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May 26, 2020

Obama bests Romney in final debate

Analysts agreed that Obama won on points, but questioned if the result would have a big impact on voters and the race as a whole.

US President Barack Obama has forcefully attacked his Republican challenger Mitt Romney, in their third and final presidential debate, the BBC informs. During the tense encounter in Florida, the rivals tangled over the Arab Spring, Iran, Israel and China. Obama said his rival was “all over the map” on foreign policy. But Romney said the president had allowed “chaos” to engulf the Middle East. Two instant polls said Obama won the head to head.According to CNN, forceful President Obama put Mitt Romney on the defensive on foreign policy, with analysts and an immediate poll giving him the victory in their final debate just 15 days before the November 6 vote. Obama displayed the experience of a commander-in-chief in explaining U.S. policy under his leadership and attacking the views and proposals of Romney, a former Massachusetts governor with less experience on international issues. Romney ended up supporting most of the Obama administration’s steps involving hotspots, such as the civil war in Syria, and preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, giving the president the advantage in a debate in which his GOP rival needed to question foreign policy of the past four years. There were several scathing exchanges, with the president seeking to portray his challenger as a foreign policy novice who lacked the consistency to be commander-in-chief. Obama said the former Massachusetts governor had backed a continued troop presence in Iraq, opposed nuclear treaties with Russia and flip-flopped over when the US should leave Afghanistan. “What we need to do with respect to the Middle East is strong, steady leadership, not wrong and reckless leadership that is all over the map,” said Mr Obama.The rivals found plenty to agree on – declaring unequivocal support for Israel, voicing opposition to US military intervention in Syria, and insisting that China play by the rules in trade. Romney also backed the president’s policy of withdrawing from Afghanistan by 2014 – something the Republican has previously disagreed with. Romney barely touched on last month’s deadly assault on the US consulate. The Republican’s line of attack on that subject in the last debate was widely perceived to have misfired. Analysts agreed that Obama won on points, but questioned if the result would have a big impact on voters and the race as a whole.A CNN/ORC International poll of people who watched the debate showed 48 percent favored Obama compared to 40 percent for Romney, a result considered statistically even under the margin of error of plus-or-minus 4.5 percent. Another poll by CBS scored it a clear victory for Obama. At the same time, the CNN/ORC poll showed viewers thought Romney established credibility as a leader, which former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, a Republican strategist and CNN contributor, said was very important.Now the candidates hit the road for the final sprint to Election Day, focusing on the handful of battleground states considered still up for grabs and therefore vital to both their chances in a razor’s edge race.

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