THE FINAL DEBATE: The dream of Lynn University namesake Christine Lynn comes true tonight. It is costing the school $5 million to host the third debate, and over 3000 journalists will be in attendance. The university is across the street from where IBM invented the first personal computer.
The topics are: America’s role in the world, Our longest war – Afghanistan and Pakistan, Red Lines – Israel and Iran, The Changing Middle East and the New Face of Terrorism [30 minutes] and The Rise of China and Tomorrow’s World.
Unfortunately foreign policy debates have typically mattered less than discussions of domestic issues. Survey data indicates the swing voters both candidates are trying to woo care little about foreign affairs right now.
You can expect considerable discussion of the Benghazi attack and China’s monetary policy. The debate is important because while Romney has a clear lead on economic issues, the President has a 10 point advantage in foreign policy according to the most recent Washington Post-ABC News poll. Tonight is Romney’s best chance to close that gap.
We expect all of these topics to be covered tonight but we would have swapped “soft power” for “Syria.” Our guess is that Syria will be in the debate headlines on Tuesday morning.
Romney has already made it a sharp contrast and says “In Syria, I will work with our partners to identify and organize those members of the opposition who share our values and ensure they obtain the arms they need to defeat Assad’s tanks, helicopters, and fighter jets.”
What is the Romney vision? he says “Obama thinks America’s in decline. It is if he’s president. It’s not if I’m president.” In his 2010 memoir No Apology, Romney has a chapter titled “Why Nations Decline.” He says the “improbability of decline by the great has long piqued my interest.”
He goes on to observe that “No great power in history has endured indefinitely.” The Ottomans, the Portuguese, the Spanish, and the British — all great powers in their day — eventually crumbled, one after another. In Romney’s estimation, each succumbed to some combination of isolationism, protectionism, profligacy, or cultural decay.
Each ignored the warning signals of impending collapse, “turning their ears instead to the comforting voices that claimed continuity and comfort.” Now, Romney argues, it is America that is spending too lavishly and borrowing too heavily.
America’s culture — defined by hard work, educational attainment, risk taking, and religiosity, according to Romney — is “under attack.” Indeed, he writes, “each of the conditions that existed in the failed great states of the past is present in America today. This alone is cause for concern.”
In the past, world powers failed to correct their course because of their “failure to see growing threats, the short-term self-interest of common citizens.” There were “warning voices” among the Ottomans, Spanish, and British, he notes, but they were ignored. Romney will once again give us that warning tonight.
Editorial Note: John W. Grigsby of Hillsboro, Virginia is a self-described “long time libertarian activist, formerly a ‘liberal’ one.” He is founder of the Northern Virginia Tea Party and says his mission is to “replace the GOP establishment .” He is a vigorous supporter of Ron Paul’s presidential campaign. Grigsby says the Texas Congressman “is imperfect, like all people, but Ron Paul and Gary Johnson are my two top choices, and I’m grateful for them.” Continue reading
Editorial Note: Stormy Luttrell Jackson of Marco Island, Florida is an active member of the isolationist Constitution Party, and a vigorous supporter of Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign. She says “I will defend Ron Paul to the end, this man makes sense. . . The war-mongering George W. Bush wouldn’t negotiate peace. He didn’t want Osama bin Laden. He wanted Afghanistan!”’
Jackson, 47, has been married for 25 years, has two children and is a successful business owner with three locations. She describes herself as “very stubborn and determined. If I believe in something and do not agree with you, I will argue my point to the end.” Continue reading
Editorial Note by Gregory Hilton: This second debate between Diane Olson and Gregory Hilton focuses on the relationship between the Tea Party movement and the Republican Party. Republicans appreciate and admire the activities of various Tea Party organizations, but a few Tea Party leaders, including Diane Olson, want to wage war on the GOP. The Tea Party and the Republican Party have been in complete cooperation since the election. There is no battle, and both groups are conservative and share the same agenda. Nevertheless, Diane believes Republicans should be harshly criticized. In the first debate I tried to ignore her personal attacks, but this time I did not. Continue reading
David McGowan with Sean Hannity
David McGowan of Las Vegas is a graduate of Louisiana State University. He is President of the 525 Group, and has extensive experience in grassroots GOTV programs. He previously served as GOP Political Director for Clark County. His past clients include Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) and Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA). He was named Clark County Republican of the Year for his work on the 2004 Bush/Cheney campaign. In 2010 he served as the campaign manager for Congressional candidate Michele Fiore (R-NV), and has considerable experience in coping with a Nevada GOP which has been fractured, outnumbered and outspent by Democrats. Continue reading
Debate Introduction by Gregory Hilton
This debate focuses on the relationship between the Tea Party movement and the Republican Party, which has been a hot topic in recent weeks. Republicans appreciate and admire the activities of various Tea Party organizations, but several Tea Party leaders, including Diane Olson, want to wage war on the GOP. Diane is promising a major battle soon after the November election. Continue reading