BOCA RATON, États-Unis - Le président Barack Obama a accusé le candidat républicain Mitt Romney d'être constamment dans l'erreur quand il est question de politique étrangère lors du troisième et ultime débat de la présidentielle américaine, lundi soir.

M. Obama a notamment critiqué les prises de position de son rival à propos de la guerre en Irak, ses opinions contradictoires sur la question de l'Afghanistan et son objection à la signature d'un traité sur le nucléaire avec la Russie. En réponse, le candidat républicain a rétorqué que les attaques dirigées vers lui n'étaient «pas une bonne stratégie» pour composer avec un monde dangereux.

Bien que le débat devait porter sur la politique étrangère, les rivaux ont souvent ramené le dossier de l'économie américaine au coeur des échanges. Les finances des États-Unis, qui se remettent difficilement de la crise économique de 2008, sont selon les sondages le sujet le plus important aux yeux des électeurs.

Les deux candidats, assis derrière une table en forme de demi-cercle, ont évité de se pointer du doigt et de s'interrompre comme ce fut le cas lors du deuxième débat, la semaine dernière. MM. Obama et Romney n'ont cependant pas réussi à se mettre d'accord à propos de la situation en Libye, en Russie ou ailleurs dans le monde.

Seules les questions d'Israël et de la Syrie ont permis aux adversaires de se rejoindre, à certains égards. Le président a réitéré son appui à Israël, qu'il s'engage a soutenir s'il devait être la cible d'une attaque. L'Iran n'aura pas accès à l'arme nucléaire «tant que je serai président», a assuré M. Obama.

De son côté, Mitt Romney a assuré qu'Israël «pouvait compter sur lui». Sur l'Iran, il a déclaré qu'il allait mettre en oeuvre les mesures diplomatiques nécessaires pour isoler le pays. Selon lui, la rhétorique du président iranien Mahmoud Ahmadinejad encourage un génocide, et celui-ci devrait être poursuivi en vertu des lois internationales.

En réponse, le président Obama s'est défendu en assurant que les «dures» sanctions imposées à l'Iran par les États-Unis avaient «paralysé» l'économie de l'Iran à tel point qu'elle est devenue chancelante. Il a ajouté que l'Iran représentait une menace pour la sécurité nationale américaine et qu'il encourageait le terrorisme.

Au sujet de la Syrie, les deux candidats se sont dit opposés à une implication militaire directe des États-Unis afin de renverser le président Bachar el-Assad.

Mais la bonne entente n'a pas duré longtemps. Plus tard, M. Romney a accusé son adversaire d'avoir envoyé le mauvais message aux dirigeants iraniens en effectuant «une tournée d'excuses» au début de sa présidence et en choisissant de ne pas visiter Israël.

«Nous sommes quatre ans plus près d'un Iran doté de l'arme nucléaire», a-déclaré l'ex-gouverneur du Massachussetts.

Le président a quant à lui qualifié ce commentaire sur la «tournée d'excuses» de «plus important mensonge» de la campagne. Il a affirmé avoir affiché son influence en Iran en mobilisant le monde afin qu'il soutienne l'imposition de sanctions.

Ce débat sur les affaires étrangères est survenu au moment où les dossiers internationaux ont pris de plus en plus de place dans une course jusqu'à maintenant dominée par les questions de nature économique.

Le camp Obama obtient habituellement la faveur du public au sujet du thème principal du débat, la politique étrangère, mais son administration a récemment été critiquée en raison des attaques anti-américaines qui ont éclaté en Libye.

Ce thème a d'ailleurs fait l'objet de la première question du modérateur Bob Schieffer, journaliste au réseau CBS.

Ce troisième débat était présenté à 15 jours de l'élection du 6 novembre, et les sondages montrent que les deux candidats sont au coude à coude dans les intentions de vote au pays, tandis que les républicains gagnent lentement la faveur des États pivots. Trois d'entre eux, l'Ohio, la Floride et la Virginie, pourraient décider du sort de l'élection.

La politique étrangère est soudainement devenue un sujet déterminant dans cette campagne électorale en dents de scie. En particulier, la Libye était considérée comme le point faible du président Obama avant le deuxième débat, tandis que Romney a quant à lui été largement critiqué pour avoir accusé le président d'avoir attendu deux semaines avant de qualifier l'attaque sur le consulat américain à Benghazi d'«acte terroriste».

L'attentat a tué quatre Américains, dont l'ambassadeur américain en Libye Chris Stevens.

M. Obama se devait d'offrir une bonne prestation, car les plus récents sondages ont fait état de l'élan dont bénéficie M. Romney.

M. Obama a livré une contre-performance au premier débat, le 3 octobre dernier à Denver, au Colorado. Il a ensuite été considéré gagnant au terme du deuxième débat, tenu à Hempstead, dans l'État de New York, mardi dernier.

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  • US-VOTE-2012-DEBATE

    Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney gestures beside his wife Ann following the third and final presidential debate with US President Barack Obama at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, October 22, 2012. The showdown focusing on foreign policy is being held in the crucial toss-up state of Florida just 15 days before the election and promises to be among the most watched 90 minutes of the entire 2012 campaign. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEBATE

    Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney gestures following the third and final presidential debate with US President Barack Obama at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, October 22, 2012. The showdown focusing on foreign policy is being held in the crucial toss-up state of Florida just 15 days before the election and promises to be among the most watched 90 minutes of the entire 2012 campaign. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Barack Obama, Michelle Obama,

    President Barack Obama, left, gives a thumbs-up as he is joined on stage by first lady Michelle Obama, right, at the end of the last debate against Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

  • President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney smile during the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Pool-Rick Wilking)

  • President Barack Obama greets members of the family of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney after the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Pool-Rick Wilking)

  • Barak Obama, Michelle Obama

    President Barack Obama kisses his wife Michelle after the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

  • Mitt Romney, Barack Obama, Ann Romney, Michelle Obama

    President Barack Obama, right, and first lady Michelle Obama wave as they walk off stage as Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and his wife Ann, say goodbye to the crowd before departing after the third presidential debate on Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

  • President Barack Obama and First lady Michelle Obama kiss after the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Pool-Michael Reynolds)

  • Mitt Romney, Barack Obama

    President Barack Obama greets members of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's family after the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

  • President Barack Obama and First lady Michelle Obama wave to the audience after the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Pool-Michael Reynolds)

  • Barack Obama, Mitt Romney

    Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, right, and President Barack Obama, left, greet members of the audience at the end of the final debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

  • Barack Obama

    President Barack Obama shakes hands with the audience after the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Pool-Win McNamee)

  • Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, right, and President Barack Obama shake hands with audience members following the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

  • President Barack Obama and Michelle wave to members of the audience following the third presidential debate with Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • Barack Obama, Mitt Romney,

    Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama walks past each other on stage at the end of the last debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

  • Ann Romney, Mitt Romney,

    Ann Romney, wife of Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, laughs as she pulls her husband away from the edge of the stage after the third presidential debate with President Barack Obama at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

  • President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney meet family members after the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Pool-Michael Reynolds)

  • Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, left, shakes hands with President Barack Obama following their third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

  • President Barack Obama, left, hugs his wife Michelle while Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney kisses his wife Ann following the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • Barack Obama, Mitt Romney

    President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney pass each other after the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

  • President Barack Obama, right, and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney shake hands following their third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEBATE

    US President Barack Obama (R) greets Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (L) following the third and final presidential debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, October 22, 2012. The showdown focusing on foreign policy is being held in the crucial toss-up state of Florida just 15 days before the election and promises to be among the most watched 90 minutes of the entire 2012 campaign. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, left, shakes hands with President Barack Obama following their third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

  • President Barack Obama makes his closing argument during the third presidential debate with Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • Obama And Romney Spar In Final Debate Before Presidential Election

    BOCA RATON, FL - OCTOBER 22: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (L) speaks during a debate with U.S. President Barack Obama as moderator Bob Schieffer of CBS (R) looks on at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University on October 22, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida. The focus for the final presidential debate before Election Day on November 6 is foreign policy. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

  • Obama And Romney Spar In Final Debate Before Presidential Election

    BOCA RATON, FL - OCTOBER 22: U.S. President Barack Obama debates with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (not seen) at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University on October 22, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida. The focus for the final presidential debate before Election Day on November 6 is foreign policy. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEBATE

    US President Barack Obama debates Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in the third and final presidential debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, on October 22, 2012. The final debate before the November 6 election is focusing on foreign policy. AFP PHOTO / Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEBATE

    Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks during the third and final presidential debate with US President Barack Obama at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, on October 22, 2012. The showdown focusing on foreign policy is being held in the critical toss-up state of Florida just 15 days before the election and promises to be among the most watched 90 minutes of the entire 2012 campaign. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

  • President Barack Obama, right, speaks to Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney during the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • Mitt Romney, Barack Obama

    Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama react to moderator Bob Schieffer during the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

  • Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, left, and President Barack Obama laugh after being interrupted by moderator Bob Schieffer during the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • Obama And Romney Spar In Final Debate Before Presidential Election

    BOCA RATON, FL - OCTOBER 22: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks during a debate with U.S. President Barack Obama at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University on October 22, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida. The focus for the final presidential debate before Election Day on November 6 is foreign policy. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)

  • Obama And Romney Spar In Final Debate Before Presidential Election

    BOCA RATON, FL - OCTOBER 22: U.S. President Barack Obama debates with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (not seen) at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University on October 22, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida. The focus for the final presidential debate before Election Day on November 6 is foreign policy. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

  • Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney makes a point during the third presidential debate with President Barack Obama at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • President Barack Obama speaks during the third presidential debate with Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

  • President Barack Obama smiles as Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney speaks during the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Pool-Rick Wilking)

  • Mitt Romney, Barack Obama

    Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama answer a question during the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Pool-Win McNamee)

  • President Barack Obama listens as Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney speaks during the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Pool-Rick Wilking)

  • Obama And Romney Spar In Final Debate Before Presidential Election

    BOCA RATON, FL - OCTOBER 22: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (L) debates with U.S. President Barack Obama at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University on October 22, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida. The focus for the final presidential debate before Election Day on November 6 is foreign policy. (Photo by Rick Wilking-Pool/Getty Images)

  • Obama And Romney Spar In Final Debate Before Presidential Election

    BOCA RATON, FL - OCTOBER 22: U.S. President Barack Obama debates with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University on October 22, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida. The focus for the final presidential debate before Election Day on November 6 is foreign policy. (Photo by Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)

  • Obama And Romney Spar In Final Debate Before Presidential Election

    BOCA RATON, FL - OCTOBER 22: U.S. President Barack Obama (L) listens as moderator Bob Schieffer of CBS speaks during the debate with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University on October 22, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida. The focus for the final presidential debate before Election Day on November 6 is foreign policy. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEBATE

    Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney debates on October 22, 2012 during the third presidential debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida. The final debate before the November 6 election is focusing on foreign policy. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEBATE

    Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney listens during the third and final presidential debate with US President Barack Obama at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, on October 22, 2012. The showdown focusing on foreign policy is being held in the critical toss-up state of Florida just 15 days before the election and promises to be among the most watched 90 minutes of the entire 2012 campaign. AFP PHOTO Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

  • President Barack Obama speaks during the third presidential debate with Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

  • Obama And Romney Spar In Final Debate Before Presidential Election

    BOCA RATON, FL - OCTOBER 22: U.S. President Barack Obama (R) debates with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University on October 22, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida. The focus for the final presidential debate before Election Day on November 6 is foreign policy. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEBATE

    US President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney participate in the third and final presidential debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, on October 22, 2012. The final debate before the November 6 election is focusing on foreign policy. AFP PHOTO / Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEBATE

    US President Barack Obama debates in the third and final presidential debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, on October 22, 2012. The final debate before the November 6 election is focusing on foreign policy. AFP PHOTO / Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

  • President Barack Obama speaks during the third presidential debate with Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • Obama And Romney Spar In Final Debate Before Presidential Election

    BOCA RATON, FL - OCTOBER 22: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks during a debate with U.S. President Barack Obama at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University on October 22, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida. The focus for the final presidential debate before Election Day on November 6 is foreign policy. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)

  • Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney speaks during the third presidential debate with President Barack Obama at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

  • Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, left, listens to President Barack Obama during the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)


» Les meilleures citations du débat.
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  • La défense

  • La défense

  • Le terrorisme

  • Le terrorisme

  • L'Iran

  • L'Iran

  • Israël

  • Israël

  • La Syrie

  • La Syrie

  • La principale menace

  • La principale menace


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» Le débat en intégralité (VO).