Obama and Romney in final showdown
Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, met in their third and final head-to-head clash on Monay night, ahead of the November 6 presidential election. The 90-minute televised debate at Lynn University, Boca Raton, Florida, was the last major chance for the two candidates to win over the voters who have yet to make up their minds.
The debate which attracted about 60 million viewers was divided into six 15-minute segments and saw the two White House contenders challenging each other on foreign policy. A lacklustre performance by Obama in the opening debate in Denver, Colorado, on October 3 gave Romney a campaign boost.
But in their second face-off in New York last week, a more aggressive Obama buried the memory of a poor first showing as he came out swinging on the economy, tax and foreign policy. The final debate came at a time when several polls depict the race as being virtually tied, with a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finding the race deadlocked at 47 per cent each.
Obama had rehearsed for the final showdown at Camp David, Maryland, while Romney stationed himself close to the debate, rehearsing at a hotel in Boca Raton. Obama came to the debate with a strong position as the president who ended the Iraqi war and is in the process of ending a second – and, on top of that, Osama bin Laden was killed during his administration.
But, Romney’s top supporters had launched sweeping condemnations of Obama’s handling of foreign policy, assailing him over a deadly attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and arguing that under the president’s negligent watch, Iran has crept closer to obtaining a nuclear weapon.
At the debate, Obama stressed his foreign policy credentials and portrayed Romney as lacking the experience to steer the nation through crisis while Romney, a former Massachusetts governor presented himself to voters as a credible alternative to the president on the world stage. After Monday night’s showdown, both candidates returned to the campaign trail for a gruelling final two weeks of wooing voters in swing states.
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