Mitt Plays it Safe for Sake of Lead

Mitt Romney played it safe in his final presidential debate to avoid any flubs and President Barack Obama went on the offensive, making snarky comments about his opponent's foreign policies and winning the last debate before the election.

After two strong presidential debates — one where he crushed the president and another where he was aggressive in attacking his opponent — Mitt Romney seemed to play it safe in the final presidential debate.

According to the polls, the tactic may have backfired, as CNN and CBS both reported results showing President Barack Obama clearly won. CBS reported a landslide win for the president with 53% of debate watchers saying he won and only 23% choosing the Republican candidate. CNN’s numbers were a little closer: 48% to 40% in Obama’s favor.

Romney, who went into the final debate with a lead in the polls, played it safe to avoid any major flubs (i.e., not another “binders full of women” comment). However, the plan may have backfired. Business Insider reported that Romney ended up agreeing with Obama more than anyone expected.

Conservatives were split on Romney’s performance. Glenn Beck bemoaned Romney’s passiveness, tweeting, “I am glad to know that mitt (sic) agrees with Obama so much. No, really. Why vote?” Others felt the strategy was smart considering Romney has struggled against Obama on foreign policy issues, according to Business Insider.

In the debate, which dealt mainly with foreign policy and military spending, Obama kept going back to one idea — his opponent’s policies and strategies were outdated.

While Romney stayed mostly subdued during the debate, Obama went on the attack, mocking his opponent (as in the above video) and saying things like, “The 1980s are now calling to ask for the foreign policy back,” in response to Romney saying that America’s number one geopolitical foe was Russia.

While the second debate was full of both candidates making snarky comments, in the face of Romney’s quieter approach, Obama almost came off as a bully. According to Fox News, as this is the last debate before the election, Obama’s performance leaves the impression that his campaign’s tone is to mock and deride.

During the debate Obama’s odds of being re-elected had climbed to a 62% chance (a two-point gain in an hour), but by Tuesday morning, it was back down to a 59.5% chance. According to the gamblers on InTrade, Romney’s chances of being elected president are at 41%.

How did you view the debate last night? Was Mitt Romney’s strategy a smart call? Have any of the debates changed your mind about who you are going to vote for?

Read more:

Mitt Romney Thinks He’s Won the Election, and Last Night he Just Played Not to Lose — Business Insider

Third Debate Sets Tough Tone for Campaign’s Final Stretch — Fox News