Obama criticized Romney for $5 trillion in planned tax cuts and $2 trillion in military spending that the military isn't even asking for at this time. He worked with the Joint Chiefs of Staff on the budget. Obama pays for programs by closing tax loopholes and reducing the deficit. He explained that his budget keeps nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers intact for modern warfare.
The moderator asked whether or not an attack on Israel would be considered the same as an attack on the United States.
Both affirmed the need to support Israel if attacked, as well as the need for Iran to give up its nuclear program. On Iran, Obama would like to keep up the sanctions. Romney stressed that Iran is perilously close to achieving its nuclear program capability.
The moderator asked what will happen in 2014, when the US is scheduled to leave Afghanistan.
Romney indicated that we would be finished by 2014. The generals believe that we are on track to get out. The surge was successful. Romney is more worried about Pakistan with its 100 nuclear weapons and the impact of the Taliban on the security of Pakistan. He wants a more stable government in Pakistan and considers it an ally in the war against terror. Romney supports the use of drones in the region. Obama pointed out that the Iraq War was ended, and that we met our objectives there. Terror was decimated on the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Essentially, America needs to get back to work. He stressed that we stood for democracy in Egypt. In addition, Al Qaeda is weaker generally compared to its situation four years ago.
The moderator asked about the rising threat of China.
Obama indicated that we can be partners with China but they must play by the same trading rules. He indicated that we've won every major trade case brought against them and that steelworkers can now sell to China. Obama mentioned that if we took Romney's advice, we wouldn't have an auto resurgence and that exports to China would not have doubled. China is pivotal as an Asian growth area. He criticized Romney for not wanting to give government assistance to the auto industry. Obama indicated that two wars have been wound down. Manufacturing is returning to the US. We have the best education system. There is a need to control our energy supplies. We need a reduced deficit, as well as the rebuilding of infrastructure like roads and bridges. Obama would like less involvement of the US overseas to concentrate more fully on things which need fixing at home.