Foreign Policy Debate Turns To US Economy

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Presidents Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney are shifting their debate on foreign policy toward domestic issues that are foremost on voters' minds.

Obama turned questions during Monday's third and final debate around and made them about jobs and the economy. Romney, too, pivoted from foreign policy questions to his five-point domestic agenda for jobs and the economy.

At one point, debate moderator Bob Schieffer seemed exasperated. "Let me get back to foreign policy," he pleaded.

Obama answered one foreign policy question by talking about his education initiatives and criticized Romney's tenure as Massachusetts governor.

Romney, too, detoured stateside. When asked about America's role in the world, he shifted the talk to college students who are graduating without jobs.

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President Barack Obama is taking an aggressive posture toward rival Mitt Romney in Monday's debate, at one point saying the Republican's policy proposals are so outdated "the 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back."

The two sparred early in the debate moderated by CBS News anchor Bob Schieffer.

After Romney voiced concerns about the persistent threat of al-Qaida in the Middle East, Obama noted Romney had once called Russia the nation's gravest geopolitical threat.

Obama said Romney's policy positions were rooted in the 1980s and his views on social issues are rooted in the 1950s.

Romney said he wouldn't have "rose-colored glasses" toward Russian leader Vladimir Putin and chided Obama for suggesting he would have greater flexibility toward Russia after the election.

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President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney say they are both opposed to sending U.S. troops to Syria to end the violence there.

Obama says that while attacks by government forces against Syrian citizens is heartbreaking, getting the U.S. "entangled militarily" would be a serious step. Romney essentially agreed, saying he doesn't want the U.S. military involved in Syria.

Romney said the United States should be playing a leadership role in identifying responsible opposition groups in Syria and making sure they have the arms they need to fight President Bashar Assad's regime.

Obama says the U.S. is working with allies in the region to learn more about the opposition. But he says giving heavy weapons to those groups is not "a simple proposition."

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Republican Mitt Romney says he praises rival President Barack Obama for ordering the raid that killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, but adds that the United States "can't kill our way out of this mess" of religious extremism.

Romney opened Monday's third and final presidential debate by criticizing Obama's policies toward Islamic extremism. He says that Obama missed an opportunity during the Arab Spring and says that Obama has not done enough to block Iran from building a nuclear weapon.

Obama says Romney has not been in a position to execute foreign policy, but adds that his positions to this point have "been all over the map." Romney says his strategy "is pretty straight forward: go after the bad guys."


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