Five Facts to Memorize Ahead of Tonight’s Debate
Tonight is the third and final presidential debate. It will take place in Boca Raton, Florida — the same city where Mitt Romney made his now infamous 47% comments. The candidates will be seated at a desk (like the vice presidential debate) with the moderator, CBS News’ Bob Schieffer.
The general topics of the debate will be:
- 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 – I
- The Changing Middle East and the New Face of Terrorism – II
- The Rise of China and Tomorrow’s World
ThinkProgress will be live-blogging and fact-checking the debate as it happens, but ahead of the debate ThinkProgress’ Ben Armbruster put together five key facts that everyone should know:
1. New reporting finds that protest against anti-Islam video played role in Benghazi attacks. Facts have been lost in the Republicans’ scramble to politicize the attacks in Libya last month that killed three Americans. It turns out that, according to the latest reports, there’s “no evidence” that the attack was ordered by al Qaeda and the attack grew out of a protest against a video disparaging the Prophet Mohammed.
2. Romney harshly criticized Obama’s pledge to send U.S. troops into Pakistan to get Osama bin Laden. In 2007, Romney attacked Obama for saying he’d order U.S. forces into Pakistan to kill or capture bin Laden, just like he did in May, 2011. “I do not concur in the words of Barack Obama in a plan to enter an ally of ours,” Romney said in 2007. The former Massachusetts governor also said in 2007 referring to bin Laden: “It’s not worth moving heaven and earth spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person.”
3. Iran is not enriching weapons-grade uranium. Iran is currently enriching low-grade uranium (against the demands of the United Nations), but Israeli and U.S. intelligence and the International Atomic Energy Agency all agree that Iran has yet to decide on whether to build nuclear weapons and enrich to the high grade needed for bomb. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said the U.S. and the international community would know if Iran makes that decision and that it would take “a little more than a year” to construct a nuclear device.
4. Romney will increase military spending by $2.1 trillion, with no plan to pay for it. Romneyplans on increasing military spending by $2.1 trillion. One adviser repeatedly dodged questionson how Romney plans to pay for it while another said that Romney would maintain war spending indefinitely to make up the cost. CAP has charted the numbers:
5. Israeli leaders have praised Obama’s commitment to Israel’s security: “I don’t think that anyone can raise any question mark about the devotion of this president to the security of Israel,” said Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak. “I think under President Obama we have the best relationship on the issue of security. Never were the security [...] needs better met than today under president Obama,” said Israeli President Shimon Peres.
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