News Column

Obama, Romney Spar Over Economic Issues, Military Cuts

Oct. 23, 2012
President Obama and Mitt Romney. Composite image.
President Obama and Mitt Romney. Composite image.

U.S. President Barack Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney on Monday clashed over economic policies in their third and final face-to-face presidential debate.

Romney attacked Obama's economic records, saying the U.S. economy was not getting stronger under Obama's watch and Obama has not balanced the budget of the federal government in nearly four years in office.

"We need a strong economy," said Romney, adding that the mounting debt is the "biggest national security threat" for the nation.

"We have to strengthen our economy here at home. You can't have 23 million people struggling to get a job," Romney charged.

Obama defended his economic records, saying the administration was endeavoring to bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States and to cut the nation's deficit in a balanced way.

The world's largest economy should ensure key investments on education and other areas that were important to U.S. long-term competitiveness, Obama stressed.

The United States should make efforts to develop its own economy, its own energy sectors and its own education system, Obama added.

Obama, Romney Clash on Military Cuts

Romney attacked the president on the spending cuts already adopted by the Pentagon as well as the coming automatic cuts, saying the cuts are making the country's future "less certain and less secure."

Romney declared if he were to become president, he would make sure the Navy gets more ships, and the Air Force would have more resources to update its aging fleet of war planes.

Obama, however, maintained the cuts were made with a strategy in mind, and would not threaten the capability of the military. He scolded Romney for wanting to spend 2 trillion dollars on military that the military didn't ask for in the first place.

Obama further derided Romney by saying his proposal of building more ships for the Navy was an outdated strategy, as the nature of warfare has changed, and more capable equipment such as aircraft carriers have replaced battleships.

The cuts the two candidates talked about referred to about 487 billion dollars of military budget cuts over next 10 years. According to the Budget Control Act of last year, if Congress fails to identify where to cut 1 trillion dollars of spending this year, automatic cuts called sequestration totaling 600 billion to security will kick in next year, with the Pentagon bearing about 500 billion, triggering across-the-board cut in defense spending over the next decade.

(c) 2012 Xinhua News Agency - CEIS. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.

Source: Copyright Xinhua News Agency - CEIS 2012

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