Obama Offers Caustic Zingers, Romney Showcases Moderate Tone at Lynn University

By: Jim Turner | Posted: October 22, 2012 11:00 PM

Mitt Romney and Barack Obama

Mitt Romney and Barack Obama at Lynn University in Boca Raton October 22, 2012.

President Obama came out swinging with caustic zingers aimed at painting GOP challenger Mitt Romney as an international novice, but in the end, the 90 minutes of mostly foreign policy topics at Lynn University in Boca Raton on Monday night was a subdued affair.

With a slight lead in many national and state polls, Romney took a softer tone, downplaying expected attacks from Obama that he was a war hawk. Instead, the former Massachusetts governor presented a more moderate peace-through-strength tone.

The Mideast and China dominated the international talks, with passing references to growing opportunities in Latin America and the looming Euro crisis.

On social media sites it was apparent that people were watching two different debates, with both sides -- as expected -- claiming victory and that their candidate of choice had scored points all night.

The election is two weeks away.  Early voting in Florida begins Saturday.

How did Floridians view the debate? Here's an early look:

Gov. Rick Scott
Rick Scott

“Tonight’s debate sealed the deal for Mitt Romney. A strong foreign policy is ineffective without a strong economy at home. Mitt Romney has now made the case for both. As I’ve said throughout the 2012 campaign, the candidate who spells out a compelling vision for fixing America’s economy will win not just Florida, but the White House and leadership of the free world.”

Debbie Wasserman Schultz
U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston, chair of the Democratic National Committee

“Someone needs to tell Mitt Romney that "Me Too" is not leadership. We already have Barack Obama leading the way.”

Dennis Ross
U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Lakeland

“Romney calm, poised and balanced. Presidential.”

Jeff Atwater
Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater

“We can't afford a president who apologizes and ignores Israel. We need a president who shows strength. The choice is clear: Mitt Romney.”

Republican Party of Florida Chairman Lenny Curry

“Tonight, Mitt Romney drove home his argument that America has struggled over the past four years to maintain its place as a world superpower, but he forcefully explained his vision for how to restore America’s strength at home and abroad. We can do better with Mitt Romney at the helm.”

Eric Jotkoff, former Florida Democratic Party spokesman

“Barack Obama proved that he is a leader with a strong and steady hand. Mitt Romney -- nothing but shaky.”

James Grant
Florida Rep. James Grant, R-Tampa

“Undecided voters bored by "nonconsequential" things like Syria. #Sad”

Chris Dorworth
Florida Rep. Chris Dorworth, R-Lake Mary,

“Romney killed it on the answer on the trade war with China. Very presidential. Obama's response? Not so much.”

Doug Holder
Florida Rep. Doug Holder, R-Sarasota

“Obama looks like he knows he is getting a spanking.”

George LeMiuex
Former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux, R-Fort Lauderdale

“Governor Romney sounding and looking more presidential than President Obama.”

Nick Egoroff, Florida director: Gary Johnson Libertarian for President campaign

“Hey Ron Paul Republicans, you hearing anything from Mitt Romney during foreign policy presidential debates that you can support? Me neither!”

Aaron Sharockman, Tampa Bay Times.

“Charlie Crist with Michelle Obama and Rick Scott with Ann Romney. Interesting.”

El Sharko, The Shark Tank

“Romney schools Obama Smack!”

Joy Reid, The Reid Report

“So far, Romney's foreign policy: peace, leadership, peace, strength, freedom, and whatever Obama is doing only with peace.”

Eve Samples, Stuart News

“Utter lack of specifics on both sides tonight. They can get away with it because voters don't do specifics on foreign policy.”

Stacey Singer, The Palm Beach Post

“And here all these months I had thought Mitt Romney was the hawk and Barack Obama the dove.”

Peter Schorsch, SaintPetersblog

“Obama, Romney have occupied enough of our time without saying anything important.

“Instead of focusing on Egypt/Iran/Israel/Syria the U.S. should be focused on Brazil/China/India/Russia.”

The Crowley Report

“Did we learn anything new tonight ... nope.

“No real winner tonight ... undecided tuned out”

Pam Bondi
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi

“Tonight's debate highlighted President Obama's weak foreign policy, which Americans have had to suffer through for four years. Mitt Romney is a strong and principled leader. As our next President, he will reclaim our standing as a world leader and foster world peace from a position of strength.”

Will Weatherford

House Speaker-designate Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel

“Great debate tonight. I thought Gov. Romney showed substance, style and a firm grasp of America's opportunities!”

Reach Jim Turner at jturner@sunshinestatenews.com or at (772) 215-9889.

Comments (2)

8:50AM OCT 25TH 2012
obama zingers were funny and true. romney spent most of the time agreeing with obama policies. kinda of funny actually.
3:04PM OCT 23RD 2012
Romney showed his lack of military knowledge and strategy when he foolishly tried to make points with his "Pants on Fire" comparison that "Our Navy is smaller than it's been since 1917. Our Air Force is smaller and older than any time since 1947."

Oh, come on, today we are BY FAR the greatest sea power in the world - was that the case in 1917. . . . ABSOLUTELY NOT.

Besides, in pure numbers, the G.W. Bush administration had fewer ships during his 2nd term than under Obama's current three years, if that's where Romney wants to go in trying to make an argument on who's soft on the military.

Today, we are by far the overwhelmingly dominant and deadliest air power in the world, relatively much greater with our stealth technology and smart bombs, than we were in 1947.

Would we trade today's high-tech, better trained navy or air force for the increased numbers of the non-high-tech past? Of course not, but par for the course for Romney . . . 43% of his 193 political statements have been rated mostly false, false or "Pants on Fire" false by Politifact.

It was a stupid comment to make. His comparisons were absurd. His knowledge deplorable.

He quite clearly demonstrated he's not ready to be commander in chief.

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