Presidential Debate Live Blog 10/22/12

9:02 Welcome to’s live blog of the final Presidential Debate. We’ll be updating regularly, keeping you up to date with the action.

9:08 The first topic of the night is the attack in Libya. Governor Romney won the coin toss and goes first. “We can’t kill our way out of this mess,” Governor Romney says about the state of affairs in the Middle East, citing the extremist organizations found in many countries.

President Obama enters the debate and reiterates his immediate response to the situation in Libya.

9:13  President Obama comes out firing at Mitt Romney’s foreign policy, citing his flip-flopping over issues like the dangers of Russia and the need for troops in the Middle East. Mitt Romney continues to bring up the “opportunity” that we can find in the Middle East, and strongly reiterates the danger of Russia as a “geopolitical foe.”

9:14 They’re starting to get feisty again.

9:18 The situation in Syria is the topic now. President Obama: “Syrians have to determine their own future.” President Obama says the situation in Syria is dire, but the US has to be careful in getting “entangled” in the conflict.

9:20  Mitt Romney’s biggest foreign policy view so far has been the danger of groups like “Hezbollah,” and “Al-Queda.” He also is for bigger action by the US in helping Syria, including giving heavy weapons to the Syrian rebels. Governor Romney: “We should be playing the leadership role in Syria.”

9:22 President Obama says that we need to take the same careful approach to helping Syria as we did Libya. He is not in favor of the US intervening heavily.

9:25 President Obama: “We should be promoting a moderate, Syrian leadership.” In a larger sense of the entire Middle East: “These countries will not develop if we do not develop women’s rights.”

9:27 Governor Romney regrets his support of Mubarak in the past, saying that he should have known earlier about the “growing energy” against Mubarak found in Egypt.

9:30 Next Segment: What is America’s role in the world? Governor Romney: “America has the privilege of defending freedom in the world.” He then sidesteps the question and says that our economy and domestic life needs to be fixed as much as the world, and that his administration will fix the problems at home as much as abroad.

9:32 They both have now brought the segment back to America and how their own plans will fix it. President Obama: “We’ve gotta make sure that we reduce our deficit, but Governor Romney’s plan doesn’t do that.”

9:36 Candidates talking about future for school systems and budget cuts.

9:37 Moderator asks the candidates dancing around the issue to move on back to foreign policy, they stay focused on teaching.

9:40 Romney starting to talk about healthcare, says that states could run medicaid more effectively than the federal government.

9:40 Obama taking pride in the defense spending of America. “We spend more than the next ten countries combined.” A good thing?

9:42 Mitt Romney: “The Olympics was out of balance and we made that a success,” reiterating his business success. On defense spending: “I will not cut defense spending by one trillion dollars.”

9:43 President Obama on the military: Romney’s budget does not successfully help military veterans

9:47 President Obama: Israel is one of our strongest allies. We have created one of the strongest military alliances in history with them. He also says that as long as he is President “Iran will not have a nuclear weapon.” He says that Iran is going to have to face the united world and the President of the United States if they continue to act as they do.

9:50 Governor Romney: In favor of tightening the sanctions on Iran. He says that no ship containing Iranian oil should enter our ports. Both candidates reiterate that a military action is the absolute last resort against Iran.

9:55 Both candidates have said the same thing about Iran, threatening more international action and sanctions against Iran. President Obama: “We are going to continue to keep the pressure on Iran”

9:58 Governor Romney: “Mr. President, we have not dictated to other nations, we have freed other nations from dictators.”

President Obama: ” The United States has stood on the right side of history” concerning issues like supporting Israel. Obama continues to reiterate his support of Israel while Romney tries to attack it.

10:05 Romney talking about Pakistan being important and not something to start ignoring, wants to help move them in the right direction with their government.

10:07 Obama, ” we are now in a position where where can transition out,” talking about American military in Pakistan.

10:09 Romney, “It’s not time to divorce a nation that has 100 nuclear bombs… if it becomes a failed state, you have terrorists that can take control of the bombs.”

10:12 Governor Romney is in full support of the drone strikes by the Obama administration. The larger plan, says Romney, is to move the world away from terrorism and extremism.

10:14 Obama’s biggest concern in the Middle East seems to be women’s rights. Obama also reiterates that he stood on the side of democracy in all of these countries in the Middle East.

10:16 President Obama: “China is both a adversary and a potential ally if they follow the rules.”

10:19 Both candidates want to make China play by the rules. Romney says that day one he will label them a “currency manipulator.”

10:22 President Obama: “You should be familiar with selling jobs overseas because you’ve invested in companies that are the best at that.”

Closing Statements:  Obama: Months of campaigning, 3 debates, too many commercials, you have a choice. Governor Romney wants to move backward, Obama wants to make sure America has best education in the world, will retain strongest military in the world.

Romney: Wants to make sure we get economy going, we need a president that can “work across the aisle.” Nation is hope of the earth, we can look to the future of the US.

10:34 Thanks for following along with’s live-blog of the 2012 Presidential Debate! Look for more coverage in the weeks to come on

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