Fact-Checking Debate's Biggest Whoppers

Obama never 'apologized' for America; Romney did oversee tuition breaks
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Oct 23, 2012 7:44 AM CDT
Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama shake hands at the end of the last debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(Newser) – President Obama called Mitt Romney's claim of a presidential "apology tour" a giant "whopper"—but Romney wasn't the only one offering misleading information last night, the AP reports. A rundown of some of the debate's inaccuracies:

  • Obama wasn't apologizing on his foreign tour early in his presidency. Instead, he acknowledged US foreign policy missteps—but also saluted American ideals.
  • Romney's claim that Syria is Iran's "route to the sea" is just geographically wrong: Iran is on the Persian Gulf and doesn't border Syria on land.
  • Obama's implication that ending wars will free up money at home is largely incorrect, since the wars were run on borrowed cash.
  • Contrary to Obama's argument, a tuition payment program for top students at Massachusetts public institutions did occur under Romney.

  • Romney said the idea that he'd liquidate the auto industry was "silliness"—but had his bankruptcy plan been put into action, the struggling companies would likely have faced liquidation.
  • The US isn't playing a "leadership role" in Syria, according to Romney. In fact, the Obama administration has been active in helping shape the opposition and bringing hundreds of millions of dollars in humanitarian aid to the country.
  • Romney said he'd indict Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, apparently for threats against Israel. But threats don't appear to be grounds for such an indictment under the Genocide Convention, notes the Washington Post.
  • Obama overstated Romney's comment that we shouldn't move "heaven and earth" to get Osama bin Laden. Days later, Romney said that "we'll move everything to get him," but it's not just about bin Laden—it's about fighting the "Islamic jihad movement" as a whole.
  • Romney did call Russia "our No. 1 geopolitical foe," but in the same interview, he said Iran was the world's "greatest threat," Politico points out.
  • And while Obama was technically correct that the US military might "have fewer bayonets," it does still use them, notes ABC News.
(Read more President Obama stories.)

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