Huddleston Discusses Tonight's Final Obama-Romney Debate

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Debate scholar says that, on certain foreign policy topics, neither candidate will have a distinct advantage.

The University of North Alabama news team recently sat down with Dr. Bill Huddleston, a debate scholar and professor of speech communication, to discuss tonight’s presidential debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla. Huddleston said that, when it comes to foreign policy, the focus of tonight’s debate, the President has a distinct advantage as an incumbent with a record to reference.

“I expect Romney to play up his relationship with Israel and his foreign tour he took during the Olympics in August. I expect Obama to play up that (he) promised we’d get out of Iraq, and we did. (He) promised we’d get Osama bin Laden, and we did,” Huddleston said.

However, on certain foreign policy topics, neither candidate will have as much of an edge, he said.

“The real focal point will be centered on Iran – how to prevent Iran from going nuclear. That’s where the issues are not as clearly defined and the President does not have as much of an advantage. I expect Romney to really emphasize that. I expect the President to try to reassure people he is in control and can prevent that from taking place.”

“I believe both candidates will stay away from Libya. I may be wrong. … Romney has difficulty being seen as trying to make it a political football. The President wasn’t perhaps as decisive as he wanted to be under those circumstances. So I expect both candidates will downplay Libya. There may be some token references.”

“They’re going to say that China is the problem financially for the United States, and since we’re talking financially, (Romney will say) let’s go talk about jobs. Obama will not want to take that bate. He’ll move away from that. He’ll talk about China as an independent nation and good relationships with China, but he will not try to talk about the deficit to China, or very little.”

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