Obama savages Romney in final debate

2012-10-23 06:58

Washington – Barack Obama pummelled Mitt Romney as “all over the map” on foreign policy, dismissing his “wrong and reckless” leadership in a heated final debate of a knife-edge White House race.

With just two weeks until polling day, Obama has unexpectedly found himself running neck-and-neck with his once unfancied challenger, and yesterday’s face-off on world affairs was perhaps a last chance to land a decisive blow.

“I know you haven’t been in a position to actually execute foreign policy, but every time you’ve offered an opinion, you’ve been wrong,” President Obama told his foe, coming out swinging in the debate in Boca Raton, Florida.

Republican challenger Romney played it safe, avoiding any catastrophic error that would have undermined his claims to be commander-in-chief, but was often on the defensive, apart from when lambasting Obama over the struggling economy.

“Attacking me is not an agenda,” the former Massachusetts governor told the president, and renewed charges that Obama had mounted “apology tours” abroad, prompting the president to accuse him of telling a “whopper”.

Obama had the best lines of the night and sharply cross-examined Romney on his approach to Syria, Iran and trade rows with China, accusing him “airbrushing history” by dumping earlier hawkish conservative positions.

The Republican, who has spent months attempting to paint Obama as weak and as an appeaser, actually backed much of the substance of the president’s global strategy, courting wavering voters ahead of the November 6 election.

He endorsed Obama’s decision to withdraw from Afghanistan in 2014, supported the president’s lethal drone war against terror suspects and congratulated him for hunting down Osama bin Laden, in clear bid to moderate his image.

Romney vowed to press China harder on trade and currency issues but toned down earlier rhetoric, following warnings his approach could spark a trade war.

“We can be a partner with China. We don’t have to be an adversary in any way, shape or form,” he said, despite his vow to brand Beijing a currency manipulator on day one of his presidency.

An instant poll by CBS News found that Obama won the debate by 53% to 23%, after a clash that appeared to polish his leadership credentials and saw him showing the passion missing in his disastrous first debate.

CNN’s poll found Obama beat Romney to 48% to 40%.

But foreign policy is seen as unlikely to decide the election, with voters pre-occupied by the sluggish economy, and it will take several days to gauge whether the clash had any impact in the tied up polls.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.