Obama, Romney Debate Foreign Policy; Campaigns Hit Fevered Pitch -The Road to the White House - Election 2012 - Week 43

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President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney met this week for the final time of this 2012 Presidential Campaign in their third debate which focused on Foreign Policy.

With ten days until the general election, according to Gallup, President Obama’s Job Approval dropped three percentage points over the past week to 46% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness gained three percentage points to 49%.

As of October 28, 2012, among registered voters President Obama’s national popularity gained two percentage points to 48% and Mitt Romney’s national popularity dropped a single percentage point to tie the incumbent at 48%.

As we edge closer to the November election Gallup has added an additional poll that tabulates likely voters as opposed to only registered voters. According to Gallup among likely voters, Mitt Romney’s national popularity remained above the 50% mark for the second straight week staying steady at 51% and President Obama’s national popularity among likely voters gained a single percentage point to 46%.

Foreign Policy Debate

Lynn University, in Boca Raton, Florida, served as host to the third and final Election 2012 Presidential Debate. Bob Schieffer host of CBS’ Sunday morning “Face the Nation,” moderated the 90 minute session, with questions created and known only by him.

The two candidates were presented topics on different segments of Foreign Policy, global hot spots, allies, enemies and hypothetical’s and in order to persuade the approximately ten million undecided voters, they each presented their foreign policy agenda, reiterated their domestic agendas and closed by asking each voter to examine the issues and cast their vote accordingly.

Libya, Al Qaeda and China

With the assassination of Libyan ambassador J. Christopher Stephens still resonating as questions of inadequate security and other unknown variables contributing to his and three other embassy employees deaths, the evening began with direct questions on the responsibility for the failure in policy that resulted in this disaster.

Although no direct answer was given by the President Mr. Schieffer was able to handle the two candidates and engage them in more direct responses as the debate continued.

Al Qaeda, the international terrorist organization, depending on which candidate was speaking was either sufficiently dismantled after the murder of its founding leader, Osama Bin Laden under President Obama leadership or still a global and clear threat to the United States.

Al Qaeda, with network operatives in close to 75% of the world and while the pockets of fringe groups are not as organized or engaged as those in the nucleus of the organization, the extremists, jihadists, mind set and belief is very present. Dismantling the thought process that promotes, encourages and teaches extremism is as much a continued threat to the security of the United States and its global allies as the core strength that has been diminished by the death of Mr. Bin Laden.

With the Middle East the most volatile region of the world the two candidates engaged in policy regarding the 2014 planned withdraw from Afghanistan and the possibility that the afghan government may not be ready to secure their own government. 

According to Republican presidential candidate Romney, “Well, we’re going to be finished by 2014, and when I’m president, we’ll make sure we bring our troops out by the end of 2014. We’ve seen progress over the past several years. The surge has been successful and the training program is proceeding apace. There are now a large number of Afghan Security Forces, 350,000 that are ready to step in to provide security and we’re going to be able to make that transition by the end of 2014. So our troops will come home at that point.”

President Obama stated in regards to the purposed 2014 withdraw date from Afghanistan, “Part of what had happened is we’d forgotten why we had gone. We went because there were people who were responsible for 3,000 American deaths. And so we decimated Al Qaida’s core leadership in the border regions between Afghanistan and Pakistan. We then started to build up Afghan forces. And we’re now in a position where we can transition out, because there’s no reason why Americans should die when Afghans are perfectly capable of defending their own country.”

China was also a major topic. Republican Presidential candidate Romney declared that on Day 1, he would declare China a “Currency Manipulator” which allows the U.S. to move against them for actions violating trade agreements. China exports to the United States, as all know, a disproportionate amount of goods as opposed to what they import. Keeping China “playing by the rules” seemed to be the central theme and agreed upon policy.

Israel

It goes without saying that the United States strongest ally in the transiting Middle East region in Israel. Again all seemed in agreement that a nuclear armed Iran poses the most threat to our allies as well as to the United States.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (pronounced awk-med-din-a-jad) boosts of his country’s nuclear capabilities. Proliferation Treaties are in place so that mutual assured destruction, which is a clear scenario, should Ahmadinejad have his way, won’t happen. Somehow it doesn’t seem that a Proliferation Treaty will stop, slow or stall an extremist’s determination. 

President Obama stated under his leadership the United States had invested in Dome Protection to stop the missiles mid air and protect the Israeli people from destruction.

Central Campaign Issues

The central campaign issues did not fall to the way side due to the foreign policy debate. Job creation, the stubbornly high unemployment, no real economic growth over the past four years and the National Debt were also topics driven home with each candidate presenting their plan for America’s recovery.

Each candidate seemed to agree the middle class has been devastated by the lingering recession and cannot withstand four more years of unsteady economic growth. 47million Americans are now receiving food stamps as opposed to the 32million receiving the government subsidy when President Obama took office in 2008. 23million are still unemployed and while the jobs numbers finally, after 43 straight months, dropped below 8% a single month is not sufficient to bridge the unemployment abyss and bring back the middle class. And still, it is a start. 

For the approximately ten million undecided voters’ the election can be reduced to which candidates promises are more believable and which candidates promises are more likely to be realized.

For more information on both candidates:

Obama/Biden Official web site: http://www.barackobama.com

Romney/Ryan official web site: http://www.mittromney.com

 

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