President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are set to square off tonight in the final debate of the election season, which will focus solely on foreign policy. Should you chose to miss Monday Night Football’s match-up between Smokin’ Jay Cutler‘s Chicago Bears and the Detroit Lions or Game 7 of the NLCS, here’s what you can expect from the candidates. UPDATE: Here is the live stream of the final presidential debate.
- Libya: Who Knew What and When
The September 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which killed Ambassador Chris Stevens, has continued to be an obstacle for the Obama campaign. However, Romney also faces criticism for his reaction to the attack, holding a press conference chastising the president the morning after. Both candidates will likely heap blame on the other in their competition for the prevailing narrative.
- Iran: Time to Talk?
The New York Times reported Saturday that the U.S. and Iran have agreed to engage in one-on-one talks regarding the Iranian nuclear program, citing an anonymous senior administration official. Since then, both the White House and the Iranian Foreign Ministry has denied this. Even still, the issue will likely be a topic of discussion in tonight’s debate, as the talks may be a last-ditch effort to avoid military action in Iran.
- China: Dirty, Rotten “Manipulators”?
Romney has taken a hard stance against China, accusing it of currency manipulation and intellectual property theft in the last debate. Chinese officials have since rebuked Romney’s accusations and said that such claims were detrimental to U.S.-China relations. Meanwhile, the Obama administration has already filed more trade cases against China than the Bush administration according to CNNMoney. As perhaps the United State’s greatest rival power, China will definitely make an appearance in tonight’s discourse.
- The Moderator: Schieff the Chief
Face the Press host Bob Schieffer is slated to moderate tonight’s debate. Jim Lehrer was criticized for a total lack of control, and Candy Crowley drew heat for her on-the-spot fact-checking. “There are millions of people with their hands over their keyboards ready to analyze every single moment of what’s happening,” TV journalist Jeff Greenfield told Tampa Bay Online. “That puts even more pressure on . . . It’s a no-win situation.” Schieffer, a fixture at CBS News and 60 Minutes, is skilled at dealing with politicians, moderating presidential debates in 2008 and 2004. Expect a solid performance.
- Gaffes on Gaffes on Gaffes
Bouncing back from his “binders full of women” remark in the last debate, Romney will likely tighten up his game so as not to feed the liberal meme machine. This may pose some difficulty, according to senior Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod, who pointed to Romney’s trip to the UK and criticism of London’s preparedness for the Olympic Games. “We all remember his ‘Dukes of Hazzard’ tour of international destinations over the summer, where he not only roiled countries that are not as friendly to us but also our best ally, Britain.”
[Photo via Associated Press]