Campfire Blog

Miss the Debate? Here’s a Twitter Recap

Obama says ‘the state, it is me'; Romney basically says, ‘the next president, is I’

Here’s a summary of last night’s foreign policy debate, using the best tweets I could find:

Throughout, President Obama kept reiterating his job title:


Matthew Boyle @mboyle1

Obama keeps saying he’s the president and commander in chief. We know, Barack, we know. #Debate


James Taranto @jamestaranto

·       “Here’s one thing I’ve learned as commander in chief: You’ve got to be clear.” Meaning what? #201

This would have been a great opening for Gov. Romney to jump all over the president on the lack of a clear response on Libya, but the governor chose not to …


Tom Bevan @TomBevanRCP

Romney totally shied away from taking on question about misleading on Libya. Will he come back to it, or is that the end of it tonight?


Nope, that was the end of it.


Yet, quickly a consensus was emerging that Romney sounded intelligent, serious, and measured. The chatter was that all Mitt had to do—since he already trounces Obama on economic matters—was show that he could sound like an American president while discussing foreign policy. Did it even matter what words came out of his mouth, as long as his tone was commanding yet calm?


Matt K. Lewis @mattklewis

Romney has, so far, passed the credibility test. Seems serious, competent, and knowledgeable.


Mark Hemingway @Heminator

Romney sounding very competent and knowledgeable, regardless of debate points.


Perhaps the president could see the election slipping away from him before his very eyes …


John Nolte @NolteNC

When Obama watches Romney, he looks like he’s at Subway watching someone make his sandwich.


Matthew Boyle @mboyle1

Romney is acting presidential right now. He’s laying out specifics/etc. #Debate


The Fix @TheFix

Romney is being careful here…making sure he demonstrates knowledge and seriousness. #lynndebate


Mark Mardell @BBCMarkMardell

#LynnDebate. Interesting tactic from Romney. Not trying to beat Obama or deride him – but trying to sound Presidential@BBCNewsUS


Stephen Hayes @stephenfhayes

RT: @JonahNRO Man, I’d love some hammer-and-tongs attacks on Obama’s record. Just don’t think it’s smart politically.


Kathryn Jean Lopez @kathrynlopez

barack obama just does not sound like president#orismybiasshowing?


And Romney did have some strong lines:


Joe Lindsley @JPLindsley

Romney: I’m certainly not going to tell Putin I’ll give him more flexibility after the election. I’ll have backbone after election


When Romney said that, Obama just stared at him, unable to say anything and likely embarrassed. You could almost see a look in his eyes that said, “yup, I screwed that one up.”


Joe Lindsley @JPLindsley

Romney: ‘you can’t have 23 million people struggling to get a job’ and project strength worldwide #debate



“Our purpose is to make the world more peaceful” – Romney#PeaceThroughStrength #LynnDebate



Mike O’Brien @mpoindc

Romney: “For us to promote those principles of peace requires us to be strong.”



Kathryn Jean Lopez @kathrynlopez

mitt romney, pro-peace … rocks the political spectrum


John McCormack @McCormackJohn

Romney: We want a peaceful planet.


It was comical how both candidates tried to direct the foreign policy debate back to their economic talking points. And, at least according to some of the folks watching on CNN, that’s what the people wanted …


Mary Katharine Ham @mkhammer

Notably, the dials on CNN go waaaay up when they’re not talking about foreign policy. #debates


Obama continued his verbal castigation of President George W. Bush, even though he’s continued many of his policies …


Nicholas T Ryan @NicholasTRyan

Hard to imagine a President doing name calling of his predecessor in a presidential debate. Classless and immature.


Stephen Hayes @stephenfhayes

Obama is trying to debate George W. Bush. #predictable#toughsell


Romney countered, calling out Obama for being silent when …


Robert Costa @robertcostaNRO

“When the students took to the street…. for the president to be silent was an enormous mistake.” Romney on Iran


And then, amid the discussion of terror and a nuclear Iran, Obama said we just need more … teachers …


Mark Hemingway @Heminator

Obama has reformed education? Seriously? HE WANTS TO HIRE TEACHERS!!!!


Pal Law

Small businesses and small classes–the keys to American global leadership!


Though as a friend pointed out, discussion of teachers has some foreign policy connections, in so far as bloated government unions have led to ruined economics abroad …


Joe Luppino-Esposito @avgjoele

And now we’re into teachers unions and road to Greece. Sorta brings it back?


Moderator Bob Schieffer tried to return the conversation to foreign policy …


Mary Katharine Ham @mkhammer

Schieffer about to start talking about small business in Syria.#debates


Romney countered Obama, saying his debt-laden policies will make America worse off and less secure.


John McCormack @McCormackJohn

Obamacare will cost $2 trillion over 10 years, nearly 3 times the financial cost of Iraq war.


Romney used the economic discussion to tout his experience balancing budgets, as a CEO, as the Salt Lake Olympics chief, and as governor:


The Fix @TheFix

I like this laundry list by Romney on how he has balanced budgets. Did it in the 2nd debate too. #lynndebate


Matthew Boyle @mboyle1

Did Obama just admit national debt is a national security risk? If so, who is putting America in danger? #Debate


Then Obama said, well, we can make everything all right, by “thinking about space.” That’s a real plan!


Daniel McCarthy @ToryAnarchist

Was Obama going for the Newt-moonbase vote?


Next, the president—responding to Romney’s contention that the Navy has the fewest ships its had since 1917—explained to all of us that a submarine is a boat that goes underwater.


Katherine Mangu-Ward @kmanguward

Ships that go underwater! Do tell, Obama!


Sonny Bunch @SonnyBunch

“We have these things called aircraft carriers. This is not Battleship. I’m kind of a $%#.”


Obama then tried to sound tough on Iran:


Katherine Mangu-Ward @kmanguward

RT @TPCarney “As long as I am president of the U.S., Iran will not have a nuclear weapon,” because they can’t build one in 3 months


But as Reason magazine’s Jesse Walker pointed out, there is some irony in …


Jesse Walker @notjessewalker

Obama bragging about his ability to cripple an economy.

Retweeted by reason


Ann Coulter suggested that there might be a better way to curb Iran than mere sanctions:


Ann Coulter @AnnCoulter

Let’s destroy Iran by giving them ObamaCare.


Yet his tough talk on Iran was incongruous. As Rick Santorum noted,


TeamSantorumVA @TeamSantorumVA

RT @ricksantorum: Pres opposed Iran sanctions when in the senate and opposed tough sanctions congress tried to pass.



The Fix @TheFix

Obama as political brawler — a very rarely seen side of him — is out in full force tonight. #lynndebate



Mary Katharine Ham @mkhammer

When was that travel? Not while he was president. #debates


Obama got especially angry when Romney criticized his worldwide apology tour during which he bowed to despots, said America is rather flawed, gave the Queen of England some DVDs of his own speeches, and skipped Israel. The president fired back with a bizarre, but anger-filled, answer about how he went to Israel as a candidate and visited a Holocaust museum.


Jordan Fabian @Jordanfabian

RT @marcambinder: Did POTUS just play the Holocaust card? Wow. #debate2012


Robert Costa @robertcostaNRO

The dislike between these two men is striking. Obama’s glare at Romney about trips. Wow. Ice cold. This is war for this pair.


Speaking of apology tours:


Mary Katharine Ham @mkhammer

RT @robertbluey: Obama’s most recent apology happened one month ago. It was broadcast on Pakistani television: 


Romney remained commanding, though:


Whitney Blake @WhitneyEBlake 

I’m predicting it now – line of the night: “We don’t dictate to other nations, we free other nations from dictators”


Obama even criticized Romney for having a fundraiser with American donors in Israel…this coming from the man who was reveling in luxury at a lavish fundraiser after hearing of the murder of our ambassador to Libya. And from the candidate whose website accepts illegal donations from foreigners …


Mark Hemingway @Heminator

Obama hitting Romney over fundraising? REALLY?!!



Kathryn Jean Lopez @kathrynlopez

the president of the united states is picking on romney’s foreign trip, seriously? #howmanyholocaustmuseumsdidyougoto?


As the Daily Caller’s Matthew Boyle noted,


Matthew Boyle @mboyle1

Why can’t Obama lay out his specific plans? Romney has specifics, Obama has attacks on Romney #Debate


Responding to Romney, Obama said he is a big fan of Israel …


Noah Pollak @NoahPollak

I wonder what Jeremiah Wright thinks about Israel and Jews?


At this point, my former boss at the Weekly Standard said


Richard Starr @richardsstarr

The debate is vastly more entertaining if you follow it in your Twitter feed while watching baseball on TV.


Bob Schieffer then asked whether America should “divorce” itself from Pakistan due to its often questionable reliability as an ally in the war on terror. An esteemed professor I know suggested this:


Pal Law

You never divorce a country (or woman) with nuclear weapons.


Mary Katharine Ham @mkhammer

Romney: “First of all, it’s not gov’t that makes business successful. It’s not government investments that make gov’t grow.” #debates


BostonWriter @bostonwriter

So let me get this straight: Seals kill Bin Laden, Obama did that. You built a business, he did that too. But Benghazi? “Wasn’t me.”


One of the lines that got the biggest response:  When Obama said “this nation, me” stood by the Tunisians (not the Iranians, of course). It might be a cheap shot, but serioiusly that’s the exact same thing extravagant, pompous French King Louis XVI said about himself: ‘L’etat, c’est moi.’ The state, it’s me.”


Nicholas T Ryan @NicholasTRyan

“This nation…ME…” interesting


Katherine Mangu-Ward @kmanguward

L’etat, c’est moi!


That’s a wrap.

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