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Fact checks: Both candidates had some misses

Here's the NBC Truth Squad post-debate analysis on Libya and "Apology Tour."

AP fact checks the debate: “Voters didn't always get the straight goods when President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney made their case for foreign policy and national security leadership Monday night before their last super-sized audience of the campaign. A few of their detours into domestic issues were problematic too. Romney flubbed Middle East geography. Obama got Romney's record as Massachusetts governor wrong. At the same time, they injected a little more accuracy into two leading misstatements of the campaign: Romney's claim for months that Obama went around apologizing for America, and the president's assertion, going back to his State of the Union address in January, that the U.S. military's exit from Afghanistan will yield money to rebuild America.”

About that auto industry claim they argued about… “The dispute comes down to whether a managed bankruptcy for General Motors and Chrysler would have been possible at the time without the government providing approximately $80 billion in financing to keep the companies running during the process,” the L.A. Times writes, adding, “The bipartisan Congressional Oversight Panel, the government-appointed watchdog for the $700-billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, backs Obama on this. It said in a January 2011 report that private financing was not available for General Motors and Chrysler in late 2008. The panel said ‘the circumstances in the global credit markets in November and December 2008 were unlike any the financial markets had seen in decades. U.S. domestic credit markets were frozen in the wake of the Lehman bankruptcy, and international sources of funding were extremely limited.’”

The Washington Post’s Kessler: “[M]any independent analysts have concluded that taking the approach recommended by Romney would not have worked in 2008, simply because the credit markets were so frozen that a bankruptcy was not a viable option at the time.”

Bloomberg/BusinessWeek’s Josh Barro’s take: “The president has it right on the merits that if you didn’t inject cash at the same time that you did that backed by the government that at least Chrysler would not have been possible to reorganize.”

FactCheck.org had a simpler take just on the issue of being for ANY government assistance: “Obama claimed the record would back him up when he accused Romney of opposing any federal ‘help’ or ‘assistance’ for troubled automakers. In fact, the record shows Romney supported federal loan guarantees.” He wrote in his op-ed: “The federal government should provide guarantees for post-bankruptcy financing and assure car buyers that their warranties are not at risk.”

New York magazine: “During the debate tonight, Mitt Romney mentioned that Syria is important because it's Iran's ‘route to the sea.’ The thing is, Iran doesn't even border Syria, as you can see our childishly-annotated map above. And Iran already has access to the sea on its southern border. As confusing as the remark was, though, the Washington Post notes that tonight was hardly the first time Romney has made it, and the Romney campaign explains, ‘It's generally recognized that Syria offers Iran strategic basing/staging access to the Mediterranean as well as to terrorist proxies in the Levant. This is a large reason why Iran invests so much in Syria.’” 

Here’s Politifact’s wrap of last night, including Pants on Fire for Romney’s Apology Tour comments and that the U.S. Navy’s at its smallest since 1917 and the Air Force smallest since 1947.

“Counting the number of ships or aircraft is not a good measurement of defense strength because their capabilities have increased dramatically in recent decades,” Politifact writes. “Romney’s comparison ‘doesn’t pass ‘the giggle test,’ said William W. Stueck, a historian at the University of Georgia.”

A few of FactCheck.org’s findings: “President Obama erred when he accused Mitt Romney of saying during the 2008 campaign that ‘we should ask Pakistan for permission’ before going into that country to kill or capture terrorists. What Romney said was that he’d ‘keep our options quiet.’ Obama wrongly accused Romney of not telling the truth when Romney said ‘you and I agreed’ some U.S. troops should be left in Iraq. In fact, the president tried and failed to negotiate an agreement to keep 3,000 to 4,000 support troops there; Romney said he would have left 10,000 to 30,000. … Romney was wrong when he repeated a claim that our ‘Navy is smaller now than any time since 1917.’ Actually, there are slightly more ships active now than at the low point under President George W. Bush.”