CCTV correspondent Jessica Stone
The U.S. Presidential candidates have had their last chance to contrast their records face to face. Now they are in a sprint to the finish line, hitting every state critical to winning the White House.
Both candidates shifted strategies Monday night, Romney being more reserved. President Obama even more aggressive. But the reality is, neither has a lot of differences on American foreign policy.
The U.S. Presidential candidates Tuesday - more aggressive on the campaign trail than they were in the debate hall. A tone set on the first question, when Governor Mitt Romney avoided attacking the president for his handling of the consulate bombing in Libya, despite doing so at the last debate.
Senator Marco Rubio is campaigning for Romney. He said, “He wasn’t looking to score ‘gotcha’ points. Tonight, the governor was looking to show the American people that he had a clear vision for America's foreign policy future.”
Both agreed on supporting Israel, keeping Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and avoiding U.S. military action in Syria.
But they sparred over military spending with Romney wanting to add another two trillion dollars to the defense budget.
Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney said, “The Navy said they needed 313 ships to carry out their mission. We’re now down to 285.”
U.S. President Barack Obama said, “Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military has changed.”
Michele Flournoy served as the president’s Undersecretary of Defense for policy. She said, “The biggest cut in our Navy was under George W. Bush's administration that's when we went from 316 ships to 278. This president has added more than 40 ships to the fleet.”
Both candidates called China a “potential partner” but tried to outdo each other with tough stances on trade and currency.
Mitt Romney said, “On day one I will label them a currency manipulator, which allows us to apply tariffs where they’re taking jobs.”
U.S. President Barack Obama said, “We have brought more cases against China for violating trade rules than the other – the previous administration had done in two terms.”
That tough talk on China continued in Dayton Ohio today, where U.S. tires are made, and where the president campaigned. Romney too will hit the state. Voters there started casting their ballots at the beginning of the month before all of these debates.