LIVE BLOG: Florida Roundup Pre-Debate Special At Lynn University

Oct 19, 2012

There's one more presidential debate left and the political party starts today at noon.  Join us for a live, two-hour, pre-debate special from Lynn University. We'll be tweeting, blogging and live-streaming the whole event.

Host Phil Latzman along with a panel of journalists and political thinkers will discuss U.S. foreign policy - the subject of the presidential debate - as well as other issues important to Florida voters in this election.

Tweet us @WLRN, #LynnDebate to give us your input on the conversation.

You can be part of the conversation too! What questions do you have about the candidates' positions on U.S. foreign policy? What other issues matters to you and why?

Update 1:21 p.m: Couple of tweets: 

@WLRN #lynndebate Failure to invest in education can never go well. Investment in public schools was main stimulus for FL economy

Want hope, vote #Obama. Want change, ask #Romney the same question twice! #lynndebate

Update 1:20 p. m.: The Stimulus.

"I can't imagine what the state wouled look like today if we didn't have the stimulus," says Deutch. "It was good for Florida teachers and good for FLorida's economy." FL received billions of dollars

Update 1:10 p. m. : It's STILL The Economy, Stupid

Congressman Ted Deutch, former Congressman Mark Foley and Lynn Prof. Robert Watson join us.  Topic one: Florida unemployment declines to 8.7 percent. Deutch says President Obama has "stopped the bleeding." Still, says Foley, the national economy is in a tough spot and there are fundamental problems.

Update 12:59 p.m.: Immigration

Immigration is the big foreign policy issue in Florida that neither candidate seems to want to talk about. How does this issue play with Florida voters?

Here's the take of one liberal think tank: Estimates of impact on state economies if Dream Act passed

And a poll by the liberal America’s Voices found that half of Hispanic voters in Florida know someone who is undocumented

Update 12:51 p.m.: The Questions Our Panel Won't Answer...

...because there are just too many! Here's a sample of some of the amazing questions from our capacity crowd that we won't get to in this first hour:

Rachel Shaffer from West Palm Beach: "Given the fact that many of the foreign policy advisors of the Bush/Cheney administration that pushed us into an unnecessary and destabilizing war in Iraq are now Romney advisors, how will their foreign policy in the Middle East and beyond differ from the one followed in the Bush/Cheney years?"

Eric from Boca Raton: "How can the government better inform the American people regarding national security issues in the Middle East without sacrificing national security itself?"

Update 12:46 p.m.: Haiti Is The Forgotten Foreign Policy Issue

Caputo says that Haiti is on the verge of collapse and even coup. Ferre asks: "Is it time to declare Haiti a failed state?" 

Update 12:40 p.m.: Tweets: Why Pay Attention To Latin America?

Some of the feedback on our conversation from our Twitter forum:

#lynndebate compared to the Middle East, Russia and China, Venezuela is less of an issue. by ChrisLyons16 via twitter 12:37 PM

Trade w Latin America doesn't help people in Ohio? Very BAD analysis! #lynndebate by fiuagf12 via twitter 12:42 PM

Do you agree? The panelists don't. Lend your voice on Twitter at #lynndebate or @wlrn.

Update 12:33 p.m. A Credible Opposition Emerges in Venezuela

On to Venezuela, the re-election of Hugo Chavez and how U. S. policy might evolve. From Helen Ferre: "The opposition is consolidating behind Henrique Capriles."

Though he lost, many international media outlets offered the gloss that Capriles emerged as perhaps Chavez's first credible opponent in years. From The Australian:

Capriles, a young politician who was first a mayor and then a governor of a state, was elected in open primaries in which more than three million Venezuelans participated. He mounted an energetic and creative crusade.

Update 12:30 p. m. Cuba Travel

Subject turns to Cuba and government's relaxation of exit visa requirements. How will it affect Florida, if at all? Caputo: Romney is taking a harder line on Cuba immigration than Obama. 

Update 12:22 p.m. Foreign Policy

Don't forget, Tuesday's debate is all about foreign policy. And we're moving into our foreign policy segment 0n the Roundup. First, Cuba, and the recent relaxation of visa requirements:  another survival tactic for Castro

Update 12:15 p.m.: From The Audience

Joe, from Lake Worth, wonders if the polls influence how people vote.  Maybe not, says our panel... but it does affect how much money comes in. But remember, lots of Floridians have already voted.

Update 12:10 p.m.: Florida = Ohio + Wisconsin + 1

Game over for Romney if he loses Florida, according to Marc Caputo. Florida's 29 electoral votes speak loudly.

Update 12:03 p.m.: We're On The Air!

After the NPR newscast, we'll get rolling with a look at Florida and its historic importance in national electrions. Some background: Winning the hearts of voters in the I-4 corridor.

Update 11:57 a.m.:  The Young and the Old

Our audience today is primarily students and retirees and they're a near-capacity crowd in the Lynn University auditorium. Who else is available at noon on a Friday?

Update 11:47 a.m.: The Guests Have Arrived

Marc Caputo of The Miami Herald just took his seat. He joins Helen Ferré of Univision Radio and WPBT and Ken "Political Junkie" Rudin of NPR. The crowd is starting to quiet down. Phil's greeting the audience. We're almost set to begin our live broadcast.

Update 11:30 a.m.: Our Panelists

HOUR 1: Foreign Policy issues that matter to Florida voters

-Marc Caputo of The Miami Herald

-Helen Ferré of Univision Radio and WPBT

-Ken Rudin of NPR

HOUR 2: Top domestic issues in Florida

-U.S. Congressman Ted Deutch

-Former U.S. Congressman Mark Foley

-Lynn University Professor of American Studies Robert Watson