Final Debate Sparks Questions for PSU Students

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Last night, the political gears were grinding as Mitt Romney and Barack Obama duked it out over foreign policy in the third, and last, debate before the election.

A diverse group of roughly 50 students and community members gathered around the big TV on the first floor of the HUB to watch the final leg of the presidential race. After the debate ended, professor of Sociology, Sam Richards, led students in a discussion to help break down the rhetoric and sift out the personal views of those in attendance.

The event, hosted by PSU Votes, was meant to be a forum for Penn State constituents to voice their opinions about the candidates. Here’s how campus voters reacted to last night’s presidential debate.

Guess tomorrow’s Onward State headline

Students in attendance offered Onward State their ideas on what the headline for this very post should be based off of their reaction’s to the debate. Our winner is the title of this article, but here are some that didn’t make it past the editor’s desk. (I know what you’re thinking, “Onward State has editors?”)

  • America on Watch: Can’t America Still Be The Vanguard of Freedom?
  • Romney Likes Teachers
  • Two Dicks — One Black, One White — Have a Juicy Explosion on TV
  • Should We “Walk Tall and Carry a Big Stick?”
  • Debate on Foreign Policy Discussed Locally on Campus (editor’s note: wasn’t that the Collegian’s headline?)
  • Star-Spangled Battle! Presidential Candidates Discuss Foreign Policy in Final Debate
  • PSU Students Voice Their Opinions About the Debate

What did you learn?

My mom used to ask me this question every day I got home from school since kindergarten. The answer was always the same — nothing. But after 90 minutes of foreign policy, Penn State became educated on a range of topics.

After last night’s debate I learned…

  • America is going through tough times.
  • We need to rebuild America, we’re breaking down. We need to rethink defense funding to get America strong again.
  • Energy is a big part of America’s future.
  • How severe the sanctions on Iran really are.
  • That there is more to Iran than a big evil empire. Even they have protests.
  • Why we care about Israel and how they’re more than just a religious partner, they’re an important allie in the Middle East.

What do you want to know more about?

After watching the debate, I’d like to know more about…

  • Romney’s tax plan.
  • How Iran is such a threat.
  • Drones and how successful they are at reducing civilian casualties.
  • The candidates’ positions on Palestine.
  • Everything! There is so much rhetoric and so little policy.
  • How America got the role of international peace keeper.
  • Where our debts to China came from.
  • The embargo with Cuba and our two biggest trade partners Mexico and Canada.
  • Why we should try and make Islamic nations follow our world view of women’s rights.

Something that the candidate you aren’t voting for said that you agreed with.

Obama:

  • His stance on Isreal.
  • Fighting for better education and investment in infrastructure.

Romney:

  • Working on peaceful ways to reduce extremist views in the Middle East.
  • Russia is our greatest geo-political threat.
  • His focus on nation building and leading by example with a strong domestic economy.
  • We don’t need the federal government hiring teachers.
  • The fact that Obama skipping over Israel on his Middle Eastern tour was a bad political move

Something that the candidate who you’re voting for said that you disagreed with.

Romney:

  • Strong endorsement of President Obama’s drone strike operatives.
  • His support for crippling sanctions on Iran.
  • His stance on China. He said they have to play buy the rules, but what if they don’t?
  • Bashed China for making counterfeit American goods while ignoring their violations of human rights.

Obama:

  • He’s worried about women’s equality over-seas, but there is still sex discrimination in the US.
  • Disappointed on his position on drone strikes.
  • Our military is larger than the 10 next nations combined, but he isn’t doing anything to scale it back.

Photo By: Dave Cole
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