Debate excerpts, from Libya to immigration and China

Posted: October 18, 2012

Here are excerpts from Tuesday night's debate:

Libya

President Obama: "I'm the president and I'm always responsible, and that's why nobody's more interested in finding out exactly what happened than I do. ... Gov. Romney had a very different response. While we were still dealing with our diplomats being threatened, Governor Romney put out a press release, trying to make political points, and that's not how a commander in chief operates."

Mitt Romney: "It was a terrorist attack and it took a long time for that to be told to the American people. Whether there was some misleading, or instead whether we just didn't know what happened. ... How could we have not known? ... This was an attack by terrorists. And this calls into question the president's whole policy in the Middle East."

Economy

Obama: "When Gov. Romney stands here, after a year of campaigning, when during a Republican primary he stood on stage and said 'I'm going to give tax cuts' - he didn't say tax rate cuts, he said 'tax cuts to everybody,' including the top 1 percent. You should believe him because that's been his history. And that's exactly the kind of top-down economics that is not going to work if we want a strong middle class and an economy that's striving for everybody."

Romney: "Why do I want to bring rates down, and at the same time lower exemptions and deductions, particularly for people at the high end? Because if you bring rates down, it makes it easier for small business to keep more of their capital and hire people."

Energy

Obama: "There's no doubt that world demand's gone up, but our production is going up, and we're using oil more efficiently. And very little of what Gov. Romney just said is true. We've opened up public lands. We're actually drilling more on public lands than in the previous administration and my - the previous president was an oil man. And natural gas isn't just appearing magically. We're encouraging it and working with the industry."

Romney: "I want to make sure we use our oil, our coal, our gas, our nuclear, our renewables. I believe very much in our renewable capabilities. Ethanol, wind, solar will be an important part of our energy mix. But what we don't need is to have the president keeping us from taking advantage of oil, coal and gas. This has not been Mr. Oil, or Mr. Gas, or Mr. Coal. Talk to the people in those industries."

Immigration

Obama: "We all understand what this country has become because talent from all around the world wants to come here. People are willing to take risks. People who want to build on their dreams and make sure their kids have ... even bigger dreams than they have. But we're also a nation of laws. So what I've said is we need to fix a broken immigration system and I've done everything that I can on my own and sought cooperation from Congress to make sure that we fix the system."

Romney: "We welcome legal immigrants into this country. I want our legal system to work better. I want it to be streamlined. ... We're not going to round up 12 million people, undocumented illegals, and take them out of the nation. Instead let people make their own choice. And if they find that that they can't get the benefits here that they want and they can't find the job they want, then they'll make a decision to go a place where they have better opportunities."

China

Obama: "Governor, you're the last person who's going to get tough on China. And what we've done when it comes to trade is not only sign three trade deals to open up new markets, but we've also set up a task force for trade that goes after anybody who is taking advantage of American workers or businesses and not creating a level playing field. We've brought twice as many cases against unfair trading practices than the previous administration and we've won every single one that's been decided."

Romney: "On day one, I will label China a currency manipulator, which will allow me as president to be able to put in place, if necessary, tariffs where I believe that they are taking unfair advantage of our manufacturers. ... We can compete with anyone in the world as long as the playing field is level."  

  

  

  

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