With two weeks left until Election Day, the high-stakes debate strayed frequently into domestic policy, with Romney seeking to bolster his argument that Obama had bungled the U.S. economic recovery.
While tamer than the second debate last week in New York state, the matchup had its share of zingers and putdowns, most of them doled out by an aggressive president eager to stop a surge in polls by the former Massachusetts governor.
“I know you haven’t been in a position to actually execute foreign policy, but every time you’ve offered an opinion, you’ve been wrong,” said Obama.
“Attacking me is not an agenda,” was Romney’s frequent retort, alluding to Republican accusations that Obama had not laid out enough of a policy plan for a second term.
Snap polls declared Obama the winner, but 60 percent of people in a CNN survey said Romney was capable of being commander in chief, accomplishing a key goal set out by his advisers.
A CBS News poll said 53 percent believed Obama won the debate, versus 23 percent for Romney and 24 percent calling it a draw. The CNN poll put Obama as the winner by 8 percentage points