Less than 24 hours after the final presidential debate, both parties are touting their candidates’ wins. But as many journalists and pundits noted Monday night, it was sometimes hard to differentiate one man’s policy from the other. msnbc’s Chris Hayes tweeted: “What’s the ratio of policy agreement here: 90%?”
While Mitt Romney’s general agreement with the president is considered by some analysts to be another point of confusion about Romney’s positions, some on the right consider it a boost to Romney’s presidential potential.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) told msnbc’s Chris Jansing Tuesday that Romney deserved credit for not being afraid to say where he agrees with the president during Monday night’s debate:
Remember when it was candidate Barack Obama and he said, ‘We’re not the red states and we’re not the blue states, we’re the United States’? Everyone rallied behind that. I’m as conservative of a Republican as I can be and I thought, ‘What a great line.’ The problem is, in four years, that’s not the way Barack Obama has operated as the president of the United States. What Mitt Romney has done—what I think he’s signaling to those truly undecided voters is—he’s not afraid to say where they agree.
Chaffetz also reiterated that Romney worked with a Democratic legislature while governor of Massachusetts, and that he “brought people together.”
“That’s what you’re looking for in a leader,” Chaffetz said.
But as the New York Times pointed out earlier this month, Democrats in Massachusetts said Romney as governor “variously ignored, insulted or opposed them” and “vetoed scores of legislative initiatives” 844 times.
“I think Gov. Romney did enough to convince the average American that he was conversant with foreign policy,” Rendell said. “By aligning himself with the president, he absolutely reassured Americans that there’s not going to be any hawkish guy in the White House.”
Rendell also noted that the Romney campaign’s strategy going into this debate was “very smart” because all of Romney’s walk-backs on his foreign policy over the last few months were not watched closely by average Americans, but last night’s debate was viewed by millions.