The Foreign Policy Debate: Reader Reax

A reader writes:

Mitt Romney's opinions on foreign policy have in almost every case (Iran, Afghanistan, Libya) evolved over many months and years to the precise position that President Obama has executed while. in. office – when the situation was happening in real time, when mistakes actually matter. And then, after all that is established, Romney actually has the nerve to invent a way to complain that our president didn't do it quite good enough. And he, Mitt Romney, unable to even step foot in London without negative consequences, would have done it much better.

That was a drubbing tonight. Romney belongs nowhere near anyone's foreign policy.


Romney is the doomsayer-in-chief. He loved discussing all this Mideast chaos and then slyly insinuated that this is Obama's fault because the "rising tide" of Islamic extremism has occurred on his watch. But he seems to agree with all of Obama's policies on each talking point. The first Iran response, for example, was almost a direct copy of what Obama just said.


Shorter Romney: "I will lead America the same way, but with more leadership!"


Is it just me who thinks it's absurd that Romney tells us he needs eight years to balance the budget but Obama only gets four years to prove himself?


Did this guy just say businesses that don't balance budgets go out of business? This from the guy who made his millions by loading up companies full of debt and then pulling the equity out of them, sending them into bankruptcy. The cynicism is galling.


Very Christian: taking money from universal health care to spend on the military.  #WWJD

Several readers saw missed opportunities from Obama:

The thing about Obama in these debates is that he lines up point after point leading to a conclusion that he assumes his audience will be able to make but then fails to make it.  The auto industry bankruptcy is the worst example.  He lines up all the points, then fails to say, "But Mr. Romney, the capital wasn't there because your party's economic policies had caused the economy to collapse, and no one, including BAIN, would invest in GM and Chrysler, nor did they have the resources, because they were too busy protecting their own bottom lines in 2008 to worry about saving others." Maybe educated voters who understand a higher level than basic economics can make that jump, but the average person won't, so they will assume Romney's approach would have worked equally well.


The line I was hoping to hear Obama say: "Governor Romney, the only time I've had to apologize for America was when you went overseas and insulted out closest allies in Britain and Poland."


As an education advocate working in the state of Massachusetts for 25 years to make schools better for our children, families, teachers, and communities, it is galling to hear Romney take complete credit for Massachusetts' position as the #1 state in the country in education. At least five governors are part of Massachusetts' educational success, as well as our state legislature, our teachers' unions, our parents, and our communities. And yes, one Republican governor did do an outstanding job in educational leadership: his name was Bill Weld, NOT Mitt Romney.


I loved seeing Obama call Romney out on his gloating about Massachussetts education, but I have to say, he left the super-obvious response on the table, unused: "you didn't build that".

Another points out:

Why won't Romney say MASSACHUSETTS? Does no one else notice?  In each debate and stump speech, Romney says "my state" as if we are invisible, or a mythical place, like Brigadoon.  It's driving me crazy.

Another vents:

Where was Africa? Where was the eurozone crisis? Where was a more sophisticated discussion about Russia, let alone China? Where was a deeper analysis of the “pivot” in Asia? I think this year’s debates – and that includes the ones by the veeps – have been very good in terms of substance and depth, but it’s also clear to me that we need more than three debates, and they need to cover a wider range of issues. The neat division into domestic and foreign policies is no longer that neat, and it would be a great service to voters to have more time to unravel the web and reveal the connected dots.

Another turns to the man in the middle:

Obama is better than during the first debate, but Schieffer and Lehrer were both bulldozed by Romney's automaton talk.  Let's hear it for Raddatz and Crowley! Women are better debate moderators!

Another adds:

For 2016, we need binders full of qualified men for the people who choose moderators.

My take on the debate here, blog reax here, tweet reax here, and meme reax here. More to come.