Romney accuses president of ‘weakness’ abroad, as Obama calls rival ‘all over the map’

President Obama came armed with an arsenal of biting one-liners at the final presidential debate Monday night, trying to paint Mitt Romney as “all over the map” on foreign affairs, but he encountered a Republican rival who returned fire in moderation — at times chiding the president for “weakness” on the world stage but also finding common ground with the man he’s been running against for nearly two years.

The debate in Boca Raton, Fla., the last before a feverish two-week blitz of campaigning, was a departure from the candidates’ previous bout. A week ago, the two paced around each other in an interruption-filled bickering match. On Monday night, the rivals were seated next to one another, making for a less confrontational setting – though the candidates’ differences were still on full display.

To hear Romney tell it, the president has presided over a steady decline in American influence that has emboldened enemies like Iran. “In nowhere in the world is America’s influence greater today than it was four years ago,” Romney said.

To hear Obama, the Republican nominee is “all over the map” on world affairs. 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.”



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