By Alexandria Jezina Columnist
The final debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla. was noticeable calmer than the political throw down of the prior debate at Hofstra University. Mitt Romney managed to leave his “binders full of women” at home and discuss his plans for foreign policy, mainly in the Middle East, while criticizing President Obama’s foreign policy record.
Surprisingly, Romney’s position, unlike previous debates, was similar in many aspects to the President’s. While Romney managed to keep his firm and aggressive composure, he appeared to flip-flop on his previous stances that both he and his running mate Paul Ryan agreed on. For example, Ryan had stated in his vice presidential debate that he and Romney want to withdraw the troops by 2014, but want to keep the date quiet to avoid a target on America’s back. But if I’m not mistaken, Romney stated in the debate Monday that he agreed with military departure in 2014. Did anyone else do a double take when he stated that in the debate?
In addition, Romney did make a few flubs such as Iran being Syria’s route to the sea. Anyone with an Internet connection knows that this is simply not true, and the President was quick to point that out, “Syria is Iran’s only ally in the Arab world. It’s their route to the sea.” Romney also made a blunder when he mentioned the smaller size of the Navy today than what it was in 1917. Obama took that comment and ran, “You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets.”
For a candidate coming from a party that has described President Obama as one of the worst foreign policy presidents ever, I was quite surprised by how much Romney agreed with Obama on certain strategies in Monday’s debate. To be fair, Romney does want to increase military spending while President Obama does not, but both candidates agreed on other topics such as drones, the Syria issue and now military departure in 2014.
This debate also settled the fact that both candidates want to go after “the bad guys.” I’m glad that’s settled. For the final presidential debate, Romney attempted to point out that while he agreed with many of the same solutions as Obama, he would be able to accomplish them better.
I understand that Mitt wants to lean more moderately to appeal to the few undecided voters out there, but to flip-flop on such major issues makes me uneasy. While many have struggled through the economic hardship for the last four years, voters are looking to see if Mitt Romney can be better than his opponent at the job of president. Yet, Romney’s continuous reversal leaves voters feeling uneasy about his trustworthiness. Is Mitt going to keep his promises if elected president, or suddenly change his stance once in office? This question that resonates with voters is a barrier that the candidate will have to face if he is going to win the presidential election.