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Obama, Romney face off on foreign policy in final debate

Andrew Holleran / Photo editor

President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney had their third and final presidential debate Monday night to try to persuade voters 15 days before the Nov. 6 election.
The debate, held at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla., focused on foreign policy in areas throughout the world, ranging from the Middle East to China.
Some specific topics Obama and Romney discussed were trade with China, the U.S.’ relationship with Israel and nuclear weapons in Iran.
“As long as I’m president of the United States, Iran will not have nuclear weapons,” Obama said.
Romney agreed with Obama and said Iran should not have nuclear capabilities. He said “the greatest national security threat is a nuclear Iran.”
Both candidates also felt the U.S. could have a better relationship with China.
Obama said “we believe China can be a partner,” since the U.S. is going to continue to have a presence there.
Romney said the U.S. can be a partner with China as long as China is willing to be responsible. America needs to “make sure we have trade relations with China that work for us.”
Other topics discussed during the debate included the war in Afghanistan and America’s role in the world.
“We are now in a position where we met many of the objectives that got us (to Afghanistan) in the first place,” Obama said. The U.S. needs to transition out of Afghanistan “in a responsible fashion.”
“After a decade of war, it’s time to do some nation-building at home,” Obama said.
Romney, like Obama, said he will make sure American troops are out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014, but Pakistan is important to the U.S. as well.
“A Pakistan that would fall apart would be dangerous to Afghanistan and to us,” Romney said.
Bob Schieffer, host of “Face the Nation” on CBS, moderated the debate.
Paul Filippelli, executive director of the OSU College Democrats, said that anyone who thinks Obama didn’t win the debate “is being dishonest.”
“What really stuck out to me was that Mitt Romney just over and over again was saying that the things that President Obama has done in his four years of president have been the right thing to do,” he said. “At the end of the day, we are still in a war and it’s very, very clear after this debate that Mitt Romney is not ready to be commander-in-chief. He doesn’t understand foreign policy and we still need Barack Obama for the next four years.”
Niraj Antani, communications director for the OSU College Republicans, said he thought Romney set out a clear plan for the future, while Obama failed to offer any concrete plans.
“He continued to attack Gov. Romney with different accusations that have been proven false,” Antani said.  
Antani said Romney set clear plans on how to prevent Iran from “becoming nuclear,” and what to do in Syria and Iran.
He also said he felt at times Obama was arrogant and mocked the former Massachusetts governor.
According to a Monday seven-day rolling Gallup poll, Romney leads among registered voters 48 percent to Obama’s 47 percent. Among likely voters the gap was wider with Romney leading at 51 percent to Obama’s 45 percent.

Ally Marotti and Kristen Mitchell contributed to this article.

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