BOCA RATON, FL, October 23, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – Mitt Romney pledged to increase military spending by scrapping the health insurance reform known as ObamaCare last night in Boca Raton during a debate more marked by pointed answers and conflicting style than substantive disagreements.
The third and final presidential debate, which focused on foreign policy, was held last night at Lynn University.
When asked by moderator Bob Schieffer how he would increase military spending without raising taxes, Romney said he would begin “by reducing spending in a whole series of programs. By the way, number one I get rid of is ObamaCare.”
“There are a number of things that sound good, but frankly, we just can’t afford them. And that one doesn’t sound good and it’s not affordable, so I’d get rid of that one from day one. To the extent humanly possible, we get that out,” he said. “We take program after program that we don’t absolutely have to have, and we get rid of them.”
Repealing the measure – which many states have already partially blocked legislatively – has become a top issue for pro-life leaders due especially to the bill’s controversial HHS mandate. Its overly narrow religious exemption forces nearly all employers to fund contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs. Also of concern to pro-life leaders is the law’s inclusion of an abortion “surcharge,” to be collected from each person who is insured under plans in the health care exchanges. The surcharge goes into an abortion “fund” to cover the costs of abortions for those who are insured under the publicly funded plans.
President Obama responded by attacking Romney as out of touch. “When it comes to our foreign policy, you seem to want to import the foreign policies of the 1980s, just like the social policies of the 1950s and the economic policies of the 1920s,” he said.
The charge revived the theme of Obama’s third campaign ad promoting Planned Parenthood, which proclaimed, “This is not the 1950s.”
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Although Obama frequently cited his support for federally funded contraception at the previous two debates, in the third he focused on painting Romney as inexperienced and lacking judgment.
Perhaps sensing the need to make up for his first debate performance and reverse the trajectory of the race, President Obama frequently assailed his opponent. “Both at home and abroad, he has proposed wrong and reckless policies,” he said.
Obama criticized Romney on everything from saying Russia was the nation’s leading geo-strategic threat to allegedly owning stock in a Chinese company that did business with Iran.
Governor Romney took a surprisingly deferential tone in much of the debate, frequently complementing the president and agreeing with Obama’s foreign policy. Provided with an opportunity to open fire on the president’s handling of the murder of the U.S. ambassador to Libya during the first question, Romney passed.
His testiest exchange on foreign affairs came when he referenced Obama’s “apology tour” at the beginning of his presidency. When Obama called such a notion a “whopper,” Romney replied: “On Arabic TV, you said that America had been dismissive and derisive. You said that on occasion America had dictated to other nations.”
“Mr. President, America has not dictated to other nations. We have freed other nations from dictators,” he said.
The economy played a surprisingly large role in a foreign policy debate, with each candidate accusing the other of being irresponsible.
While some conservatives were disappointed by Romney’s agreeable tone, others said it accomplished his goal of looking the part of a future commander-in-chief. Sarah Palin said, “Mitt Romney was much more presidential” than Obama.
Polls varied, but the debate had one undisputed winner: Bob Schieffer, the moderator.
He did not lose control of the debate like Jim Lehrer, appear one-sided like Martha Raddatz, or falsely correct one of the candidates like CNN’s Candy Crowley.
Unlike all previous debates, the moderator allowed both candidates nearly equal speaking time.
Schieffer’s only discernible gaffe came when he made a reference to “Obama bin Laden.”
Schieffer concluded the debate by saying, “I leave you with the words of my mom: ‘Go vote. It makes you feel big and strong.’”