got to win voters,” he said.
All in all…a very entertaining debate!
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