The third and final debate was quite possibly the presidential candidates’ last time to sway the undecided voters. The debate took place on the 50th anniversary of the Cuban missile crisis when President John F. Kennedy discussed the threat of the United States’ first nuclear war. Nuclear weapons were not far from conversation of the debate.
Bob Schieffer, the moderator, said, “It is a sobering reminder that every president faces at some point an unexpected threat to our national security from abroad.”
Both candidates, President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney, sat down casually at a round table.
“I will get America working again and see rising take- home pay again. And I’ll do it with five simple steps,” said Romney.
Obama remained firm on the idea that Romney is moving backwards, “You seem to want to import the foreign policies of the 1980s, just like the social policies of the 1950s and the economic policies of the 1920s.”
The candidates were not shy in their remarks to one another. Obama’s main phrases were that Romney’s policies were “wrong and reckless,” and that “the numbers don’t add up.” One of his boldest statements was, “Every time you’ve offered an opinion, you’ve been wrong.”
No matter what the question was, Obama claimed that Romney was all over the map and that his ideas had changed.
Romney congratulated Obama on the killing of Bin Laden but said, “We can’t kill our way out of this mess.” He explained a rising tide of chaos that he believes is taking place in the Middle East.
Romney talked about his ideas for military funding and how to get a stronger, bigger military. He contrasted his hopes with the current diminishing Navy describing fewer ships than 1916, and Air Force that is both older and smaller than 1947.
Obama fired back, “Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military’s changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines.”
Romney said that Iran views America as weak, “The president began what I’ve called an apology tour of going to various nations in the Middle East and criticizing America. I think they looked at that and saw weakness.”
Obama referred to this apology as the biggest whopper of the campaign, calling the apology untrue.
While there was much disagreement and many calls to “check the record” from both candidates, Romney seemed to agree with much of what Obama had to say, particularly in regards to Syria, “What you just heard Governor Romney said is he doesn’t have different ideas, and that’s because we’re doing exactly what we should be doing,” said Obama.
There was extreme notice taken that Romney did not emphasize on the Benghazi terror attack in Libya the way he had in the previous debate.
Both candidates pulled their notes together for closing remarks. Obama said, “If I have the privilege of being your president for another four years, I promise you I will always listen to your voices, I will fight for your families, and I will work every single day to make sure that America continues to be the greatest nation on earth.”
Romney followed with, “We need strong leadership. I’d like to be that leader, with your support. I’ll work with you. I’ll lead you in an open and honest way, and I ask for your vote. I’d like to be the next president of the United States to support and help this great nation, and to make sure that we all together maintain America as the hope of the earth.”
Schieffer ended the debate with his own personal touch, telling Americans, “As I always do at the end of these debates, I leave you with the words of my mom who said, go vote. It makes you feel big and strong.”