President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney meet Monday night in the last of their three debates, this one focused on foreign policy.
Unlike last week’s contentious town hall-style debate in which the candidates ambled around the stage and parried with each other, Obama and Romney will be seated at a table with moderator Bob Schieffer, who told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram what he hopes comes out of the debate:
“People are watching to judge character. I don’t think it matters what the questions are about — what matters is how candidates answer. Do they seem in control? … I’m just there to help the viewers get a better understanding of who these people are.”
Here are five things to watch tonight:
1. How much does Romney know about Libya?
Romney will undoubtedly raise a lot questions about Obama’s handling of the terror attack in Libya, but there’s a good chance he already has some answers.
Don’t forget: Romney has been receiving briefings from the U.S. intelligence community since September 17, as is customary for a presidential challenger in the final stages of a campaign.
His first briefing came a week after the breach of the Benghazi mission left four Americans dead. His second briefing took place at the CIA, on September 27.
Was Romney briefed on the Benghazi attack? Did he specifically request a briefing about Libya? And crucially, has Romney seen any intelligence suggesting a different version of events than the one outlined by the president?
Citing the sensitivity of such things, the Romney campaign declined to comment.
“We don’t discuss his intelligence briefings, sorry,” Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in an e-mail.
It’s a safe bet Romney won’t discuss them tonight either.
So it’s impossible to know whether Romney’s understanding of the Libya attack squares with what White House officials have said publicly in the wake of the incident.
But with pre-debate chatter focusing on Romney’s relative lack of knowledge in the foreign policy arena, it’s worth remembering that Romney is actually more informed on these issues than he lets on.
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article courtesy of CNN.com