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Key quotes from final Obama-Romney debate

US President Barack Obama (L) greets Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (R) following the third and final presidential debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, October 22, 2012. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB

BOCA RATON, United States: US presidential hopefuls Barack Obama and Mitt Romney met Monday for the last of three head-to-head debates in the run-up to the November 6 White House poll.

Here are some key quotations from the encounter:

GOLDEN OLDIES

Obama: "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'S 'APOLOGY TOUR'

Romney: "You said that on occasion America had dictated to other nations. Mr. President, America has not dictated to other nations. We have freed other nations from dictators."

Obama: "Nothing Governor Romney just said is true, starting with this notion of me apologizing. This has been probably the biggest whopper that's been told during the course of this campaign."

THE TOUR

Obama: "And when I went to Israel as a candidate, I didn't take donors, I didn't attend fundraisers, I went to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum."

BE AFRAID

Romney: "I look at what's happening around the world and I see Iran four years closer to a bomb. I see the Middle East with a rising tide of violence, chaos, tumult. I see jihadists continuing to spread."

MANHUNT

Obama: "I said, if I got bin Laden in our sights, I would take that shot. You said we shouldn't move heaven and earth to get one man, and you said we should ask Pakistan for permission.

"And if we had asked Pakistan for permission, we would not have gotten it. And it was worth moving heaven and earth to get him."

GEOGRAPHICALLY CHALLENGED

Romney: "Syria is Iran's only ally in the Arab world. It's their route to the sea."

QUICK! CHANGE THE SUBJECT TO CHINA

Moderator: "What do you believe is the greatest future threat to the national security of this country?

Obama: "Well, I think it will continue to be terrorist networks. We have to remain vigilant, as I just said. But with respect to China, China's both an adversary but also a potential partner."

Romney: "Let me also note that the greatest threat that the world faces, the greatest national security threat, is a nuclear Iran. Let's talk about China."

TRADE WAR WITH CHINA

Moderator: "If you declare them a currency manipulator on day one, some people are saying you're just going to start a trade war with China on day one. Isn't there a risk that that could happen?

Romney: "Well, they sell us about this much stuff every year [indicating large amount]. And we sell them about this much stuff every year [indicating small amount]. So it's pretty clear who doesn't want a trade war.

"And there's one going on right now that we don't know about. It's a silent one and they're winning."

CHINA TRADE WAR SPARKS WAR OF WORDS

Romney: "They're taking jobs. They're stealing our intellectual property, our patents, our designs, our technology, hacking into our computers, counterfeiting our goods.

Obama: "You are familiar with jobs being shipped overseas, because you invested in companies that were shipping jobs overseas. And, you know, that's your right. I mean, that's how our free market works."

WAIT UNTIL YOU SEE THE WHITES OF THEIR EYES

Obama: "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."

ISRAEL VS IRAN

Obama: "Well, first of all, Israel is a true friend. It is our greatest ally in the region. And if Israel is attacked, America will stand with Israel.

"But to the issue of Iran, as long as I'm president of the United States, Iran will not get a nuclear weapon."

Romney: "When I'm president of the United States, we will stand with Israel. And -- and if Israel is attacked, we have their back, not just diplomatically, not just culturally, but militarily. That's number one.

"Number two, with regards to Iran and the threat of Iran, there's no question but that a nuclear Iran, a nuclear-capable Iran, is unacceptable to America."

 

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