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Fact checking the 3rd Prez Debate : Swingers Discussion 2105471081
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TOPIC: Fact checking the 3rd Prez Debate
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Osama bin Laden

Obama said to Romney, "When you were a candidate in 2008, as I was, and I said if I got (Osama) bin Laden in our sights I would take that shot, you said we shouldn't move heaven and earth to get one man." We previously checked an Obama campaign ad that suggested Romney wouldn’t have aggressively pursued bin Laden. It cited Romney's statement that, "It's not worth moving heaven and earth and spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person." The Obama campaign was right that Romney used those words, but it glossed over comments describing his broader approach. Romney said he wanted to pursue all of al-Qaida, not just its leaders. Still, Romney was clear later that summer that he would prefer to participate with allies rather than take unilateral action to kill terrorists as Obama supported — and later did. We rated the ad's claim Half True.

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Romney also claimed Obama "said he was going to create daylight between ourselves and Israel." It’s not as simple in this case as going to the tape to see what Obama said. The comment was reported secondhand by the Washington Post, based on anonymous interviews. Obama was reported as saying that during the George W. Bush presidency, "there was no space between us and Israel, and what did we get from that? When there is no daylight, Israel just sits on the sidelines, and that erodes our credibility with the Arab states." Romney fairly characterized a quote attributed to Obama, which the White House has not denied. We rated Romney's statement Mostly True.

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Israel

Romney noted that during an early foreign trip by the president, he "skipped Israel, our closest friend in the region." Romney has previously claimed in an ad that as president, Obama "has never visited Israel." We found that as an Illinois senator, Obama made his first visit to Israel in January 2006. In 2008, while running for president, he returned on a multination trip to Israel, Jordan, Germany, France and Britain. But Romney had specified that Obama has not been to Israel "as president," and that assertion is correct. That historical context is noteworthy: A majority of the last 11 presidents did not visit Israel. But Romney's claim was accurate. We rated it True.

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Iran

Obama claimed his administration "organized the strongest coalition and the strongest sanctions against Iran in history, and it is crippling their economy." We haven't rated that claim, but in a related fact-check we noted that the Congressional Research Service, which provides nonpartisan analysis to Congress, calls U.S. sanctions the "most sweeping sanctions on Iran of virtually any country in the world," and "what many now consider to be ‘crippling’ sanctions."

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Iraq

Obama told Romney, "You said that we should still have troops in Iraq to this day." Obama made a related claim at the Democratic National Convention, saying Romney "said it was 'tragic' to end the war in Iraq." Romney was criticizing the pace of the withdrawal, saying too many troops were removed too soon. We rated Obama's earlier claim Half True.

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From Politifact:

Russia

Obama accused Romney of living in the past, saying, "A few months ago when you were asked what's the biggest geopolitical threat facing America, you said Russia, not al-Qaida." Romney did describe Russia as "our No. 1 geopolitical foe," saying the Russians "fight for every cause for the world's worst actors." In a later interview, Romney softened his language, calling Russia our "No. 1 adversary" in terms of United Nations votes and emphasizing it’s not an enemy of the kind launching missiles at American shores. We rated Obama's statement True.

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TOPIC: Fact checking the 3rd Prez Debate