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Romney, Obama appeal to voters on Israel, talk tough on Iran

At the final presidential debate, both President Barack Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney appealed to voters in Boca Raton, Florida by talking tough on security for Israel and Iran's future.

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US President Barack Obama shakes hands with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney at the end of the third and final presidential debate October 22, 2012 at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida. (MANDEL NGAN/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney went head-to-head on foreign policy in the third and final presidential debate at Lynn University appealing to voters in Boca Raton, Florida by talking tough on security for Israel and Iran's future.

Bob Schieffer, CBS News' chief Washington correspondent and host of "Face the Nation," moderated the 90 minute debate.

Both candidates tried to paint themselves as friends of Israel, while attacking their opponents' record, in an attempt to court Jewish voters.

Romney criticized the president's Middle East foreign policy, saying he had gone on an "apology tour" of the region but had skipped a visit to Israel in his first term.

"I want to underscore... if I'm President of the United States, when I'm President of the United States, we will stand with Israel," said Romney. "And if Israel is attacked, we have their back, not just diplomatically, not just culturally, but militarily. That's number one."

In fact, post-debate fact checkers at the New York Times noted that both George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan did not visit Israel in their first term.

President Obama had a strong come back, telling Romney on his most recent visit to Israel, he went to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem.

More from GlobalPost: Obama and Romney spar on foreign policy in the third debate

On the subject of Israel's enemy Iran, Obama made news, explaining a recent New York Times story about one-on-one talks between the US and Iran are in fact false, explaining "Those are reports in a newspaper. They are not true."

Both candidates talked tough on Iran and emphasized their commitment to seeing it remain nuclear free.

Romney said the Obama administration has been weak on Iran and that “we are four years closer to a nuclear Iran" reiterating that a "nuclear-capable Iran is unacceptable to America."

However, despite repeated calls for continuing the US policy of "crippling sanctions" for Iran, Romney did not put forth any new policy ideas on how his administration would contain Tehran's nuclear threat.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/121022/romney-obama-appeal-voters-israel-talk-tough-ira