Mitt Romney and Barack Obama renewed their personal hostilities against each other last night, triggering explosive exchanges over foreign affairs in the final presidential debate.
A sarcastic U.S. president repeatedly patronised his Republican opponent, accusing him of being ‘all over the map’ on how to deal with the world, ‘wrong and reckless’ and in one taunt claimed that Romney thought of the naval forces and military force levels of being ‘like a game of Battleship’, mocking the challenger for wanting to bring back ‘horses and bayonets’ to the military.
But Romney held his own in the face of Obama’s sustained assaults, working hard to establish his credentials as a sober and steady statesman with an obviously well-briefed analysis of world matters, from Iran to Poland to Mali.
Early polling gave Obama the victory, but whether he will go on to win the war remains to be seen as it is still unclear whether he has done enough to stop Romney’s momentum and erode his slight national lead.
CNN poll of debate-watchers shows 48% for Obama, 40% for Romney while a poll taken by CBS immediately afterwards suggested voters thought Mr Obama had performed best in Boca Raton, by 53% to 23%.