FACT CHECK: Missteps in Final Presidential Debate

3 years 6 months 1 week ago October 22, 2012 Oct 22, 2012 Monday, October 22 2012 Monday, October 22, 2012 9:13:00 PM CDT in News
By: Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - Voters didn't always get the straight goods when President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney made their case for foreign policy and national security leadership Monday night before their last super-sized audience of the campaign. A few of their detours into domestic issues were problematic too.

A look at some of their statements and how they compare with the facts:

ROMNEY on Syria: "What I'm afraid of is we've watched over the past year or so, first the president saying, `Well, we'll let the U.N. deal with it.' And Assad -- excuse me, Kofi Annan -- came in and said we're going to try to have a cease-fire. That didn't work. Then it went to the Russians and said, `Let's see if you can do something.' We should be playing the leadership role there."
OBAMA: "We are playing the leadership role."
THE FACTS: Under Obama, the United States has taken a lead in trying to organize Syria's splintered opposition, even if the U.S. isn't interested in military intervention or providing direct arms support to the rebels. The administration has organized dozens of meetings in Turkey and the Middle East aimed at rallying Syria's political groups and rebel formations to agree on a common vision for a democratic future after Syrian President Bashar Assad is defeated. And Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton brought dozens of nations together as part of the Friends of Syria group to combine aid efforts to Syria's opposition and help it win the support of as many as Syrians as possible. The U.S. also is involved in vetting recipients of military aid from America's Arab allies like Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Romney is partly right in pointing out Obama's failure to win U.N. support for international action in Syria. But the Friends of Syria group has helped bring in hundreds of millions of dollars in humanitarian aid and other forms of assistance to Syrian civilians and the political opposition.
In trying to describe the strategic importance of seeing Assad defeated, Romney stumbled in saying Syria was Iran's "route to the sea." Iran has a large southern coastline with access to the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. It has no land border with Syria.

ROMNEY: Said that when he was Massachusetts governor, high-school students who graduated in the top quarter "got a four-year, tuition-free ride at any Massachusetts public institution of higher learning."
OBAMA: "That happened before you came into office."
ROMNEY: "That was actually mine, actually, Mr. President. You got that fact wrong."
THE FACTS: Romney was right. The John and Abigail Adams scholarship program began in 2004 when he was governor.

ROMNEY: "In the 2000 debates, there was no mention of terrorism."
THE FACTS: There was passing mention of terrorism in the 2000 debates. In the Oct. 17, 2000, debate between Democrat Al Gore and Republican George W. Bush, Gore talked about his work in Congress to "deal with the problems of terrorism and these new weapons of mass destruction." And in the vice presidential debate, Democrat Joe Lieberman defended the Clinton administration's record of preparing the armed forces to "meet the threats of the new generation of tomorrow, of weapons of mass destruction, of ballistic missiles, terrorism, cyber warfare." Romney's larger point, that the U.S. did not anticipate anything on the scale of terrorist threat that existed, is supported by the light attention paid to the subject in the debates.

OBAMA: "What I would not have had done was left 10,000 troops in Iraq that would tie us down. And that certainly would not help us in the Middle East."
THE FACTS: Obama was suggesting that he had never favored keeping U.S. troops in Iraq beyond the December 2011 withdrawal deadline that the Bush administration had negotiated with the Iraqi government. Actually, the Obama administration tried for many months to win Iraqi agreement to keeping several thousand American troops there beyond 2011 to continue training and advising the Iraqi armed forces. The talks broke down over a disagreement on legal immunity for U.S. troops.

Related Stories

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA — May 1st is now recognized by the U.S. Senate as Silver Star Service Banner Day, to honor those... More >>
2 hours ago May 01, 2016 May 1, 2016 Sunday, May 01 2016 Sunday, May 01, 2016 3:58:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — The University of Missouri College of Engineering students introduced this year's race car built for the upcoming competition... More >>
3 hours ago May 01, 2016 May 1, 2016 Sunday, May 01 2016 Sunday, May 01, 2016 2:45:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Ameren Missouri is proposing two voluntary programs that would require customers' to support more solar power.... More >>
4 hours ago May 01, 2016 May 1, 2016 Sunday, May 01 2016 Sunday, May 01, 2016 1:57:48 PM CDT in News
NEW MELLE (AP) — A university that owned the two-century-old house in suburban St. Louis that once was famed frontiersman... More >>
5 hours ago May 01, 2016 May 1, 2016 Sunday, May 01 2016 Sunday, May 01, 2016 12:15:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA (AP) — An interim diversity officer at the Un iversity of Missouri will be returning to the university's School... More >>
6 hours ago May 01, 2016 May 1, 2016 Sunday, May 01 2016 Sunday, May 01, 2016 12:10:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri's Republican-led Legislature is weighing a number of tax breaks for businesses as the session wraps... More >>
6 hours ago May 01, 2016 May 1, 2016 Sunday, May 01 2016 Sunday, May 01, 2016 12:06:09 PM CDT in News
BALLWIN (AP) — The Latest on Missouri's congressional district Republican conventions (all times local): 4:45 p.m. Donald Trump has... More >>
6 hours ago May 01, 2016 May 1, 2016 Sunday, May 01 2016 Sunday, May 01, 2016 11:59:00 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS — After a month of food donations, Missouri Farm Bureau Insurance will announce the total weight of its... More >>
9 hours ago May 01, 2016 May 1, 2016 Sunday, May 01 2016 Sunday, May 01, 2016 8:59:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — The Boone County Sheriff's Department, Columbia Police Department and Jefferson City Police Department collected unused or unwanted prescription... More >>
21 hours ago April 30, 2016 Apr 30, 2016 Saturday, April 30 2016 Saturday, April 30, 2016 8:28:00 PM CDT in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A 28-year-old Springfield man has been sentenced to two life terms for fatally stabbing a rural southwest... More >>
1 day ago April 30, 2016 Apr 30, 2016 Saturday, April 30 2016 Saturday, April 30, 2016 4:23:26 PM CDT in Continuous News
COLUMBIA — Safe Kids Columbia unveiled its new Safe Kids Mobile Education Unit Saturday. Children also learned about safety while... More >>
1 day ago April 30, 2016 Apr 30, 2016 Saturday, April 30 2016 Saturday, April 30, 2016 4:20:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — Boone Hospital gave community members a chance to receive a variety of free cancer screenings at their 3rd... More >>
1 day ago April 30, 2016 Apr 30, 2016 Saturday, April 30 2016 Saturday, April 30, 2016 3:54:00 PM CDT in News
BOONE COUNTY — A woman was hospitalized after crashing her car on Highway 63 Saturday afternoon. According to the... More >>
1 day ago April 30, 2016 Apr 30, 2016 Saturday, April 30 2016 Saturday, April 30, 2016 3:49:00 PM CDT in News
CHICAGO - The NFL Draft has called and Mizzou answered. Today three former Missouri Tigers were selected in the... More >>
1 day ago April 30, 2016 Apr 30, 2016 Saturday, April 30 2016 Saturday, April 30, 2016 3:23:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Junior Golf Foundation opened the Ken Lanning Golf Center Saturday morning. The golf course... More >>
1 day ago April 30, 2016 Apr 30, 2016 Saturday, April 30 2016 Saturday, April 30, 2016 3:20:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — Hundreds of mid-Missourians gathered at Bass Pro Shops Lake Saturday morning for the fifth annual "Float Your Boat... More >>
1 day ago April 30, 2016 Apr 30, 2016 Saturday, April 30 2016 Saturday, April 30, 2016 2:41:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — There are two weeks left for the Missouri Legislature to pass bills, and some Democrats are... More >>
1 day ago April 30, 2016 Apr 30, 2016 Saturday, April 30 2016 Saturday, April 30, 2016 1:27:24 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — The Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) said Saturday a man who they arrested on Wednesday has died. ... More >>
1 day ago April 30, 2016 Apr 30, 2016 Saturday, April 30 2016 Saturday, April 30, 2016 8:53:00 AM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 64°
7pm 61°
8pm 58°
9pm 56°
10pm 54°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

6:00p
Little Big Shots
7:00p
Little Big Shots
8:01p
The Carmichael Show
4:30p
Space Cowboys
7:00p
A History of Violence
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Little Big Shots
8:01p
The Carmichael Show
8:30p
Crowded
9:00p
Dateline NBC
7:00p
A History of Violence
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Cougar Town