Andrea Mitchell and NBC's Truth Squad examine claims made by each candidate at the third and final debate of the 2012 presidential election in Boca, Raton, Fla.
NBC News takes a deep dive into the statements made by President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in their third and final debate of the 2012 election cycle.
We take a look at two topics and put their comments to the test.
During the debate, Romney said, “We don't want another Iraq, we don't want another Afghanistan. That's not the right course for us.”
But four years ago – during another debate in Boca Raton – NBC’s Tim Russert, the moderator, asked whether the war in Iraq was worth "the cost in blood and treasure we have spent?"
Romney responded: "It was the right decision to go into Iraq. I supported it at the time. I support it now."
The president and Mitt Romney debate the best strategy for keeping the military strong.
Obama also argued that Romney, as recently as two weeks ago, said the administration should have kept troops in Iraq. “This is just a few weeks ago, you indicated that we should still have troops in Iraq,” said the president.
“No I didn't,” Romney responded. “I'm sorry.”
“It was in your speech,” Obama shot back.
“I indicated that you failed to put in place a Status of Forces agreement at the end of the conflict that existed,” Romney said.
But both men were shading their past positions.
The president was referring to an Oct. 8, 2012, speech that Romney gave criticizing the “abrupt” withdrawal of all American troops from Iraq, but the Republican didn’t explicitly say the U.S. should have more troops there.
Romney is right that the administration tried and failed to get an agreement that would have allowed a small force of U.S. troops to remain for several years.
But there is some truth in what the president said -- over the last year, Romney has said he would have left between 10,000 and 30,000 troops in Iraq to transition to Iraqi security forces taking over.
During the debate, Romney pulled out one of his most frequent attack lines against the president, charging that Obama went on an “apology tour,” criticizing U.S. actions when he visited other countries early in his presidency.
“And then the president began what I've called an ‘apology tour’ of going to -- to various nations in the Middle East and -- and criticizing America,” Romney said. “I think they looked at that and saw weakness.”
The president says credibility is what's important in dealing with world affairs.
Obama responded, “Nothing Gov. Romney just said is true, starting with this notion of me apologizing, that has been the biggest whopper that’s been told in the course of this campaign and every fact checker and every reporter who has looked at it governor, has said this is not true.”
This charge is so central to Romney campaign that the governor even titled his own book, “No Apology.”
So is Romney right about this?
The president pushed back hard, insisting that he never used the word “apologize” when explaining that he thought the U.S. had made some mistakes in dealing with the world.
But this is open to interpretation. Romney points to several examples, including when the president said, in Strasbourg , France, in 2009 that, “America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.”
Romney claims that shows weakness, which is harmful to U.S. positioning in the world.