Factcheck finds several misleading statements from last nights Presidential debate

Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - 8:05pm

The final battle between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney gave voters the opportunity to hear more from each candidate on foreign policy but factcheck found several misleading and false statements.

First a claim from the President going back 4 years ago.

President obama: "When you were a candidate in 2008 as I was  and I said, if I got Bin Laden in our sights, I would take that shot, you said we should not move heaven and earth to get one man, and you said we should ask Pakistan for permission."

Did Romney say the U.S. should not go after Bin Laden in Pakistan without that country's permission? 

eugene kiely deputy director, factcheck.org: "Romney said that of course, he would use any option that's available to him to protect the United States. So he would have used this as an option, but he was just critical of Obama for publicly speaking about it. He said we should keep our options quiet."

Factcheck also found the President going too far on the topic of residual force of U.D. troops in Iraq:

Romney: "With regards to Iraq, you and I agreed, I believe, that there should have been a status of forces agreement. did you."

Obama: "That's not true. What I would not have done is left 10,000 troops in Iraq that would tie us down. That certainly would not help us in the Middle East."

Eugene Kiely Deputy Director, factcheck.org:
"Romney's right here because both Obama and Romney did want to leave troops in Iraq. It's just a matter of how many. Obama wanted to keep 3-4 thousand in there for the transitional period and Romney wanted to leave anywhere between 10 and 30 thousand. So it's a matter of numbers."

next - governor romney's point about the size of our navy's fleet backfires:

"Our Navy is smaller now than any time since 1917. The Navy said they needed 313 ships to carry out their mission."

"But I think Governor Romney maybe has not spent enough time looking at how our military works. You, you mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets (laughter)  because the nature of our Military's changed."

Eugene kiely Deputy Director, Factcheck.org:
"Romney's right. There are fewer ships now than there were in 1917. But Obama's also right that the Navy's different now than it was then. There were 342 ships in 1917, now there are 282. But those ships obviously are larger, more technologically advanced than they were in 1917. So you just ca not compare the Navy that we had now to the Navy that we had then."

Finally, a claim we have heard repeatedly from the Romney Campaign:

 Governor Mitt Romney Presidential Candidate:
"And then the President began what I have called an apology tour of going to various nations in the Middle East and and criticizing America. I think they looked at that and saw weakness."

Factcheck says while President Obama admitted tensions between the United States and other nations, there was no direct apology when he gave those speeches.

So as the candidates took a break from the dominating topic of the economy they did not take a break from twisting the facts.


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