Obama, Romney butt heads at final debate

Obama, Romney butt heads at final debate

October 23
00:17 2012

Julie Bird / Staff Writer

With the Nov. 6 election rapidly approaching, President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney met for the third and final presidential debate of the campaign at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla. Bob Schieffer of CBS News moderated.

Questions centered on foreign policy, but both candidates repeatedly returned to domestic issues that are first and foremost in many voters’ minds, including the economy, jobs and education.

Obama and Romney clashed over foreign policy topics such as tensions in the Middle East, relations with Israel and the United States’ role on the global stage.

The UNT Debate team hosted a watch party in Terrill Hall, and about 13 students engaged in a discussion after the debate.

The group did not reach a consensus on who won the debate, but several students agreed that the candidates focused too heavily on domestic policies.

“They talked a lot about education, which wasn’t really relevant to foreign policy,” communication studies junior Colin Quinn said.

However, Quinn mentioned that he appreciated the discussion concerning the U.S.’s math and science education.

Obama said he supported investing in science and math education, as well as technology and research, to keep up with other nations. Romney said he also supported research, and that private companies would lead development of green technology.

Debate director Brian Lain, a communication studies professor, also agreed that the candidates should have focused less on concerns at home and more on foreign policy issues and global economics.
“We cannot afford to only think about effects on the U.S.,” Lain said. “Neither candidate is discussing the upheavals looming in the next few years.”

Lain said Schieffer’s mention of the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis at the beginning of the debate should remind Americans that emerging international threats aren’t easily forseeable.

Romney and Obama clashed on the issue of how to prepare our military for such threats. While Romney advocated increased military spending and increasing the size of the Navy, Obama said he believed investing more in technology research and education. Obama said the support of veterans returning home would be the best way to strengthen the military.

Assistant director of debate Louie Petit, a communication studies lecturer, said that another omission in tonight’s debate struck him.

“There was nothing about climate change,” he said. “Ninety-nine percent of the world’s scientists agree that the world is warming, and the candidates aren’t even discussing it.”

Obama’s closing statement advocated for bringing outsourced manufacturing jobs back to the U.S., pursuing clean energy sources and investing in technology and education.

Romney closed by speaking of his plans to restore the economy, create new jobs and balance the national budget.

Early voting in Denton began Monday.

Moderator Bob Schieffer left viewers with some advice from his mother.

“Go vote. It’ll make you feel big and strong.”

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