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2012 Presidential Debate Number #3 – Horses, Bayonets, Flip-Flops, and Buckets of Sweat

Last night was the last of the trio of presidential debates between President Barack Obama and the Republican Party candidate Mitt Romney which took place at Lynn University in Boca Raton, FL.

For the foreign policy face-off, Obama looked his opponent square in the eye, appearing dominant branding the former Romney’s policies as “wrong and reckless,” while unapologetically exposing his opponents recurring bouts of  “Romnesia.”

Romney on the other hand much of the night looked shaky and uncertain and at a few points during the evening visibly sweating. Only when Romney felt he had enough ammunition to challenge Obama did Romney attempted to bully the moderator, Bob Schieffer, much as he did in times past, but fell short of his goal with the CBS News veteran not having any of it.

Romney shied away from some of his hard positions on foreign policy, most especially American standing with Israel and often agreed with a number Obama’s talking points in an attempt to come off as less “right-wing extremist” which he played pandering to the GOP base.

But in what had to be one of the highlights of the debate President Obama exposed Romney’s lack of knowledge on America’s military and strategy  when speaking on the size of the Navy and its request for more ships:

Well, governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets,” Obama said, seeming to mock Romney’s outdated comprehension of what constitutes military might. “We have these things called ‘aircraft carriers,’ and planes land on them.

“We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines. And so, the question is not a game of Battleship, where we’re counting ships; it’s, ‘What are our capabilities?’”

Another zinger to Romney came later in the evening as he tried once again to shift the debate to domestic policies, something Romney feels more comfortable with.  But Romney brought up Detroit automakers and attempted to flip-flop now saying that he was for the auto bailout.  Obama checked Romney on his hard saying:  “Governor, you keep on trying to airbrush history,” Obama said. ”You were very clear that would not provide government assistance to the U.S. auto companies even if they went to bankruptcy.”  to which Romney stared blankly away from the President and into the camera.

Mini Cliff’s Notes Fact Check:

*Romney repeatedly and wrongly accused the president of traveling the  world early in his presidency and apologizing for U.S. behavior

*Romney accused the Obama administration of not dealing with Syria.  This is FALSE.  Under Obama, the United States has taken a lead in trying to organize Syria’s  splintered opposition, even if the U.S. isn’t interested in military  intervention or providing direct arms support to the rebels. The administration  has organized dozens of meetings in Turkey and the Middle East aimed at rallying  Syria’s political groups and rebel formations to agree on a common vision for a  democratic future after Syrian President Bashar Assad is defeated.

*Romney stated that being in business he had experience balancing budgets and used the Utah Olympics as an example.  What Romney didn’t state is that he balanced the Olympic’s budget using Federal Funds.

All in all President Obama was the clear winner of last nights debate.  But at this point in the game with almost virtually no undecided votes left to sway and with only 3 weeks to go in the end it might not make much difference.

But it was nice to see Romney scramble and sweat!

Debate Video Highlights


Will Kohler

Will Kohler is one of America's best known LGBT historians, He is also a a accredited journalist and the owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced on such notable media venues as BBC News, CNN, MSNBC, The Washington Post, The Daily Wall Street Journal, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story. Back2Stonewall has been recently added to the Library of Congress' LGBTQ+ Studies Web Archive. Mr. Kohler is available for comment, interviews and lectures on LGBT History. Contact: Will@Back2Stonewall.com

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