tv CNN Newsroom CNN October 23, 2012 12:00pm-2:00pm EDT
and about medicare and health care. you saw president obama this morning made comments about obama care staying in place and being able to cut the deficit without cuts to social security and without cuts to medicare. so that's what we're looking at now. we'll be in florida the next couple of days. hopefully we'll get a chance to talk every day on on the road, the battleground bus tour with cnn express. >> thank you so much. the replay of the final presidential debate. >> good evening from the campus of lynn university here in boca raton, florida. this is the fourth and last debate of the 2012 campaign, brought to you by the commission on presidential debates. this one is on foreign policy. i am bob schieffer of cbs news. the questions are mine. and i have not shared them with the candidates or their aides. the audience has taken a vow of silence, no applause, no reaction of any kind except right now, when we welcome president barack obama and
governor mitt romney. [ applause ] >> gentlemen, your campaigns have agreed to certain rules and they are simple. they asked me to divide the evening into segments. i'll pose a question at beginning of each segment. you will each have two minutes to respond. then we will have a general discussion until we move to the next segment. tonight's debate, as both of you know, comes on the 50th anniversary of the night that president kennedy told the world that the soviet union had
installed nuclear missiles in cuba, perhaps the closest we have ever come to nuclear war. and it is a sobering reminder that every president faces at some point an unexpected threat to our national security from abroad. so, let's begin. the first segment is the challenge of a changing middle east and the new face of terrorism. i am going to put this into two segments, so you will have two topic questions within this one segment on the subject. the first question, and it concerns libya, the controversy over what happened there continues, four americans are dead, including an american ambassador. questions remain -- what happened? what caused it? was it spontaneous? was it an intelligence failure? was it a policy failure? was there an attempt to mislead people about what really happened? governor romney, you said this
was an example of an american policy in the middle east that is unraveling before our very eyes. i would like to hear each of you give your thoughts on that. governor romney, you won the toss, you go first. >> thank you, bob. thank you for agreeing to moderate this debate this evening. thank you to lynn university for welcoming us here, mr. president good to be with you again. we were together at a humerus event earlier. nice to be funny. this time not on purpose. we'll see what happens. this is obviously an area of great concern to the entire world and america in particular, which is to see a complete change in the structure and the environment in the middle east. with the arab spring came a great deal of hope that there would be a change towards more moderation, an opportunity for greater participation on the part of women and public life, and in the economic life in the middle east. instead we have seen in nation
after nation, a number of disturbing events. of course in syria, 30,000 civilians killed by the military there. we see in libya an attack, apparently, by i think we know now by terrorists of some kind against our people there, four people dead, our hearts and minds go to them. mali has been taken over, northern part of mali, by al qaeda-type individuals. we have in egypt a muslim brotherhood president. what we are seeing is a pretty dramatic reversal in the hopes we had for the region. and, of course, the greatest threat of all is iran, four years closer to a nuclear weapon. and we are going to have to recognize that we have to do as the president has done. i congratulate him on taking out osama bin laden, going after the leadership in al qaeda. but we can't kill our way out of this mess. we are going to have to put in place a very comprehensive and robust strategy to help the world of islam and other parts of the world reject this
radical, violent extremism, which is -- it's certainly not on the run. it is not in hiding. this is a group that is now involved in 10 or 12 countries. it presents an enormous threat to our friends, to the world, to america long term. we must have a comprehensive strategy to help reject this kind of extremism. >> mr. president? >> well, my first job as commander in chief, bob, is to keep the american people safe. that's what we have done over the last four years. we ended the war in iraq. refocused our attention on those who actually killed us on 9/11. and as a consequence, al qaeda's core leadership has been decimated. in addition, we are now able to transition out of afghanistan in a responsible way making sure afghans take responsibility for their own security. and that allows us also to rebuild alliances and make friends around the world to
combat future threats. now, with respect to libya -- as i indicated in the last debate -- when we received that phone call i immediately made sure that number one, we did everything we could to secure those americans who were still in harm's way. number two, that we would investigate exactly what happened. and number three, most importantly, that we would go after those who killed americans and we would bring them to justice. that's exactly what we are going to do. it is important to step back and think what happened in libya. keep in mind that i and americans took leadership in organizing an international coalition that made sure that we were able to, without putting troops on the ground, at the cost of less than what we spent in two weeks in iraq, liberate a country that had been under the yolk of dictatorship for 40 years, got rid of a despot who had killed americans, and as a consequence, despite this tragedy, you had tens of
thousand of libyans after the events in benghazi, marching and saying, "america is our friend, we stand with them." now that represents the opportunity we have to take advantage of. and, governor romney, i'm glad that -- that you agree that we have been successful in going after al qaeda. but i have to tell you that your strategy, previously, has been one that has been all over the map and is not designed to keep americans safe or to build on the opportunities that exist in the middle east. >> well, my strategy is straightforward, which is to go after the bad guys, to make sure we do our very best to interrupt them, kill them, to take them out of the picture. but my strategy is broader than that. that is important, of course, but the key, that we are going to have to pursue is a pathway to get the muslim world to be able to reject extremism on its own. we don't want another iraq, we don't want another afghanistan. that's not right course for us.
the right court for us is to make sure we go after the leaders of these various anti-american groups and these jihadists, but also help the muslim world. how do we do that? a group of arab scholars came together, organized by the u.n., to look at how we can help the world reject these, these terrorists. the answer they came up with was this, one more economic development. we should keep foreign aid, direct foreign investment and of our friends, coordinate it, make sure we push back and give them more economic development. number two, better education. number three, gender equality. number four, the rule of law. we have to help the nations create civil societies. but what has been happening over the last couple years is, as we have watched this tumult in the middle east, this rising tide of chaos occur, you see al qaeda rushing in, you see other jihadist groups rushing in, and there throughout many nations in the middle east. it's wonderful that libya seems to be making some progress, despite this terrible tragedy.
next door we have egypt, libya, 6 million population. egypt, 80 million population. we want to make sure that we're seeing progress in the middle east, with mali now, having north mali taken over by al qaeda. with syria having assad continuing to kill, murder his own people. this is a region in tumult. of course, iran, on the path to a nuclear weapon. we have got real problems in the region. >> let's give the president a chance. >> governor romney, i am glad you recognize al qaeda is a threat because a few months ago when you were asked what is the geopolitical threat facing america, you said russia, not al qaeda, you said russia. the 1980s are calling now to ask for their foreign policy back. the cold war has been over for 20 years. but, governor, when it comes to foreign policy, you seem to want to import the foreign policies of the 1980s, just like the social policies of the '50s and economic policies of the 1920s.
you say you are not interested in duplicating what happened in iraq. but just a few weeks ago you said, you think we should have more troops in iraq right now. and the challenge we have, i know you haven't been in a position to actually execute foreign policy, but every time you have offered an opinion, you have been wrong. you said we should have gone into iraq, despite the fact that there were no weapons of mass destruction. you said that we should still have troops in iraq to this day. you indicated that we shouldn't be passing nuclear treaties with russia, despite the fact that 71 senators, democrats and republicans, voted for it. you said that first we should not have a time line in afghanistan. then you said we should. now you say maybe, or it depends, which means not only were you wrong but you were confusing and sending mixed messages to our troops and allies. so, what we need to do with
respect to the middle east is strong, steady leadership, not wrong and reckless leadership that is all over the map. and, unfortunately, that's the kind of opinions that you have offered throughout this campaign. and it is not a recipe for american strength or keeping america safe over the long term. >> i am going to add a couple minutes to give you a chance to respond. >> well, of course, i don't concur with what the president said about my own record and the things that i've said. they don't happen to be accurate. i can say this, that we are talking about the middle east and how to help the middle east reject the terrorism we are seeing and rising tide of tumult and confusion. and attacking me is not an agenda. attacking me is not talking about how we will deal with challenges that exist in the middle east and take advantage of the opportunity there and stem the tide of this violence. but i'll respond to a couple of things you mentioned. first of all, russia, i indicated, is a geopolitical foe. >> number one -- >> excuse me. a geopolitical foe.
i said in the same paragraph and iran is the greatest national security threat we face. russia does continue to battle us in the u.n. time and time again. i have clear eyes on this. i will not wear rose-colored glasses when it comes to russia and mr. putin, and i will not say to him i'll give you more flexibility after the election. after the election he will get more backbone. number two, with regard to iraq, you and i agreed that there should have been a status of forces agreement. >> that's not true. >> oh you didn't? you did not want a status of forces agreement? >> i would not have left 10,000 troops in iraq that would tie us down. that certainly would not help us in the middle east. >> i'm sorry you actually -- there was an effort on the part of the president to have a status of forces agreement. and i concurred in that and id we should have some number of troops that stayed on. that was something i concurred with, your posture, my posture as well. i thought it should have been 5,000. i thought it should have been more troops. the answer we got was no troops whatsoever. >> just a few weeks ago you indicated we should have troops in iraq.
>> i'm sorry i indicated -- >> your speech -- >> i indicated that you failed to put in place a status of forces agreement at the end of the conflict that existed. >> governor, here is one thing. here is one thing i learned as commander in chief. you have got to be clear both to our allies and our enemies about where you stand and what you mean. you just gave a speech a few weeks ago in which you said we should still have troops in iraq. that is not a recipe for making sure that we are taking advantage of the opportunities and meeting challenges in the middle east. now, it is absolutely true that we cannot just meet these challenges militarily. and so what i have done through out my presidency and will continue to do is, number one, make sure these countries are supporting our counterterrorism efforts. number two, make sure that they are standing by, our interests in israel's security because its a true friend and our greatest ally in the region.
number three, we do have to make sure that we are protecting religious minorities and women, because these countries can't develop unless all the population, not just half of it, is developing. number four, we do have to develop their economic, their economic capabilities. but number five, the other thing we have to do, is recognize that we can't continue to do nation building in these regions, part of american leadership is making sure we are doing nation building here at home. >> all right. >> that will help us maintain the kind of american leadership that we need. [ woman ] ring. ring. progresso.
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>> let me interject the second topic question in this segment about the middle east and so on. that is, you both mentioned, alluded to this, that is syria. the war in syria now spilled over into lebanon. we have, what, more than 100 people that were killed there in a bomb. there were demonstrations there. eight people dead. mr. president, it has been more than a year since you saw -- you told assad he had to go. since then 30,000 syrians have died. we have had 300,000 refugees. the war goes on. he is still there. should we reassess our policy and see if we can find a better way to influence events? or is it even possible? you go first, sir. >> what we have done is organize the international community saying assad has to go. we have mobilized sanctions
against that government. we have made sure that they are isolated. we have provided humanitarian assistance. we are helping the opposition organize. we are particularly interested in making sure we are mobilizing the moderate forces inside of syria. but ultimately, syrians are going to have to determine their own future. so everything we are doing, we are doing in consultation with our partners, including israel which has a huge interest in seeing what happens in syria coordinating with turkey and other countries in the region that have a gray interest in this. now, this, what we are seeing taking place in syria is heartbreaking. and that's why we are going to do everything we can to make sure that we are helping the opposition. but we also have to recognize that, you know, for us to get more entangled militarily in syria is a serious step. and we have to do so making absolutely certain that we know who we are helping, and we are not putting arms in the hands of
folks who eventually could turn them against us or allies in the region. and i am confident that assad's days are numbered. but what we can't do is simply suggest that, as governor romney at times has suggested, that giving heavy weapons, for example, to the syrian opposition is a simple proposition that would lead us to be safer over the long term. >> governor? >> well, let's step back and talk about syria and how important it is. first of all, 30,000 people being killed by their government is a humanitarian disaster. secondly, syria is an opportunity for us because syria plays an important role in the middle east, particularly right now. syria is iran's only ally in the arab world, their route to the sea, the route for them to arm hezbollah in lebanon, which threatens of course our ally israel. so seeing syria remove assad is a very high priority for us. number two, seeing a replacement government being responsible people is critical for us. and, finally, we don't have
military involvement there. we don't want to get drawn into a military conflict. so the right course for us is working through our partners and with our own resources to identify responsible parties within syria, organize them, bring them together, in a form of -- not, if not government, a form of council that can take the lead in syria and make sure they have the arms necessary to defend themselves. we do need to make sure that they don't have arms that get into the wrong hands. those arms could be used to hurt us down the road. we need to make sure we coordinate this effort with allies, in particular with israel. but the saudis and the qatari and the turks are very concerned about this. they're willing to work with us. we need to have an effective leadership effort in syria, making sure that the insurgents there are armed and that the insurgents that become armed are people who will be the responsible parties. recognize, i believe that assad must go. i believe he will go.
but i believe we want to make sure that we have the relationships, friendship, with the people that take his place such that in the years to come we see syria as a friend and syria as a responsible party in the middle east. this is a critical opportunity for america. what i am afraid of, we have watched over the past year or so, first the president saying we will let the u.n. deal with it. and assad -- excuse me kofi annan came in and said we will try to have a cease-fire. that didn't work. then look to the russians and said, see if you can do something. we should play the leadership role there, not on the ground with military. >> all right. >> play the leadership role. >> we are playing the leadership role. we organized the friends of syria. we are mobilizing humanitarian support and support for the opposition. and we are making sure that those we help are those who will be friends of ours in the long term and friends of our allies in the region over the long term. but going back to libya because this is an example of how we make choices, when we went into
libya, and we were able to immediately stop the massacre there, because of the unique circumstances and the coalition we helped organized, we had to make sure moammar gadhafi didn't stay there. and to the governor's credit, you supported us going into libya and the coalition that we organized. but when it came time to making sure that gadhafi did not stay in power, that he was captured, governor, your suggestion was that this was mission creep, that this was mission muddle. imagine if we had pulled out at that point. moammar gadhafi had more american blood on his hands than any individual other than osama bin laden. and so we were going to make sure that we finished the job. that's part of the reason why the libyans stand with us. but we did so in a careful, thoughtful way, making certain that we knew who we were dealing with, that those forces of moderation on the ground were
ones that we could work with, and we have to take the same kind of steady, thoughtful leadership when it comes to syria. that's exactly what we're doing. >> governor, can i ask you, would you go beyond what the administration would do? no-fly zones over syria? >> i don't want to have our military involved in syria. i don't think there is a necessity to put our military in syria at this stage, and i don't anticipate that in the future. as i indicated, our objectives are to replace assad and have in place a new government which is friendly to us, a responsible government, if possible, and i want to make sure they get armed. and they have the arms necessary to defend themselves but to remove, to remove assad. but i do not want to see a military involvement on the part of our troops. >> what -- >> and this isn't -- this isn't going to be necessary. we, we have, with our partners in the region. we have sufficient resources to support those groups. look, this has been going on for a year. this is a time -- this should have been time for american leadership.
we should have taken a leading role, not militarily, but a leading role organizationally, governmentally, to bring together the parties there, to find responsible parties. as you hear from intelligence sources even today, the insurgents are highly disparate, they haven't come together, they haven't formed a group, council that need to happen. america need to make it happen. we need to make sure they have the arms they need to carry out the very important role, which is getting rid of assad. >> can we get a very quick response, mr. president? i want to ask about egypt. >> i'll be very quick. what you heard governor romney said, he doesn't have different ideas. and that's because we are doing exactly what we should be doing to try to promote a moderate syrian leadership and an effective transition so that we get assad out. that's the kind of leadership we've shown. that's the kind of leadership we'll continue to show.el what?! you've got to be kidding me. [ derek ] i've never seen a road like this.
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>> may i ask you, you know, during the egyptian turmoil there came a point when you said it was time for president mubarak to go. >> right. >> some in your administration thought perhaps we should have waited a while on that. do you have any regrets about that? >> no, i don't. because i think that america has to stand with democracy. the notion that we would have tanks run over those young people who were in tahrir square that is not the kind of american
leadership, john f. kennedy talked about 50 years ago. but what i've also said is that now that you have a democratically elected government in egypt, they have to make sure they take responsibility for protecting religious minorities. we have put significant pressure on them to make sure they're doing that, to recognize the rights of women, which is critical throughout the region. these countries can't develop if young women are not given the kind of education that they need. they have to abide by their treaty with israel. that is a red line for us. because not only is israel's security at stake, but our security is at stake if that unravels. they have to make sure they're cooperating with us when it comes to counterterrorism. and we will help them with respect to developing their own economy because ultimately what's going to make the egyptian revolution successful for the people of egypt but also for the world is if those young people who gathered there are seeing opportunities.
their aspirations are similar to young people's here. they want jobs. they want to be able to make sure their kids are going to a good school. they want to make sure that they have a roof over their head. and they have the prospects of a better life in the future. and so, one of the things we have been doing, for example, is organizing entrepreneurship conferences with the egyptians to give them a sense of how they can start rebuilding their economy in a way that is noncorrupt, that is transparent. but what is also important for us to understand that for america to be successful in the region, there are some things we are going to have to do here at home as well. you know, one of the challenges over the last decade is we have done experiments in nation building in places like iraq and afghanistan. we have neglected developing our own economy, our own energy sectors, our own education system. it is very hard for us to project leadership around the world when we are not doing what
we need to do here. >> governor romney, i want to hear your response to that. i would you have stuck with mubarak? >> no, i believe, as the president indicated and said at the time, i supported his action there. i felt that i wish we would have had a better vision of the future. i wish that, looking back at beginning of the president's term, and even further back than that, that we would have recognized there was a growing energy and passion for freedom in that part of the world and we would have worked aggressively with our friend and other friends in the region to have them make the transition to a more representative form of government that it didn't explode in the way it did. once it exploded i felt the same as the president did, the freedom voices, in the streets of egypt where the people were speaking of our principles and the president mubarak had done things that were unimaginable, and the idea of him crushing his people was not something we could possibly support. let me step back and talk about what i think our mission has to
be in the middle east and even more broadly. our purpose is to make sure the world is more peaceful. we want a peaceful planet. we want people to be able to enjoy their lives and know they'll have a bright, prosperous future and not be at war. that's our purpose. the mantel of leadership for promoting principles of peace is fallen to america. we didn't ask for it. it is an honor that we have it. but for us to promote principles of peace requires us to be strong. and that begins with a strong economy here at home. unfortunately, the economy is not stronger. when the president of iraq -- excuse me, of iran, ahmadinejad, says that our debt makes us not a great country, that's a frightening thing. the former chief of -- joint chiefs of staff, said that, admiral mullen, said our debt is the biggest national security threat we face. we have weakened our economy. we need a strong economy. need to have, as well, a strong military. our military is second to none in the world. we are blessed with terrific soldiers, extraordinary technology and intelligence.
see question administration and budget cuts to the military would change that. we need to have strong allies. our association and connection with allies is essential to america's strength. we are the great nation that has allies, 42 allies and friends around the world. finally, we have to stand by our principles. if we are strong in each of those things, american influence will grow. but, unfortunately, in nowhere is in the world is america's influence greater today than it was four years ago. >> all right. >> because we are weaker on each of those four. >> you are going to get a chance to respond to that because that's a perfect segue into our next segment, and that is what is america's role in the world?t n resources. the society... for human resource management and its members know... how to harness that power, because we help develop it. from the next economy, to the next generation, we help get... the most out of business, by getting the best out of people.
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>> that is the question. what do each of you see as our role in the world? and, i believe governor romney, it's your turn to go first. >> i absolutely believe that america has a responsibility and the privilege of helping defend freedom and promote the principles that make the world more peaceful, and those principles include human rights, human dignity, free enterprise, freedom of expression, elections because when there are elections people tend to vote for peace, they don't vote for war. so we want to promote those principles around the world. we recognize that there are places of conflict in the world. we want to end those conflicts to the extent humanly possible. but in order to be able to fulfill our role in the world, america must be strong.
america must lead. and for that to happen we have to strengthen our economy here at home. you can't have 23 million people struggling to get a job. you can't have an economy that over the last three years keeps slowing down its growth rate. you can't have kids coming out of college, half of whom can't find a job today or a job that is commensurate with their college degree. we have to get our economy going. and our military, we have got to strengthen our military long term. we don't know what the world is going to throw at us down the road. we make decisions today in the military that will confront challenges we can't imagine. in the 2000 debates, there was no mention of terrorism, for instance. and a year later 9/11 happened. we make decisions based on uncertainty. and that means a strong military. i will not cut our military budget. we have to stand by our allies. i think the tension that existed between israel and the united states was very unfortunate.
i think also that pulling our missile defense program out of poland and the way we did, was also unfortunate in terms of, if you will, disrupting the relationship in some ways that existed between us. and then, of course, with regards to standing or for our principles, when the students took to the streets in tehran people protested, the green revolution occurred. for the president to be silent, i thought, was an enormous mistake. we have to stand for our principles, stand for our allies, strand for strong military, and stand for a stronger economy. >> mr. president? >> america remains the one indispensable nation, and the world needs a strong america. and it is stronger now than when i came into office. because we ended the war in iraq, we were able to refocus our attention on not only the terrorist threat but also beginning a transition process in afghanistan. it also allowed us to refocus on alliances and relationships that had been neglected for a decade. and, governor romney, our alliances have never been
stronger. in asia, in europe, in africa, with israel where we have unprecedented military and intelligence cooperation, including dealing with the iranian threat. but what we also have been able to do is possession ourselves so we can start rebuilding america. that's what my plan does. making sure we are bringing manufacturing back to our shores so that we are creating jobs here as with the auto industry, not rewarding companies, shipping jobs overseas. making sure we have the best education system in the world in including retraining our workers for the jobs of tomorrow. doing everything to control our energy. we've cut our oil imports to the lowest level in two decades because we have developed oil and natural gas, but we also have to develop clean energy technologies that will allow us to cut our exports in half by 2020. that is the kind of leadership that we need to show.
and we have got to make sure we reduce our deficit. unfortunately governor romney's plan doesn't do it. we got to do it in a responsible way, by cutting out spending we don't need. but also asking the wealthiest to pay a little bit more that way we can invest in the research and technology that's always kept us at the cutting edge. governor romney has taken a different approach throughout this campaign. both at home and abroad, he has proposed wrong and reckless policies. he has praised george bush as a good economic stewart and dick cheney as somebody who shows great wisdom and judgment. and taking us back to those kind of strategies that got us into this mess are not the way we are going to maintain leadership in the 21st century. >> governor romney, wrong and reckless policies? >> i have a policy and agenda for the future. when it comes to the economy here at home, i know what it takes to drive 12 million jobs and rising take home pay. what we have seen i don't want to see over four years the president said we would be
at 5.4% unemployment. we are 9 million jobs short of that. i will get america working again and see rising take home pay again and do it with five simple steps. number one, we are going to have north american energy independence. we'll do it by taking full advantage of oil, coal, gas, nuclear, renewables. number two, we are going to increase our trade. trade goes 12% a year, it doubles every five or so years. we can do better than that, particularly in latin america. the opportunities for us in latin america, we have just not taken advantage of fully. as a matter of fact, latin america's economy is almost as big as the economy of china. we're all focused on china. latin america a huge opportunity for us, time zone, language opportunities. number three, we are going to have to have training programs that work for workers and schools that finally put the parents and teachers and the kids first, and the teachers union is going to have to go behind. then we well have to get to a
balanced budget. we can't expect entrepreneurs and businesses large and small to take their life savings or their company's money and invest in america if they think we are headed on the road to greece. that's where we are going right now unless we finally get off this spending and borrowing binge. i will get us on track to a balanced budget. finally, number five, we have got to champion small business. small business is where jobs come from. two-thirds of your jobs come from small businesses. new business formation is down to the lowest level in 30 years under this administration. i want to bring it back and get back good jobs and rising take home pay. >> let's talk what we need to compete. first of all, governor romney talks about small businesses. governor, when you were in massachusetts, small businesses development ranked 48th. i think out of 50 states in massachusetts. because the policies that you are promoting don't help small businesses. the way you define small businesses include folks at the very top.
they include you and me. that's not the kind of small business promotion we need. but let's take an example that we know is going to make a difference notice 21st century and that's our education policy. we didn't have a lot of chance to talk about this in the last debate. now under my leadership, what we have done is reformed education, working with governors, 46 states. we have seen progress and gains in schools that were having a terrible time and they're starting to finally make progress. and what i now want to do is hire more teachers, especially in math and science because we flow we have fallen behind in math and science and those teachers can make a difference. governor romney, when you were asked by teachers whether this would help the economy grow, you said this won't help the economy grow. when you were asked about reduced class sizes, you said class sizes don't make a difference. but i tell you, if you talk to teachers they will tell you it does make a difference. and if we have got math teachers
who are able to provide the kind of support that they need for our kids, that's what is going to determine whether or not the new businesses are created here, companies are going to locate here depending on whether we have the most highly skilled workforce. the kinds of budget proposals you have put forward, when we don't ask either you or me to pay a dime more in terms of reducing the deficit, instead we slash support for education, that's undermining our long-term competitiveness. that is not good for america's position in the world. and the world notices. >> let me get back to foreign policy. can i just get back -- >> just a moment. bob, just about education. >> okay. >> i'm so proud of the state that i had the chance to be governor of. we have every two years tests that look at how well our kids are doing. fourth graders and eighth graders are tested in english and math. while i was governor i was proud that our fourth graders came out number one in english and math. our eighth graders number one in english and also in math. first time one state had been number one in all measures.
how do we do that? republicans and democrats came together on a bipartisan basis to put in place education principles that focussed on having great teachers in the classroom. >> ten years earlier -- >> that allowed us to become the number one state in the nation. >> but that was ten years before you took office. and then you cut education spending when you came into office. >> the first -- and we kept our schools number one in the nation. they're still number one today. >> all right. >> and the principles that we put in place, we also gave kids not just a graduation exam, that determined whether they were up to the skills needed to compete, but also if they graduated in the top quarter of their class they got a four-year tuition-free ride at any massachusetts public institution of higher learning. >> that happened before you came into office. >> that was actually mine, mr. president. you've got that fact wrong. [ ross ] we are in the dades gorge,
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i'm suzanne malveaux with a check of top stories. looking at the markets, the dow taking a big hit. the board here, down by 219 points. sell-off started after dupont and 3m reported weak earnings. could be the biggest one-day drop since june. the dow sank 205 points on friday. apple's i pad has been dominant, of course, in the tablet computer market. get ready for baby brother. apple expected to unveil mini ipad this afternoon. the biggest change, a smaller screen, less than eight inches
but expected to keep features that made its big brother a best-seller. and hopes for a cease-fire in syria shattered by more violence today. fighting shows no signs of letting up. activist group says syrian warplanes struck the northern city of aleppo. government tanks shelled a bakery where people were lined up to buy bread. a u.n. envoy to syria called for cease-fire during the muslim holiday that begins friday. we return to cnn's replay of the third and final presidential debate. >> i want to try shift it, because we have heard some of this in the other debates. governor, you say you want a bigger military, a bigger navy. you don't want to cut defense spending. what i want to ask you, we are talking about financial problems in this country, where are you going to get the money? >> let's come back and talk about the military all the way through. first of all, i'm going through the beginning, going to cut 5%
of the discretionary budget, excluding military. that's number one. >> can't you do this without driving us deeper -- >> i'll be happy to have you take a look. come on the website. look how we get to a balanced budget eight to ten years. we do it by reducing spending in a whole series of programs. by the way, number one i get rid of is obama care. there are a number of things that sound good. frankly we can't afford them. that one doesn't sound good and it is not affordable. get rid of that one from day one, to the extent humanly possible get that out. we take program after program that we don't absolutely have to have and we get rid of them. number two, take some programs, that we are going to keep, like medicaid which is a program for the poor, we will take that health care program for the poor and give it off to the states to run because states run these programs more efficiently. as a governor, i thought, please, give me this program. i can run this more efficiently than the federal government.
and states, by the way, are proving it. states like arizona, rhode island, have taken the medicaid dollars, have shown they can run these programs more cost effectively. >> bob -- >> i want to do those two things. it gets us -- it gets us to a balanced budget within eight to ten years. >> bob -- >> let's -- >> let's get back to the military. >> that's what i'm trying to find out. >> he should have answered the first question. look, governor romney's called for $5 trillion of tax cuts that he says he's going to pay for by closing deductions. now, the math doesn't work. but he continues to claim that he is going to do it. he wants to spend $2 trillion on military spending our military is not asking for. now, keep in mind that our military spending has gone up every single year that i've been in office. we spend more on our military than the next ten countries combined, china, russia, france, the united kingdom, you name it. next ten.
and what i did was work with our joint chiefs of staff to think about what are we going to need in the future to make sure we are safe. and that's the budget that we have put forward. but what you can't do is spend $2 trillion in additional military spending the military is not asking for, $5 trillion on tax cuts, you say that you are going to pay for it by closing loopholes in deductions without naming what those loopholes in deductions are, and then some how you are also going to deal with the deficit that we have already got. the math simply doesn't work. but when it comes to our military what we have to think about is not just, you know, budgets. we've got to think about capabilities. we need to be thinking about cybersecurity. we need to be thinking about space. that's exactly what our budget does. it is driven by strategy. it's not driven by politics. it's not driven by members of congress and what they would like to see. it is driven by what are we going to need to keep the
american people safe. that's exactly what our budget does. and it also then allows us to reduce our deficit which is a significant national security concern because we've got make sure that our economy is strong at home so we can project military power overseas. >> bob, i'm pleased that i balance budgets. i was in the world of business for 25 years. if you didn't balance your budget, you want out of business. i want to the olympics that was out of balance. we got it on balance and made a success there. i had the chance to be governor of a state. four years in a row, democrats and republicans came together to balance the budget. we cut taxes 19 times. balanced our budget. the president hasn't balanced a budget yet. i expect to have the opportunity to do so myself. i am going to be able to balance the budget. let's talk military spending. that's this -- >> 30 seconds. >> excuse me, our navy is smaller now than any time since 1917. the navy said they needed 313 ships to carry out their mission. we are at 285.
we are headed down to the low 200s if we go through sequestration. that's unacceptable. i want to make sure we have the ships required by our navy. our air force is older and smaller than any time since it was founded in 1947. we have changed for the first time since fdr, since fdr we had, always had strategy saying we can night two conflicts at once. now we are changing to one conflict. look, this in my view is the highest responsibility of the president of the united states, which is to maintain the safety of the american people. and i will not cut our military budget by a trillion dollars, which is the combination of the budget cuts the president has as well as sequestration cuts. that, in my view, is making our future less certain and less secure. >> bob, i would like to comment on this. first of all the see quester is not something that i proposed. it's something congress proposed. it will not happen. the budget we are talking about is not reducing our military spending. it's maintaining it. but, i think governor romney may
maybe hasn't spent enough time looking at how our military works. you mentioned the navy, for example, and we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets because the nature of our military's changed. we have aircraft carriers where planes land on them. we have these ships that go under water, nuclear submarines. so the question is not a game of battleship where we're counting ships, it's what are our capabilities. so when i sit down with the secretary of the navy, and the joint chiefs of staff, we determine how are we going to be best able to meet all of our defense needs in a way that also keeps faith with our troops that also makes sure our veterans have the support they need when they come home. and that is not reflected in the kind of budget you are putting forward because it just doesn't work. >> all right. >> and you know, we visited the website quite a bit and it still doesn't work. >> a lot to cover.
i'd like to move to the next segment. red lines, israel and iran. would either of you -- you'll have two minutes, and president obama you have the first go at this one -- would either of you be willing to declare that an attack on israel is an attack on the united states? which of course is the same promise that we gave to our close allies like japan. and if you made such a declaration, would not that deter iran? it is certainly deterred the soviet union for a long, long time when we made that, we made that promise to our allies. mr. president? >> first of all, israel is a true friend. it is our greatest ally in the region. and if israel is attacked, america will stand with israel. i have made that clear throughout my presidency. >> so you are saying, we have already made that declaration? >> i will stand with israel if they are attacked. and this is the reason why,
working with israel, we have created the strongest military and intelligence cooperation between our two countries in history. in fact, this week we will be carrying out the largest military exercise with israel in history, this very week. but, to the issue of iran, as long as i'm president of the united states, iran will not get a nuclear weapon. 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. their currency has dropped 80%. their oil production has plunged to the lowest level since they were fighting a war with iraq 20 years ago. so their economy is in a shambles. the reason we did this is because a nuclear iran is a threat to our national security, and it is a threat to israel's national security. we can't afford to have a nuclear arms race in the most volatile region in the world.
iran is a state sponsor of terrorism and for them to be able to provide nuclear technology to non-state actors, that's unacceptable. and they have said they want to see israel wiped off the map. so the work that we've done with respect to sanctions now offers iran a choice. they can take the diplomatic route and end their nuclear program, or they will have to face a united world, and a united states president, me, who said we're not going to take any options off the table. the disagreement i have with governor romney is that during the course of this campaign he's often talked as if we should take premature military action. i think that would be a mistake, because when i've sent young men and women into harm's way, i always understand that that is the last resort, not the first resort. >> two minutes. >> well, first of all, i want. to underscore the same point the president made which is that 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 military. that's number one. number two, with regards to iran and the threat of iran, there's no question but that a nuclear capable iran is unacceptable to america. it presents a threat not only to our friends but ultimately a threat to us to have iran have nuclear material, nuclear weapons that could be used against us or threatening to us. it is also essential for us to understand what our mission is in iran. that is to dissuade iran from having a nuclear weapon through peaceful and diplomatic means. and crippling sanctions are something i called for five years ago when i was in israel speaking at the conference i laid out seven steps. crippling sanctions were number one. and they do work. are you seeing it right now in the economy. it is absolutely the right thing to do to have crippling sanctions. i'd have put them in place earlier but it is good that we have them.
two, something i'd add today, i would tighten those sanctions. i would say ships that carry iranian oil can't come into our ports. i would imagine the eu would agree with us as well. not only ships couldn't, but companies who are moving their oil can't. people who are trading in their oil can't. i would tighten those sanctions further. secondly, i'd take on diplomatic isolation efforts. i'd make sure that ahmadinejad is indicted under the genocide convention. his words amount to genocide in citation. i would indict him for it. i would also make sure their diplomats are treated like the pariah they are around the world, the same way we treated the apartheid diplomats of south africa. we need to increase pressure time and time again on iran because anything other than a solution to this which says -- which stops this nuclear folly of theirs is unacceptable to america. and, of course, a military action is the last resort. it is something one would only consider if all of the other
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that's why every bit of financial advice we offer is geared specifically to current and former military members and their families. [ laughs ] dad! dad! [ applause ] ♪ [ male announcer ] life brings obstacles. usaa brings advice. call or visit us online. we're ready to help. >> let me ask both of you, as you know, there are reports that i ron and the united states as part of an international group have agreed in principle to talks about iran's nuclear program. what is the deal if there are such talks? what is the deal that you would accept, mr. president? >> well, first of all, those are reports in the newspaper.
they are not true. but, our goal is to get iran to recognize it needs to give up its nuclear program. abide by the u.n. resolutions that have been in place because they have the opportunity re-enter the community of nations. and we would welcome that. there are people in iran who have the same aspirations as people all rnd taround the worl a better life and hope that their leadership takes the right decision. but the deal will accept is they end their nuclear program. it's very straight forward. i'm dplad that governor romney agrees with the steps that we're taking. there have been times, governor, frankly, during the course of this campaign, where it sounded like you thought that you do the same things we did but you'd say them loud somewhere somehow that would make a difference and it turns out that the work involved in setting up these crippling sanctions is painstaking, it's
meticulous. we started from the day we got into office and the reason it was so important and this is a testament to how we have restored american credibility and strength around the world is, we had to make sure that owl of the countries participated even russia and china because if it's just us imposing sanctions we've had sanks in pla s is sa time. it's because we got everybody to agree iran is seeing so much pressure and we've got maintain that pressure. there is a deal to be had, and that is that they abide by the rules that have already been established, they convince the international community they are not pursuing a nuclear program. there are inspections that are very intrusive but over time what they can do is regain credibility. in the meantime we're not going to let up pressure until we have clear evidence that that take place. one last thing, just to make this point, the clock is
ticking. we're not going to allow iran perpetually to engage in negotiations that lead to nowhere. i've been clear, because of the intelligence coordination with a range of countries including israel we have a sense when they'd get breakout capacity which means we would not be able to intervene in time to stop their nuclear program and that clock is ticking. we're going to make sure that if they do not meet the demands of the international community, then we are going to take all options necessary to make sure they don't have a nuclear weapon. >> governor? >> from the very beginning one of the challenges we've had with iran they have looked at this administration and felt that the administration was not as strong as it needed to be. i think they saw weakness where they had expected to find american strength. and i say that because from the very beginning the president in his campaign four years ago said he'd meet with the worst actors in his first year, sit down with
chavez, kim jong-il, astro, president ahmadinejad of iran and they looked and thought, that's unusual honor to receive from the president of the united states and then the president began what i've called an apology tour of going to various nations in the middle east and criticizing america. i think they look that the and saw weakness. when they were dissidents in the streets of tehran, green revolution holding signs saying is america with us the president is silent and they in theed that as well. when the president said he was going to create daylight between ourselves and israel that they noticed that as well. all of these things suggested, i think, to the iranian mullahs that we can keep on pushing along here, we can keep talks going on but we're going to keep on spending centrifuges, there have 10,000 centrifuges spinning uranium to create a nuclear threat to the united states and the world. that's unacceptable for us and
it's essential for a president to show strength from the very beginning to make it very clear what is acceptable and not acceptable and an iran yan nuclear program is not acceptable to us. they must not develop nuclear capability and the way to make sure they understand that is by having from the very beginning the tightest sanctions possible. they need to be tightened. diplomatic isolation need be tos tougher we need to indict ahmadinejad and put pressure on them as hard as we possibly can because if we do that we won't have to take military action. >> bob, let me just respond. nothing governor romney said is true. starting with this notion of me apologizing. this has been probably the biggest whopper that's been told during the course of this campaign. every fact checker and every reporter's looked at it the governor said this is not true. and when it comes to tightening sanctions, look, as i said before, we have put in the toughest most crippling
sanctions ever and the fact is, while we were coordinating an international coalition to make sure these sanctions were effective, you were still invested in a chinese state oil company that was doing business with iranian oil sector. i'll let the american people decide, judge, who is going to be more effective and credible when it comes to imposing crippling sanctions. and with respect to our attitude about the iranian revolution i was very clear about the murderous activities that had taken place and that was contrary to international law and everything that civilized people stand for. and so the strength that we have shown in iran is shown by the fact that we have been able to mobilize the world. when i came into office the world was divided. iran was resurgent. iran is at its weakest point economically, strategically, militarily been since in many years and we are going to keep
pressure on to make sure they do not get a nuclear weapon. that's in america's national interest and that will be the case so long as i'm president. >> we're four years closer to a nuclear iran. four years closer to a nuclear iran. we should not have waited four years to the extent they continue to be able to spin centrifuges and get that much close, that's number one. number two, mr. president the reason i called it an apology tour is because you went to the middle east and flew to egypt, saudi arabia and to turkey and iraq, and, by the way you skipped israel, our closest friend in the region. but you went to the other nations. by the way, they noticed that you skipped israel. and then in those nations and on arabic tv you said america had been dismissive and dericive. you said on occasion america dictated to other nations. mr. president, america has not dictated to other nations. we have freed other nations from dictators. >> bob, let me respond.
you know if we're going to talk about trips that we've taken, you know, when i was a candidate for office first trip i took was to visit our troops. and when i went to israel as a candidate i didn't take donor s i didn't attend fund-raisers. i went to the holocaust museum there to remind myself that the nature of evil and why our bond with israel will be unbreakable and then i went down to the border towns, which had experienced missiles raining down from hamas. and i saw families there who showed me where missiles had come down near their children's bedrooms and i was reminded of what that would mean if those were my kids which is why, as president we funded an iron dome program to stop those missiles. that's how i've use made travels. when i travelled to israel and
when i traveled to the region, and the central question, at this point, is going to be, who's going to be credible to all parties involved and they can look at my track record, whether it's iran sanctions, whether it's dealing and with counterterrorism, whether it's supporting democracy, whether it's supporting women's rights, whether it's supporting religious minorities and they can say the president of the united states and the united states of america stood on right side of history. and that kind of credibility is precisely why we've been able to show leadership on a wide range of issues facing the world right now. and these come together, one thing you can depend on is that these will come together. delicious and wholesome. some combinations were just meant to be. tomato soup from campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do.
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>> what if -- what if the prime minister of israel called you on the phone and said, our bombers are on the way, we're going to bomb iran? what do you say? >> bob, let's know got into hypotheticals of that nature. our relationship with israel, my relationship with the prime minister of israel, is such that we would not get a call saying our bombers are on the way or their fighters are on the way. this is the kind of thing that would have been discussed and thoroughly evaluated well before that kind -- >> you say -- >> let's >> but let me -- >> let's come back to what the president was speaking about which is what's happening in the world and the president's statement that things are going so well. look, i look at what's happening around the world and i see iran four years closer to a bomb. i seat middle east with the rising tide of violence, chaos, tumult. i see jihadists continuing to
spread, whether rising or just about the same level, hard to precisely measure but this is clear they're there, they're very strong. i see syria with 30,000 civilians dead. assad still in power. i see our trade deficit with china larger than it's -- growing larger every year, as a matter of fact. i look around the world and i -- i don't feel that you see north korea, continuing to export their nuclear technology, russia said they're not going to follow nonlugar anymore. back way from nuke proliferation treaty we had with them. i look around the world, i don't see our influencei see our infle receding because of the failure of the president to deal with economic challenges, in part because of our withdrawal from commitment to the military and the way it ought to be, in part because of the turmoil with israel. the president received a letter from 38 democrat senators saying
that tensions with israel why a real problem. they asked him, please repair the tension, democrat senators, please repair the damage in the party. governor, the problem is, is that on a whole range of issues, whether it's the middle east, whether it's afghanistan, whether it's iraq, whether it's now iran, you've been all over the map. i mean i'm pleased that you now are endorsing our policy applying diplomatic pressure and potentially have bilateral discussions with iranians to end the nuclear program. but just a few years ago you said that's something you'd never do in the same way you opposed a timetable in afghanistan, now you're for it though it depends. in the same way that you say that you would have ended the war in iraq, but recently gave a speech saying that we should have 20,000 more folks in there. the same way that you said that
it was mission creep to go after gadhafi. when it comes to going after osama bin laden, you said any president would make that call. but when you were a candidate in 2008, as i was, and i said if i got bin laden in our sights i would take that shot, you said we shouldn't move heaven and earth to get one man. you said we should ask pakistan for permission. if we asked pakistan permission we would not have gotten him. it was worth moving heaven and earth to get him. after we killed bin laden, i was at ground zero for a memorial talked to a young woman who was 4 years old when 9/11 happened and the last conversation she had with her father him calling from the twin towers saying, peyton, i love you and i will always watch over you. and for the next decade she was
haunted by that conversation, and she said to me, you know, by finally getting bin laden, that brought some closure to me. and when we do things like that, when we bring those who have harmed us to justice, that sends a message to the world and it tells peyton that, we did not forget her father. >> all right. >> i make that point that's the clarity of leadership and those decisions are not always popular. those decisions generally are not poll tested. even some in my own party, including my current vice president, had the same critique as you did. but what the american people understand is, is that i look at what we need to get done to keep the american people safe and move our interests forward, and i make those decisions. >> all right. nyquil (stuffy): hey, tylenol. you know we're kinda like twins.
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segment, governor, america's longest war, afghanistan, and pakistan -- >> bob. >> governor -- >> you get to go first. >> you can't have the president lay out a series -- >> i -- >> without giving me a chance -- >> with respect you laid out quite a program. >> that's probably true. >> we'll agree. >> we'll catch up. the united states is scheduled to turn over responsibility for security in afghanistan to the afghan government in 2014. at that point we will withdraw our combat troops, leave a smaller force of americans, if i understand our policy, in afghanistan for training purposes. it seems to me the key question here is, what do you do if the deadline arrives and it is obvious the afghans are unable to handle their security? do we still leave? i believe, governor romney, you go first. >> we're going to be finished by 2014, and when i am president we'll make sure we bring our troops out by the end of 2014. the commanders and the generals there are on track to do so.
we've seen progress over the past several years. the surge has been successful. and the training program is proceeding at pace. there are now a large number of afghan security forces, 350,000 that are ready to step in to provide security and we're going to be able to make that transition by the end of 2014. so our troops will come home at that point. i can tell you, at the same time that we will make sure that we look at what's happening in pakistan and recognize what's happening in pakistan is going to have a major impact on the success in afghanistan. and i say that because i know a lot of people feels like we should brush our hands and walk away, and i don't mean you, mr. president, but some people in our nation feel that pakistan isn't being nice to us and we should walk away from them. pakistan is important to the region, to the world, to us. pakistan has 100 nuclear
warheads and they're rushing to build more. theyl have more than great britain in the relatively near future. they also have the haqqani network and the taliban existent within their country. a pakistan that falls apart becomes a failed state would be extraordinary danger to afghanistan and to us, and so we're going to have to remain helpful in encouraging pakistan to move towards a more stable government and rebuild a rip with us, and that means that our aid that we provide to pakistan is going to be conditioned upon certain benchmarks being met. for me i look at this as both a need to help move pakistan in right direction and also to get afghanistan to be ready and they will be ready by the end of 2014. >> mr. president? >> when i came into office, we were still bogged down in iraq and afghanistan had been drifting for a decade. we ended the war in iraq, refocused our attention on afghanistan, and we did deliver a surge of troops.
that was facilitated in part because we ended the war in iraq. and we are now in a position where we have met many objectives that got thrust in the first place. part of what happened we forgot why we had gone. we went because people were responsible for 3,000 american deaths. so we decimated al qaeda's core leadership in the border regions between afghanistan and pakistan. we then started to build up afghan forces. and we're now in a position where we can transition out because there's no reason why americans should die when afghans are perfectly capable of defending their own country. that transition has to take place in a responsible fashion. we have been there a long time. we've got to make sure that we and our coalition partners are pulling out responsibly and giving afghans capabilities that they need. but what i think the american
people recognize is, after a decade of war, it's time to do some nation building here at home. and what we can now do is free up some resources to, for example, put americans back to work, especially our veterans, rebuilding our roads, our bridges, our schools, making sure that, you know, our veterans are getting the care that they need when it comes to posttraumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury, making sure that the certifications that they need for good jobs of the future are in place. i was having lunch with some -- a veteran in minnesota who had been a medic dealing with the most extreme circumstances. when he came home and he wanted to become a nurse, he had to start from scratch. what we have said is, let's change those certifications. the first lady's done great work with an organization called joining forces, putting our veterans back to work. and as a consequence, veterans' unemployment is lower than
the general population. it was higher when i came into office. those are the kind of things that we can now do because we're making that transition in afghanistan. >> all right. let me go to governor romney, because you talked about pakistan and what needs to be done there. general allen, our commander in afghanistan, says that americans continue to die at the hands of grouped who are supported by pakistan. we know that pack tan has arrested the doctor who helped us catch obama's bin laden. it still provides safe haven for terrorists, yet we continue to give pakistan billions of dollars. is it time for us to divorce pakistan? >> no, it's not time to divorce a nation on earth that has 100 nuclear weapons and is on the way to double that at some point. a nation that has a serious threats from terrorist groups
within its nations, as i indicated before the taliban, haqqani network. it's a nation not like others and it does not have a civilian leadership calling the shots there. and you have the isi, intelligence organization, probably most powerful of three branches there. you have the military and then you have the civilian government. this is a nation which, if it falls apart, if it becomes a failed state, there are nuclear weapons there and you've got terrorists there who could grab their hands under the nuclear weapons. this is -- this is an important part of the world for us. pakistan is technically an ally and they're not acting very much like an ally right now but we have work to do. i don't blame the administration for the fact that the relationship with pakistan is strained. we had to go into pakistan. we had to go in there to get bin laden, that was the right thing to do. and that upset them but there was obviously a great deal of anger even before that. we have to work with the people
in pakistan to try to help them move to a more responsible course than the one that they're on and it's important for them, it's important for the nuclear weapons. it's important for the success of afghanistan because inside pakistan you have a large taliban, they're going to come rushing back into afghanistan when we go and that's a reason the afghan security forces have so much work to do, to be able to fight against that. but it's important for us recognize that we can't just walk away from pakistan. but we do need to make sure, as we send support for them, that this is tied to them making progress on matters that would lead them to becoming a civil society. >> let me ask you, governor, because we know president obama's position on this, what is your position on the use of drones? >> well, i believe that we should use and all means necessary to take out people who pose a threat to us and our friends around the world. it's widely reported drones are
used in drone strikes and i support that entirely and feel the president was right to up the usage of that technology and believe we should continue to use it, go after the people who represent a threat to the nation and to our friends. let me also note that, as i said earlier, we're going have to do more than going after leaders and killing bad guys, important as that is, we're going to have to have a far more effective and comprehensive strategy to help move the world away from terror and islamic extremism. we haven't done that yet. we talk a lot about these things but you look at the record, you look at the record of the last four years and say, is iran closer to a bomb? yes. is the middle east in tumult, yes. is al qaeda on the run, on its heels? no. are israel and the palestinians closer to reaching a peace agreement? no. they haven't had talks in two years. we have not seen the progress we need to have and i'm convinced with strong leadership and an
effort to build a strategy based upon helping these nations reject extremism, we can see the peace and prosperity the world demands. >> well, keep in mind our strategy wasn't just going after bin laden. we've created partnerships throughout the region to deal with extremism in somalia, in yemen, in pakistan. and what we've also done is engage these governments in the kind of reforms that are actually going to make a difference in people's lives day to day, to make sure that their governments aren't corrupt, to make sure that they are treating women with the kind of respect and dignity that every nation that succeeds has shown. and to make sure that they've got a free market system that works. so across the board, we are engaging them in building capacity in these countries and we have stood on the side of democracy. one thing i think americans should be proud of, when
tunisians began to protest, this nation, me, my administration, stood with them earlier than just about any other country in egypt we stood on the side of democracy. in libya we stood on the side of the people. and as a consequence, there's no doubt that attitudes about americans have changed. but there are always going to be elements in these countries that potentially threaten the united states. and we want to shrink those groups and those networks, and we can do that but we're we can do that but we're also going to have maintain vigilance when it comes to terrorist activities. al qaeda is much weaker than it was when i came into office and they don't have the same capacities to attack the u.s. homeland and our allies as they did four years ago. it was soccer, and ballet, and cheerleading, and baseball. those years were crazy. so, as we go into this next phase,
you know, a big part of it for us is that there isn't anything on the schedule. i have a cold, and i took nyquil, but i'm still stubbed up. [ male announcer ] truth is, nyquil doesn't unstuff your nose. what? [ male announcer ] it doesn't have a decongestant. no way. [ male announcer ] sorry. alka-seltzer plus fights your worst cold symptoms plus has a fast-acting decongestant to relieve your stuffy nose. thanks. [ male announcer ] you're welcome. that's the cold truth! [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus. ♪ oh what a relief it is! [ male announcer ] try new alka-seltzer plus severe allergy to treat allergy symptoms plus sinus congestion and pain.
it is the rise of china and future challenges for america. i want to just begin this by asking both of you -- and mr. president, you go first this time -- what do you believe is the greatest future threat to the national security of this country? >> well, i think it will continue to be terrorist networks. we have to remain vigilant, as i just said. but with respect to china, china's both an adversary but also a potential partner in the international community if it's following the rules. so my attitude coming into office was that, we are going to insist that china plays by the same rules as everybody else. i know americans had seen jobs being shipped overseas, businesses and workers not getting a level playing field when it came to trade and that's the reason why i set up a trade
task force to go after cheaters when it came to international trade. that's the reason why we have brought more cases against china for violating trade rules than the previous administration had done in two terms, and we've done just about every case that we filed that has been decided. recently, steelworkers in ohio and throughout the midwest, pennsylvania, are in a position now to sell steel to china because we won that case. we had a tire case in which they were flooding us with cheap domestic tires -- cheap chinese tires, and we put a stop to it. as a consequence, saved jobs throughout america. i have to say that governor romney criticized me for being too tough in that tire case. said this wouldn't be good for american workers and that it would be protectionist. but i tell you those workers don't feel that way. they feel as if they had finally an administration who is going to take this issue seriously. over the long term, in order for
us to compete with china, we've also got to make sure, though, that we're taking care of business here at home. if we don't have the best education system in the world, if we don't continue to put money into research and technology that will allow us to create great businesses here in the united states, that's how we lose the competition. unfortunately governor romney's budget and his proposals would not allow us to make those investments. >> governor? >> well, first of all its not government that makes business successful. it not government investments that make businesses grow and hire people. let me also note the greatest threat that the world faces, the greatest national security threat, is a nuclear iran. let's talk about china. china has an interest that's very much like ours. in one respect, that is they want a stable world. they don't want war. they don't want to see protectionism. they don't want to see the world break out into various forms of chaos because they have to
manufacture goods and put people to work. they have 20 million people coming out of the farms every year coming into the cities, needing jobs. so they want the economy to work and the world to be free and open. and so we can be a partner with china. we don't have to be an adversary in any way, shape or form. we can work with them. we can collaborate with them if they're willing to be responsible. they look at us and say, is it a good idea to be with america? how strong are we going to be? how strong is our economy? they look at the fact that we owe them a trillion dollars and other people $16 trillion in total, including in them. they look at our decision to cut back on our military capabilities, a trillion dollars. the secretary of defense called these trillion dollars of cuts to the military devastating. it's not my term. it's the president's own secretary of defense called them devastating. look at america's commitments around the world and say, is america going to be strong?
the answer is yes, if i'm president, america will be very strong. we'll also make sure we have trade relations with china work for us. i've watched year in and year out as companies have shut down and people have lost their jobs because china has not played by the same rules, in part by holding down artificially the value of their currency, holds down prices of their goods, it means our goods aren't as competitive, and we lose jobs. that's got to end. they're making some progress. they need to make more. that's why on day one i will label them a currency manipulator which allows us to apply tariffs when taking jobs. they're stealing our intellectual property, our patents, our designs, technology. hacking into our computers. counterfeiting our goods. they have to understand we want to trade with them, we want a world that's stable, we like free enterprise but you've got to play by the rules. >> governor, let me just ask you, if you declared them a currency manipulator on day one, some people are saying you're
just going to start a trade war with china on day one. is that -- isn't there a risk that that could happen? >> well, they sell us about this much stuff every year. we sell them about this much stuff every year. it's clear who doesn't want a trade war and there's one going on now which we don't know about, it's a silent one, and they're winning. we have enormous trade imbalance with china and it's worse this year than last year and it's worse last year than the year before. we have to understand we can't just surrender ands will jobs year and year out. we have to say to friends in china, look, you guys are playing aggressively, we understand it, but this can't keep on going. you can't keep on holding down the value of your currency, stealing intellectual property, counterfeiting our products, selling them around the world, even the united states. i was with a company that makes a valve in process industries and they said we were having valves coming in that were broken and had to repair them
unwar under warranty and noticed there were counterfeit products made overseas with the same serial number with the u.s. company, same packaging being sold in our market and around the world as if they were made by the u.s. competitor. this can't go on. i want a great relationship with china. 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. >> governor romney is right, you are familiar with jobs shipped overseas because you invested in companies that were shipping jobs overseas and, you know, that's your right. i mean that's how our free market works. but i've made a different bet on american workers. if we had taken your advice governor romney about our auto tri, we'd be buying cars from china instead of selling cars to china. if we take your advice with respect to how we change our tax
cos so companies earn profits overseas don't pay u.s. taxes compared to companies here that are paying taxes, that's estimated to create 800,000 jobs. the problem is they won't be here, they'll be in place likes china. and if we're not making investments in education and basic research, which is not something that the private sector is doing at a sufficient pace right now, and has never done, then we will lose the lead in things like clean energy technology. now, with respect to what we've done with china already, u.s. exports have doubled since i came into office to china, and actually currencies are at their most advantageous point for u.s. exporters since 1993. we absolutely have to make more progress and that's why we're going to keep on pressing. when it comes to our military and chinese security, part of the reason that we are able to pivot to the asia pacific region after having ended the war in
iraq and transitioning out of afghanistan is precisely because this is going to be a massive growth area in the future. and we believe china can be a partner but we're also sending a is a pacific power that we are going to have a presence there, we are working with countries in the region to make sure, for example, that ships can pass through, that commerce continues and we're organizing trade relations with countries other than china so that china starts feeling more pressure about meeting basic international standards. that's the kind of leadership we've shown in the region. that's the kind of leadership we'll continue to show. >> i just want to take one of those points, again, attacking me is not talking about an agenda for getting more trade and opening up more jobs in this country. but the president mentioned the auto industry and that somehow i would be in favor of jobs being elsewhere. nothing could be further from the truth. i'm a son of detroit.
i was born in detroit. my dad was head of a car company. i like american cars. and i would do nothing to hurt the u.s. auto industry. my plan to get the industry on its feet when it was in real trouble was not to start writing checks, it was president bush that wrote the first check, i disagreed with that and said they needs they companies, they need to go through a managed bankruptcy, and through that process they can get government help and government guarantees but they need to go through a bankruptcy to get rid of excess cost and the debt burden they built up and -- >> governor romney, that's not what you said. >> fortunately -- >> you can take a look. >> governor romney -- >> you can take a look -- >> you did not say -- >> i said we would provide guarantees and that's what was able to allow these companies to go through bankruptcy to come out of bankruptcy, under no circumstances would i do anything other than to help this industry get on its feet and the idea that has been suggested i would liquidate the industry, of course not. of course not. >> let's check the record.
>> that's the height of silliness. >> let's check the record. >> i nerf never said i would liquidate the industry. >> governor, people in detroit don't forget. >> that's why i have the kind of commitment to make sure that our industries in this country to compete and be successful, we in this country can compete successfully with anyone in the world and we're going to. we're going to have to have a president, however, that doesn't think that somehow the government investing in car companies like tessla and fisker and making electric battery car, this is not research, mr. president, these are the government investing in companies, investing in solyndra. this is a company, this isn't basic research. i want to invest in research. research is great providing funding to universities and think tanks, great, but investing in companies, absolutely not. >> governor -- >> that's the wrong way to go. i'm still speaking. i want to make sure we make america more competitive and that we do those things that make america the most attractive place in the world for entrepreneurs, innovators,
businesses to grow, but you're investing in companies doesn't do that. in fact, it makes it less likely for them to come here because the private sector is not going to invest in the solar company. >> i'm happy to respond to you. >> if you're investing -- >> have the floor for awhile. look, i think anybody out there can check the record. governor romney, you keep on trying to, you know, air brush history here. you were very clear that you would not provide government assistance to the u.s. auto companies even if they went through bankruptcy. you said that they could get it in the private marketplace. that wasn't true. they would have gone through a liquidation -- >> you're wrong. >> i am not wrong. people will look it up. but more importantly, it is true that in order for us to be competitive we're going to have to make some smart choices right now. cutting our education budget, that's not a smart choice. that will not help us compete with china.
cutting our investments in research and technology, that's not a smart choice. that will not help us compete with china. bringing down our deficit by adding $7 trillion of tax cuts and military spending that our military is not asking for before we even get to the debt that we currently have, that is not going to make us more competitive. those are the kinds of choices that the american people face right now. having a tax code that rewards companies overseas instead of the united states, that will not make us more competitive and the one thing that i'm absolutely clear about is that after a decade in which we saw drift, jobs being shipped overseas, nobody championing american workers and american businesses, 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. and 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. the policies of the last four years has seen incomes in america decline every year for middle income families. now down $4,300 during your term. 23 million americans still struggling to find a good job. when you came to office, 32 million people on food stamps, today, 47 million people on food stamps. when you came to office, just over $10 trillion in debt. now $16 trillion in debt. it hasn't worked. you said by now we'd be at 5.4% unemployment. we're 9 million jobs short of that. i've met some of those people. i've met them in appleton, wisconsin. i met a young woman in philadelphia, who's coming out of college, can't find work. i've met -- ann was with someone the other day who was weeping about not being able to get work. it's just a tragedy in a nation so prosperous as ours that the last four years have been so
hard. and that's why it's so critical that we make america once again the most attractive place in the world to start businesses, to build jobs, to grow the economy. and that's not going to happen by just hiring teachers. look, i love -- i love teachers and i'm happy to have states and communities that want to hire teachers do that. by the way, i don't like the federal government start pushing its way deeper and deeper into our schools, let the states and localities do that. i was a governor. the federal government didn't hire our teachers. >> governor. >> but i love teachers but i want to get our private sector growing and i know how to do it. >> i think we all love teachers. gentlemen, thank you very much for a very vigorous debate. we've come to the end. time for a closing statement. [ woman ] it's 32 minutes to go time,
and the candidate's speech is in pieces all over the district. the writer's desktop and the coordinator's phone are working on a joke with local color. the secure cloud just received a revised intro from the strategist's tablet. and while i make my way into the venue, the candidate will be rehearsing off of his phone. [ candidate ] and thanks to every young face i see out there. [ woman ] his phone is one of his biggest supporters. [ female announcer ] with cisco at the center... working together has never worked so well. [ female announcer ] with cisco at the center... one is for a clean, wedomestic energy future that puts us in control. our abundant natural gas is already saving us money, producing cleaner electricity, putting us to work here in america and supporting wind and solar. though all energy development comes with some risk, we're committed to safely and responsibly producing natural gas. it's not a dream. america's natural gas... putting us in control of our energy future, now.