Foreign Policy Presidential Debate: A Guide to Romney vs Obama's Final Face Off

This is the third and final presidential debate of this election. The topics will concentrate on foreign policy.

The Basics

Date/Time: Monday, October 22 9:00pm - 10:30 p.m.

Location: Lynn University, Boca Raton, FL

Moderator: Bob Schieffer, Chief Washington Correspondent, CBS News and Moderator for Face the Nation. This is Bob Schieffer's 3rd Presidential or Vice Presidental Debate as moderator.

Debate is sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates

Foreign Policy Topics for Final Presidential Debate

As announced, Bob Scheiffer will be bringing up the following topics, in no particular order

  • America's role in the world
  • Our Longest war - Afghanistan
  • Red Lines - Israel and Iran
  • The Changing Middle East and the New Face of Terrorism - I
  • The Changing Middle East and the New Face of Terrorism - II
  • The Rise of China and Tomorrow's World

Latin America Absent

Whether or not Latin America will be mentioned tonight will depend on the candidates' themselves. Scheiffer has not added Latin America as a specific topic but it could make its way in "The Rise of China and Tomorrow's World." Trade is the talking point in discussing Latin America, and since much of the western hemisphere are allies with the U.S., the region is most likely to be apart of the positive conversation regarding how the candidates view "Tomorrow's World."


Each topic will get 15 minutes of allotted time. The moderator will open up each segment, or topic, with a question. Each candidate will have two minutes to respond.

What to Expect

The hot spots of Libya, Afghanistan, Iran, China and Israel will likely dominate the questions at the debate.

Mitt Romney will hammer Obama on how the administration reacted to the Benghazi attack that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three Americans. The former Massachusetts Governor will promise to label China as a currency manipulator, criticize Obama for letting Iran get closer to a nuclear bomb, and pledge to further strengthen the U.S.'s relationship with Israel.

President Barack Obama will say Romney outsourced jobs and is "the last person who's going to get tough on China." He will most likely cite his administration's moves against China's flooding of the U.S. market with car and truck tires. Expect Obama to turn Romney's Iran argument around on him questioning whether Romney is trying to start another war. Obama is likely to emphasize the killing of Osama Bin Laden under his leadership, America's exit from Iran and drawing down forces in Afghanistan.

Notable Moments in Foreign Policy Debate History

The first presidential debate among general election contenders was held on September 26, 1960 between Republican Richard M. Nixon and Democrat John F. Kennedy. It was also the first televised debate. Nixon was widely considered by viewers to have "lost" the debate to Kennedy, in part because of his poor makeup and sickly appearance. Those listening to the radio largely considered Nixon the winner.

There are two notable foreign policy debates in U.S. history. One, in 1976 when incumbent President Gerald Ford made a monumental blunder during live TV from San Francisco. In the debate he said "there is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe, and there never be under a Ford administration."  Voters wondered about his grasp of world events. He ended up losing to Richard Nixon.

The other moment was in 1980 - just a week before election Day.  Ronald Reagan took on the incumbent Jimmy Carter in their only televised debate in which the two discussed the on-going Iranian hostage crisis, military spending, and strategic nuclear weapons reductions treaties.

The Fox News' Brainroom contributed to this story.

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