The fourth and final debate Monday night centered on foreign policy, but neither candidate could completely stay away from issues taking place closer to home. Collected for you are six of the top quotes from Monday night’s Foreign Policy Debate.
“And the mantle of leadership for the – promoting the principles of peace has fallen to America. We didn’t ask for it. But it’s an honor that we have it.
“But for us to be able to promote those principles of peace requires us to be strong. And that begins with a strong economy here at home. Unfortunately, the economy is not stronger. When the — when the president of Iraq — excuse me, of Iran, Ahmadinejad, says that our debt makes us not a great country, that’s a frightening thing.”
—Republican candidate Mitt Romney on the turmoil in Egypt
“And if we’ve got math teachers who are able to provide the kind of support that they need for our kids, that’s what’s going to determine whether or not the new businesses are created here. Companies are going to locate here depending on whether we’ve got the most highly skilled workforce.
“And the kinds of budget proposals that you’ve put forward, when we don’t ask either you or me to pay a dime more in terms of reducing the deficit, but instead we slash support for education, that’s undermining our long-term competitiveness. That is not good for America’s position in the world, and the world notices.”
—President Barack Obama on competing in the global economy
“Number two, we take some programs that we are doing to keep, like Medicaid, which is a program for the poor; we’ll take that healthcare program for the poor and we give it to the states to run because states run these programs more efficiently.
“As a governor, I thought please, give me this program. I can run this more efficiently than the federal government and states, by the way, are proving it. States like Arizona, Rhode Island have taken these — these Medicaid dollars; have shown they can run these programs more cost-effectively. I want to do those two things and get this — get this to a balanced budget with eight — eight to 10 years.”
—Republican candidate Mitt Romney on cutting spending
“And so the question is not a game of Battleship, where we’re counting slips. It’s what are our capabilities. And so when I sit down with the Secretary of the Navy and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, we determine how are we going to be best able to meet all of our defense needs in a way that also keeps faith with our troops, that also makes sure that our veterans have the kind of support that they need when they come home.”
—President Barack Obama on military spending
“I look around the world, I don’t see our influence growing around the world. I see our influence receding, in part because of the failure of the president to deal with our economic challenges at home; in part because of our withdrawal from our commitment to our military in the way I think it ought to be; in part because of the — the — the turmoil with Israel.”
—Republican candidate Mitt Romney on the conflict between Israel and Iran
“Over the long term, in order for us to compete with China, we’ve also got to make sure, though, that we’re taking — taking care of business here at home. If we don’t have the best education system in the world, if we don’t continue to put money into research and technology that will allow us to create great businesses here in the United States, that’s how we lose the competition.”
—President Barack Obama on the rise of China
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