ANALYSIS: Get Ready For Round Three

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  • Get ready for Round 3.

    The next slugfest between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney is scheduled for Monday at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida when the candidates will spar about foreign policy issues.

    Monday’s debate, the final face-to-face debate before Election Day, will give Obama another chance to challenge Romney, dispel misconceptions about his presidency, and convince undecided voters to support his candidacy.

    The debate comes at a critical time for the president: A new Gallup poll shows Romney with a six-point lead over Obama among likely voters – the largest lead for Romney since he entered the race for the White House.

    Obama and Romney are coming off a testy and combative debate this week where both men talked over each other constantly, accused each other of not telling the truth, pointed fingers at each other, and stalked each other on stage like it was a boxing match.

    Even though Obama and Romney will focus on foreign policy during Monday’s debate, the nation’s 7.8 percent jobless rate and the need to create millions of jobs is still the most defining issue in the campaign.

    Monday’s debate also coincides with a U.S. government report that shows people filing for initial jobless claims surged 46,000 to 388,000 last week. The previous week the number of initial claims had fallen to a four-year low. And five million Americans have been unemployed for more than six months – many of whom are African-Americans.

    At Monday’s debate, Obama and Romney will stand behind podiums and will not roam the room as they did during the town-hall-style debate earlier this week. Still, black Democrats say they expect Obama to continue his verbal assault on Romney and continue to aggressively defend his record during four years in the White House.

    And Romney, according to his son, Tagg, will also come to Monday’s debate prepared to fight.

    Romney’s eldest son joked in a radio interview that he wanted to “take a swing” at after Obama called his father a liar.

    “Jump out of your seat and you want to rush down to the stage and take a swing at him,” Tagg said, laughing. “But you know you can’t do that because, well, first because there’s a lot of Secret Service between you and him, but also because that’s the nature of the process.”

    North Carolina radio host Bill LuMaye had asked Romney what it felt like “to hear the president of the United States call your dad a liar.”

    “They’re gonna try to do everything they can do to try to make my dad into someone he’s not. We signed up for it, we’ve gotta try to kind of sit there and take our punches, and then send them right back the other way,” Tagg said.

    Meanwhile, Mitt Romney is trying hard to get the nation’s businesses – and their employees – to jump on his bandwagon.

    In a recent conference call hosted by the conservative-leaning National Federation of Independent Businesses, Romney encouraged business owners to let their employees know which candidate they support.

    Romney told small business owners that Obama's policies have hurt employers.

    "It's an anti-business, anti-job agenda," Romney said.

    At the end of the call, Romney urged business owners to relay their thoughts on the election to their employees.

    "I hope you make it very clear to your employees what you believe is in the best interest of your enterprise and therefore their job and their future in the upcoming elections," Romney said.  "And whether you agree with me or you agree with President Obama, or whatever your political view, I hope, I hope you pass those along to your employees."

    Romney added: "Nothing illegal about you talking to your employees about what you believe is best for the business, because I think that will figure into their election decision, their voting decision, and of course doing that with your family and your kids as well. I particularly think our young kids … they need to understand that America runs on a strong and vibrant business and we need businesses growing and thriving this country."

    While Romney is working business owners, Obama is working Ohio.

    “Governor Romney continues to run around talking about his five-point plan for the economy,” Obama told a crowd at Ohio University this week. “The five-point plan really boils down to one point: folks at the very top get to play by a different set of rules than you do.  So they can pay lower taxes. They can use offshore accounts.  They can buy a company, load it up with debt, lay off the workers, strip away the pensions, send the jobs overseas, and still make a big profit doing it.”

    “I also came here today, Ohio, because I want your vote,” Obama said.  “I want your vote.  I am not too proud to beg.  I want you to vote.  And the good news is you can vote in Ohio right now.”

     

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