Full transcript of the debate is here
"Romney went large — Obama went very, very small."
Elizabeth Price Foley
, guest-blogging at Instapundit: Obama "snarky, condescending, peevinsh and small." She offers one example for each characteristic.
, who live-blogged the debate: "Obama has run far and fast from his own record. Romney, I’m sorry to say, hasn’t always hit him for that as much or as strongly as I think he should have...[but] Romney is credible."
: "By adopting a strategy of only modestly challenging Obama and mostly seeming the same as Obama on foreign policy, Romney neutralized foreign policy as an issue and kept the election focus on the economy...The election is about the economy...The only way Obama really could have won is if Romney had tumbled into some kind of exploitable gaffe. That didn't happen."
Two highlights from the debate. First, Russia:
OBAMA: Governor Romney, I’m glad that you recognize that Al Qaida is a threat, because a few months ago when you were asked what’s the biggest geopolitical threat facing America, you said Russia, not Al Qaida; you said Russia, in the 1980s, they’re now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because, you know, the Cold War’s been over for 20 years.
ROMNEY: [Russia is] a geopolitical foe, and I said in the same — in the same paragraph I said, and Iran is the greatest national security threat we face. Russia does continue to battle us in the U.N. time and time again. I have clear eyes on this. I’m not going to wear rose-colored glasses when it comes to Russia, or Mr. Putin. And I’m certainly not going to say to him, I’ll give you more flexibility after the election. After the election, he’ll get more backbone.
Fox News has a video excerpt with Romney's response. The "rose-colored glasses" part starts at 00:33. Obama is completely unfazed by the "flexibility" remark.
Second...Romney brought attention to Obama's "apology tour."
Mr. President, the reason I call it an apology tour is because you went to the Middle East and you flew to Egypt and to Saudi Arabia and to Turkey and Iraq. And by the way, you skipped Israel, our closest friend in the region, but you went to the other nations.
And by the way, they noticed that you skipped Israel. And then in those nations, and on Arabic TV, you said that America had been dismissive and derisive. You said that on occasion America had dictated to other nations.
NRO also remembers the tour.
In France he criticized America’s past “arrogance” and its “dismissive . . . derisive” behavior. In Trinidad he lamented a “disengaged” United States that sought to “dictate . . . terms” in the hemisphere. At the National Archives he charged his predecessors with making foreign-policy decisions “based on fear rather than foresight” and “trimm[ing] facts and evidence to fit ideological predispositions.” Countries, even good ones, may sometimes need to apologize for specific mistakes. Generic national self-flagellation is another thing entirely, particularly when it is a form of personal self-congratulation.
Labels: Middle East, Politics, War on Terror, World