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tv   Presidential Debate  Current  October 22, 2012 10:00pm-12:00am PDT

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>> cenk: the last presidential debate on right now. bob schieffer will be sitting down in a minute, and we'll have a debate for you. my last question in regards to the predebate is for everyone in the new york studio here, does the president have to win this debate, and if so, by how much? >> al gore: cenk i think it would certainly be good for him. i think that -- yeah, i think he really does have to. i don't know how to interpret all of the analyses about who has the momentum. i think the president's advantage in the ground game is
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going to help a lot, but it would help to get a win here. >> jennifer: yeah, i agree. eliot made that point before we went to break, and i agree with you. >> john: yes, i agree. >> jennifer: cenk how about you? >> i think the president stands a better chance of winning than romney does. but we'll see how they both play. so here is the last 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 of presidential debates. one is on foreign policy. i'm bob schieffer of cbs news. the questions are mine, and i have not shared them with the
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candidates or their aids. the audience has taken a vow of silence. no reaction of any kind except right now, when we welcome president barack obama and governor romney. [ cheers and applause ] >> gentlemen your campaigns have agreed to certain rules, and they are simple. they have asked me to divide the evening into segments. i'll poesz a question at the beginning of each segment. you will each have two minutes to respond, and then we will have a general discussion until we move to the next segment.
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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 installs nuclear missiles in cuba. and it is a sobering reminder that ever 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'm going to put this into two segments. the first question and it concerns libya, the controversy over what happened here continues. four americans are dead including an american ambassador. questions remain what hand, what caused it?
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was it is 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 unravelling 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, and thank you for agreeing to moderate this debate this evening. thank you to lynn university for welcoming us here. and mr. president it is nice to be with you again. this is obviously an area of great concern to the entire world and to 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
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part of women in public life and economic life in the middle east, but instead we have seen in nation after nation a number of disturbing events. of course we see in syria 30,000 civilians having been killed by the military there. we see in libya an attack apparently i think we know how by terrorists of some kind. four people dead. our hearts and minds to them mally has been taken over. we have in egypt a muslim brotherhood. and of course the greatest threat of all is iran. and we're going to have to recognize is do as the president has done. i congratulate him on taking out osama bin laden, and going after
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al chi da. but we're not going to kill our way out of this mess. we have to help the worldist lam and other parreds of the world, this is a group that is involved in ten or 12 countries, and presents an enormous threat to the world, to america, long term, and we must have a comprehensive strategy to help reject this extremism. >> mr. president. >> my first job is to keep america safe. and that's what we have done. we ended the war on iraq and refocused our attention on those who actually killed us on 9/11, as a consequence, al-qaeda's core leadership has been decimated. we're able to transition out of afghanistan in a responsible way, and that allows us also to
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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 what hand, and number three, most importantly that we would go after those who killed americans and bring them to justice, and that's exactly what we're going to do, but i think it's important to step back and think about what happened in libya. keep in mind that i and americans took leadership in organizing an international coalition that made sure we were able to -- without putting troops on the ground, at a cost that was less than what we spent
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in two weeks in iraq, got rid of a december pit who had killed americans, and you had tens of thousands of libbians 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 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 america or build on opportunities that exist in the middle east. >> my strategy is pretty straightforward which is to go after the bad guys, make sure we do our very best to interrupt them, kill them, take them out of the picture, but my stradgy is broader than that. that's important, of course, but the key we're going to have to pursue is a pathway to get the
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muslim word to reject the extremism on their own. the right course is to make sure we go after the leaders of the various anti-american groups, and gee ha dises, but also help the muslim world. and how do we do that? a group of arab scholars came together to look at how we can help the world reject these terrorists, and the answer is this, we should key our foreign aid foreign investment and that of our friends, we should coordinate it to push back, we have to help these nations create civil societies, but what has been happening over the last couple of years is we watched this rising in the middle east, this rising side of chaos occur.
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the groups are throughout many nations in the middle east. it's wonderful that libya seems to be making some progress, but next door, of course, we have egypt. we want to make sure we're seeing progress throughout the middle east, with having north mali taken over, and this is a region -- and of course iran on the path to a nuclear weapon -- >> let's give the president a chance. >> governor romney i'm glad that you recognize that al-qaeda is a threat, because a few months ago when you were asked what is the bigge bigge biggest geopolitical threat, you said russia. you seem to want to import the
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foreign policies of the 1980s. just like the social policies of the 1950s. you say you are not interested in duplicating what happened in iraq, but just a few weeks ago you said we should have more troops in iraq now. and the challenge we have -- i know you haven't been in a position to actually execute foreign policy, but ever time you have offered an opinion, you have been wrong. you said we should have gone into iraq despite there were no weapons of mass destruction. you said 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 senator, democrats and republicans voted for it. you said first we should not have a time line in afghanistan. then you say we should. and now you say maybe, or it depends.
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which means not only were you wrong, but you were confusing and sending mixed messages to our troops and allies. what we need is strong, steady leadership, not wrong and reckless leadership that is all over the map. and unfortunately that's the kind of opinions you have offered throughout this campaign, and it is not a recipe for american strength -- >> i want to add a couple of minutes to give you a chance to respond. >> of course, i don't concur with what the president said about my own record and the things that i have said. but i can say this, we're talking about the middle east and how to help the middle east reject the kind of terrorism we're seeing, and attacking me is not an agenda. attacking me is not talking about how we're going to deal with the challenges that exist in the middle east and take an opportunity there, but i'll respond to a couple of things
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you mentioned. first of all russia i indicated is a geopolitical foe -- >> number one -- >> excuse me. it is a geopolitical foe. and i said iran is the greatest national security issue we face. russia does continue to battle us in the un time and time again. i'm going to say to mr. put in, i'll give him more flexibility after the election. number two, you and i agree that there is a status of forces -- >> that is not true. what i would not have done is left 10,000 troops? iraq -- >> i'm sorry there was an effort on the part of the president -- and i concurred and said we should have some number of troops that stayed on -- >> governor -- >> you thought it should have been 5,000 troops.
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i thought it should have been more troops. >> this is just a few weeks ago that you indicated that we should still have troops in iraq -- >> no, i indicated -- >> you said it in your speech -- >> i indicated that you failed to put in place -- >> governor here is one thing -- here's one thing i have learned as commander in chief. you have got to be clear both to our allies and 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 to make sure we're taking advantage of the opportunities and meeting the challenge in the middle east. it is true we cannot just meeted the challenges militarily. so what i have done and will continue to do is make sure these countries are supporting
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our county terrorist measures. and make sure they are standing by israel. number three, we do have to make sure we're protecting religious minorities and women because these countries can't develop unless all of the populations is developing. number four, we do have to develop their economic capabilities, but number 5, the other thing we have to do is recognize we can't continue to do nation building in these regions. we have to make sure we are also doing nation building here at home. >> let me interject the second topic question in this segment about the middle east and so on, and that is you both eluded to this, and that is syria. the war in syria has spilled over into lebanon. there were demonstrations there, eight people there. mr. president it has been more
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than a year since you told assad he had to go. since then 30,000 sirrians have died. we have had 300,000 refugees. the war goes on. he is still there. should we re-assess our policy and see if we can find a better way to influence events there. and is that even possible? >> what we have done is organize the international community, saying assad has to go. we have mobilized sanctions against that military. we are helping the opposition organize, and we are making sure we mobilize the moderate forces inside of syria. but sirrians ultimately are going to have to do determine their future. everything we are doing we're
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doing with consultedation with our allies in the region, including israel. what we're seeing taking place in syria is heart breaking, that's why we are going to do everything we can to make sure we are helping the opposition. but we also have to recognize for us to get more entangled in syria is a serious step, and we have to do so, making absolutely certain we know who we are helping, that we're not putting arms in the hands of folks that could event yulely turn them against us or our allies. and i am confident assad's days are numbers, but what we can't do as governor romney has suggested that giving weapons to the opposition is the way to go.
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>> first of all, 30,000 people being killed by their government is a disaster. and syria plays an important role in the middle east. syria is iran's only ally in the arab world. it's their route to the sea, and their route to arm hezbulla. and we don't want to have military involvement there. we don't want to get drawn into a military conflict. so the right course is to identify responsibility parties within syria, organize them, bring them together in the form of -- if not government, a form of council, and then make sure they have the arms necessary to defending themselves. we do need to make sure that they don't have arms that get
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into the wrong hands. those arms could be used to hurt us down the world. we need to make sure we coordinate this effort with our allies. but there are nations that are very worried about this. we need an effective leadership in syria, making sure that the insurgents that become armed will be the responsibility parties. i believe assad can and must go, but i want to make sure we have friendships with the people that take his place such that in the years to come we see syria as a friend and responsible party in the middle east. this is a critical opportunity for america, and what i'm afraid of is we have watched first the president say we'll let the un deal with it. and they tried to have a cease
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fire. then looked to the russians and said let's see if you can do something. we should be playing the leadership role there. >> we are playing leadership role. we are organizing the friends of syria, and we are making sure that those we help are those who will be friends of ours in the long term. and friends and our allies in theory gone in the long term. but going back to libya, when we went in to libya, and we were able to immediately stop the massacre there because of the unique circumstances and the coalition that we helped to organize, we always had to make sure that moammar gadhafi, didn't stay there. but when it came time to making sure that gadhafi did not stay
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in power, governor, your suggestion was this was mission creep. this was mission muddle. imagine if we had pulled out at that point? he had more american blood on his hands than any individual other than osama bin laden, so we were going to make sure we finished the job. that's part of the reason why the libbians 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 we could work with, and we have to take the same kind of steady, thoughtful leadership when it comes to syria. >> governor would you go beyond what the administration would do? >> i don't want to have our military involved in syria. i don't anticipate a necessity
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to put our military in syria. my approach would be to have a new government, and make sure they get armed. and they have the arms necessary to defend themselves, and also to remove assad, but i don't want to see a military involvement on the part of our troops, and this isn't going to be necessary. we have sufficient resources to support those groups. but, look, this has been going on for a year. this should have been a time for american leadership. we should have taken a leadership role 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 formed a unity group. that needs to happen, america can help that happen, and we
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need to make sure they have the arms they need. >> can we get a quick response? >> governor romney doesn't have different ideas, that's because we're doing exactly what we should be doing to try to promote a modern sirrian leadership and effective transition to get assad out. that's the leadership we have shown and will continue to show. >> during the egyptian turmoil, there came a time when you said there was the president to go. someone in your administration thought perhaps we should have waited a while on that. do you have any regrets on that? >> no, i don't because i think america has to stand with democracy. the notion that we would have tanks run over those young
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people in the square, that is not the type of leadership that john f. kennedy talked about. but now they have to make sure that they take responsibility for protecting religious minorities, and we have put significant pressure on them to make sure they are doing that, to recognize the rights of women. these countries can't develop if young women are given the kind of education that they need. they have to abide by their treaty with israel. that's a red line for us, because not only is israel's security at stake, but ours is at stake if that unravelled. and we will help them with respect to developing their own economy, because ultimately, what is going to make the egyptian revolution successful for the people of egypt and the world, is if those young people who are gathered there are seeing opportunities. they want jobs.
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they want to be able to make sure their kids are going to a good school. they want to make sure they have a roof over their heads and the prospects of a better life in the future, and so one of the things we have been doing is organizing entrepreneurship conferences with these egyptians to give them a sense of how they can start rebuilding their economy in a way that is non-corrupt, and transparent, but also for america to be successful in this region, there are some things we're going to have to do here at home as well. one of the challenges over the last decade is we have done experiments in nation building in places like iraq and afghanistan, and we are neglected developing our own system. and it's very hard for us to project leddership around the world when we're not doing that. >> governor romney would you
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have stuck with the egyptian president? >> no, i supported the president's action there. i wish we would have had a better vision of the future. i wish looking back at the beginning of the president's term and even further back, that we would have recognized that there was a growing energy and passion for freedom in that part of the world, and we would have worked aggressively with our friends to make the transition. but once it exploded, i felt the same as the president did, which is these freedom voices in the streets of egypt for the people that were speaking of our principals, and the president had done things which are were unimaginable, and the idea of hitch crushing his people is not something we would possibly support. our purpose is to make sure the world is peaceful. we want a peaceful planet.
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we want people to be able to enjoy their lives and know they are going to have a bright and prosperous future. but for us to be able to promote principals of peace requires us to be strong, and that begins with a strong economy here at home. and unfortunately the economy is not stronger. when the president of iran says that our debt makes us not a great country, that's a frightening thing. former joints chief of staff said that our debt is the biggest national security threat that we face. we have weakened our economy. we need a strong economy, and a strong military. our military is second to none in the world. but the idea of a trillion dollars in cuts through sequestration and budget cuts to the military would change that.
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we would have strong allies. our connection with our allies is essential. we're the great nation that has allies. and finally we have to stand by our principles. but unfortunately in nowhere in the world is america's influence greater than it was four years ago -- >> all right. you will get a chance to respond to that. because that is a perfect segue into our next segment. and that what is america's role in the world? what do each of you see as our role in the world. governor romney. >> 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 include
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human rights, human dignity. elections, because when there are elections people tend to vote for peace, not war. we recognize there are places of conflict in the world. we want to end those conflicts to the extent humanly possible. but america must be strong to fulfill that role. 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 kids coming out of college, half of them can't find a job today, or a job commensurate with their college degree. and our military. we have to strengthen our military long term. we don't know what the world is going to throw at it. we make decisions in the military that will confront
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challenges that we can't imagine. in 2000 there was no mention of terrorism, for example, and a year later 9/11 happened. i will not cut our military budget. we have to also stand by our allies. the attention that existed between israel and the united states was very unfortunate. i think also pulling our missile program out of poland was also unfortunate. and then of course with regards to standing for our principles, when the students took to the streets in theron, for the president to be silent, i thought was an enormous mistake. we need to stand for our principles, our allies, and a strong economy. >> mr. president. >> america remains the one
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indispensable america. and it is stronger now than when i came into office. we ended the war in iraq and then were able to refocus our attention on the terrorist threat, and focus alliances that had been neglected for decades. with israel we have unprecedented military and intelligence cooperation. but what we also have been able to do is position ours to that we can start to rebuild america. and that's what my plan does, making sure we bring our jobs back here. making sure we have the best education system in the world, including retraining our workers
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for the jobs of tomorrow, doing everything we can to control our own energy. we have cut our oil imports to the lowest level in two decades. we also have to develop clean energy technologies that will allow us to cut our exports in half by 2020. that's the kind of leadership we need to show, and make sure we reduce our deficit. unfortunately governor romney's plan doesn't do it. and we also have to ask the wealthyist to pay a little bit more so we can invest in research and technology that has always kept us at the cutting edge. governor romney has taken a different approach throughout this campaign. he has proposed wrong and reckless policies, and he has praised george bush as a great economic stewart, and taking us
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back to those kinds of strategy that got us into this mess are now how we are going to take our leadership into the 21st century. >> governor romney? >> when it comes to our economy here at home i know what it takes to create 12 million new jobs. the president said by now we would be at 5.4% unemployment. we're 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. we will have north american energy independence. number two, we're going to increase our trade. trade grows about 12% per year. 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.
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latin america's economy is almost as big as the economy of china. we're all focused on china. latin america is a huge opportunity for us. time zone. language opportunities. number three, training programs and schools that finally put the parents and teachers and kids first, and the teacher's union is going to have to go behind. and then get to an balanced budget. we can't expect entrepreneurs and businesses large and small to invest in america if they think we're headed to the road to greece. and that's where we are headed now. and finally, number five, we have got to champion small business. small businesses where jobs come from, two-thirds of our jobs come from small businesses. new business formation is down to the lowest level in 30 years under this administration. i want to get back good jobs and
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rising take home pay. >> governor romney talks about small businesses, but governor when you were in massachusetts, small businesses development ranked about 48th, i think out of 50 states, because the pollties that you are promoteding don't help small businesses. they help folks at the top. let's take an example that we know is going to make a difference, and that's our education policy. under my leadership we have reformed education, working with governors, 46 states. we have seen progress in gains in schools that were having a terrible time, and they are starting to finally make progress, and now i wanted to hire more teachers especially in math and science. those teachers can make a
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difference. now governor romney when you were asked by teachers whether or not this would help the economy grow, you said this isn't going to help the economy grow. when you were asked about reduced class sizes, you said class sizes don't make a difference. but 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 we need for our kids, that's what is going to determine whether or not the new businesses are located here, companies are going to locate here, and the kinds of budget proposals that you have put forward, when we don't ask either you or me to pay a dime more, but instead we slash our budget for education, that is not good for america's position in the world. and the world notices. >> let me get back to foreign policy. >> i need to spoke just a moment
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about education. because i'm so proud of the state i had the chance to be governor of. we have every two years that look at how our kids were doing. when i was governor our fourth graders came out number 1 in english and math. and also our eight graders were number one. how do we do that? republicans and democrats came together on a bipartisan basis that put in place education principals that focused on having great teachers in the classroom. >> that was ten years before you took office. and then you cut education when you came into to office -- >> and we kept our schools number one in the nation, and they are still number one today. we also gave kids not just a graduation exam, that determines whether they were up to the skills that they needed to
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compete, and if they graduated in the top quarter of their class they got a full ride -- >> that happened before you came into office -- >> that was actually mine. >> i want to try to 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? >> well, first of all i'm going through from the very beginning, we're going to cut about 5% of the discretionary budget with the exclusion of the military -- [ overlapping speakers ] >> come on our website and we look at how we get an balanced budget. number one i get rid of
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obamacare. that one doesn't sound good, and it's not affordable. so i would get rid of that one from day one. we make program after program that we don't absolutely have to have, and get rid of them. number two we take some programs that we are going to keep like medicaid, take that healthcare program for the poor and give it to the states to run, because states run these programs more efficiently. as a governor, i fought please -- give me this program -- i can run this more efficiently than the federal government, and states are proving it. states are showing they can run -- >> bob -- >> i want to get this to an balanced budget -- >> bob -- >> let's come back to the military -- >> that's what i'm trying to -- >> he should have answered the first question.
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look, governor romney has called for $5 trillion of tax cuts that he says he is going pay for by closing deduction. now the math doesn't work but he continues to claim he is going to do it. he wants to spend $2 trillion on military spending that our military is not asking for. our military spending has gone up every single year that i have been in office. we spend more on our military than the next ten countries combined. china, russia, france, united kingd kingdom, you name it. i worked with our joint chiefs of staff to think about what we are going to need in the future to keep it safe. but what you can't do is spend $2 trillion in additional military spending that the military is not asking for, $5 trillion on tax cuts, you say that you are going to pay for it
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by closing loopholes and deductions without naming what those loopholes and deductions are, and somehow you're 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 budgets -- we have to think about capabilities. we need to think about cyber security, and space. that's exactly what our budget does, but it's driven by strategy. not politics, members of congress and what they would like to see. it's driven by what are we going to need to keep the american people safe. that's exactly what our budget does, and allows us to reduce our deficit which is a significant national security concern, because we have to make sure our economy is strong at home, so we can project military power overseas. >> bob, i'm pleased that i balance budgets.
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i was in the world of business for 25 years. i went to the olympics and got that balanced. i had a 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. the president hasn't balanced a budget yet. i expect to have the opportunity to do it myself. let's talk about military spending, and that's it -- our navy smaller now than any time since 1917. the navy said they needed 313 ships to carry out their mission. we are now at 285. we're down to the low 200s if we go through sequestration. our air force is older and smaller than any time it was founded. we changed for the first time since fdr -- we have always had the strategy of saying we can fight in two conflicts at once.
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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 budget by a trillion dollars, which is a combination of the cuts the president has as well as the sequestration cuts. that is making our future less certain -- >> first of all [ inaudible ] the is not something that i have proposed. it is something congress proposed. it will not happening. we're not reducing our military spending, it is maintaining it. you mentioned the navy. governor we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military has changed. we have these things called aircraft carriers where planes land of them. we have ships that go
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underwater, nuclear submarines, it's what are our capabilities. so when i sit down with the secretary of the navy, and 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, makes sure our veterans have the kind of support that they need when they come home, and that is not reflected in the kind of budget that you are putting forward, because it just doesn't work. and we visited the website quite a bit, and it still doesn't work. [ laughter ] >> a lot to cover, i would like to move to the next segment. red lines, israel and iran. would either of you, and 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
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united states, which of course is the same promise we give to our close allies like japan. and if you made such a decoration would that not deter iran? it certainly deterred the soviet union for a long, long time when we made that president. >> first of all israel is a true friend, and if israel is attacked, america will stand with israel. i have made that clear throughout my presidency -- >> so you are saying you have already made that declaration. >> i will stand with israel if they are attacked. and we have created the strongest military and intelligence cooperation between our two countries in history. in fact this week we'll 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
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weapon. i have made that clear when i came into office. we then organized the strongest coalition and strongest sanctions against iran in history, and it is crippling their economy. their currency has dropped 80%. their oil production has projected. their economy is in a shambles. and the reason we did this is because a nuclear iran is a threat to our national security, and israel's national security. we cannot afford to have a nuclear arms race in the most volatile area in the world. and they have said they want to see israel wiped off of the map. so the work that we have done with respect to sanctions now offers iran a choice. they can take the diplomatic
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root and end their nuclear program or they have to face a united world, and a united states president, me, who said we're not going to take any options off of the table. the disagreement i have with governor romney is during the course of this campaign, he has often talked like we should take premature action. i always understand that that is the last resort, not the first resort. >> two minutes. >> first of all i want to underscore the same point the president made. which is 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, culturally, but militarily, that's number one. number two, there's no question that a nuclear capable iran is unacceptable to americans. it presents a threat to our
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friends and to us. to have nuclear weapons that could be used against us. crippling sanctions are something i called for five years ago when i was in israel. i laid out seven steps, crippling sanctions were number one. and they do work. it is absolutely the right thing to do to have crippling sanctions. i would have put them in place earlier, but it's good we have them. nob -- number two, i would tighten those sanctions. ships couldn't come into our ports, and companies moving their oil can't, people trading in their oil can't. secondly, i would take on diplomatic isolation efforts.
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i would make sure he is indicted in the genocide organization. and they are treated like they are around the world. we need to increase pressure time and time again on iran, because anything other than a solution to this, which stops this nuclear follie of theirs is unacceptable to america, and of course a military action is the last resort. it is something would one only -- only consider if all of the other avenues had been -- had been tried to their full extent. >> let me ask both of you, there -- as you know there are reports that are on and the united states as part of an international group having a agreed in principal to talk about iran's nuclear program. what is the deal that you would accept, mr. president? >> well, first of all those are
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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, and abide by the un resolutions that have been in place, because they had the opportunity to re-enter the community of nations, and we would welcome that. there -- there are people in iran who have the sames a spir rations as people all around the world, for a better life, and we hope that their leadership takes the right direction. but the deal we will accept is that they end their nuclear program. i'm glad governor romney agrees with the steps we are taking. there have been timing during the course of this campaign where it sounded like you would do the same things we did but you would say them louder and
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that would make a difference. the work involved in this is pain staking, it is meticulous. we started from the day we got in office. we had to make sure that all of the countries participated, even countries like russia and china, because if it's just us that are imposing sanctions -- we have had sanctions in place for a long time. it's because we have everybody seeing that iran has so much pressure. they must abide by the rules that have already been established, convince the world they are not developing a nuclear program, but over time they can regain credibility. in the meantime, though, we're not going to let up the pressure, until we have clear evidence that that is not going to take place.
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and the clock is ticking. we're not going to allow iran to perpetually engage in negotiations that go nowhere. we have a sense of when they would get break-out capacity which means that we would not be able to intervene in time, 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. >> governor? >> i think one of the challenges we have had with iran is they looked at this administration and felt the administration was not as strong as it needed to be. i think they saw weakness where they had expected to find strength. the president in his campaign some four worlds ago said he would meet with all of these word's worst actors in his first
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year, and i think they looked and thought, well, that's an unusual honor to receive from the president of the united states, and then the president began what i have called an apology tour of going to various nations in the middle east and criticized america. and when they were in the green revolution, holding signs saying is america with us? the president was silent. i think they noticed that as well. and when the president said he was going to create daylight between ourselves and israel, they noticed that as well. all of these things suggested that, hey, we can keep on pushing along here, but we're just going to keep on spinning centrifuges. now there are 10,000 centrifuges spinning uranium. that's unacceptable for us, and
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it's essential for a president to show strength from the very beginning, and an iranian nuclear program is not acceptable to us. they must not develop nuclear capability. and the way to make sure they understand that is to have from the very beginning the tightest sanctions possible. we need to indict the leader, and put the pressure on them as hard as we possibly can. >> bob let me just respond. nothing governor romney just said is true, starting with this notion of me apologizing. this has been probably the biggest whopper that has been told during this campaign. and every fact checker has looked at it, and said it's not true. and when it comes to tightening sanctions, as i said before, we
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put in the tightest most crippling sanctions ever. and while we were coordinating an international coalition, you were still investing in a chinese oil company. 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. so the strength we have shown in iran is shown by the fact 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 in
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many years, and we're going to continue to keep the pressure on to make sure they do not get a nuclear weapon. >> we're four years closer to a nuclear iran. we're four years closer to a nuclear iran. and we should not have wasted these four years to the extent they continue to be able to spin these centrifuges, and number two, mr. president the reason i call it an apology tour, is because you flew around the world, and by the way you skipped israel, but you didn't to the other nations. and they noticed that you skipped israel. and you said america had been dismissive and divisive. you said on occasion america had dictated from other nations -- >> bob, let me -- let me
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respond. if we're going to talk about trips we have taken, 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 donors, adidn't attend fundraisers. i went to the holocaust museum there, to remind myself the nature of evil and why our bond with israel will be unbreakable, and then i went down to the boarder town, 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, so that's how i have used my
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travels when i traveled to israel and the region, and the -- the central question at this point is going to be who is going to be credible to all parties involved, and they can look at my track record. whether it's iran's sanctions, whether it's dealing with counter terrorism, whether it's supporting democracy, supporting women's rights, or minorities, and they can say the president of united states, and the united states of america has stood on the right side of history, and that kind of credibility is precisely why we have been able to show leadership on a wide range of issues facing the world right now. >> 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? >> bob's let's not go into
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hypotheticals of that nature. our relationship -- my relationship with israel would not get a call of such a nature saying our bombers are on the way -- >> so you would say -- [ overlapping speakers ] >> let me -- let me come back -- let me come back to the what the president was speaking about, which is what is happening around the world. and the president's statement that things are going so well. i see iran four years closer to a bomb. i see the middle east with a rising tide, i see jihadists continuing to spread. i see syria with 30,000 civilians dead, assad still in power. i see our trade deficit with china larger -- growing larger every year matter of fact. i look around the world and i
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don't see -- you see north korea continuing to export their nuclear technology. russia is backing away from a treaty we had with them. i see your influence receding. in part because of our withdrawal from our commitment to the military, in part because of the turmoil with israel. the president received a letter from 38 democrat senator saying the attentions were israel were a real problem. they asked him please repair the tensions -- >> all right. >> 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
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now iran, you have been all over the map. i mean i'm pleased that you now are endorsing our policy of applying diplomatic pressure, and potentially having bilateral discussions with the iranians to end their nuclear program, but just a few years ago, you said that's something you would never do. in the same way that you initially opposed a timetable in afghanistan. now you are for it, although it depends. in the same way that you say 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
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2008, i said i would take that shot, you said we shouldn't move heaven and earth to find one man, and we should ask pakistan for permission. after we killed bin laden i was at ground zero for a memorial, and talked to a young woman who was four years old when 9/11 happened. and the last conversation she had with her father was 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 by finally getting bin laden that brought some closure to me. and when we the things like that, bring those who have harmed us to justice, that seconds a message to the world,
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and it tells peyton we did not forget her father, and that's the kind of clarity of leadership, and those decisions are not always popular. those decisions generally are not poll tested. and even some in my own party had the same critique as you do, but what the american people understand is that i look at what we need to get done to keep the american people safe and move our interest forward, and i make those decisions. >> all right. let's go, and this takes us right to the next segment, governor. america's longest war -- >> bob -- you can't have the president just lay out a whole series of items without giving me a chance -- >> with respect, sir, you laid out quite a program. >> well, that's probably true. >> we'll catch up. the united states is scheduled to turn over responsibility for security to afghanistan in 2014.
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at that point we will withdraw our combat troops, leave a smaller force of americans in afghanistan for training purposes. it seems to me the key question 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? and i believe governor romney you go first. >> we're going to be finished by 2014 and when i'm president we'll make sure we bring our troops out by the end of 2014. the commanders and generals are on track to do so. 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.
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i can tell you at the same time that we will make sure that we look at what is happening in pakistan and recognize that what is happening in pakistan is going to have a major impact on the success in afghanistan. and i say that because some people in our nation feel like we should just walk away. but pakistan is important to the region, the world, and to us. because pakistan has a hundred nuclear war heads. they'll have more than great britain in the near future. they have the taliban existent in their country. so a pakistan that falls apart would be an extraordinary danger to afghanistan and us, so we're going to have to remain helpful to encouraging pakistan toward
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building a more stable government, and that means our aid has to be conditioned upon certain benchmarks being met. so i look at this as both a need to help move pakistan in the right direction and get afghanistan to 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 delivered a surge of troops that was facilitated in part because we ended the war in iraq. and now we have met many of the objectives that got us there in the first place. part of what happened is we had forgotten why we had gone. we went because there were people that were responsible for
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3,000 american deaths. 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, and we have to make that sure that we and our coalition partners with pulling out responsibleably. but what i think the american people recognize is after a decade of war, it's time to do nation building here at home. and we can now free up some resources to put americans back to work, especially our veterans, rebuilding our roads, bridges, school, making sure our veterans are getting the care they need when it comes to
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posttraumatic stress disorder, making sure that the certifications that they need for good jobs of the future are in place. i was having lunch with 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. and we said let's change those certifications. the first lady has done great work with joining our forces, putting our veterans back to work. those are the kinds 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 says that americans continue to die at the hands and groups who are supported by pakistan.
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we know that pakistan has arrested the doctor who helped us catch obama -- bin laden. it sill 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 that has a hundred nuclear weapons, and has serious threats from terrorist groups within its nation, as i indicated before, the taliban. it does not have a civilian leadership calling the shots there. you have their intelligence organization is probably the most powerful, then the military, and the civilian government. is a nation, which if it falls apart, are nuclear weapons
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there, and you have terrorists there who can put their hands on those nuclear weapons. this is an important part of the world for us. pakistan is technically an ally. and we have some work to do, and i don't blame the administration for the fact that the relationship with pakistan is strained. we had to go into pakistan to get osama bin laden. that was the right thing to do. but we're going to have to work with the people in pakistan to try to help them move to a more responsible course than the way they are on. it's important for them, the nuclear weapons, the success of afghanistan. because you have a large group that are taliban. they are going to come rushing back in afghanistan when we go. that's one of the reasons the afghans have so much work to do
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to fight against that. but we can't just walk away from pakistan, but we do need to make sure as we send support for them, that it is guyed to them making progress on matters that would lead them to becoming a civil society. >> what is your position on the use of drones, governor? >> i believe we should use any and all means to make out people who pose a threat to us and our friends around the world. i support the drone strikes entirely. and believe we use continue to use it to go after the people that represent a threat to our nation and our friends. and we are going to have to do more than just going after leaders, and killing bad guys.
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we're also going to have a more effective comprehensive policy to remove the terrorists. you look at the record of the last four years, and say is iran closer to a bomb? >> yes. >> is al-qaeda on the run? on its heels? no. is israel and palestine closer to a peace agreement? no. and i believe question can see the kind of peace and prosperity the world demands. >> keep in mind our strategy does not just going after bin laden. we have created partnerships throughout the region. and what we have also done is engage these governments in the
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kind of reforms that are going to make a difference in people's lives day-to-day. to make sure their governments aren't corrupt. to make sure they are treating women with the kind of respect and dignity that every nation that succeeds has shown. and to make sure that they have a free market system that works. so across the board we are engaging them in building capacity, and we have stood on the side of democracy. one thing i think americans should be proud of, when tunisian began to protest, my administration, me, stood with them earlier than just about any other country. in libya we stood on the side of people. and as a consequence there is no doubt that the attitude towards
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americans has changed. we want to shrink those groups and networks, but we're also going to have to maintain vigilance when it comes to terrorist activity. al-qaeda is much weaker than it was when i came into office, and they don't have the same capacities as they did four years ago. >> let's go to the next segment. 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 terrorists networks. we have to remain vigilant as i
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just said. china is a partner in the international community if it is following the rules. so my attitude coming into office was that we were going to insist that china plays by the same rules as everybody else. and 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 have won just about every case that we have filed. steal workers in ohio and throughout the midwest, are in a position to sell steal to china
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because we won that case. we had a tire case where they were flooding us with cheap chinese tires, and we put a stop to it, and as a consequence saved jobs in america. governor romney criticized me that it was too tough. but i tell you those workers don't feel that say. they feel that they finally had an administration to take this seriously. over the long term, we have to make sure that we're taking care of business at home. if we don't have the best education system in the world, and 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, and unfortunately governor romney's budget and his proposals would not allow us to make those
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proposals. >> first of all it's not government that makes businesses successful. the greatest national security threat is a nuclear iran. let's talk about china. china has an interest that is very much like ours in one respect. they want a stable world. they don't want war. they don't want to see protectionism. they have to manufacture goods and put people to work. they have about 20 million people comes out of the farms every year, and needing jobs. so we can be a partner with china. we don't have to be an adversary, we can work with them, collaborate with them, if they are willing to be responsible. they look at us and say is it a good idea to be with america?
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how strong are we going to be? they look at the fact that we owe them a trillion dollars. they look at our decision to cut back on our military capabilities, a trillion dollars. the secretary of defense called these trillion dollars in cuts to the military, devastating. that's not my -- term. if i'm president america will be very strong. we'll also make sure that we have trade relations with china that work for us. i have 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. that's got to end. they are making some progress. they need to make more.
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i will label them a currency manipulate for. they are stealing our intellectual property, our patents, designs, technology, hacking into our computers, counterfeiting our goods. they have to understand we like free enterprise, but you have got to play by the rules. >> governor, let me just ask you, if you declare them a currency manipulator on day one, some people say you are going to create a trade war with them on day one. >> well, they sell us this much tough, and we sell them this much stuff every year. we have a trade imbalance with china, and we have to understand
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that we can't just surrender and lose jobs year in and year out, we have to say, look, you guys are playing aggressively, but this can't keep on going. you can't keep holding down the value of your currency, counterfeiting our products, selling them around the world, even in the united states. i was with one company that makes valves, and they said we were having valved come in that were broken, and we had to repair them under warranty, and we had to look them up and noticed there were counterfeits with the same serial numbers. 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.
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. governor romney is right. you are familiar with shipping jobs overseas, because you invested in companies that were shipping jobs over seas. but i have made a different bet on american workers. if we had taken your advice, governor romney about our auto industry, we would be buying cars from china instead of selling cars to china. if companies over seas don't pay u.s. taxes compared to companies here that are paying taxes, that is estimated to create 800,000 jobs, but they will be in places like china. and if we're not making investments in education, and basic research, then we will lose the lead in things like
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clean-energy technology. with respect to what we have 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 since 1993. and we'll keep on pressing. and when it comes to our military and chinese security, part of the reason we were able to pivot to the pacific region 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 are going to send a very clear message, we are working to make sure ships
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can pass through, and organizing trade relations with other countries decides china. and 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 opening up jobs in this country. but the president mentioned the auto industry. i'm a son of detroit. i was born in detroit. my dad was the 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 was not to start writing checks. i said these companies need to go through a managed bankruptcy, and in that process they can get government help and government guarantees, but they need to get
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rid of excess cost, and the debt burden -- >> governor romney that is not what you said -- you did not say -- >> you can look at the op-ed -- >> you did not say we would provide help -- >> i said enable these companies to go through bankruptcy and come out of bankruptcy, and the idea that has been suggested they would liquidate the industry, of course not. of course not. >> let's check the record. >> i have never said that -- >> let's check the record. governor the people of detroit don't forget. >> and that's why i have the kind of commitment to make sure that our industries in this country can 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 that doesn't think that somehow government investing in car
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companies -- this is not research mr. president. these are the government investing in companies. this isn't basic research. i want to invest in research. research is great. providing funding to universities, but investing in companies, absolutely not -- >> governor -- [ laughter ] >> i want to make sure we make america more competitive. >> yeah. >> and we do those things to make america the most attractive place in the world for entrepreneurs. but your investing in companies won't do that, the private sector -- >> i'm happy to respond -- >> if you are -- >> you have held the floor for a while. the -- look, i think anybody out there can check the record. governor romney you keep on trying to air brush history here.
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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 they could get it into the private marketplace -- >> you are wrong. >> no, i am not. people can look it up. >> you are right. >> but in order to be competitive, we're going to have to make smart choices right now. cutting our education budget is not a smart choice. cutting our investments in research and technology, that is 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, 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
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companies shipping jobs over seas instead of companies who invest here in the united states, that will not make us competitive. and after a decade in which we saw drift jobs being shipped overseas, nobody champions american workers and american businesses, we have begun to make real progress. we cannot go back to the same policies that got us into such difficulty in the first place. and that's why we have to go forward and not go back. >> i certainly agree with going forward, but i don't want to see us go back to the policies of the last four years. 23 million americans still struggling to find a good job. when you came to office 32 million people on food stamps. today 47 million.
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when you came into office $10 trillion in debt, now $16 trillion in debt. it hasn't worked. i have met some of these people? appleton, wisconsin, i met a young woman in philadelphia who was coming out of college, can't find work. ann was with someone just the other day that was weeping about not being able to get work. it is just a tragedy that the last four years have been so hard. and that's why it is so critical that we make america the number one place in the world, and that's not going to happen by just hiring teachers. i love teachers, and i'm happy to have states and communities that want to hire teachers -- but i don't like the federal government keep pushing deeper and deeper into our states --
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>> governor. >> 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 vigorous debate. it is time for closing statements. >> thank you very much, bob, governor romney, and lynn university. you have now heard three debates, months of campaigning, and way too many tv commercials, and now you have a choice. over the last four years we have made real progress digging our way out of policies that gave us two prolonged wars, economic deficit, and the worse economic crisis since the great depression. governor romney wants to take us back to those policies. policies won't create jobs, reduce our deficit, but will make sure that folks at the very
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top don't have to play by the same rules that you do. i have put together a plan to make sure we bring manufacturing jobs back to our shores. i want to make sure we have the best education system in the world, and we are maintaining our workers for the jobs of tomorrow. control our own energy. yes, i want to reduce our deficit by cutting spending we don't need, but also asking the wealthy to do a little bit more. as commander in chief, i will maintain the strongest military in the world, keep faith with our troops, and go after those who would do us harm, but after a decade of war, i think we all recognize we have to do some nation building here at home.
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rebuilding our roads, bridges, and caring for our veterans who sacrificed so much for our freedom. we have been threw tough times, but we always bounced back because of our character, because we pulled together. and if i have the prevalence of being your president for another four years, i promise i will listen to your voices, fight for your families, and make sure every day that america continues to be the greatest nation on earth. thank you. >> governor. >> thank you. bob, mr. president, folks at lynn university, good to be with you. i'm excited about our prospects as a nation. i want to see peace, and growing peace in this country. it's our objective. america is going to have real leadership and continue to promote principles of peace that will make the world a safer place, and make people in this country more confident that our future is secure. i also want to make sure we get
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this economy going. one path is represented by the president which would mean we had $20 trillion in debt heading towards greece. the president's path will continue continuing declining take-home pay. the president's path means 20 million people out of work, struggling for a good job. i'll get people back to work with 12 million new jobs. i'm going to make sure we get people off of food stamps not by cutting the program, but by getting them good jobs. america is going to come back, and for that to happen, we have to have a president who can work across the aisle. i was in a state that was 87% democrat. we had to learn to work across the aisle. washington is broken. i know what it takes to get this country back. this nation is the hope of the
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earth. we have been blessed by having a nation that's free and prosperous thanks to the contributions of the great estrogen ration. a torch for freedom, hope, and opportunity. now it's our turn to take that torch. i'm convinced we'll do it. we need strong leadership. i would like to be that leadership i'll work with you in an open and honest way. i would like your support to become the next president of the united states. thank you so much. >> gentlemen, thank you both so much. that brings an end to this year's debates, and we want to thank lynn university and its students for having us. i want to leave you with the words of my mom who said go vote, that will make you feel big and strong. >> that's great. >> thank you. [ applause ]
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>> cenk: you are watching current tv's politically direct coverage of the presidential debate. that was the final presidential debate on foreign policy, and president obama lit romney's campaign on fire because boy did he torch it. this was an unbelievable beating that president obama delivered on mitt romney. that is my analysis. now we go to al gore, eliot spitzer, jennifer granholm, john fugelsang. i can't wait to hear what you though thought. >> i agree with you. this was a takedown many my opinion. i thought he got a lot of really strong hits on governor romney that went unanswered, and the
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ones that governor romney did try to answer, i didn't think he did that well. governor romney himself had some moments, but i think overall it was a clear win for president obama. if i could just make one other point here. i think that it was interesting that romney tried to move airway from the image he has cultivated for this long campaign of being a hawk and leaning towards military interventions, just as we saw him in the previous debates try to move away from his positions on giving tax cuts to the wealthy, we saw him in this debate moving away from a hawk-ish position on our military strategy, and he ended up essentially endorsing a great many of the positions that president obama has taken and
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has implemented very skillfully in foreign policy, and i think the net result was a clear win for president obama. >> eliot: can i disagree just a little bit. [ laughter ] >> eliot: there were two debates tonight. the first was a foreign policy debate, where the president clearly was more comfortable, arctic latering with passion, specificity and clarity, mitt romney could do nothing more than parrot back, basically saying i agree with you. first half clear win for the president. second half of the debate both came back to a domestic conversation. and i might give a slight lead to mitt romney. he hit his stride talking about the contrast from four years
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ago. folks who saw the first half of tonight's debate, i think were watching the second debate, so it's a little bit more schizophrenic than a clear win one for one or the other. >> jennifer: completely disagree with you eliot. >> eliot: the polls have been with you folks -- >> jennifer: yes, we'll see. i think the president was strong throughout this debate. he was completely in control, completely confident. he had his facts. he has zingers that went boom, boom, boom. and cenk you tweeted at one point, and i retweeted it, i feel sorry for mitt romney, because there were points there where he was just pounding the guy. i think there was not even a question. >> john: i have to agree tonight we learned that the romney
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doctrine when it comes to foreign policy is me too. i was particularly surprised that obama didn't have to push back on benghazi at all. a lot of angry republicans over that tomorrow. i thought governor romney spoke very well on pakistan. but generally -- i was also disappointed climate change wasn't brought up, and the drug war. but the president dominated. he was having the most fun. and somewhere in hell richard nixon is embarrassed over governor romney's sweat. >> al gore: i think governor romney may also have additional problems from the fact checkers tomorrow. some of the statistics he used about the navy and air force have already been spotlighted in social media. he also said that syria is
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iran's route to the sea. syria does not share a border with iran. and iran is on the sea. and i don't want to make too -- too much of this. of course iran is a strong supporter of the assad regime, but he just did not have a full command of the facts. and i heard over and over again him trying to demonstrate that he knew a lot about these areas, and it's a classic mistake for somebody to try to just dump a lot of facts to try to make up for the lack of experience. i thought that we were going to hear the phrase, i have whole binders of facts on foreign policy. [ laughter ] >> cenk: yeah, as i did the last time we were on together,
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totally disagree with eliot spitzer. i think this debate was as big of win for president obama, if not bigger than romney's first debate win. now the significance of it in the polls, et cetera, might be different, but i thought he absolutely crushed him. the only thing that romney ever did was i totally and utterly agree with him on that, but i hate china, russia a little bit more. and president obama's line on the bayonets and horses was one of the best lines i have heard in history. >> eliot: but you disagreed with me last time, and you owe me dinner on that, right. >> cenk: eliot is right, we bet on the dieden debate, and i thought biden would win on a
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larger margins. but everybody has president obama winning the second debate. and you don't hear that in the rest of the media. romney won the first debate by a larger margin, right? but president obama clearly won the second debate, and yet you hear mixed -- >> eliot: cenk i don't think you are focusing on what i said. the first half of the debate, the president clearly won. the second part of the debate, which is what the public cares about. the president then lapsed back into his discourse which isn't as persuasive about how we have made progress but are not there yet. >> al gore: i think we ought to do post debate analysis on the
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debate between cenk and eliot. [ laughter ] >> cenk: all right. we have to take a really quick debate, but whwhwhwhwhwhwhwhwhwh is american ready for a mormon president? >>i personally can't get over the mononism thing. >>between him and obama, i wouldn't vote. >>i'm proud of my faith, its part of my heritage. >>current tv explores the world's fastest growing religion. >>mormonism is a cult. >>in the temple you learn the secret hand shakes and this motion of slitting your throat. >>would mitt romney have sworn the oath? >>oh, yeah. >>could this be the defining issue of this election? [ male announcer ] red lobster's hitting the streets to tell real people about our new 15 under $15 menu. oh my goodness! oh my gosh, this looks amazing! that's a good deal! [ man ] wow! it is so good! [ male announcer ] our new maine stays! 15 entrees under $15, seafood, chicken and more! oo! the tilapia with roasted vegetables! i'm actually looking at the wood grilled chicken with portobello wine sauce.
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you so fascinated by the prices, you keep rambling on! i know! -that pork chop was great! -no more fast food friday's! so we gotta go! we're going to go to red lobster. yep. [ male announcer ] try our 15 under $15 menu and sea food differently!
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>> cenk: we're back on current tv's politically direct coverage of the presidential debate. david shuster is in boca raton right now, and he has news from the spin room. what do you have for us? >> both campaigns seemed a little bit nervous as if both campaigns in the spin ally felt like they scored some points but also may have hurt themselves. stephanie cutter claiming that the president's remarks about
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bayonet remarks were somewhat petty. the obama campaign surrogates one of the talking points is that mitt romney is not ready to be president. as far as the romney campaign, they said that mitt romney has what it takes to sit in the oval office. jim [ inaudible ] perhaps acknowledging that romney didn't have such a great hand on the policy, but he said but look mitt romney has grown as a candidate, and in the two times he has run for president he has learned a lot. the person who had the first night tonight was jim sununu.
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he started spinning ten minutes before the debate ended. then just moments later triumph the insult dog went up to john sununu on camera and said do you prefer bigger government or bigger cheeseburgers. sununu who was already infuriated, stormed away. >> cenk: oh, that hurts dog, literally. you know your campaign is this trouble when they have to say, well, our guy has grown as a candidate. [ laughter ] >> cenk: and apparently what it takes to be president in chief is simply to agree with the president on almost every issue. >> john: the one line of the night that barack obama repeated
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that now it's time to do nation building at home. you are seeing a lot of discontent on what people are saying whimping out on libya. but what i really want to know is what michael shure thinks up in san francisco in "the war room." michael. >> i'm getting the response that the giants have scored 7 runs. [ applause ] >> john: and your studio is right across from the giants stadium. >> indeed. the truth is mitt romney was on the defensive all night tonight. tonight highlighted all that we knew about mitt romney. when he was asked the question about what would he do if he heard that israel was bombing
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iran, and he said i don't want to get into hypotheticals, i was astonished. he ducked that question. and the fact that he said he didn't want to get into any kind of specifics, that is the problem with mitt romney. it was there for everyone to see tonight. and one other interesting thing, john, mitt romney has not been asked about his taxes, not once. so i have come to the conclusion now, that he has gotten away with not talking about how much he paid in taxes. i think that sets a bad president for this election and going forward. >> john: i want to go back to your comment about his comment about israel bombing iran. he said he would have been
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consulted by netenyahu before that would have happened. >> i'm not going to liken it to mike dukakis being asked what he would do if his wife were god forbid raped. but even if he articulated half as well as you just did, john, it would have gone a lot further, he just said i don't want to answer that question. >> john: thank you very much, michael shure. governor? >> jennifer: i think three of the most important things that the president said tonight related to ohio. shipping jobs to china, and mitt romney opposing these president on these trade-enforcement actions on tires, and third, of course, was when they had that back and forth about let detroit go bankrupt. mitt romney said it would have
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been silly or something like that to say i wanted to liquidate the industry, but he was advocating that the private sector step in and save the auto industry was simply not available in the middle of this meltdown. there was no private sector player that had the kind of financing necessary. the government was the player of last resort. that fact checking is going to come back with another pants on fire. >> al gore: you are validating one of these lines president obama said, which is detroit doesn't forget. >> jennifer: exactly. and he kept repeating governor romney, that is just not true, and number two was the line
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about -- i'm forgetting -- i'll come back. >> cenk: i wanted to throw out a question for you guys. i want to go back to president obama crushing -- [ laughter ] >> cenk: the lines about when i went to israel i didn't go to fundraisers, and when he hit him over the head with you don't want to move heaven and earth to get osama bin laden. but mitt romney seemed to take a much softer stance here, talking about peace. do you think he got some polling saying hey, americans might not love the idea of you starting war in the middle east? >> al gore: absolutely. before the debate that was one of the things we spotlighted to
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watch out for. governor romney time after time took pains to say military action should be the very last resort. we should handle this peacefully. we should use negotiations, and in all of the specific instances that they debated, he basically endorsed president obama's strategy, and president obama caught him up on that by saying, what i hear you advocating is the same thing, you just think if you say it louder, it will lead to better results. but yes, cenk, i think that's really obvious. since the first debate, governor romney has followed a calculated strategy of trying to move aggressively towards the senator, and some up with romneysia to try to obliterate
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from the memory all of statements he has made in the past. >> jennifer: and what the president did say is you are all over the map. >> eliot: mitt romney was embracing the president's policies without saying so, and then saying on domestic policy i am different. that's the line he is hoping to draw. how it plays out, i don't know, because the only thing i would observe is mitt romney's summation about median income being lower, was pretty effective. >> john: this is the first policy debate where i have heard someone bash teacher's unions. i think mitt romney did a very good job of explaining all of
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the facts he knew and then the president told us how it is. cenk. >> cenk: a new pole just came out, obama 53, romney 23. [ cheers ] >> cenk: all right. i have absolutely loved hosting this with all of you.
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