With just 42 days left until Election Day, there's been a major shift in the race. Both candidates are now focusing on foreign policy in light of the ongoing anti-American riots in the Middle East.
GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney is hammering President Obama for his handling of recent events overseas. In particular, he's taking aim at the president for describing the violence as "bumps in the road" to a more peaceful region.
"He said the developments in the Middle East are bumps in the road. Bumps in the road? We had an ambassador assassinated," Romney said.
"This is time for a president who will shape events in the Middle East, not just be merciful or be at the mercy of the events," the governor added.
In response, White House officials said the president was not trying to downplay the seriousness of the threat.
"There is a certain rather desperate attempt to grasp at words and phrases," White House press secretary Jay Carney said. "And in this case that's profoundly offensive."
At the United Nations Tuesday, the president defended his foreign policy, focusing on violence in the Middle East and a renewed warning to Iran to suspend its nuclear program.
Meanwhile, Romney outlined plans to rework the U.S. foreign aid system. He wants to tie U.S. development dollars to countries that allow American investment and remove trade barriers.
Many believe that focus will draw attention to Egypt, which receives billions in American aid each year.
On Monday, the president passed on a U.N. General Assembly meeting to appear on the ABC talk show "The View" in a pre-taped interview.
"Would it be disastrous for the country if Mitt Romney were elected," "View" host Barbara Walters queried.
"We can survive a lot," the president replied. "But the American people don't want to just survive. We want everybody to thrive. We want folks to have a shot at success."
Republicans say the president should have used the time he spent taping "The View" to meet with world leaders.
"The president's unwillingness to meet with Benjamin Netanyahu when he is in New York, but instead willing to go on "The View" in New York -- I mean, I think it speaks volumes to the lack of seriousness with which this president is taking the current situation," House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said.
Carney defended the president's move saying, "The president has, just in the last few weeks, had extensive consultations with foreign leaders, including the leaders of Egypt, Israel, Yemen, Turkey, Libya."
"And those consultations will continue not just with leaders in the region, but with leaders around the world," he said.