Oct 22, 2012 / 1:14 pm
It's Round Three in the high-stakes verbal boxing bouts that are this year's American presidential debates, with tonight's Florida showdown between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney serving as the tie-breaker following two previous, and memorable, battles.
The two political foes square off at Lynn University in Boca Raton in a debate focused on foreign policy, largely a strong point for Obama with the exception of his administration's recent handling of anti-American violence in Libya.
It's being held barely two weeks before the Nov. 6 vote with polls showing Obama and Romney are tied nationally and the Republican presidential hopeful is also closing the gap in several key swing states. Three in particular, Ohio, Virginia and Florida, will likely decide the outcome of the election.
Foreign policy has suddenly become a key issue as the roller-coaster ride of the election campaign heads into the home stretch.
Libya, in particular, was considered a significant vulnerability for the president heading into last week's duel in Hempstead, N.Y. But Romney was widely seen as having fumbled when he accused Obama of waiting two weeks before characterizing the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi last month as an act of terror.
Obama, whose news conference the day after the attack included the phrase, "No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation", was vindicated when moderator Candy Crowley corrected Romney in the midst of his offensive.
Tonight's debate, perhaps as a consequence for Romney, is expected instead to focus more on Iraq, Israel and China.
Obama desperately needs a good night as polls suggest Romney has momentum. The president had a dismal debate against Romney in their first showdown on Oct. 3 in Denver, but was considered the winner of last week's clash in New York.
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