WASHINGTON >> Libya. Israel. The Palestinians. Iran. Afghanistan. Pakistan. China. Terrorism.
Think world hotspots. Think hot rhetoric. Watch the third presidential debate Monday night.
The final debate of the 2012 campaign will be about foreign policy, although there’s certainly a strong connection between China and the U.S. economy.
President Barack Obama has now had four years at the helm of U.S. foreign policy, and he ordered the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. Advantage Obama? Not so fast. Challenger Mitt Romney has hammered the president about the confusing descriptions of the raid on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. What initially was characterized as a demonstration gone awry is now described as a terrorist attack.
Here are questions and answers about the final debate, beginning 9 p.m. EDT and lasting until about 10:30 p.m.
Q. Who gets the first and last word?
A. Romney gets the first response to the opening question and the last closing statement.
Q. Wait a minute. Isn’t that unfair?
A. No. The order was decided by separate coin tosses.
Q. Foreign policy can be complicated. Will there be enough time to dig deep into the issues?
A. Yes. The moderator has planned for six 15-minute segments. Each segment begins with a question, followed by two-minute responses for each candidate and discussion facilitated by the moderator.
Q. Who chooses the questions and the topics?
A. The moderator, Bob Schieffer of CBS News.
Q. What are the topics for the six segments?
A. America’s role in the world; our longest war, Afghanistan and Pakistan; red lines and Israel and Iran; two segments on the changing Middle East and the new face of terrorism; the rise of China and tomorrow’s world. The topics may come up in a different order and could change as warranted by breaking news.
Q. Where will the debate be held?
A. In Florida, one of the key battleground states, at Lynn University’s theater in Boca Raton.
Q. Obama and Romney did a lot of walking around in the last debate, even circling each other. Will we see that again?
A. No. That was for the town-hall format. The candidates will be seated at the now-familiar, half-moon table owned by the Commission on Presidential Debates.
Q. How many people are watching the debates on television?
A. An estimated 65.6 million viewers watched the second presidential debate on Oct. 16, according to the Nielsen Co. Some 67 million people watched the first debate on Oct. 3.
Q. Is that the total number of debate viewers?
A. No. It doesn’t count people watching on the Internet.