The back-and-forth over Russia wasn’t the only noteworthy moment during tonight’s final presidential debate. When it came to Israel, President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney also clashed over the federal government’s relationship with the Middle Eastern nation.
It’s no secret that throughout Obama’s presidency, some have questioned the level of devotion that administration has had to Israel. Despite the president’s call for a return to 1967 borders and purportedly lukewarm support, Obama has consistently claimed that he is, indeed, devoted to the Israeli cause.
During tonight’s debate, Romney tackled these subjects, alleging that the president’s handling of international relations has caused Iran to see the U.S. as weak. This, the candidate declared, has hampered efforts to prevent Iran from securing nuclear capabilities.
“I think they saw weakness,” Romney said of Iran’s view of America over the past four years, calling Obama’s handling of international scenarios “unacceptable.”
Romney also noted that Obama has not visited Israel as president, while also decrying his so-called “apology tour.” “You skipped Israel, our closest friend in the region,” the Republican candidate said, calling out the fact that Obama didn’t make a stop in America’s closest Middle Eastern ally when he toured the region at the beginning of his presidency.
Then, when Bob Schieffer of CBS News asked the president if America will defend Israel if they are attacked, he doubled-down in an effort to rebut Romney’s claims.
“I will stand with Israel if they are attacked,” Obama said, going on to speak out against Romney’s allegations.
Watch this portion of the debate, below: