“On a whole range of issues, whether it’s the Middle East, whether it’s Afghanistan, whether it’s Iraq or whether it’s now Iran, you have been all over the map,” Mr Obama told his rival.
“Not only were you wrong, you were confusing – sending mixed messages to our troops and our allies. This is not a game of Battleship”.
However, the Republican didn’t think twice and responded that the U.S. Navy had fewer ships now than at any time since 1917 and needed more, reports Reuters.
“Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets,” Obama said, suggesting that Romney’s worldview was obsolete. “We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines.”
The US president didn’t miss a chance to criticize his rival for labelling Russia as America’s number-one foe. “The 1980s called,” Obama said. “They want their foreign policy back”.
A snap poll conducted by CBS News showed that 53 per cent of respondents thought President Obama had won, while 23 per cent awarded the debate to the Republican nominee, The Telegraph writes.
71 per cent suggested that Obama would do better in an international crisis, while 64 per cent backed him to do a better job on national security. A PPP survey of the 11 likely battleground states put Obama’s victory at 53-42.
It was President Obama who was the challenger at times – which demonstrates that he fears his re-election hopes are slipping away from him – hammering away at Romney, trying to belittle him and all but calling him a liar, The Daily Mail claims.
The former governor Romney, in his turn, did his best to remain above the fray and appeal to moderate and swing voters. He was noticeably less tetchy than in the second round of the presidential debates in Hempstead, New York.
The Republican candidate’s campaign seemed confident in the aftermath of the debate, insisting that President Obama was ‘shedding voters’ and was ‘trying to manage the rate of decline’ in support ahead of the election day.
“We entered this debate in a good position and we leave it in a stronger position,” said strategist Stuart Stevens. “Whatever is that intangible quality of being presidential and who you would trust, Governor Romney had it more than the President.”
Referring to Obama’s performance in Boca Raton, Stevens continued: “It was not the demeanour you would expect of a President. He came in with a bunch of political talking points like a young fresh graduate of a spin class trying to come off with these points.”
But the President’s campaign manager Jim Messina described the Republican challenger as ‘unsteady’, suggesting that he ‘did not look like a commander-in-chief. He did not pass the test and that’s a very bad moment for the Romney campaign.’
He went on, adding: “The contrast tonight was between a strong and steady President and an uncertain Romney and that’s how incumbent presidents get re-elected.”