- CNN declared President Obama the winner, saying he "bested" a "defensive" Romney in its headline:
- Similarly, The Washington Post said the president kept the former governor "on his heels."
The Middle East: al-Qeada, Syria, Libya
- Despite Schieffer's opening comment being about Libya, the debate started by focusing around the Middle East in general, particularly al-Qaeda and Iraq.
- Both candidates differed over what Romney considered the country's "No. 1 enemy." The president accused the former governor of calling Russia that threat -- bigger than al-Qeada -- however, Romney said he called Russia the greatest "geo-political foe."
- A sizable portion of the first part of the debate revolved around Syria, especially what role the United States should play in the growing conflict.
"What is America's role in the world?"
- Schieffer asked both candidates what they considered to be "America's role in the world," a question which enabled both candidates to discuss topics largely outside of foreign policy.
- Before Schieffer could "get the debate back to foreign policy," the two candidates even debated on education.
Horses and Bayonets
- After debating about the economy, education and other domestic policies, Schieffer managed to pull the debate back on topic by asking the candidates about the military.
- The president quickly -- and sarcastically -- retorted to Romney's point about the size of the navy.