In probably the most contentious exchange between GOP nominee Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama in their final debate before the election, the challenger accused the incumbent of projecting weakness in the world and traveling across the Middle East on an “apology tour.”
In a question by Bob Schieffer on Iran’s nuclear program Romney said, “I think they looked and thought, well, that’s an unusual honor to receive from the president of the United States. And then the president began what I’ve called an apology tour of going to nations in the Middle East and criticizing America. I think they looked at that and saw weakness.”
Obama responded, “Nothing Gov. Romney just said is true, starting with this notion of me apologizing. This has been probably the biggest whopper that’s been told during the course of this campaign.”
He then took his own shot at Romney claiming that while he was allegedly building an international coalition to tighten sanctions on Iran “you were still invested in a Chinese state oil company that was doing business with the Iranian oil sector.”
“Mr. President, the reason I call it an apology tour is because you went to the Middle East and you flew to Egypt and to Saudi Arabia and to Turkey and Iraq,” Romney replied. “And by the way, you skipped Israel, our closest friend in the region, but you went to the other nations. And, by the way, they noticed that you skipped Israel. And then in those nations and on Arabic TV you said that America had been dismissive and derisive. You said that on occasion America had dictated to other nations.”
Obama then responded by recalling his trip to Israel during the 2008 campaign.
“When I went to Israel as a candidate, I didn’t take donors,” the president said, alluding to Romney’s campaign fundraising this year in Jerusalem.
“I didn’t attend fundraisers,” he continued. “I went to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum there, to remind myself of the nature of evil and why our bond with Israel will be unbreakable.”
“I saw families there who showed me where missiles had come down near their children’s bedrooms, and I was reminded of what that would mean if those were my kids, which is why, as president, we funded an ‘Iron Dome’ program to stop those missiles,” he said. “So that’s how I’ve used my travels when I travel to Israel and when I travel to the region.”
While Obama’s comments are true here, the fact remains that he was running around the world and apologizing to many world leaders and that it thoroughly documented. In fact, if you are prone to forget, just watch this little montage below:
Here’s the section of the debate referenced:
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