The Candidates Final Debate
Lynn University Presidential Debate
BOCA RATON (CBSMiami) – The final presidential debate before the November elections is now in the history books.
President Barack Obama squared off with Governor Mitt Romney at Lynn University in Boca Raton.
So who won?
According to a new CBS News poll released Tuesday morning President Obama came out on top. In the survey of uncommitted voters, 53-percent said Obama was the winner, 23-percent said Romney won and 24-percent felt it was a tie.
Monday’s debate focused on foreign policy.
Romney and President Obama discussed topics including Libya, Israel, the overall Middle East, Iranian sanctions, and even managed to work in domestic policy at times during the debate.
Romney called into question Obama’s strength in the world, specifically dealing with Iran. He called repeatedly to indict Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and both candidates agreed that a nuclear Iran was not something the U.S. would stand for under either administration.
Romney targeted Obama’s foreign policy early, specifically targeting enemies.
“I congratulate him on taking out Osama bin Laden and going after the leadership in Al Qaida but we can’t kill our way out of this mess. We’re going to have to put in place a very comprehensive and robust strategy to help the – the world of Islam and other parts of the world, reject this radical violent extremism, which is – it’s certainly not on the run.”
Obama responded, “Governor Romney, I’m glad that you agree that we have been successful in going after Al Qaida, but I have to tell you that, you know, your strategy previously has been one that has been all over the map and is not designed to keep Americans safe or to build on the opportunities that exist in the Middle East.”
However, neither candidate truly answered the opening question regarding Libya.
“With respect to Libya, as I indicated in the last debate, when received that phone call I immediately made sure that number one we did everything we could to secure those Americans who were still in harms way,” said Obama.
Governor Romney took what could be described as a more progressive position when it came to Syria, saying he doesn’t “want to have our military involved in Syria. I don’t think there is a necessity to put our military in Syria at this stage. I don’t anticipate that in the future.”
Obama also pointed out Romney’s lack of foreign policy experience.
“Every time you’ve offered an opinion you’ve been wrong,” said Obama.
Romney shot back saying the president wasn’t accurate and attacking him was not the answer. He also criticized Obama for proposed budget cuts for the military.
“We need to have as well a strong military. Our military is second to none in the world. We’re blessed with terrific soldiers, and extraordinary technology and intelligence. But the idea of a trillion dollars in cuts through sequestration and budget cuts to the military would change that.”
Obama responded saying that “our alliances have never been stronger in Asia, in Europe, in Africa, with Israel, where we have unprecedented and intelligence cooperation, including dealing with the Iranian threat. But what we also have been able to do is position ourselves so we can start rebuilding America.”
Romney pointed out that Navy is smaller than at any time since 1917, according to the Republican challenger.
Obama continued, “I think Governor Romney hasn’t spent enough time looking at how our military works. You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nation’s military’s changed. Andd so the question is not a game of Battleship, where we’re counting slips. It’s what are our capabilities.”
The one biggest winners of the night may have been the social networking site Twitter. Between the more than 3,500 journalists in Boca Raton and the millions of members online during the debate, more than 5 million tweets were made at different points during the debate.