Debate Round 3: Romney and Obama set to face off in Boca Raton

Ready to rumbleDunno about y’all, but I’m more than glad that tonight is the final Presidential debate of this campaign season. I stopped watching Obama speeches and pressers in their entirety long ago because I just couldn’t stand to sit through hearing and watching his unchallenged lies in real time (let alone as they are reported the next day), and sitting through the debates watching him be so effortlessly dishonest not just about his own record but Romney’s as well has been almost too much to take.  Fortunately, Romney hasn’t allowed him to get away with the “untruths” most of the time (at least outside of the times where the moderator has blatantly become a participant – and played favorites).  But still, hearing Obama’s voice alone is like nails on a chalkboard to me.  Low tolerance for it and all that.

Anyway, tonight’s debate will focus exclusively on foreign policy.  Yours truly and many others, including readers here, have made the point that Mitt Romney needs to hammer Obama on the Benghazi matter extensively and successfully – something he attempted to do in debate two but failed to thanks, in no small part, to CNN “journalist” Candy Crowley’s interference on behalf of He Whose Pillow Should Be Plumped.   Another very serious matter that needs to be addressed is the recent report on rumors of one on one “negotiations” with Iran over its nuclear ambitions “after the elections.” Candidate Obama promised as the nominee for President that he would consider one on one talks with some of the world’s most notorious despots, which he was widely called out for, and so far those types of talks have materialized.

But the prospect of them happening at all – especially so soon after the elections, has understandably raised the concerns of many, when you consider that he could do significant damage to the incoming foreign policy initiatives of a Romney administration should the President lose, and when you consider that if Obama is re-elected that he’ll be a lame duck President, which means he won’t have to answer to anyone – especially the voters and Congress (something he has admitted he knows). To say this President has been a disaster on the issue of foreign policy (outside of the issue of giving the order to kill OBL, which any President/CIC would have done) is putting it charitably, and Romney needs to slam that point home time after time to viewers.

The debate starts at 9 ET. As always, you can watch on C-SPAN’s website if you can’t get to a TV. I’ll be Tweeting about it as well, and you can also follow the debate along with other Twitter users and readers by bookmarking and refreshing the #lynndebate hashtag.

Quote of the Day: @GovChristie on Obama wanting another four years (VIDEO)

Via Mediaite:

Over the weekend, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, during a speech in Richmond, Virginia, took aim at President Barack Obama‘s comment about how he’s learned he can’t change Washington from the inside. If the president believes that, Christie said, “what the hell is he doing asking for another four years?”

“You may not know this, but the president loves me,” Christie said, eliciting laughter from the audience. “So since he loves me, I want to help the president.”

Thus, Christie noted president’s remark. “You can’t change Washington from the inside,” Obama said back in September. “You can only change it from the outside.”

“If you don’t think you can change Washington from inside the White House, then let’s give you the plane ticket back to Chicago you have earned,” Christie said, asking, “I mean that is a scary thing for the President of the United States to say, isn’t it?”

Christie continued: “It shows his arrogance. If he really believes that, if he believes that, then what the hell is he doing asking for another four years?”

Video below:

You can watch the full Christie speech at C-SPAN (via Charlie Spiering).

The point Christie is hammering is a variation of one I’ve said before that Mitt Romney and his campaign and surrogates need to hammer home from now until election day: “You’ve had four years, Mr. President, and things haven’t gotten better – in fact, they’ve gotten worse. Why should you be given another four? Answer: You shouldn’t.”

With the two weeks left before the election, and the polls still remaining tight in some areas but appearing to give Mitt Romney a bit of an edge in others, now is the time to ramp up that message that four years was and is ENOUGH. Mitt laid a zinger of sorts on Obama with this argument in the first debate on the issue of the deficit. I hope to see him do it again tonight in the foreign policy debate which is – thankfully – the last presidential debate of this election cycle. I’m sure Romney has the desire to leave voters with a lasting positive impression and image of him, and tonight will be the night to do it. Let’s hope he does, even in the face of yet another biased moderator – CBS’s Bob Schieffer.

Benghazi Consulate Massacre: where was the military help? UPDATE: “Not a foreign policy failure”

**Posted by Phineas

One of the unanswered questions surrounding the assault on our consulate in Benghazi is why no rescue mission was launched. We already know that multiple requests from the ambassador and others for heightened security –or even to keep the security they had– were turned down by the State Department. Two former Navy SEALs died trying to protect the consulate, but where, in that great American tradition, was “the cavalry?”

CBS’ Sharyl Attkisson asks that same question, but the answers are, well, less than satisfying:

Some lawmakers are asking why U.S. military help from outside Libya didn’t arrive as terrorists battered more than 30 Americans over the course of more than seven hours. The assault was launched by an armed mob of dozens that torched buildings and used rocket propelled grenades, mortars and AK-47 rifles.

CBS News has been told that, hours after the attack began, an unmanned Predator drone was sent over the U.S. mission in Benghazi, and that the drone and other reconnaissance aircraft apparently observed the final hours of the protracted battle.

The State Department, White House and Pentagon declined to say what military options were available. A White House official told CBS News that, at the start of the attack, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Martin Dempsey and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta “looked at available options, and the ones we exercised had our military forces arrive in less than 24 hours, well ahead of timelines laid out in established policies.”

But it was too late to help the Americans in Benghazi. The ambassador and three others were dead.

(Emphasis added)

Attkisson interviews a former Special Forces soldier, who is less than impressed with the “we checked all options” line:

Retired CIA officer Gary Berntsen believes help could have come much sooner. He commanded CIA counter-terrorism missions targeting Osama bin Laden and led the team that responded after bombings of the U.S. Embassy in East Africa.

“You find a way to make this happen,” Berntsen says. “There isn’t a plan for every single engagement. Sometimes you have to be able to make adjustments. They made zero adjustments in this. They stood and they watched and our people died.”

Remember, this “battle” went on for seven hours. That gave the US time to put a drone overhead, so we could watch the last few hours of fighting. But this begs the question: If we could get a drone overhead, why not a rescue force?

In fact, Attkisson reports that the military had assets at Sigonella Naval Air Station in Sicily, assets that included AC-130 gunships, which could have at least buzzed the crowd to drive them off before opening fire.

And that help was only an hour away in a battle that lasted seven hours.

Another interviewee mentioned military risks and potential diplomatic problems from intervening. My response is “So?” All combat operations involve risk. When American lives were in danger, that was a time to take that risk. And “diplomatic difficulties” with the Libyan government? Puh-leeze. One phone call from Clinton or Obama should have settled that with a reminder to the Libyan government that a) they wouldn’t exist without us and b) that we remember those who help us… and the implication that we also remember those who don’t.

And if that doesn’t work, you go in anyway and worry about Tripoli’s feelings later.

What you don’t do is worry about the niceties when this is happening:

US Consulate, Benghazi

You cannot tell me that the mightiest military the world has ever seen could do nothing useful in Benghazi. That we didn’t speaks volumes about the lack of leadership in D.C., including a Commander in Chief who went to bed while the fighting still raged. And if we really couldn’t, then that testifies to the lack of judgement on the part of policy makers who didn’t have the foresight to position assets ahead of time, just in case there was trouble in a region that is a known al Qaeda recruiting ground.

Either way, this incompetent crowd has got to go, before they get anyone else killed.

RELATED: More at Hot Air. The Anchoress makes a Catch-22 reference and asks some darned fine questions.

UPDATE: Doing her own rendition of “Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?”, Obama’s Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter claims the only reason the Benghazi consulate massacre is a controversy is that those mean old Republicans are politicizing it, that it could have happened anywhere, and that it was not a failure on the part of the Obama administration. Be sure to read Ed Morrissey’s response to Cutter’s tripe; it drips with well-deserved scorn.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)