msnbc | October 23, 2012
>>> just a few weeks ago you indicated we should still have troops in iraq .
>> i indicated that you failed to put in place a status of forces agreement at the end of the conflict.
>> you gave a speech a few weeks ago which you said we should still have troops in iraq .
>> not just a disagreement on policy but a factual disagreement on whether that happened. mr. obama said mr. romney wanted troops on the ground a few weeks ago. what does the record tell us?
>> they were both still wrong. romney made this criticism of obama . i think we have the tape of it here.
>> america 's abilities to influence events for the better in iraq have been undermined by the abrupt withdrawal. f
>> it's difficult to listen to that. romney has criticized obama for not having up to 20 or 25,000 troops left in iraq . with that said it's case of president obama did want to leave around 3500 troops in iraq . he was a bit evasive on that tonight. that agreement was not agreed to by the iraqis and it died in the water. it's an interesting moment where both men who worked for or argued we should have some level of troop presence, romney more so than obama were denying having held that position this evening.
>> which is worse than disagreeing on it. on the subject of american influence in the world, mr. romney made a very checkable assertion here.
>> unfortunately, nowhere in the world is america 's influence greater today than it was four years ago.
>> is that a checkable thing? is that something on which we have data and we can say that's true or not true?
>> we have graph on it. this comes from a pew poll that was done in six countries around the world. it looked at range of questions. what do you think of american technology? ways of doing business if you look at the change from '07 to 2012 , of every single measure the change was positive. on the ones most direct analogies are ways of doing business and countries feel about our ideas spreading there, you see most of them higher, even double digits. it's hard to say what do you mean when we measure but when you talk about the way people think about us in the world, there's no doubt based on the best polling evidence, america is doing better than it was five years ago on range of metrics and range of questions.
>> even things that sound like platitudes are more interesting when you chase down the the data behind them. ed, you