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To hear Romney tell it, the president has presided over a steady decline in American influence that has emboldened enemies like Iran. To hear Obama, the Republican nominee would confuse the rest of the world with a foreign policy that is “all over the map.”
The two met for a debate focused on foreign policy, though it often veered to domestic issues like the economy and taxes. In contrast to the last debate where Obama and Romney paced and circled each other throughout, the rivals were seated next to one another onstage in Boca Raton, Fla. It made for a less confrontational setting, but the tone was no less tense.
Obama accused Romney of pushing a foreign policy that’s either flat-out “wrong” or some version of what the president himself has already done, only “louder.” Romney accused the president of projecting “weakness” on the world stage, whether through his so-called “apology tour” overseas or his policy on Iran.
Romney ripped President Obama’s foreign policy at the start of Monday night’s debate, claiming the president’s strategy has not quelled the Al Qaeda threat.
“It’s certainly not on the run. It’s certainly not hiding,” Romney said. “This is a group that is now involved in 10 or 12 countries.”
Romney commended Obama for ordering the raid that killed Usama bin Laden and other strikes on Al Qaeda leaders, but he said “we can’t kill our way out of this mess.” He said Al Qaeda remains an “enormous threat,” despite Obama’s claims that the terror group is on the path to defeat.
Obama, though, countered that “Al Qaeda’s core leadership has been decimated.” And he sought to portray Romney as someone who would be an unsteady leader on the world stage. He accused Romney of having a strategy that is “all over the map.”
Obama was tough on Romney from the outset, accusing him of having poor judgment and antiquated views on foreign affairs.
“I'm glad that you recognize that Al Qaeda is a threat, because a few months ago when you were asked what's the biggest geopolitical threat facing America, you said Russia, not Al Qaeda,” Obama said. “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back.”
Obama went on to say that, on foreign policy, “every time you've offered an opinion, you've been wrong.”
Romney fired back, “attacking me is not an agenda.” He accused Obama of looking at countries like Russia through “rose-colored glasses.”
The 90-minute debate offered perhaps the last chance for either candidate to shake up the race in any significant way, with two weeks to go until Election Day. The face-off at Lynn University was moderated by Bob Schieffer.
The presidential debates this month have been among the most consequential in modern campaign history. Romney entered the debates as the slight underdog in most polls, but since his opening performance has surged to pull even with or ahead of the president.
The theme of Monday’s forum was foreign policy – subject matter that typically favors an incumbent commander in chief. But while Obama practically has turned the 2011 takedown of bin Laden into a motto for his campaign, Romney has sought to expose weaknesses in other areas of the president’s foreign policy.
On the afternoon on Monday’s debate, the Romney campaign released a Web video titled “Healed?” It argued that despite Obama’s 2008 pitch to “heal” the planet, the world remains full of unrest and violence, particularly in the Middle East.
The Obama campaign, for its part, released a series of short videos attempting to portray Romney as unprepared to serve as commander in chief. The campaign also released a TV ad that focuses more on Obama’s foreign policy achievements, with the narrator saying the president ended the war in Iraq and has brought back 30,000 U.S. soldiers from Afghanistan, which the video says Romney called Obama’s “biggest mistake.”
The debate Monday offered the usual mix of opportunity and peril for the candidates. And the race is tight enough that any movement of the needle out of Monday night's debate could make the difference.
An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll on Sunday showed the president and Romney tied at 47 percent nationally. In the vital swing state of Ohio, a Suffolk University survey released Monday also showed the two tied at 47 percent. Other recent polls have given Obama a slight edge.
Monday, October 22 2012, 10:51 PM CDT
Miss. chooses new firm to run Woodville prison
May 18, 2013 20:50 GMT
WOODVILLE, Miss. (AP) -- Mississippi officials have picked a new company to run the Wilkinson County Correctional Facility.
Utah-based Management and Training Corp. announced Friday that the Mississippi Department of Corrections has chosen it to run the 1,000-bed prison starting July 1, the Natchez Democrat reports (http://bit.ly/10MvOGv).
Corrections Corporation of America, based in Nashville, Tenn., had run the prison since 1998. MTC says it will keep "the vast majority" of employees.
MTC will get a five-year contract to run the prison with two one-year options. Last year, officials chose MTC to take over East Mississippi Correctional Facility, the Walnut Grove Correctional Facility and the Marshall County Correctional Facility from the GEO Group. MTC won 10-year contracts for each.
CCA still runs the Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility and the Adams County Correctional Center in Mississippi.
Information from: The Natchez Democrat, http://www.natchezdemocrat.com/
Gauge of US economy's future health up in April
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A measure of the U.S. economy's future health rose in solidly in April, buoyed by a sharp rise in applications to build new homes and apartments.
BC-US--Dow Record-Three Personal Stories, 1st Ld-Writethru,1173
Dow Record: Three tales of ups, downs and changes
AP Photo FX102, FX103
Eds: With BC-US--Dow Record. Adds photos.
By SCOTT MAYEROWITZ
AP Business Writer
NEW YORK (AP) -- When the Dow first crossed 14,000, investors were overjoyed. ...
IN THE NEWS: LABOR GROUP SAYS CONDITIONS AT APPLE PLANTS IMPROVING
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A labor group Apple joined to assess working conditions at three manufacturing plants in China, where its products are made, says conditions are getting better.
ON THIN ICE?
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- He was already on thin ice with the law when he failed to meet the conditions of his probation.