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Looking Ahead To Tonight’s Last Presidential Debate

By Sandra Knispel | Published 22 Oct 2012 10:20am | comments
President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Gov. Mitt Romney greet each other before the second presidential debate. Photo Getty Images

Tonight President Obama and Governor Romney will clash in the third and last presidential debate before the general election. Moderated by CBS’s Bob Schieffer its focus is on foreign policy. MPB’s Sandra Knispel looks ahead.

“The focus is going to be on the War on Terrorism, also the ongoing struggle in Afghanistan, [and] I suspect there will also be discussions of the closing of the war in Iraq as well as other ongoing problems in the Middle East.”

Rich Forgette is the senior associate dean at the College of Liberal Arts and a political science professor at the University of Mississippi. In the last debate, Governor Romney and President Obama tangled aggressively over the deadly attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya. Forgette predicts the question will come up again tonight.

“I think that the Obama administration would like to recast what they knew and when they knew it and why they did what they did. While the Romney camp, I think, wants to place this in the context of broader issues in the Middle East and our level of security in other embassies in the Middle East.”

Of course, the threat of a nuclear Iran will resurface, but the debate will likely also turn to non-military concerns.

“Issues of fair and free trade are likely to come up. The economy is the number one concern on the voters’ mind and so while they care very much about military policy in the Middle East – I think the Romney campaign is probably going to emphasize issues of our trade policies with China and Latin America.”

Usually, experts agree that foreign affairs don’t decide American elections. But this year, with national polls showing a tied race and with the terrorist attack in Benghazi still in the headlines -- this is one debate that will garner a lot of attention.

Sandra Knispel, MPB News, Oxford.

 

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President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Gov. Mitt Romney greet each other before the second presidential debate. Photo Getty Images


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