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Best quotes, moments, missteps of third Obama-Romney debate

The final presidential debate of 2012 was Monday at Lynn University in Boca Raton, moderated by CBS' Bob Schieffer.

Barack Obama, 51

Elected president after one term in U.S. Senate and eight years in Illinois State Senate. Married with two daughters.

Mitt Romney, 65

Former governor of Massachusetts; founded Bain Capital, a venture capital firm. Married with five sons.

Quote I
"You said Russia, not al-Qaida. … The 1980s, they're now calling to ask for their foreign policy back. … Governor, when it comes to our foreign policy, you seem to want to import the foreign policies of the 1980s, just like the social policies of the 1950s and the economic policies of the 1920s.''"I congratulate him on taking out Osama bin Laden and going after the leadership in al-Qaida. But we can't kill our way out of this mess. We're going to have to put in place a very comprehensive and robust strategy to help the world of Islam and other parts of the world, reject this radical violent extremism.''
Quote II
"Governor — here's one thing I've learned as commander in chief. You've got to be clear, both to our allies and our enemies, about where you stand and what you mean.''"For us to be able to promote those principles of peace requires us to be strong. And that begins with a strong economy here at home. … When the president of … Iran, says that our debt makes us not a great country, that's a frightening thing.''
Quote III
"They can say that the president of the United States and … America has stood on the right side of history. That … credibility is precisely why we've been able to show leadership on … issues facing the world right now…''"If I'm president of the United States, when I'm president of the United States, we will stand with Israel. And if Israel is attacked, we have their back, not just diplomatically, not just culturally, but militarily.''
Best moment
Painting Romney's military strategy as out of date and not modern, Obama zinged, "You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets.''Tying America's ability to combat extremism to the domestic economy. "I don't see our influence growing around the world. I see our influence receding, in part because of the failure of the president to deal with our economic challenges at home.''
Biggest misstep
The commander-in-chief criticized Romney's record on small business. Obama steered a debate on America's role in the world into a battle for Chamber of Commerce president.On the first question, he failed to take a clean shot on U.S. security at the American consulate in Benghazi. What did Obama know, and when did he know it? Romney never pressed.
Rating the performance
Obama's clarity and confidence on foreign policy reflected a record of greater success than he enjoys on the economy. His mastery of details – an advantage of incumbency – was an asset. It didn't hurt that Romney often agreed with Obama and seemed more animated on Detroit than on world affairs.Romney was obviously less comfortable on foreign affairs, but he didn't try to fake what he didn't know. He committed no gaffes and set a tone of "no dramatic change." He steered clear of Bush/Cheney years and had few sharp criticisms of Obama foreign policy. Safe to say he played it, well, safe.

Best quotes, moments, missteps of third Obama-Romney debate 10/22/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 23, 2012 10:58am]
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