Political analysts tell Newsmax that the election may no longer hinge on the bad economy, but rather President Obama’s ‘disastrous’ foreign policy that will be highlighted during Monday’s climactic final debate.
“With foreign policy being this big issue right now I would think that that is an entirely different set of circumstances and it really helps Romney,” pollster and debate expert Matt Towery said in an exclusive interview on Saturday.
He noted that many Americans simply have not been paying attention to foreign policy matters thus far in the campaign.
“Romney can go in there well equipped. He can also walk out of there with potentially the victory,” predicted Towery, whose comments reflect a growing belief that Monday’s third and final debate in Boca Raton, Fla. is shaping up to be pivotal as the latest polls continue to show the candidates locked in a dead heat.
Republican strategist Bradley A. Blakeman pointed to the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, the bungled fast and furious gun-running operation and Saturday’s New York Times report that the Obama administration has agreed in principle to one-on-one negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program.
White House officials subsequently denied Saturday's report.
“Foreign policy now for undecided and swing voters is a factor and I think primarily the reason is . . . they believe that the Obama administration is at least incompetent and at most deceptive,” Blakeman asserted.
Towery, a former national debate champion, said that no one predicted foreign policy would play such a key role in the campaign given the nation’s persistent unemployment, rising gas prices, and unpopular Obamacare.
He anticipated a “sense of desperation in this debate” with both Romney and Obama “swinging for the fence” to use a baseball metaphor.
“Will Barack Obama save his presidency by having a strong performance, or will Mitt Romney seize this moment and really take a president who I think is on the ropes now, and just shove him down to the ground by really boring in on some of these issues relating to foreign policy,” Towery said.
“With regard to Romney, it’s going to be his degree of expertise and knowledge about the minutiae of the various issues,” he said. “It’s usually been very hard for challengers to have the knowledge of foreign policy that the incumbent president has.”
If Obama is uncomfortable — as he was in the first debate — look for the president to stumble.
“If you see him grasping for words, stammering, stumbling then you’ll know that’s a real problem for his election,” Towery said. “If Romney, for whatever reason, appears to not know some detail that those who follow foreign policy would know instantaneously, well then he’ll appear to be ill equipped to be president.”
Towery believes that Romney will revisit the controversial response the president gave in the second debate regarding Benghazi in which moderator Candy Crowley stepped in and appeared to correct the Republican.
“That’s going to be their big issue,” predicted Towery, who heads the InsiderAdvantage polling firm. “I think on the other side you’re going to have the Obama camp and president Obama really emphasizing the fact that they have basically reduced (or) eliminated two wars — and they’re going to play to the percentage of America who simply don’t want to be at war.”
Romney will counter that “we’re not out of trouble and the trouble has in fact been increasing not decreasing,” he observed.
“If he makes that argument persuasively, well then Romney can carry the day in foreign policy,” according to Towery. “And I would say that if the challenger carries the day in foreign policy, that challenger will win the election because it’s presumed that a president knows more about foreign policies.”
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