Rich Galen

Romney scored by reciting a litany of places in the Middle East that Obama had visited early in his Presidency while skipping Israel. He quoted Obama as saying that America would no longer dictate to other nations. Romney said, "We have not dictated to other nations, we have freed other nations from dictators."

At the three-quarter mark, 10:00, Obama was in full attack mode. He realized he was not having a good night - that the challenger was more than holding his own - defaulted to playing the "I killed bin Laden" card.

Also, by 10:00 pm Eastern, the San Francisco Giants were more than holding their own as well leading the St. Louis Cardinals 7-0 in the bottom of the fifth.

It took until 10:15 before the conversation went anywhere in the world beyond the Middle East and Africa. China.

Romney called for treating China as a full partner, but only if they play by the rules; that he would label the Chinese a currency manipulator.

Schieffer asked Romney if he weren't risking a trade war with China. Romney answered that because we buy so much more from China than China buys from us, they don't want - and can't afford a trade war with us.

Romney's point that our trade imbalance gives us the upper hand to get China to get in line.

Obama responded with what sounded like a sophomoric reprise of the last debate that Romney knows about how China does business because he (Romney) had invested in businesses there.

This was one of those answers that supporters of each man probably thought their guy won.

For the last 10 minutes the two men argued over domestic policy - the auto industry; jobs; food stamps; the debt; and, unemployment.

At 10:28 Bob Schieffer - who did a wonderful job - ended the debate and called for closing statements.

Romney won.


Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at Mullings.com.