During Monday night’s presidential debate, President Obama provided some tough rhetoric when highlighting his foreign policy credentials. However, Governor Romney was quick to point out that Obama not too long ago traveled the world apologizing for U.S. leadership.

Upon entering office in 2009, Obama sought atonement for the supposed sins of his predecessor. From Trinidad to Turkey, Obama, hat in hand, told foreign publics that “America has shown arrogance” and “at times we sought to dictate our terms.”

Rather than demonstrating principled leadership, Obama acted as if he were competing in a popularity contest. Though his personal approval ratings at the time were sky high in some parts of the world, this failed to translate into greater cooperation on tough issues such as adequate troop contributions for NATO’s mission in Afghanistan.

Three years later, the U.S. has failed to see the restoration of its international influence. Since the emergence of the “Arab Spring” almost two years ago, Obama has led from behind in Libya and outsourced U.S. leadership in Syria to the United Nations.

Sanctions on Iran are only now starting to bite because of Congress’s insistence that they be implemented in the first place. Iraq has witnessed a doubling of terrorist attacks since U.S. troops withdrew last December, and with the upcoming 2014 withdrawal date in Afghanistan, the Taliban need only wait until NATO is out before regaining control.

The U.S. cannot solve all of the world’s problems, nor should it try to do so. However, it’s important to note that when an international crisis erupts, the world looks to the U.S. first before responding. This is not something the U.S. should apologize for.

For more information: Barack Obama’s Top 10 Apologies: How the President Has Humiliated a Superpower