With both foreign and domestic issues on the agenda and initial questions being asked by undecided voters — selected by the Gallup organization and moderator Candy Crowley — it’s hard to know exactly which direction the debate will take.
But recent speeches and ads by Romney and Obama make it fairly clear the topics the candidates would prefer to talk about. When the debate begins at 6 p.m. Pacific time Tuesday at Hofstra University on Long Island, Romney will be hoping for questions like these:
— What will you do to bring America’s $16-trillion debt under control?
— What went wrong at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya?
— How would you create more jobs for Americans?
— What can you do to lower gas prices?
Obama would prefer a markedly different focus and questions like these:
— Can you defend government bailouts of private companies, particularly the auto industry?
— What can you say to show you have a plan for Americans who are unemployed or under-employed?