It was a fascinating debate, in that Romney seemed to disarm Obama’s new attacks that he is a warmonger who would get the U.S. into more wars if elected.
Romney could have gone on the attack about Libya, but probably didn’t to avoid giving the president an opening to recite well-rehearsed talking points about not politicizing a tragedy.
Romney was very strong on Iran, and the president’s statements were simply false. Romney is right that Iran is four years closer to a nuclear weapon. The president’s claims that his administration led the international community to implement tough sanctions against Iran is simply not true. The toughest sanctions were passed by Congress over the president’s objections last December. The Obama administration tried to water them down and then exempted all of Iran’s major trade partners in June.
The discussion about the apology tour was interesting, and Obama tried to sidestep it. Romney’s follow-up on this was good but he should have reminded the audience that Obama has not visited Israel as president.
Over all, the debate came down to the economy, and Romney’s case was much stronger. I think Romney was the clear winner on points and by appearing presidential.