U.S. President Barack Obama (R) debates with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney as moderator Bob Schieffer (L) of CBS looks on at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University on October 22, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida. The focus for the final presidential debate before Election Day on November 6 is foreign policy. Credit: Getty Images
The first half of the final presidential debate tonight included far fewer clashes than were present in the previous two face-offs. However, there was one moment worth noting -- an exchange in which President Barack Obama challenged Republican candidate Mitt Romney, claiming that the former Massachusetts governor has, in the past, called Russia America's number one enemy.
"Attacking me is not an agenda," Romney said, taking the opportunity to dismiss Obama's tone and his claims. "Attacking me is not talking about how we're going to deal with the challenges that exist in the Middle East."
After making these statements, the Republican candidate went on to debunk Obama's claim about his stance on Russia.
U.S. President Barack Obama (R) debates with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University on October 22, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida. The focus for the final presidential debate before Election Day on November 6 is foreign policy. Credit: Getty Images
"Russia, I indicated, is a geopolitical foe...And I said in the same paragraph -- I said, ‘And Iran is the greatest national security threat we face,’” Romney countered, becoming increasingly passionate as he spoke. “I have clear eyes on this. I’m not going to wear rose-colored glasses when it comes to Russia or Mr. Putin."
And Romney wasn't done there, as he took aim at Obama's hot mic moment with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev.
"I’m I’m certainly not going to say to him, 'I’ll give you more flexibility after the election.’ After the election he’ll get more backbone," Romney said. "I don't have rose colored glasses with Russia or Mr. Putin and say to him I'll give you more flexibility after the election."
Here's a transcript the hot mic moment between Obama and Medvedev from earlier this year:
President Obama: On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space.
President Medvedev: Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you…
President Obama: This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.
President Medvedev: I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.
Watch Obama and Romney clash, below: