Authors: Joshua Cohan
(NEW YORK) -- Mitt Romney and President Obama debated on CBS' 60 Minutes Sunday, but they were never on the set together at the same time. With their actual first debate scheduled for October 3, the candidates took turns making unanswered swipes at the other in what could be a preview of what’s to come next week.
Romney, the GOP nominee, was coming off a rough week in which he seemed to disparage 47 percent of the electorate during a secretly taped video of a May fundraiser. Romney hopes to turn the tables on Obama by accusing the incumbent of advocating redistribution to make Americans more reliant on the government.
He also rejected assertions that his campaign is floundering, telling 60 Minutes, “I’ve got a very effective campaign. It’s doing a very good job. But not everything I say is elegant.”
With foreign policy no longer taking a back seat to the economy given recent overseas events, Romney claimed the president was making a huge mistake not meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who will be in New York City later this week for the annual meeting of United Nations General Assembly.
Romney has frequently said Obama has weakened ties with Israel by refusing to acknowledge the danger posed by Iran.
Firing back in his separate interview, Obama said, “if Governor Romney is suggesting that we should start another war, he should say so.” He added that he spoke with Netanyahu on a regular basis and that the two countries remain strong allies.
The president also seemed more fired up about other issues central to the campaign, defending himself from attacks on the financial bailout, his signature healthcare law and the promise to change Washington after his election.
However, Obama admitted that in altering the tone of D.C., “I haven’t fully accomplished that. Haven’t even come close in some cases.”
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