It would seem that between Romney’s flubs and his own bragging rights, the president is well positioned heading into Monday’s debate on foreign policy. That’s an enviable place for a sitting president in a tight race who is presiding over one of the weakest economic recoveries in modern times. Only one man on stage gets to call himself the commander in chief, and he’s not Mitt Romney.
Romney is almost certain to press the Benghazi issue again in an attempt to portray Obama as weak and out-of-touch. In the town-hall setting this week, Romney mistakenly said that Obama failed to immediately characterize the murders as an act of “terror.” Actually, he did, as moderator Candy Crowley of CNN pointed out, deflating Romney’s attack. What Romney meant to say was that the administration was slow to point to “terrorism,” initially blaming a riotous response to a profane video as the catalyst.
Romney is also expected to accuse the president of jeopardizing Israel’s security by allowing Iran to build a nuclear weapon, reacting passively to the violence in Syria, and failing to crack down on China’s unfair trade practices and currency manipulation.
Still, foreign-policy hawks say that the most compelling argument Romney could make in the final debate is that Obama is withdrawing the United States from its essential leadership role on the world stage. Read more
NATIONAL JOURNAL’S PRESIDENTIAL RACE REPORT
Obama, Romney Cram Foreign Policy For Last Debate
[Associated Press, 10/21/12] President Obama and Mitt Romney have taken a break off the campaign trail this weekend to prepare for the final showdown between the two candidates. The third presidential debate, being held in Boca Raton, Fla., will focus on foreign policy.
Cash Flood Fuels Fight to the End in Leaning States
[New York Times, 10/21/12] Both presidential campaigns are free to spend as much money in the remaining days until the election as they can raise—likely boosting the number of ads across key battleground states.
Obama Outspends Romney; Both See Surge in Donations
[Chicago Tribune, 10/20/12] The Obama campaign has spent $116 million in September, double the amount of his Republican rival. Both campaigns saw a surge in donations. Meanwhile, Romney held his final fundraiser of the election on Saturday night, CNN reports.
With Romney Closing In, Obama to Launch Swing State Blitz
[Reuters, 10/20/12] Following his final debate on Monday, Obama will launch a six-state, around-the-clock campaigning blitz over two days next week. The president is also traveling to his hometown of Chicago to cast his early ballot, CNN reports.
Ryan Campaigns For Votes in Pa., Ohio Coal Country
[National Journal, 10/20/12] Campaigning in the heart of coal country Saturday, vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan made a direct play for the voters in western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio. The Associated Press digs deep into this “War on Coal,” and finds the realities are far more pressing than a simple political issue.
McCain Voters Defecting to Obama Are Older White Males
[Reuters, 10/21/12] According to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll, roughly 5 percent of older white males who supported John McCain for the presidency in 2008 are now switching to Obama in 2012. The poll over-all finds the race is a statistical tie.
Priorities USA Will Focus on Romney’s Bain Record in Closing Stretch
[National Journal, 10/21/12] Priorities USA Action, a pro-Obama super PAC, will close out the campaign season by going after Romney’s experience at Bain. Reuters reports that Democrats have given “unprecedented” amounts to super PACs in September.
How Romney Tackled Tax Changes
[Wall Street Journal, 10/20/12] The Journal outlines how Romney closed corporate loopholes in the Bay State to raise revenue for the budget. On Sunday, the Romney campaign released an ad touting the Republican’s record in Massachusetts, saying he can change Washington.
Editorial: On the Basis of Sound Leadership, Re-Elect Obama
[Cleveland Plain Dealer, 10/20/12] The major Ohio newspaper endorsed President Obama on Saturday, though providing some critique. However, the editorial board writes that he has leader that “deserves a chance to finish the job.”
Editorial: Nevada Needs a Change Now; Elect Mitt Romney President
[Reno Gazette Journal, 10/20/12] Although writing it “wasn’t an easy decision,” the big Silver State newspaper endorsed Romney on Saturday. “Four years later, we find ourselves in need of change yet again,” the editorial board writes. The New Hampshire Union-Leader also endorsed Romney.