Presidential candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney battled it out in their third and final debate Oct. 22. The debate was held at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida and mostly involved the topic of foreign policy.
The moderator of the debate, CBS anchorman Bob Schieffer, asked questions on a variety of topics, including the nuclear threat in Iran and uprisings in Syria.
Romney immediately attacked Obama’s policies. He said America has to help the Middle-East “reject extremism on its own,” and needs to avoid starting another war.
Obama discussed his foreign policy accomplishments, including the death of Osama Bin Laden and ending the war in Iraq. Obama also criticized Romney’s take on foreign policy.
“Gov. Romney, I’m glad that you recognize that al-Qaida is a threat because a few months ago when you asked what’s the biggest geopolitical threat facing America, you said Russia – not al-Qaida – you said Russia,” Obama said. “The 1980s are now calling and asking for their foreign policy back.”
The subject then turned to Syria. Romney said he would help the Syrian rebels if elected. Obama defended his decision to remain uninvolved, and said it showed “steady, thoughtful leadership.”
The discussion soon turned to domestic issues, as Romney reminded U.S. citizens the American economy needs to be strengthened. He discussed his five-point plan and trade opportunities in Latin America.
Obama said he wants to bring manufacturing jobs to America and attacked Romney’s five-point plan, which he said will add to the deficit.
Romney said he had already balanced the budget in Massachusetts and criticized Obama for adding $6 trillion dollars to the American deficit.
When asked about Iran, both candidates agreed sanctions are working and Iran needs to stop building nuclear weapons.
Romney said he would make sure Iran’s diplomats are treated like the pariahs they are.
“The same way we treated the apartheid diplomats of South Africa,” Romney said. “We need to increase pressure time and time again on Iran because anything other than a solution to this which stops this nuclear folly of theirs, is unacceptable to America. And of course, a military action is the last resort.”
The topic shifted next to America’s long war in Afghanistan. Romney said he believes the American military presence in Afghanistan is on the right track to end in 2014, and he would rather focus on helping Pakistan.
China was also mentioned during the debate. Romney said he would label China as a currency manipulator and the country should play by the trading rules.
“I want a great relationship with China,” Romney said. “China can be our partner, but that doesn’t mean they can just roll all over us and steal our jobs on an unfair basis.”
Towards the end of the debate, Romney said he is a “son of Detroit” and the accusations against him regarding the car industry are false. He said he would never do anything to hurt the car industry.
Obama criticized Romney for trying to “airbrush history,” and said Romney’s economic plan “does not add up” and would not work.
In his closing statement, Obama restated his domestic policies and said he will continue to fight for American families.
While Romney said he would balance the American budget, strengthen the economy and reach out to Democrats.
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