Republican nominee Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama pushed their economic policies into the foreign policy debate, arguing that the nation’s security depends on economic rejuvenation.
“To fulfill our role in the world… we have to strengthen our economy here at home,” Romney told Obama and the debate moderator, CBS anchor Bob Schiffer.
“You can’t have 23 million people struggling to get a job,” Romney said. “You can’t have an economy that over the last three years keeps slowing down its growth rate. You can’t have kids coming out of college, half of them can’t find a job today, or a job that’s commensurate with their college degree.”
Obama also tried to link economic and foreign policy.
“What we also have been able to do is position ourselves so we can start rebuilding America, and that’s what my plan does,” Obama said, earning him a spike of support from CNN’s panel of undecided voters.
“Making sure that we’re bringing manufacturing back to our shores so that we’re creating jobs here, as we’ve done with the auto industry, not rewarding companies that are shipping jobs overseas,” he continued.
The candidates sometimes abandoned discussion of foreign policy to pitch their domestic policy message.
When asked by Schieffer about Obama’s charge that Romney’s foreign policy is “wrong and reckless,” the GOP candidate simply ignored the question to pitch his economic program.
“I’ve got a policy for the future and agenda for the future… I know what it takes to create 12 million new jobs and rising take-home pay… We’re 9 million jobs short of that. I will get America working again and see rising take-home pay again, and I’ll do it with five simple steps,” he said, before restating his five-point economic plan.