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Live-blogging the final Presidential Debate

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Two statuettes depicting President Barack Obama, left, and Republican rival Mitt Romney are backdropped by the Stars and Stripes in a shop which sells Christmas nativity figures in Naples, Italy, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, hours ahead of their third and final presidential debate in Boca Raton, Florida. (AP Photo/Salvatore Laporta)


After a whirlwind three weeks that's seen just about everything we thought we could see in an election, the two major party candidates for President of the United States - Democratic incumbent Barack Obama and GOP candidate Mitt Romney - hold their final debate of the election season tonight. Going into the first debate less than three weeks ago in Denver, Obama was poised for a runaway win barring any major speed bumps. But that's what happend in Denver when Obama put forth a listless, lackluster performance by the president plus a new populist approach from Romney turned things around and put the wind at Romney's back, changing the entire course of the race. A testy, fiery Vice President Joe Biden turned up in the VP debate against GOP nominee Paul Ryan. And last week, Romney and Obama engaged in a heated, electrice debate, the candidates stalking the stage, often circling one another as they unleashed attacks on the other.

Tonight's moderator, CBS' Bob Schieffer, has experience with debates, having moderated one in each of the last two presidential election, and has already announced his list of topics for tonight's debate, centered on foreign policy:

  • 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

Tonight should be a lively debate and we've got our best columnists and pundits along to provide live commentary. Below you can find both live video via YouTube of the debate and, below that, the running commentary from the Sun-Times staff. Before we go live at 7:30 p.m. and throughout the debate, take some time to check out some of our other posts about the upcoming election and check out even more coverage at our Election Page.

Bears or Debate? What are you watching?
Roeper: Presidential circus continues
Ghosts of Elections Past: Ohio and Florida
Sifting through presidential endorsements
Googling the next president
Mitt Romney and Barack Obama at last week's Alfred E. Smith dinner
Obama campaign rolls out new "Romnesia" stump speech
FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver on The Daily Show

Below, follow along with us as we react in real time to tonight's debate from Sun-Times writers Mark Brown, Steve Huntley, Mary Mitchell, Carol Marin, Neil Steinberg, Richard Roeper, Natasha Korecki, Lynn Sweet, and Roger Ebert and even more commentary.

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8 Comments

I agree with your article about the debate Mr. Roper.
President Obama was persuasive.
He did a good job talking about Foreign Policy. He looked very presidential.
He talked about what he has done since he has been president.The president also did not let Mitt Romney just say things which were the opposite of what he has been known for. Mr. Romney even seemed to do a lot of agreeing with the president. He also gave a lot of sweet faced expressions while the president spoke. the president won . We need him to win the election one more time.

I agree with Carol Marin because we all know that our President is doing his very best to make sure that he stilll maintains his spot as president. Our President created (ObamaCare) a program for people that cannot afford insurance and Romney wants to go back before the Obama care which was when it was up to the states and the people who could not afford it won't have insurance. I also agreed with Carol Marin by when she stated that Romney was actually tweeted her during the debate.

I agree with Mr. Roeper by when he talked Obama an he said that Obama was the one who got Bin Laden dead and what is Mitt Romney going to do ... NOTHING that will probably help us. I understand that Romney is trying but, in that last debate, Romney really didn't have all of his facts set and ready. Obama was the one who did his homework and made himself look like actual politician who has his mind set on what he wants and that is to be re elected for President of the United States.

I cannot agree more with my classmate Elliot, Mr. Roeper, and Ms. Marin that the President won the debate. Don't get me wrong I am not saying that Mr. Huntley is wrong for saying (in his opinion) That Governor Romney won the debate. I'm just saying his reasons were invalid. For Example Mr. Steve Huntley said that The President looked small because, he kept interrupting Governor Romney. But, if I can recall Governor Romney interrupted the President more than once. Also, Romney sounded real sarcastic and condisending toward the President. But in my honest opion The President won. -Ryan Coppage

I agree with the facts that Richard Roeper pointed out about what President Obama talked about. I think President Obama’s Foreign Policy statements were amazing and on point! Barack Obama was aggressive and truthful at the same time. I believe that President Obama showed dominance over Mitt Romney in a cool manner and as Commander In Chief.

I do not agree with Steve Huntley that Romney won the debate. I actually observed Romney switch from Foreign Policy to domestic economy. I don’t agree that President Obama was “attacking” Mitt Romney when in the last two debates Romney said whatever he wanted. I think Steve Huntley is not that big of a man to call the President “small” for interrupting Romney (which he didn’t do. Romney’s time was already up.

I AGREE WITH EVVERYONE BUT STEVE HUNTLEY BECAUSE STEVE HUNTLEY MENTIONED IN HIS BLOG QUOTING ROMNEY,"ATTACKING ME IS
NOT A STRATEGY" FOR THE FOREIGN POLICY I COULD DISAGREE WITH
THAT BECAUSE IT'S A DEBATE THAT ROMNEY IS IN IF HE CAN'T TAKE THE
HEAT THEN WHY IS HE CAMPAIGNING OBAMA WAS NOT FOCUSED ON
ATTACKING HIM.ONE MORE QUESTION I HAVE TO ASK,WHY WAS ROMNEY
TWEETING CAROL MARIN DURING THE DEBATE HE IS NOT PRESIDENT
MATERIAL. A.S/ ST. SABINA

I agree with what Carol and Richard have to say I'm not to sure if I can agree with Steve Huntley but everybody has their own opinion. In my opinion I think Obama won the debate because his answers were clear and straight to the point like when he pointed out that he wanted to make a better America by creating more jobs, having the best education system, and retraining workers for the jobs of tomorrow.
While as for Romney who confused me when he told Obama that we can't kill our way out of this mess but also was the one who said we should send more troops to Iraq so Romney didn't step out as much to me then I thought he would which Obama took full advantage of.

I don't quite agree with steve Huntley that Mitt Romney won the debate. If you call Mitt Romney qouting everything President Barack Obama doesn't do and coyping him then I guess He won. Also Steve Huntley said that President Barack obama interrupted Mitt Romney 7 times, but no one pointed out the fact that Mitt Romney interrupted THE PRESIDENT on both debates. I think interrupting the president while he's talking is very disrespectful and rude to any one. I also agree with Carol Marin that President Obama did well in the speech, because he got straight to the point. I also like the statement President Obama made "horses and bayonets", it left Mitt Romney speechless!!!!!

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