BOCA RATON: US President Barack Obama on Monday accused challenger Mitt Romney of being wrong on all foreign policy choices he has taken, in a forceful start to the final debate before elections.
The two candidates clashed over Syria, Libya and other hot-spots minutes in the debate in Boca Raton, Florida, as Obama said that the former Massachusetts governor has been "all over the map" on foreign policy.
"I know you haven't been in a position to actually execute foreign policy, but every time you've offered an opinion, you've been wrong," Obama said.
Obama, who withdrew troops from Iraq, pointed to Romney's past statements in support of keeping a US military presence in the country that was attacked in 2003 under former Republican president George W. Bush.
"Governor, when it comes to our foreign policy, you seem to want to import the foreign policies of the 1980s, just like the social policies of the 1950s and the economic policies of the 1920s," Obama said.
Romney offered a dismal assessment of Obama's foreign policy, pointing to bloodshed in Syria and in Libya -- where four Americans including the US ambassador were killed last month -- and twice mentioning Al-Qaeda gains in Mali.
"I congratulate him on taking out Osama Bin Laden and going after the leadership in Al-Qaeda, but we can't kill our way out of this mess," Romney said.
Romney, while rejecting direct US intervention in Syria, said that the United States should be doing more to bring an end to the violence and to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
"This is a critical opportunity for America," Romney said, accusing Obama of turning Syria policy over to former UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan in an unsuccessful attempt to bring about a cease-fire.
"That didn't work. Then (Obama) looked to the Russians saying, see if you can do something. We should be playing the leadership role there -- not on the ground with military," Romney said.
Obama called the violence in Syria "heartbreaking."
"And that's why we are going to do everything we can to make sure that we are helping the opposition. But we also have to recognize that for us to get more entangled militarily in Syria is a serious step," Obama said.
At last the conversation is to much interesting.