From Letterman: "Arab Spring is not a brand of soap."
Romney needs to ask a version of his economy question: In the wake of all the violence in the Middle East, do you feel safer today than you did four years ago?
Gov. Romney does not come out with an all out attack against President Obama, but does well going through the issues. Congratulating President Obama on getting Osama bin Laden takes that issue off the table.
Romney laying out a good case on the reversals in the Middle East and smart to lead with a nod to the demise of Osama bin Laden. But a good observation that America "cannot kill" its way out of teh unfolding crisis.
Obama skipped the obligatory thanks to Schieffer, host university, and wife.
The argument about the transition out of Afghanistan reminds me of Nixon's policy of Vietnamization.
I'm not sure that cost-savings are a strong argument for Obama's conduct of policy toward Libya.
Obama jumped in and went on a complete tangent instead of letting Romney defend himself. "We cannot put guns in hands of those that will hurt us..." Like Fast and Furious?
Obama's caution on Syria is interesting given his recklessness in Libya and Egypt and his failure to stand up for the Iranian people when they were in the streets a year before events in other countries.
President may have just walked into a trap, saying we must not give weapons to opposition hostile to us. Reports have been circulating this week that are that the administration has done just that.
Romney: Syria is Iran's only friend in the Middle East? Did something happen to Hamas and nobody told me?
Syria--Romney indicates that he understands the history of this situation far better than Obama.
Clark I think Romney could have handled the Russia line better--needed to explain the reference better.
Obama went to the United Nations and talked about the video, mentioning it six times in his speech to the General Assembly, while failing to call the attack in Benghazi terrorism.
Romney's answer on Syria is strong. He sounds credible. He's saying nothing different than Obama, but he's strong, and that's vital.
Bob Schieffer asks Obama about his policy towards Syria, where 30,000 civilians have died, 2 million are internally displaced, and 300,000 have fled to neighboring countries. Obama touts how economic sanctions and multilateral coordination have isolated Assad. Says he's "confident that Assad's days are numbered." But he and his administration has been saying that since August 2011.
I am still hoping to hear how Romney plans to regain respect from Syrians and others in the Middle East.
Romney counters that the United States needs to work with partners to identify leaders in Syrian rebels, coordinate them, and provide them with self-defense aid. Criticizes Obama for not leading by ceding effort to Kofi Annan and running U.S. policy towards Syria through Moscow.
The president has boxed himself in on Libya. Any action between now and the election will be seen, rightly in my judgment, as "wag the dog" just like it was for Bill Clinton, who blew up an asprin factor in the Sudan the day Monica Lewinsky testified before the grand jury.
Peter, Syria is a very different place than Libya. It's much more of a regional tinderbox, and we have to be much more careful about how we engage. You know that.
Peter, he called it terrorism twice the day after -- in the rose Garden and in Colorado. C'mon.
Of course the whole discussion about U.S. leadership and how much we're helping rebels, etc. involves a lot of what Don Rumsfeld would have called unknown unknowns--we in the public don't know what the United States is doing behind the scenes in terms of covert and intelligence operations or aid.
Vision question played into the strong economy meaning strong security Romney answer.
Applause in my house for Romeny bringing up the president's silence when the people fo Iran took to the streets.
Romney's answer on being ready for uncertainty was excellent. Mentions of problems between administration and Poland and Israel, as well as president's silence in Iran was deft and devastating. President's answer sounds hollow.
I second Peter Roff. The Obama administration demonstrably took days to clearly signal that the 9/11 Benghazi attack was a terrorist act.
Here is the pivot to domestic issues--a winner for Romney.
George W. Bush and Dick Cheney have been out of office since January 2009, Mr. President.
I always wonder what Romney et al would have done in power in 2009. I think they don't remember Hungary and the Czech Republic in the Soviet period, when the U.S. promised we would support rebellions and then, of course, couldn't make a difference...and many people died in the streets as a result.
Truth is, the same neocons who convinced Bush that invading Iraq was a good idea are advising Romney on Iran. And that should scare the heck out of every American.
Governor Romney, while right on the facts, is scoring political points with the nation's Hispanic voters by talking about shifting our economic emphasis from China to Latin America. There are two, maybe three pending free trade agreements with Latin American countries that have languished on Capitol Hill because the president will not put the weight of his office behind getting them through the Senate.
Romney scores with his five point program. The president sounded like same old, same old and small. If the debate keeps going like this, it will be another winning night for Romney.
I love how Schieffer is running this debate. He's letting the candidates go at each other, with minimal intrusions.
Good pivot by Romney there but it bears repeating that economists estimate that without any change of policy, 12 million new jobs will be created in the next four years anyway.
U.S.-Panama Free Trade Agreement—originally signed by President Bush in 2007—will go into effect on October 31. Romney should continue to talk about trade opportunities throughout Americas.
Paul--No. There's me. And I've been doing this stuff for a long time. Obama is on his way to losing Pennsylvania and New Hampshire--so Romney can afford to lose Ohio, even though he won't.
"The math simply doesn't work." Nice point by the President on Romney's $5 trillion tax cut for the wealthy, without saying how he'd close loopholes to pay for it. Just once, I'd love for the President to say: Governor, the American people don't care if you want to be secretive about where you put your own money. But when you're spending they're money, it can't be a secret -- and "trust me until after the election" isn't good enough.
Robert --downplaying expectations I suppose.
Ridiculing Romney is not good for Obama, even if the zingers are funny.