International Affairs debate+prep

Published on October 22nd, 2012

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Trudy Rubin: The candidates and the real world

Trudy Rubin, a foreign affairs columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer has a few foreign policy questions for both candidates tonight:

If you’re still hoping for a serious foreign-policy debate between Mitt Romney and President Obama, your last chance is tonight, when the candidates will focus on global issues.

Don’t get your hopes up, however. For one thing, the two men know the public isn’t focused on foreign affairs, which was barely raised by the audience at last Tuesday’s town-hall discussion.

For another, the most serious security challenges confronting the country — in the Mideast and South Asia — are so complex and fluid, it’s hard to provide clear answers. This makes for a lot of posturing by Romney (it’s easier for a challenger to insist the answers are obvious) and for oversimplification by Obama.

In the hope that tonight’s moderator, Bob Schieffer, can prod the two men to candor, here’s what I’d like to see them address:

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