President Obama and Mitt Romney painted a bleak portrait of each other’s leadership on the world stage Monday night, using their final debate before a feverish two-week blitz of campaigning to tout their commander-in-chief credentials.
To hear Romney tell it, the president has presided over a steady decline in American influence that has emboldened enemies like Iran. To hear Obama, the Republican nominee would confuse the rest of the world with a foreign policy that is “all over the map.”
The two met for a debate focused on foreign policy, though it often veered to domestic issues like the economy and taxes. In contrast to the last debate where Obama and Romney paced and circled each other throughout, the rivals were seated next to one another onstage in Boca Raton, Fla. It made for a less confrontational setting, but the tone was no less tense.
Obama accused Romney of pushing a foreign policy that’s either flat-out “wrong” or some version of what the president himself has already done, only “louder.” Romney accused the president of projecting “weakness” on the world stage, whether through his so-called “apology tour” overseas or his policy on Iran.
Romney ripped President Obama’s foreign policy at the start of Monday night’s debate, claiming the president’s strategy has not quelled the Al Qaeda threat.
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