Foreign policy debate veers to domestic

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  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 23, 2012 6:39 p.m.


    Granted, the US by and large has been a positive force for freedom in the world and, yes, we mostly leave after the mess is cleaned up (although aboriginal Americans and the original settlers of the Southwest might have a different opinion-- maybe there's a statute of limitations for that). However, our record is not perfect. The US has a shabby habit of supporting antidemocratic and corrupt regimes when it is expedient, especially during the Cold War. We supported anyone who was anticommunist, even if they were not pro-democracy (you could add Botha's apartheid South Africa to my previous list). Reagan supported Marcos pretty much until he was climbing the jetway to flee, well after the assassination of Aquino. US support of the Shah (and SAVAK) fanned anti-American sentiment and allowed the Islamic fundamentalists to hijack the Iranian revolution.

    There is no shame in acknowledging the blemishes in your history. Indeed, I would offer that there is much greater shame and immorality in whitewashing the past and embracing an unquestioning nationalistic pride that airbrushes any factual unpleasantness away. Humans err; nations are made of humans and therefore err. That's OK. Just own it.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Oct. 23, 2012 4:49 p.m.


    the 'point' Mitt was making was that America has spent blood and treasure over many wars over many years in behalf of the world. America has been the shining city on a hill that other countries look to for their freedom and their property. Obama's apology tour was a shameful and unwanted act performed by Barack. America has NO reason to apologize but the world should be reminded ...over and over ...of the greatest of America. America doesn't conquer and raid - America spends it's own blood and treasure and creates freedom for millions...then leaves... which is WHY America IS the greatest country in world history ... something that Barack and Michelle don't seem to grasp.

  • IMAN Marlborough, MA
    Oct. 23, 2012 1:02 p.m.

    From Joe Klein of Time magazine :President Obama won the foreign policy debate, cleanly and decisively, on both style and substance. It was as clear a victory as Mitt Romney’s in the first debate. And Romney lost in similar fashion: he seemed nervous, scattered, unconvincing — and he practiced unilateral disarmament, agreeing with Obama hither and yon … on Iraq (as opposed to two weeks ago), on Afghanistan (as opposed to interviews he’s given this fall), on Libya and Syria and Iran. He didn’t have a single creative or elegantly stated foreign policy thought and, indeed, seemed foolish at times, using the word peace about as often as George McGovern in 1972 (not that McGovern was foolish, but Romney has run so hot and aggressive on foreign policy that he seemed a sudden convert to transcendental meditation or Yoko Onos secret consort).

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Oct. 23, 2012 11:43 a.m.

    patriot: "Mitt's statement that 'America does not dictate to any country but instead frees countries from dictators' was the best line of the night."

    That made me laugh two. Under Obama, were now have 3 less dictators - at the cost of almost no American lives. So far Libya cost us 4. And how many American service and contractors were killed in Iran? Let's just say a few more than 4.

    I think the important thing here is at the end of the debate, both Romney and Obama showed American what is really important. Romney has been riding Obama now for 4 years - criticizing just about everything the President has done. Obama has been particularly sharp on Romney's statements over the last month or two.

    But in the end, these two men showed that these difference were about policy, not personal. Both men, and their families met on stage, Obama talking with Romney's grand kids, Romney's boys talking to Obama, at one point putting their arm around him in a friendly gesture. Michelle had a warm conversation with Mrs Romney and her daughter in laws.

    This is about policy, and not personal. Sorry Tea Partiers.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 23, 2012 11:16 a.m.

    patriot: "Mitt's statement that 'America does not dictate to any country but instead frees countries from dictators' was the best line of the night."

    Um, except it's not true. The Shah of Iran, Pinochet, Somoza, Marcos, anyone? All dictators installed and/or supported with American blood and treasure (until the very last moments, when suddenly we were shocked, shocked, at their excesses).

    Perhaps you subscribe to the Reagan era hairsplitting that our allies are "totalitarian" regimes while our enemies are "dictators."

  • Owen Heber City, UT
    Oct. 23, 2012 10:38 a.m.

    JWB -- Your voluminous, biased and repetitive comments in this and other threads are preaching to the choir. Clearly both sides see the debates from their own perspective. Why bother trying to convince others to see debates through your eyes? You are clearly in the minority nationally. Utah Obama votes are not going to change now, and it wouldn't matter if they did.

  • suess Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 23, 2012 10:27 a.m.

    I have to admit that Obama sounded pretty good -- I even made the comment to my daughter that were he running for first term, it sounded pretty good, but looking at his track record, it's a train wreck. I've heard him say before that Romney doesn't have a 5 point plan, and yet Romney laid out the five (5) point plan last night, again, and it sounded spot on to me. I agree with the stare down -- and the constant blinking and hard swallowing was very evident. Either he had an irritant in his eyes (oh, Romney) or by body language was ready to come up with another lie. My thoughts in watching Obama was wondering how he was going to personally attack Romney when Romney was agreeing in part with what he was doing -- which is fine, and Obama can say he is doing this, and doing that, but it comes down to enough is not, and has not been done. Rather than apologizing to foreign countries for what we are doing, we need to take the lead and help other countries (after taking care of ours) and not apologize to them for our assistance.

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 23, 2012 10:20 a.m.

    It is interesting that many of the post debate flash polls (which were not necessarily accurately balanced) showed that Obama won the debate but Romney actually swayed more voters to his side.

    I would think swaying people to vote for you would be the only bottom line measure of a successful debate.

    Obama may have looked aggressive at the debate: but he came across as somewhat petulant and desperate rather than presidential; he also raised a lot of questions regarding the disconnect between his rhetoric and actual behavior - leaving any "victory" somewhat Pyrrhic once that narrative expands over the next few days.

    The trajectory of the race did not change (which means the presidency likely will)

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 23, 2012 10:11 a.m.

    For those that believe that Romney agreed with the President so much, there were only some things they agreed on. There were many other issues that are really a dividing point. At least the President was correct on one thing, Mitt Romney hasn't had many experiences to execute the policy. However, the President forgets that as the 2002 Winter Olympics organizer and able to make the budget, Romney has helped make policy with how he treated diplomats and leaders for more countries than this President has personally dealt with, on a personal basis. This President is so confident in his potential victory on November 6th that he even mentioned that to the Russian leaders that he would be more flexible the next time. That is what we all should be afraid of, including people like Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. He will exert his power and authority, through Cabinet and Czars and himself to project what martial law can become in our country.

    If elected, those that voted for him, will have given him a mandate to do whatever he wants. His advisors and campaign people will have almost absolute power in the way he has governed or lacked.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Oct. 23, 2012 10:08 a.m.

    It seemed to me that Mitt was more presidential than Barack by far. Mitt was confident, thoughtful and knowledgeable while Obama seemed petty, small and snarky in his comments. Obama seemed angry and tried time and again to draw Mitt into a cat fight over little issues but Mitt stayed above the fray and just kept reminding voters (correctly) that a strong America abroad depends on a strong American economy at home. Obama has been shown over the course of these 3 debates as being too small for the job and surprisingly petty and snarky for a setting president. Obama has shown himself to be very "Jimmy Carter" like.

    I think some folks - like Glen Beck - wanted Romney to bash Obama to the turf over Libya and Romney certainly could have done that since he was on the right side of the issue but Romney wisely stayed away from a down and dirty street fight and instead decided to take this one last national appearance to remind voters that the single most important issue of the day is the DEAD Obama economy. I think that surprised and angered Obama.

  • Built2Last Provo, UT
    Oct. 23, 2012 8:55 a.m.

    Did anyone else notice Obama trying to stare down Romney as Romney answered questions? It was so transparent that Obama had been coached to maintain eye contact at all cost (especially after the first debate debacle when he was staring down his podium), but it came off as very odd. His posture was awkward. The look on his face was a pained look. He almost looked like he was trying to conjure some voodoo hex that would make Romney disappear.

    Unfortunately for Obama, Romney didn't disappear. I felt Romney was trying to be a bit conciliatory by agreeing with or acknowledging the good things Obama has done. He avoided looking petty by counter-arguing every point (true or not) with Obama. Romney's best statement of the night was after Obama had laid out everything he has done since he was made president, Romney pointed out the absolute mess we are seeing in the middle east, how much closer Iran is to a nuclear bomb, allowing us to be bullied by Putin, doing nothing to make China play by the rules. If the policies and actions Obama has taken are so great, why such a mess? That resonated.

  • KJB1 Eugene, OR
    Oct. 23, 2012 8:35 a.m.

    "I'm glad to know that mitt agrees with Obama so much. No, really. Why vote?"

    -Glenn Beck's Tweet after the debate

  • John Wicks Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 23, 2012 8:26 a.m.

    Obama is a flim flam man. No leadership skills whatsoever. I predict Mitt will win the election by a landslide. Obama pulled the wool over our eyes but never again.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Oct. 23, 2012 8:13 a.m.

    If Obama won this debate he lost in point with even more voters. Rude, arrogant, he interupted Romney many times and tried to talk over him. Obama didn't really answer the questions but talked in circles. He keeps talking abouthis "progress" but every economic indicator is going down, not up except unemployment and those numbers have to be cooked to show any improvement. The Obama recovery is imaginary;doesn't exist, just like his foreign policy progress!

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 23, 2012 7:22 a.m.

    Losing the debate makes him more Presidential? He demonstrated that his right wing policies and pandering to the neo cons was a huge mistake. He should have stayed moderate instead of playing up to Hannity and Rush.

  • SammyB Provo, UT
    Oct. 23, 2012 12:25 a.m.

    My non-LDS friends were discussing on Facebook how much more presidential Romney was. That made me feel better about having to sit and listen to one Obama lie after another.

    My favorite part of the night was when Romney finally nailed Obama on his lie about the auto industry and the bankruptcy. Score one for the truth.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 23, 2012 12:00 a.m.

    Again, it is really amazing how Obama's Chicago group and the President himself paints their Republican opponent. When the President does that in the debate, it is interesting to watch his face and behavior as he knows by sitting next to him that Romney is not what he is even painting.

    The President knows he cannot win with such a good scholar, businessman, Governor, in charge of the 2002 Winter Olympics and campaigning for the President's office. However, the President and his Chicago group want their position for another 4 years with more potential abuse they will deliver to our people who work for a living.

    These people will do anything to slam a person who worked their life as a son and father and loving husband who dedicated his life to service of people.

    He knows you have to be fiscally solvent as a country in order to provide for the common defense of our country so we can have the freedoms from the Bill of Rights, Constitution and Declaration of Independence.

    This President hired a Secretary of the Treasury that didn't pay taxes and neither of those two have produced a budget for 3 years.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Oct. 22, 2012 11:51 p.m.

    Clear victory for Obama? Not sure what debate you were watching. Obama played 'small ball' while Mitt looked presidential. Obama seemed angry and didn't score one single big issue. None. Mitt stayed above the fray but at the same time was concise and very knowledgeable. Mitt's statement that "America does not dictate to any country but instead frees countries from dictators' was the best line of the night. I think the BIG win for Romney and the big loss for Obama was how Mitt tied strong foreign policy to the absolute need for a strong economy. Obama wanted no part of talking about the economy on his last chance debate but voters were reminded once again "it's the economy stupid".

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 22, 2012 11:42 p.m.

    After watching this debate and listening to the President make his hedging statements of what he did, has done, will do, and painting the picture of Mitt Romney as being the worst type of person in the USA, he showed how much distaste and hatred he had toward his opponent.

    The President is to be a diplomat and statesman with his total power. Instead, he lowers that office to lower than low. He didn't answer alot of the questions and avoided them by attacking Mitt Romney with rhetoric. The pundits and the President's advisors act like cheer leaders instead of professionals while talking on TV.

    We have gotten so low with the people on the street. When Jay Leno and goes on the street, the common people don't know history and people or even current events. The President is sort of like the people on Jay Leno's shows and after listening to his view of his past 4 years it is somewhat re-written for his mind.

    People seem to listen to the President and believe his words from his mouth. That is because they don't know historical events. It is really hard to believe.

  • KJB1 Eugene, OR
    Oct. 22, 2012 11:25 p.m.

    And the DN tries to take what was a clear victory for Obama and spin it for Romney. Why am I not surprised?