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Sahil Kapur

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.

Articles by Sahil

After the foreign policy debate Monday night, the New York Times editorial board published a scathing piece on Mitt Romney's performance:

Mitt Romney has nothing really coherent or substantive to say about domestic policy, but at least he can sound energetic and confident about it. On foreign policy, the subject of Monday night’s final presidential debate, he had little coherent to say and often sounded completely lost. That’s because he has no original ideas of substance on most world issues, including Syria, Iran and Afghanistan.

During the debate, on issue after issue, Mr. Romney sounded as if he had read the boldfaced headings in a briefing book — or a freshman global history textbook — and had not gone much further than that.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) published an op-ed in USA Today ahead of last night's foreign policy debate. It began:

The president's meager economic record is well known, and Americans are crying out for a change. Less appreciated, but equally important, has been the president's foreign policy record. Deeply mistaken assumptions, and an utter absence of presidential leadership have left America and its allies less safe than we were four years ago.

Mitt Romney hasn't shied away from making big promises about his potential presidency. On issues like employment, the budget, and energy, Romney's appealed to voters by vowing major improvement.

But many of these promises come with an asterisk.

Specifically, he and his campaign concede they will take two full terms to accomplish, which leaves him off the hook if he makes little progress in his first four years.

Here are his three big second-term promises:

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President Obama's deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter said Monday that the president will criticize Mitt Romney on foreign policy toward China in the debate this evening.

"Even his own party is criticizing him for that because that's going to start a trade war," she said on NBC's Morning Joe, mentioning the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL).

On the Sunday talk show circuit, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) criticized the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act as nothing more a giveaway to trial lawyers.

"Just because they call a piece of legislation an equal pay bill doesn't make it so," he said on ABC's "This Week." "In fact, much of this legislation is, in many respects, nothing but an effort to help trial lawyers collect their fees and file lawsuits, which may not contribute at all whatsoever to increasing pay equity in the workplace."

The 2009 law makes it easier for women to sue their employers if they're being paid less than men for doing equal work. Rubio said he supports the principle but opposes the Ledbetter legislation as a way of achieving it.

"If you're the most qualified person for the job, you should be able to get paid -- you should get paid as much as your male counterpart," he said. "Everyone agrees with that principle."

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NBC "Meet The Press" host David Gregory, interviewing Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) on Sunday, said the two co-chairmen of the Simpson-Bowles fiscal commission have told him that Mitt Romney's tax reform proposal doesn't add up.

"Now here's the thing, I know the Romney campaign has six studies that say it does add up but we don't know exactly how. I've talked to Erskine Bowles and Senator [Alan] Simpson of the Simpson-Bowles commission and they say it simply doesn't work -- that either the middle class will have to pay more in taxes or you have to blow up the deficit."

Portman, a top Romney surrogate, insisted the math "does work" but did not specify which tax deductions or credits Romney would target.

Appearing on ABC's "This Week," Democratic National Committee Chair and Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) went after Mitt Romney over his remarks about women and equal pay.

"On Lilly Ledbetter, I mean I think it's very telling. Mitt Romney, on a point blank question the other night in the debate, refused to answer whether he believes in equal pay for equal work," Wasserman Schultz said. "He refers to women as binders and resumes. You know, a callous sort of brush-off."

Appearing Sunday on ABC's "This Week," Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), a Mitt Romney surrogate, criticized the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, but not the principle of equal pay for women.

"I think anyone who is working out there any making a living -- if you're the most qualified person for the job, you should be able to get paid, you should get paid as much as your male counterpart. Everyone agrees with that principle," Rubio said. "But just because they call a piece of legislation an equal pay bill doesn't make it so. In fact, much of this legislation is, in many respects, nothing but an effort to help trial lawyers collect their fees and file lawsuits, which may not contribute at all whatsoever to increasing pay equity in the workplace."

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) went after House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) for publicly posting State Department cables that compromised the names of several Libyans working with the United States and put them in danger.

"This idea of Chairman Issa, that he's going to dump the names in public of Libyans who are risking their lives to support America and keep us safe, in an effort to get a political toehold in this election is unconscionable," Durbin said. "It is unacceptable."

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