Watching the the final American presidential debate — foreign policy — tonight was depressing. Even though the debate was centered on foreign policy, not Romney’s strength, my memory isn’t short on other issues.
Mitt Romney doesn’t give me any confidence about how he’ll handle women’s issues and I don’t just mean his administration’s views on abortion. His comments and behavior make me feel like we’re going back 50 years in time.
He’s committed to nuking Obama Care, one program that ensures Americans with pre-existing conditions are covered and secure.
If I hang out with people who are some of the top income earners, leading entrepreneurs and the most educated Americans and “this group” is still struggling with spends of anywhere from $4K to $8K a year individually as an individual or small business owner for healthcare, then how is the average American coping? Never mind that 70% of what we need isn’t covered, that is after that $1, 2 or 3K deductible.
On top of that, if you have a ‘medical condition,’ you’re screwed. Obama Care protects those who need healthcare when shit hits the fan.
I’m not a conservative and according to three online surveys, I’m not even a Democrat, I’m pegged as a Libertarian (Maximum Freedom, Minimum Government) . And yet, fiscally, a conservative government would be a win for me.
Socially, Obama wins hands down. Culturally, he does too. Healthcare, hands down. Education, hands down. Foreign Policy? How can anyone be okay with a brighter, happier, better looking version of Bush deciding our medical fate? our education fate? our relations with the rest of the world?
When Romney speaks, why do I feel like I’m listening to a George Bush clone (aka, “we’re gonna kill the bad guys”), one who dresses and speaks like Don Draper with a New England accent and a “I went to B-school smile, trust me folks.”
Romney talks about growing the economy and increasing jobs at home, yet as a small business, I don’t feel as if Romney is going to help any of the things that I care about, especially education and healthcare. It seems like most of the money will be going to increased military spend, not to small businesses ‘at home.’
Romney honed in on the Iran being ‘four years closer to nuclear’ mantra, over and over again, so much so that it sounded like a broken record. He nailed Obama on China and how they’re counter fitting our goods, a currency manipulator, and the fact that they’re not playing by the rules and Obama nailed Romney on his support and commitment to supporting companies and initiatives and keeping jobs at home. “I’ve made a different bet on American workers, if we took your advice on auto workers, we’d be buying cars from China, if we took your bet on tax code, the same would apply (they win, not American businesses), and if we’re not investing in education, that we will lose the lead in things like clean technology,” said Obama.
On U.S. policy toward China up until two days ago, the two candidates were even at 44 percent. On Israel, Romney had an edge over the president, with 46 percent to Obama’s 42 percent. Do Americans and the rest of the world really think that Obama wouldn’t support Israel 500% if they were under attack or needed help? He noted that Israel has been and remain our best allies in the region on more than one occasion, including tonight in the foreign policy debate.
On closing statements, Obama focused on tough times at home and the fact that “we always bounce back because Americans are a resilient people,” and increasing jobs at home and not a policy that will promote more outsourcing and sending jobs overseas. He also emphasized education and that he wants to have the best education system in the world. Obama reminded American voters that Romney’s opinions have been “all over the map.” And, frankly they have. He’s not experienced at “this” and it shows despite his polished looks and the fact that he’s a helluva lot more articulate than most candidates.
Romney focused on the fact that he’ll get us on track to a balanced budget although no one can figure out how the numbers will work. He says he’ll get people off food stamps and emphasized that Washington is broken. He says, “this nation is the Hope of the Earth.”
From October 17-20, Obama was leading Romney 50-41 percent among likely voters on the question of who would do a better job on general foreign policy. They also viewed President Obama as stronger on terrorism and security: 49 percent said Obama would do a better job versus 42 percent for Romney.
Up until two days ago, Obama held a lead on which candidate would better handle an international crisis: 38 percent of likely voters said they had confidence compared with 30 percent who expressed the same level of confidence in Romney.
Romney and his administration decided to go more ‘moderate’ and was clearly advised not to take the bait when Obama hit him with hard questions and wanted to pick a fight. Politically, it was a smart decision, but in that smoke & mirrors as if Don Draper were in charge kind of way.
Council of Foreign Relations President Richard Haass was interviewed on live national television immediately after the debate and said he found many parts of the debate confusing but that felt that the candidates were more aligned and in agreement than not….on foreign policy that is.
Haass also noted that the two candidates both came back to more domestic issues and YET, Romney was pretty clear: more military spending, less spending on American education and getting rid of Obama Care, so if they’re REALLY both focused on domestic issues at home, where’s Romney’s focus on things that matter to Americans most? As for jobs, which party do you think truly cares about the fate of the average American worker? Was I watching FOX News on every channel?
As an aside women, REWATCH how Obama greeted his wife after his debate with Romney versus how Romney greeted his wife. Watch closely. Which one was more authentic?
Photo credit: CBS News site.