Here are highlights from the third and final debate between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.
- Obama looked more like the Obama of the second debate than the first, and both sides traded pointed barbs throughout the debate.
- Osama bin Laden was brought up in the first five minutes, but by Romney. He said, “I congratulate (Obama) on taking out Osama Bin Laden, but we can’t kill our way out of this mess.”
- Obama attacked Romney for what he said was “reckless leadership that is all over the map.” He said, “Every time you have offered an opinion, you’ve been wrong,” and “I’m glad that you recognize that al Qaeda is a threat, because a few months ago when you were asked what’s the biggest geopolitical threat facing America, you said Russia. The 1980s are now calling and asking for their foreign policy back.”
- Romney hit Obama on the Middle East, saying, “With the Arab Spring came a great deal of hope that there would be a change toward more moderation, an opportunity for greater participation on the part of women. What we’re seeing is a pretty dramatic reversal in the kind of hopes we had for that region.”
- Obama’s word of the night seemed to be “reckless,” as he also said of Romney, “Gov. Romney has taken a different approach throughout this campaign: both at home and abroad, he has proposedwrong and reckless policies.”
- Romney used a catch phrase he’s brought up during the campaign: “apology tour.” He said, “The president began what I have called an apology tour of going to various nations in the Middle East and criticizing America. All of these things suggested, I think, to the Iranian mullahs that, you know, we can keep on moving along. … It’s essential for a president to show strength from the very beginning.”
- Romney said he agreed with Obama on the drone program. “I believe we should use any and all means to take out anyone that poses a threat to America. I support that entirely, and believe the president was right to up the usage of that technology and continue to use it to go after the people who represent a threat to this nation and our friends.”
- Obama delivered perhaps the snarkiest line of the night. After Romney said the military has fewer ships now than during previous administrations, Obama said it’s because of technology and that “we also have fewer horses and bayonets. ... We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. ... It’s not a game of Battleship.”