Mitt Romney Playing it Safe, Tonight He Just Played Not To Lose

The final presidential debate is over, and Mitt Romney played it very safe.

The Republican candidate has had a relatively unremarkable debate, devoid of any major flubs, but also lacking in memorable attack lines or zingers against President Barack Obama. Romney has missed several opportunities to hit his opponent head on, including on the issue of Libya, a flashpoint among conservatives and a rare area of vulnerability in the Obama administration’s foreign policy.

In fact, Romney even went so far as to exempt the president from one of his criticisms, over the U.S. troop withdrawal in Afghanistan.

This strategy may actually have beem the smartest choice for Romney, who has so far struggled to effectively attack his opponent’s foreign policy record. In tonight’s debate, Romney faced the difficult challenge tonight of embracing the more popular aspects of Obama’s foreign policy — including the troop withdrawals in Iraq and Afghanistan — while also establishing himself as a strong alternative to serve as commander in chief.

But with his poll numbers still on the rise, Romney didn’t need a big win at the final debate. He just needed to prevent a routing — which included avoiding moments like last week’s flubbed response on Libya — and to that end, he accomplished what he had to Monday night.

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