Monday night’s third and final presidential debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla., was scheduled to focus on foreign policy, but strayed to domestic policy.
The debate, moderated by CBS journalist Bob Schieffer, focused on America’s role in the world and reactions to recent events in Libya, Egypt and Syria.
President Barack Obama said former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s foreign policy strategy was “all over the map.”
Obama stood by his decisions regarding the Sept. 11 attacks on Libya’s U.S. consulate.
Without putting troops on the ground, America was able to liberate a country that had been under dictatorship for 40 years, he said.
Romney said America should play a leadership role.
“I absolutely believe that America has a responsibility and the privilege of helping defend freedom and promote the principles that make the world more peaceful,” he said.
The topics then turned to domestic policy, discussing small business and schooling.
Obama and Romney agreed that the U.S. needs to fix domestic issues before the country can have a strong impact on other regions.
“We've neglected, for example, developing our own economy, our own energy sectors, our own education system. And it's very hard for us to project leadership around the world when we're not doing what we need to do here,” Obama said.
Romney discussed a partnership with China, basing collaboration on the country’s cooperation with American standards.
Obama criticized Romney’s choice of changing tax codes to benefit overseas companies.
“We’d be buying cars from China instead of selling cars to China,” he said.
According to the CNN/ORC International Survey on Monday night, 48 percent of responders believed Obama won the debate, while 40 percent believed Romney did.
Previous surveys indicated that Obama won the second debate on Oct. 16, while Romney won the first debate on Oct. 3.
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