Middle East May Loom Large in Final Debate

President Obama Should Have Edge Over Romney on Foreign Policy

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By Reuters

Published October 21, 2012.
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“The other thing that gets interesting about the story, if it’s accurate, it sounds like the U.S. is taking a position that we’re likely to jettison our allies,” he told NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “The last thing we would want to do is abandon our allies on this and make it a one-on-one negotiation,” he said.

It remains to be seen how much traction any of this will have with voters, whose main concerns by far are the economy and jobs.

The problem for Romney is that in focusing on Obama’s trouble spots, he also further exposes his own weaknesses.

As former governor of Massachusetts and an ex-businessman, he is out of his comfort zone when not focused on domestic and economic matters.

That was evident in last week’s debate when he mistakenly said Obama took weeks to acknowledge that the Benghazi assault - which claimed the lives of the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans - was a terrorist attack.

Obama, who said he had done so in aa appearance in the White House Rose Garden the day after the attack, challenged Romney to “check the transcript” and chastised him for trying to score political points from a national tragedy.

A slew of pundits dubbed it Romney’s “Libya moment,” and some of his own aides conceded privately that Obama got the better of him.

On top of that, Obama managed to shift the focus away from the thornier question of whether the administration had ignored requests to beef up diplomatic security in Libya.

Romney went silent on Libya after Tuesday’s encounter but aides say the Republican, hunkered down in debate prep in Florida this weekend, will be ready to deal with it on Monday night when it is all but certain to come up again.

What Romney hopes to do is press his point, drowned out in the last debate, that the recent wave of anti-American violence in Libya and other parts of the Middle East shows Obama’s foreign policy is “unraveling before our very eyes.”


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