In the first question of Monday's presidential debate, the candidates were asked to address recent attacks on U.S. embassies in Egypt and Libya.
Gov. Mitt Romney took a decidedly more conciliatory note than in last week's debate, opening his speaking time by praising President Barack Obama.
"I congratulate him on taking out Osama bin Laden and going after the leadership in al Qaeda," Romney said. "But we can't kill our way out of this mess."
Romney also cited what he considers a number of foreign policy failures since the Arab Spring, when a number of countries took steps to protest and force change in their governments, saying, "What we're seeing is a pretty dramatic reversal in the kind of hopes we had for that region."
Obama was far sharper in his remarks, saying, "Every time you've offered an opinion, you've been wrong."
"Governor Romney, I'm glad you agree that we have been successful in going after al Qaeda, but I have to tell you that your strategy ... has been one that has been all over the map," Obama said.
Obama then accused Romney of wanting to return the U.S. to the Cold War policies of the 1980's, saying that the GOP challenger is "sending mixed messages both to our troops and our allies."
"My strategy has been pretty straightforward, which is to go after the bad guys," Romney responded. He added, "Attacking me is not an agenda."
- Politics & Government
- Mitt Romney
- President Barack Obama
- al Qaeda