Obama on the Offensive, Romney in ‘Prevent Defense’

Two distinctly different strategies were on display Monday night in the third and final debate between the candidates for president. Democratic President Obama was on the attack, challenging Republican Mitt Romney at every turn. Romney, playing like a candidate who has the lead, didn’t take the bait. He was steady and reserved. The result was an Obama victory according to an instant CBS News poll. The survey showed 53 percent of voters thought the president won. Romney got 23 percent.

Despite the fact the debate was supposed to be about foreign policy, both candidates brought the discussion back to domestic issues—the economy, the auto industry and job creation.

Romney passed on a chance to hit the president on a foreign policy issue on which Obama is seemingly vulnerable: Benghazi and Libya. In the first question of the night moderator Bob Shieffer asked Romney about the attack on the US consulate and the subsequent misinformation about a nonexistent protest. Scheiffer even alluded to a possible cover up. Romney didn’t bite. He gave a general answer about the dangers of the region.

Obama had the line of the night when Romney said the US Navy has less ships than any time since 1917. Obama pounced. “Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military’s changed,” he said. “We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines. And so the question is not a game of Battleship.” Ouch. Republicans called the president condescending.

The two men won’t meet again until after Election Day which is now just two weeks away.

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