Nearly 60 million television viewers tuned in to watch the third and final presidential debate between President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney on Monday night; among that 60 million were Grambling State University students.
The Student Government Association and Favrot Student Union Board, in effort to keep students politically inform, hosted pizza and politics in Tigers Den while the political rivals took the stage.
“We sponsored it because we could inform our students,” said Jonathan Allen, SGA president. “We want our students to know that their vote matters.”
Eager to hear what Obama and Romney had to say, viewers’ eyes were glued to the screen.
The debate was held at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, with Bob Schieffer of CBS as the moderator.
Even though the debate was to focus strictly on foreign policy, the rivals turned the discussion back to domestic issues time and time again.
They repeated their disagreements over the economy, energy, education and other domestic issues despite the ground rules that the debate should cover international affairs.
Throughout Monday night’s debate the two men sniped at each other even on issues where they agreed.
Both Obama and Romney sought to stand firm on Iran and being Israel’s ally. They also agreed to use military power, if necessary to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.
“As long as I’m president of the United States, Iran will not get a nuclear weapon,” said Obama.
They each stressed the support for Israel. When asked how he would respond if the Jewish state were attacked by Iran. Romney said, “if Israel is attacked, we have their back.” After Obama vowed, “I will stand with Israel.”
Dr. Janet Guyden, Dean of Graduate Studies and Research at Grambling, felt throughout the debate the candidates had similar ideas on some issues.
“There were not a lot of differences in the candidates’ foreign policies in this debate,” said Guyden.
Both also said they oppose direct U.S. military involvement in the efforts to get rid of Syrian President Bashir Assad.
“Assad days are number.” said the President, with almost a similar statement Romney came back and said “Assad must go.
The most meaningful difference between the two about Syria is on what arms to give Syrian rebels.
Romney has called for supplying arms that could defend against al-Assad tanks and aircraft.
When asked about Libya Romney responded by talking about the Arab Spring, Syria, Mali, Iran, Egypt and Osama bin Laden.
“We see in Syria, 30,000 civilians having been killed by the military, Mali has been taken over by al Qaeda-type individuals and we have in Egypt a Muslim Brotherhood president.” Said Romney
Obama switched gears to address the attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi that occurred last month that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans.
“Most importantly, we would go after those who killed Americans and we would bring them to justice. And that’s exactly what we’re going to do,” said Obama
SGA member Ebony Wilson a nursing major and sophomore from Shreveport here a Grambling University feels that Obama has done what he said he would by protecting America from terrorist attack and bringing Osama Bin Laden to justice.
“There haven’t been any more terrorist attacks in America since Obama has been in office and I think this is something that should be said.” Said Wilson
In a survey of undecided voters by CBS News, 53% awarded the debate to Obama, 23% for Republican Mitt Romney and 24% were undecide.