Obama, Romney Clash on Foreign Policy

    President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, traded jabs over a range of foreign policy issues Monday in their third and final debate of the 2012 U.S. president campaign.  The debate was held at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida.

    There were fewer interruptions and sharp exchanges in this debate, the candidates perhaps mindful of not coming across as too negative.

    Biggest US threats

    But at times the debate did produce a clash of worldviews between President Obama and Romney, including an exchange on the biggest threats facing the U.S.

    “Governor Romney, I’m glad that you recognize that al-Qaida’s a threat because a few months ago when you were asked what is the biggest geo-political threat facing America, you said Russia,” said Obama.

    “That we are talking about the Middle East and how to help the Middle East reject the kind of terrorism we are seeing and the rising tide of tumult and confusion, and attacking me is not an agenda,” responded Romney.

    Iran

    But on U.S. efforts to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapons capability the two men seemed more in agreement than not.

    The president defended his emphasis on sanctions to isolate Iran. “As long as I am President of the United States, Iran will not get a nuclear weapon," Obama stated. "I made that clear when I came into office.  We then organized the strongest coalition and the strongest sanctions against Iran in history and it is crippling their economy.” 

    Romney has been critical in the past, but was less so in the debate.

    “I want to underscore the same point the president made, which is if I’m President of the United States, when I’m President of the United States, we will stand with Israel.  And if Israel is attacked, we have their back, not just diplomatically, not just culturally, but militarily,”  Romney noted.

    Syria

    On the uprising in Syria and the issue of whether there should be any U.S. military intervention to help the rebels, there was some common ground as well.

    “For us to get more entangled militarily in Syria is a serious step,” said Obama.

    “And finally, we don’t want to have military involvement there," Romney added. "We don’t want to get drawn in to a military conflict.”

    China

    There was a difference of opinion on relations with China, Romney talking a tougher line even as Obama spoke of his actions against Chinese tires and steel.

    “China is both an adversary but also a potential partner in the international community if it’s following the rules,” stated Obama.

    “That’s why on Day One I will label them a currency manipulator," Romney noted. "Which allows us to apply tariffs where they are taking jobs."

    US economy

    Throughout the debate, both candidates sought to link foreign policy questions to the strength of the U.S. economy.

    “We’ve now begun to make some real progress.  What we can’t do is go back to the same policies that got us into such difficulty in the first place," stated Obama. "That’s why we have to move forward and not go back.” 

    “I couldn’t agree more about going forward but I certainly don’t want to go back to the policies of the last four years. [There are] 23 million Americans still struggling to find a good job,” said Romney.

    With two weeks to go until Election Day, two new national polls this week show the presidential race is a virtually a dead heat.

    Watch the entire final debate:
    Watch the Entire 3rd U.S. Presidential Debatei
    || 0:00:00
    ...  
     
    X
    October 21, 2012 9:21 PM
    President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney faced off on October 22 at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida. This was the third of three nationally televised debates.

    Jim Malone

    Jim Malone has served as VOA’s National correspondent covering U.S. elections and politics since 1995. Prior to that he was a VOA congressional correspondent and served as VOA’s East Africa Correspondent from 1986 to 1990. Jim began his VOA career with the English to Africa Service in 1983.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora