(CNN) - President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney met in Hempstead, New York Tuesday evening for the second of three presidential debates, moderated by CNN Chief
Political Correspondent Candy Crowley. CROWLEY: Good evening from Hofstra University in Hempstead, NewYork. I'm Candy Crowley from CNN's "State of the Union." We are herefor the second presidential debate, a town hall, sponsored by theCommission on Presidential Debates. CROWLEY: The Gallup organization chose 82 uncommitted votersfrom the New York area. Their questions will drive the night. Mygoal is to give the conversation direction and to ensure questions getanswered. The questions are known to me and my team only. Neither thecommission, nor the candidates have seen them. I hope to get to asmany questions as possible. CROWLEY: And because I am the optimistic sort, I'm sure thecandidates will oblige by keeping their answers concise and on point. Each candidate has as much as two minutes to respond to a commonquestion, and there will be a two-minute follow-up. The audience herein the hall has agreed to be polite and attentive - no cheering orbooing or outbursts of any sort. We will set aside that agreement just this once to welcomePresident Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney. (APPLAUSE) Gentlemen, thank you both for joining us here tonight. We have alot of folks who've been waiting all day to talk to you, so I want toget right to it. Governor Romney, as you know, you won the coin toss, so the firstquestion will go to you. And I want to turn to a first-time voter,Jeremy Epstein, who has a question for you. QUESTION: Mr. President, Governor Romney, as a 20-year-oldcollege student, all I hear from professors, neighbors and others isthat when I graduate, I will have little chance to get employment.What can you say to reassure me, but more importantly my parents, thatI will be able to sufficiently support myself after I graduate?
ROMNEY: Thank you, Jeremy. I appreciate your - your question,and thank you for being here this evening and to all of those fromNassau County that have come, thank you for your time. Thank you toHofstra University and to Candy Crowley for organizing and leadingthis - this event. Thank you, Mr. President, also for being part of this - thisdebate. college kids all over this country. I was in Pennsylvania withsomeone who had just graduated - this was in Philadelphia - and shesaid, "I've got my degree. I can't find a job. I've got three part-time jobs. They're just barely enough to pay for my food and pay foran apartment. I can't begin to pay back my student loans." So what we have to do is two things. We have to make sure thatwe make it easier for kids to afford college. ROMNEY: And also make sure that when they get out of college,there's a job. When I was governor of Massachusetts, to get a highschool degree, you had to pass an exam. If you graduated in the topquarter of your airlines, we gave you a John and Abigail Adamsscholarship, four years tuition free in the college of your choice inMassachusetts, it's a public institution. I want to make sure we keep our Pell grant program growing. We'realso going to have our loan program, so that people are able to afford school. But the key thing is to make sure you can get a job when youget out of school. And what's happened over the last four years has been very, very hard for America's young people. I want you to beable to get a job. I know what it takes to get this economy going. With half ofcollege kids graduating this year without a college - excuse me,without a job. And without a college level job, that's just unacceptable. And likewise you've got more and more debt on your back. So moredebt and less jobs. I'm going to change that. I know what it takes tocreate good jobs again. I know what it takes to make sure that youhave the kind of opportunity you deserve. And kids across thiscountry are going to recognize, we're bringing back an economy. It's not going to be like the last four years. The middle-classhas been crushed over the last four years, and jobs have been tooscarce. I know what it takes to bring them back, and I'm going to dothat, and make sure that when you graduate - when do you graduate? QUESTION: 2014.
ROMNEY: 2014. When you come out in 2014, I presume I'm going tobe president. I'm going to make sure you get a job. Thanks Jeremy.Yeah, you bet. CROWLEY: Mr. President? OBAMA: Jeremy, first of all, your future is bright. And the factthat you're making an investment in higher education is critical. Notjust to you, but to the entire nation. Now, the most important thingwe can do is to make sure that we are creating jobs in this country.But not just jobs, good paying jobs. Ones that can support a family. OBAMA: And what I want to do, is build on the five million jobsthat we've created over the last 30 months in the private sectoralone. And there are a bunch of things we can do to make sure yourfuture is bright. Number one, I want to build manufacturing jobs in this countryagain. Now when Governor Romney said we should let Detroit gobankrupt. I said we're going to bet on American workers and theAmerican auto industry and it's come surging back. I want to do that in industries, not just in Detroit, but allacross the country and that means we change our tax code so we'regiving incentives to companies that are investing here in the UnitedStates and creating jobs here. It also means we're helping them and small businesses to exportall around the world to new markets. Number two, we've got to make sure that we have the besteducation system in the world. And the fact that you're going tocollege is great, but I want everybody to get a great education andwe've worked hard to make sure that student loans are available forfolks like you, but I also want to make sure that community collegesare offering slots for workers to get retrained for the jobs that areout there right now and the jobs of the future. Number three, we've got to control our own energy. Now, not onlyoil and natural gas, which we've been investing in; but also, we'vegot to make sure we're building the energy source of the future, notjust thinking about next year, but ten years from now, 20 years fromnow. That's why we've invested in solar and wind and biofuels, energyefficient cars. We've got to reduce our deficit, but we've got to do it in abalanced way. Asking the wealthy to pay a little bit more along withcuts so that we can invest in education like yours.
And let's take the money that we've been spending on war over thelast decade to rebuild America, roads, bridges schools. We do thosethings, not only is your future going to be bright but America'sfuture is going to bright as well. CROWLEY: Let me ask you for more immediate answer and begin withMr. Romney just quickly what - what can you do? We're looking at asituation where 40 percent of the unemployed have been unemployed havebeen unemployed for six months or more. They don't have the two yearsthat Jeremy has. What about those long term unemployed who need a job right now? ROMNEY: Well what you're seeing in this country is 23 millionpeople struggling to find a job. And a lot of them, as you say,Candy, have been out of work for a long, long, long time. Thepresident's policies have been exercised over the last four years andthey haven't put Americans back to work. We have fewer people working today than we had when the presidenttook office. If the - the unemployment rate was 7.8 percent when hetook office, it's 7.8 percent now. But if you calculated thatunemployment rate, taking back the people who dropped out of theworkforce, it would be 10.7 percent. We have not made the progress we need to make to put people backto work. That's why I put out a five-point plan that gets America 12million new jobs in four years and rising take-home pay. It's goingto help Jeremy get a job when he comes out of school. It's going tohelp people across the country that are unemployed right now. And one thing that the president said, which I want to make surethat we understand, he said that I said we should take Detroitbankrupt. And that's right. My plan was to have the company gothrough bankruptcy like 7-Eleven did and Macy's and Condell (ph)Airlines and come out stronger. And I know he keeps saying, you want to take Detroit bankrupt.Well, the president took Detroit bankrupt. You took General Motorsbankrupt. You took Chrysler bankrupt. So when you say that I wantedto take the auto industry bankrupt, you actually did. And I think it's important to know that that was a process thatwas necessary to get those companies back on their feet, so they couldstart hiring more people. That was precisely what I recommended andultimately what happened. CROWLEY: Let me give the president a chance. Go ahead.OBAMA: Candy, what Governor Romney said just isn't true.
Hewanted to take them into bankruptcy without providing them any way tostay open. And we would have lost a million jobs. And that - don'ttake my word for it, take the executives at GM and Chrysler, some ofwhom are Republicans, may even support Governor Romney. But they'lltell you his prescription wasn't going to work. And Governor Romney's says he's got a five-point plan? GovernorRomney doesn't have a five-point plan. He has a one-point plan. Andthat plan is to make sure that folks at the top play by a differentset of rules. That's been his philosophy in the private sector,that's been his philosophy as governor, that's been his philosophy asa presidential candidate. You can make a lot of money and pay lower tax rates than somebodywho makes a lot less. You can ship jobs overseas and get tax breaksfor it. You can invest in a company, bankrupt it, lay off theworkers, strip away their pensions, and you still make money. That's exactly the philosophy that we've seen in place for thelast decade. That's what's been squeezing middle class families. And we have fought back for four years to get out of that mess.The last thing we need to do is to go back to the very same policiesthat got us there. CROWLEY: Mr. President, the next question is going to be for youhere. And, Mr. Romney - Governor Romney - there'll be plenty ofchances here to go on, but I want to... ROMNEY: That - that Detroit - that Detroit answer... CROWLEY: We have all these folks. ROMNEY: ... that Detroit answer... CROWLEY: I will let you absolutely... ROMNEY: ... and the rest of the answer, way off the mark. CROWLEY: OK. Will - will - you certainly will have lots oftime here coming up. Because I want to move you on to something that's sort ofconnected to cars here, and - and go over. And we want to get aquestion from Phillip Tricolla. QUESTION: Your energy secretary, Steven Chu, has now been onrecord three times stating it's not policy of his department to helplower gas prices. Do
you agree with Secretary Chu that this is notthe job of the Energy Department? OBAMA: The most important thing we can do is to make sure wecontrol our own energy. So here's what I've done since I've beenpresident. We have increased oil production to the highest levels in16 years. Natural gas production is the highest it's been in decades. Wehave seen increases in coal production and coal employment. But whatI've also said is we can't just produce traditional source of energy.We've also got to look to the future. That's why we doubled fuelefficiency standards on cars. That means that in the middle of thenext decade, any car you buy, you're going to end up going twice asfar on a gallon of gas. That's why we doubled clean - clean energyproduction like wind and solar and biofuels. And all these things have contributed to us lowering our oilimports to the lowest levels in 16 years. Now, I want to build onthat. And that means, yes, we still continue to open up new areas fordrilling. We continue to make it a priority for us to go afternatural gas. We've got potentially 600,000 jobs and 100 years worthof energy right beneath our feet with natural gas. And we can do it in an environmentally sound way. But we've alsogot to continue to figure out how we have efficiency energy, becauseultimately that's how we're going to reduce demand and that's what'sgoing to keep gas prices lower. Now, Governor Romney will say he's got an all-of-the-above plan,but basically his plan is to let the oil companies write the energypolicies. So he's got the oil and gas part, but he doesn't have theclean energy part. And if we are only thinking about tomorrow or thenext day and not thinking about 10 years from now, we're not going tocontrol our own economic future. Because China, Germany, they'remaking these investments. And I'm not going to cede those jobs of thefuture to those countries. I expect those new energy sources to bebuilt right here in the United States. That's going to help Jeremy get a job. It's also going to makesure that you're not paying as much for gas. CROWLEY: Governor, on the subject of gas prices? ROMNEY: Well, let's look at the president's policies, all right,as opposed to the rhetoric, because we've had four years of policiesbeing played out. And the president's right in terms of theadditional oil production, but none of it came on federal land. As amatter of fact, oil production is down 14 percent this year on
federalland, and gas production was down 9 percent. Why? Because thepresident cut in half the number of licenses and permits for drillingon federal lands, and in federal waters. So where'd the increase come from? Well a lot of it came fromthe Bakken Range in North Dakota. What was his participation there?The administration brought a criminal action against the peopledrilling up there for oil, this massive new resource we have. Andwhat was the cost? 20 or 25 birds were killed and brought out amigratory bird act to go after them on a criminal basis. Look, I want to make sure we use our oil, our coal, our gas, ournuclear, our renewables. I believe very much in our renewablecapabilities; ethanol, wind, solar will be an important part of ourenergy mix. But what we don't need is to have the president keeping us fromtaking advantage of oil, coal and gas. This has not been Mr. Oil, orMr. Gas, or Mr. Coal. Talk to the people that are working in thoseindustries. I was in coal country. People grabbed my arms and said,"Please save my job." The head of the EPA said, "You can't build acoal plant. You'll virtually - it's virtually impossible given ourregulations." When the president ran for office, he said if you builda coal plant, you can go ahead, but you'll go bankrupt. That's notthe right course for America. Let's take advantage of the energy resources we have, as well asthe energy sources for the future. And if we do that, if we do whatI'm planning on doing, which is getting us energy independent, NorthAmerica energy independence within eight years, you're going to seemanufacturing jobs come back. Because our energy is low cost, thatare already beginning to come back because of our abundant energy.I'll get America and North America energy independent. I'll do it bymore drilling, more permits and licenses. We're going to bring that pipeline in from Canada. How in theworld the president said no to that pipeline? I will never know. This is about bringing good jobs back for the middle class ofAmerica, and that's what I'm going to do.CROWLEY: Mr. President, let me just see if I can move you to thegist of this question, which is, are we looking at the new normal? Ican tell you that tomorrow morning, a lot of people in Hempstead willwake up and fill up and they will find that the price of gas is over$4 a gallon. Is it within the purview of the government to bring those pricesdown, or are we looking at the new normal?
OBAMA: Candy, there's no doubt that world demand's gone up, butour production is going up, and we're using oil more efficiently. Andvery little of what Governor Romney just said is true. We've openedup public lands. We're actually drilling more on public lands than inthe previous administration and my - the previous president was anoil man. And natural gas isn't just appearing magically. We'reencouraging it and working with the industry. And when I hear Governor Romney say he's a big coal guy, I mean,keep in mind, when - Governor, when you were governor ofMassachusetts, you stood in front of a coal plant and pointed at itand said, "This plant kills," and took great pride in shutting itdown. And now suddenly you're a big champion of coal. So what I've tried to do is be consistent. With respect tosomething like coal, we made the largest investment in clean coaltechnology, to make sure that even as we're producing more coal, we'reproducing it cleaner and smarter. Same thing with oil, same thingwith natural gas. And the proof is our oil imports are down to the lowest levels in20 years. Oil production is up, natural gas production is up, and,most importantly, we're also starting to build cars that are moreefficient. And that's creating jobs. That means those cars can be exported,'cause that's the demand around the world, and it also means thatit'll save money in your pocketbook. OBAMA: That's the strategy you need, an all-of-the-abovestrategy, and that's what we're going to do in the next four years. ROMNEY: But that's not what you've done in the last four years.That's the problem. In the last four years, you cut permits andlicenses on federal land and federal waters in half. OBAMA: Not true, Governor Romney. ROMNEY: So how much did you cut (inaudible)? OBAMA: Not true. ROMNEY: How much did you cut them by, then? OBAMA: Governor, we have actually produced more oil – ROMNEY: No, no. How much did you cut licenses and permits onfederal land and federal waters?
OBAMA: Governor Romney, here's what we did. There were a wholebunch of oil companies. (CROSSTALK) ROMNEY: No, no, I had a question and the question was how muchdid you cut them by? OBAMA: You want me to answer a question – ROMNEY: How much did you cut them by? OBAMA: I'm happy to answer the question. ROMNEY: All right. And it is – OBAMA: Here's what happened. You had a whole bunch of oilcompanies who had leases on public lands that they weren't using. Sowhat we said was you can't just sit on this for 10, 20, 30 years,decide when you want to drill, when you want to produce, when it'smost profitable for you. These are public lands. So if you want todrill on public lands, you use it or you lose it. ROMNEY: OK, (inaudible) – OBAMA: And so what we did was take away those leases. And weare now reletting them so that we can actually make a profit. ROMNEY: And production on private - on government land – OBAMA: Production is up. ROMNEY: - is down. OBAMA: No, it isn't. ROMNEY: Production on government land of oil is down 14 percent. OBAMA: Governor – ROMNEY: And production on gas – (CROSSTALK) OBAMA: It's just not true. ROMNEY: It's absolutely true. Look, there's no question but thepeople recognize that we have not produced more (inaudible) on federallands and in federal waters. And coal, coal production is not up;coal jobs are not up. I was just at a coal facility, where some 1,200 people lost theirjobs. The
right course for America is to have a true all-of-the-abovepolicy. I don't think anyone really believes that you're a personwho's going to be pushing for oil and gas and coal. You'll get yourchance in a moment. I'm still speaking. OBAMA: Well – ROMNEY: And the answer is I don't believe people think that'sthe case – OBAMA: - (inaudible). ROMNEY: That wasn't the question. OBAMA: OK. ROMNEY: That was a statement. I don't think the American peoplebelieve that. I will fight for oil, coal and natural gas. And theproof, the proof of whether a strategy is working or not is what theprice is that you're paying at the pump. If you're paying less thanyou paid a year or two ago, why, then, the strategy is working. Butyou're paying more. When the president took office, the price ofgasoline here in Nassau County was about $1.86 a gallon. Now, it's$4.00 a gallon. The price of electricity is up. If the president's energy policies are working, you're going tosee the cost of energy come down. I will fight to create more energyin this country, to get America energy secure. And part of that isbringing in a pipeline of oil from Canada, taking advantage of the oiland coal we have here, drilling offshore in Alaska, drilling offshorein Virginia where the people want it. Those things will get us theenergy we need. CROWLEY: Mr. President, could you address, because we didfinally get to gas prices here, could you address what the governorsaid, which is if your energy policy was working, the price ofgasoline would not be $4 a gallon here. Is that true? OBAMA: Well, think about what the governor - think about whatthe governor just said. He said when I took office, the price ofgasoline was $1.80, $1.86. Why is that? Because the economy was onthe verge of collapse, because we were about to go through the worstrecession since the Great Depression, as a consequence of some of thesame policies that Governor Romney's now promoting. So, it's conceivable that Governor Romney could bring down gasprices because with his policies, we might be back in that same mess. What I want to do is to create an economy that is strong, and atthe same
time produce energy. And with respect to this pipeline thatGovernor Romney keeps on talking about, we've - we've built enoughpipeline to wrap around the entire earth once. So, I'm all for pipelines. I'm all for oil production. What I'mnot for is us ignoring the other half of the equation. So, forexample, on wind energy, when Governor Romney says "these areimaginary jobs." When you've got thousands of people right now inIowa, right now in Colorado, who are working, creating wind power withgood-paying manufacturing jobs, and the Republican senator in that –in Iowa is all for it, providing tax breaks (ph) to help this work andGovernor Romney says I'm opposed. I'd get rid of it. That's not an energy strategy for the future. And we need to winthat future. And I intend to win it as President of the UnitedStates. CROWLEY: I got to - I got to move you on – ROMNEY: He gets the first – CROWLEY: - and the next question – ROMNEY: He actually got – CROWLEY: - for you – ROMNEY: He actually got the first question. So I get the lastquestion - last answer – CROWLEY: (Inaudible) in the follow up, it doesn't quite worklike that. But I'm going to give you a chance here. I promise you,I'm going to. And the next question is for you. So if you want to, you know,continue on but I don't want to leave all – ROMNEY: Candy, Candy – CROWLEY: - sitting here – ROMNEY: Candy, I don't have a policy of stopping wind jobs inIowa and that - they're not phantom jobs. They're real jobs. CROWLEY: OK. ROMNEY: I appreciate wind jobs in Iowa and across our country.I appreciate the jobs in coal and oil and gas. I'm going to make sure– CROWLEY: OK.
ROMNEY: - we're taking advantage of our energy resources.We'll bring back manufacturing to America. We're going to get througha very aggressive energy policy, 31/2 million more jobs in thiscountry. It's critical to our future. OBAMA: Candy, it's not going to – CROWLEY: We're going to move you along – OBAMA: Used to being interrupted. CROWLEY: We're going to move you both along to taxes over hereand all these folks that have been waiting. Governor, this question is for you. It comes from Mary Follano– Follano, sorry. ROMNEY: Hi, Mary. QUESTION: Governor Romney, you have stated that if you'reelected president, you would plan to reduce the tax rates for all thetax brackets and that you would work with the Congress to eliminatesome deductions in order to make up for the loss in revenue. Concerning the - these various deductions, the mortgagedeductions, the charitable deductions, the child tax credit and alsothe - oh, what's that other credit? I forgot. OBAMA: You're doing great. QUESTION: Oh, I remember. The education credits, which are important to me, because I havechildren in college. What would be your position on those things,which are important to the middle class? ROMNEY: Thank you very much. And let me tell you, you'reabsolutely right about part of that, which is I want to bring therates down, I want to simplify the tax code, and I want to get middle-income taxpayers to have lower taxes. And the reason I want middle-income taxpayers to have lower taxesis because middle-income taxpayers have been buried over the past fouryears. You've seen, as middle-income people in this country, incomesgo down $4,300 a family, even as gasoline prices have gone up $2,000.Health insurance premiums, up $2,500. Food prices up. Utility pricesup. The middle-income families in America have been crushed over thelast four
years. So I want to get some relief to middle-incomefamilies. That's part - that's part one. Now, how about deductions? 'Cause I'm going to bring rates downacross the board for everybody, but I'm going to limit deductions andexemptions and credits, particularly for people at the high end,because I am not going to have people at the high end pay less thanthey're paying now. The top 5 percent of taxpayers will continue to pay 60 percent ofthe income tax the nation collects. So that'll stay the same. Middle-income people are going to get a tax break. And so, in terms of bringing down deductions, one way of doingthat would be say everybody gets - I'll pick a number - $25,000 ofdeductions and credits, and you can decide which ones to use. Yourhome mortgage interest deduction, charity, child tax credit, and soforth, you can use those as part of filling that bucket, if you will,of deductions. But your rate comes down and the burden also comes down on youfor one more reason, and that is every middle-income taxpayer nolonger will pay any tax on interest, dividends or capital gains. Notax on your savings. That makes life a lot easier. If you're getting interest from a bank, if you're getting astatement from a mutual fund or any other kind of investment you have,you don't have to worry about filing taxes on that, because there'llbe no taxes for anybody making $200,000.00 per year and less, on yourinterest, dividends and capital gains. Why am I lowering taxes on themiddle-class? Because under the last four years, they've been buried.And I want to help people in the middle-class. And I will not - I will not under any circumstances, reduce theshare that's being paid by the highest income taxpayers. And I willnot, under any circumstances increase taxes on the middle-class. Thepresident's spending, the president's borrowing will cost this nationto have to raise taxes on the American people. Not just at the highend. A recent study has shown the people in the middle-class will see$4,000.00 per year in higher taxes as a result of the spending andborrowing of this administration. I will not let that happen. I want to get us on track to abalanced budget, and I'm going to reduce the tax burden on middleincome families. And what's that going to do? It's going to helpthose families, and it's going to create incentives to start growingjobs again in this country.
CROWLEY: Thanks, Governor. OBAMA: My philosophy on taxes has been simple. And that is, Iwant to give middle-class families and folks who are striving to getinto the middle-class some relief. Because they have been hit hardover the last decade. Over the last 15, over the last 20 years. So four years ago I stood on a stage just like this one.Actually it was a town hall, and I said I would cut taxes for middle-class families, and that's what I've done, by $3,600.00. I said Iwould cut taxes for small businesses, who are the drivers and enginesof growth. And we've cut them 18 times. And I want to continue thosetax cuts for middle-class families, and for small business. But what I've also said is, if we're serious about reducing thedeficit, if this is genuinely a moral obligation to the nextgeneration, then in addition to some tough spending cuts, we've alsogot to make sure that the wealthy do a little bit more. So what I've said is, your first $250,000.00 worth of income, nochange. And that means 98 percent of American families, 97 percent ofsmall businesses, they will not see a tax increase. I'm ready to signthat bill right now. The only reason it's not happening is becauseGovernor Romney's allies in Congress have held the 98 percent hostagebecause they want tax breaks for the top 2 percent. But what I've also says is for above $250,000, we can go back tothe tax rates we had when Bill Clinton was president. We created 23million new jobs. That's part of what took us from deficits tosurplus. It will be good for our economy and it will be good for jobcreation. Now, Governor Romney has a different philosophy. He was on 60like you, making $20 million a year, to pay a lower tax rate than anurse or a bus driver, somebody making $50,000 year? And he said,"Yes, I think that's fair." Not only that, he said, "I think that'swhat grows the economy." Well, I fundamentally disagree with that. I think what grows theeconomy is when you get that tax credit that we put in place for yourkids going to college. I think that grows the economy. I think whatgrows the economy is when we make sure small businesses are getting atax credit for hiring veterans who fought for our country. That growsour economy. So we just have a different theory. And when Governor Romneystands here, after a year of campaigning, when during a Republicanprimary he stood on stage and said "I'm going to give tax cuts" - hedidn't say tax rate cuts, he said
"tax cuts to everybody," includingthe top 1 percent, you should believe him because that's been hishistory. And that's exactly the kind of top-down economics that is notgoing to work if we want a strong middle class and an economy that'sstriving for everybody. CROWLEY: Governor Romney, I'm sure you've got a reply there. (LAUGHTER)ROMNEY: You're absolutely right. You heard what I said about my tax plan. The top 5 percent willcontinue to pay 60 percent, as they do today. I'm not looking to cuttaxes for wealthy people. I am looking to cut taxes for middle-incomepeople. And why do I want to bring rates down, and at the same time lowerexemptions and deductions, particularly for people at the high end?Because if you bring rates down, it makes it easier for small businessto keep more of their capital and hire people. And for me, this is about jobs. I want to get America's economygoing again. Fifty-four percent of America's workers work inbusinesses that are taxed as individuals. So when you bring thoserates down, those small businesses are able to keep more money andhire more people. For me, I look at what's happened in the last four years and saythis has been a disappointment. We can do better than this. We don'thave to settle for, how many months, 43 months with unemployment above8 percent, 23 million Americans struggling to find a good job rightnow. There are 3.5 million more women living in poverty today thanwhen the president took office. We don't have to live like this. We can get this economy goingagain. My five-point plan does it. Energy independence for NorthAmerica in five years. Opening up more trade, particularly in LatinAmerica. Cracking down on China when they cheat. Getting us to abalanced budget. Fixing our training programs for our workers. Andfinally, championing small business. I want to make small businesses grow and thrive. I know how tomake that happen. I spent my life in the private sector. I know whyjobs come and why they go. And they're going now because of thepolicies of this administration. CROWLEY: Governor, let me ask the president something about whatyou just said.
The governor says that he is not going to allow the top 5percent, believe is what he said, to have a tax cut, that it will alleven out, that what he wants to do is give that tax cut to the middleclass. Settled? OBAMA: No, it's not settled. Look, the cost of lowering rates for everybody across the board,20 percent. Along with what he also wants to do in terms ofeliminating the estate tax, along what he wants to do in terms ofcorporates, changes in the tax code, it costs about $5 trillion. Governor Romney then also wants to spend $2 trillion onadditional military programs even though the military's not asking forthem. That's $7 trillion. He also wants to continue the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiestAmericans. That's another trillion dollars - that's $8 trillion. Now, what he says is he's going to make sure that this doesn'tadd to the deficit and he's going to cut middleclass taxes. deductions, which loopholes are you going to close? He can't tellyou. The - the fact that he only has to pay 14 percent on his taxeswhen a lot of you are paying much higher. He's already taken that offthe board, capital gains are going to continue to be at a low rate sowe - we're not going to get money that way. We haven't heard from the governor any specifics beyond Big Birdand eliminating funding for Planned Parenthood in terms of how he paysfor that. Now, Governor Romney was a very successful investor. If somebodycame to you, Governor, with a plan that said, here, I want to spend $7or $8 trillion, and then we're going to pay for it, but we can't tellyou until maybe after the election how we're going to do it, youwouldn't take such a sketchy deal and neither should you, the Americanpeople, because the math doesn't add up. And - and what's at stake here is one of two things, eitherCandy - this blows up the deficit because keep in mind, this is justto pay for the additional spending that he's talking about, $7trillion – $8 trillion before we even get to the deficit we alreadyhave. Or, alternatively, it's got to be paid for, not only by closingdeductions for wealthy individuals, that - that will pay for about 4percent reduction in tax rates. You're going to be paying for it. You're going to lose somedeductions, and you can't buy the sales pitch. Nobody who's looked atit that's serious, actually
believes it adds up. CROWLEY: Mr. President, let me get - let me get the governor inon this. And Governor, let's - before we get into a... ROMNEY: I - I... CROWLEY: ...vast array of who says - what study says what, if itshouldn't add up. If somehow when you get in there, there isn'tenough tax revenue coming in. If somehow the numbers don't add up,would you be willing to look again at a 20 percent... ROMNEY: Well of course they add up. I - I was - I was someonewho ran businesses for 25 years, and balanced the budget. I ran theOlympics and balanced the budget. I ran the - the state ofMassachusetts as a governor, to the extent any governor does, andbalanced the budget all four years. When we're talking about maththat doesn't add up, how about $4 trillion of deficits over the lastfour years, $5 trillion? That's math that doesn't add up. We have –we have a president talking about someone's plan in a way that'scompletely foreign to what my real plan is. ROMNEY: And then we have his own record, which is we have fourconsecutive years where he said when he was running for office, hewould cut the deficit in half. Instead he's doubled it. We've gonefrom $10 trillion of national debt, to $16 trillion of national debt.If the president were reelected, we'd go to almost $20 trillion ofnational debt. This puts us on a road to Greece. I know what ittakes to balance budgets. I've done it my entire life. So forinstance when he says, "Yours is a $5 trillion cut." Well, no it'snot. Because I'm offsetting some of the reductions with holding downsome of the deductions. And... CROWLEY: Governor, I've gotta - gotta - actually, I need tohave you both (inaudible). (CROSSTALK) CROWLEY: I understand the stakes here. I understand both ofyou. But I - I will get run out of town if I don't... (CROSSTALK) ROMNEY: And I just described - I just described to you, Mr.President - I just described to you precisely how I'd do it which iswith a single number that people can put - and they can put they're– they're deductions and credits...
(CROSSTALK) CROWLEY: Mr. President, we're keeping track, I promise you. AndMr. President, the next question is for you, so stay standing. OBAMA: Great. Looking forward to it. And it's Katherine Fenton, who has a question for you QUESTION: In what new ways to you intend to rectify theinequalities in the workplace, specifically regarding females makingonly 72 percent of what their male counterparts earn? OBAMA: Well, Katherine, that's a great question. And, you know,I was raised by a single mom who had to put herself through schoolwhile looking after two kids. And she worked hard every day and madea lot of sacrifices to make sure we got everything we needed. Mygrandmother, she started off as a secretary in a bank. She never gota college education, even though she was smart as a whip. And sheworked her way up to become a vice president of a local bank, but shehit the glass ceiling. She trained people who would end up becomingher bosses during the course of her career. She didn't complain. That's not what you did in that generation.And this is one of the reasons why one of the first - the first billI signed was something called the Lily Ledbetter bill. And it's namedafter this amazing woman who had been doing the same job as a man foryears, found out that she was getting paid less, and the Supreme Courtsaid that she couldn't bring suit because she should have found aboutit earlier, whereas she had no way of finding out about it. So wefixed that. And that's an example of the kind of advocacy that weneed, because women are increasingly the breadwinners in the family.This is not just a women's issue, this is a family issue, this is amiddle-class issue, and that's why we've got to fight for it. It also means that we've got to make sure that young people likeyourself are able to afford a college education. Earlier, GovernorRomney talked about he wants to make Pell Grants and other educationaccessible for young people. Well, the truth of the matter is, is that that's exactly whatwe've done. We've expanded Pell Grants for millions of people,including millions of young women, all across the country. We did it by taking $60 billion that was going to banks andlenders as middlemen for the student loan program, and we said, let'sjust cut out the middleman. Let's give the money directly tostudents.
And as a consequence, we've seen millions of young people be ableto afford college, and that's going to make sure that young women aregoing to be able to compete in that marketplace. But we've got to enforce the laws, which is what we are doing,and we've also got to make sure that in every walk of life we do nottolerate discrimination. That's been one of the hallmarks of my administration. I'm goingto continue to push on this issue for the next four years. CROWLEY: Governor Romney, pay equity for women? ROMNEY: Thank you. And important topic, and one which I learneda great deal about, particularly as I was serving as governor of mystate, because I had the chance to pull together a cabinet and all theapplicants seemed to be men. And I - and I went to my staff, and I said, "How come all thepeople for these jobs are - are all men." They said, "Well, theseare the people that have the qualifications." And I said, "Well,gosh, can't we - can't we find some - some women that are alsoqualified?" ROMNEY: And - and so we - we took a concerted effort to go outand find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to becomemembers of our cabinet. I went to a number of women's groups and said, "Can you help usfind folks," and they brought us whole binders full of women. I was proud of the fact that after I staffed my Cabinet and mysenior staff, that the University of New York in Albany did a surveyof all 50 states, and concluded that mine had more women in seniorleadership positions than any other state in America. Now one of the reasons I was able to get so many good women to bepart of that team was because of our recruiting effort. But numbertwo, because I recognized that if you're going to have women in theworkforce that sometimes you need to be more flexible. My chief ofstaff, for instance, had two kids that were still in school. She said, I can't be here until 7 or 8 o'clock at night. I needto be able to get home at 5 o'clock so I can be there for makingdinner for my kids and being with them when they get home from school.So we said fine. Let's have a flexible schedule so you can have hoursthat work for you. We're going to have to have employers in the new economy, in theeconomy
I'm going to bring to play, that are going to be so anxious toget good workers they're going to be anxious to hire women. In the –in the last women have lost 580,000 jobs. That's the net of what'shappened in the last four years. We're still down 580,000 jobs. Imentioned 31/2 million women, more now in poverty than four years ago. What we can do to help young women and women of all ages is tohave a strong economy, so strong that employers that are looking tofind good employees and bringing them into their workforce andadapting to a flexible work schedule that gives women opportunitiesthat they would otherwise not be able to afford. This is what I have done. It's what I look forward to doing andI know what it takes to make an economy work, and I know what aworking economy looks like. And an economy with 7.8 percentunemployment is not a real strong economy. An economy that has 23million people looking for work is not a strong economy. An economy with 50 percent of kids graduating from college thatcan't finds a job, or a college level job, that's not what we have tohave.CROWLEY: Governor? ROMNEY: I'm going to help women in America get good work bygetting a stronger economy and by supporting women in the workforce. CROWLEY: Mr. President why don't you get in on this quickly,please? OBAMA: Katherine, I just want to point out that when Governorsupported it? He said, "I'll get back to you." And that's not thekind of advocacy that women need in any economy. Now, there are someother issues that have a bearing on how women succeed in theworkplace. For example, their healthcare. You know a majordifference in this campaign is that Governor Romney feels comfortablehaving politicians in Washington decide the health care choices thatwomen are making. I think that's a mistake. In my health care bill, I saidinsurance companies need to provide contraceptive coverage toeverybody who is insured. Because this is not just a - a healthissue, it's an economic issue for women. It makes a difference. Thisis money out of that family's pocket. Governor Romney not onlyopposed it, he suggested that in fact employers should be able to makethe decision as to whether or not a woman gets contraception throughher insurance coverage.
That's not the kind of advocacy that women need. When GovernorRomney says that we should eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood,there are millions of women all across the country, who rely onPlanned Parenthood for, not just contraceptive care, they rely on itfor mammograms, for cervical cancer screenings. That's a pocketbookissue for women and families all across the country. And it makes adifference in terms of how well and effectively women are able towork. When we talk about child care, and the credits that we'reproviding. That makes a difference in whether they can go out thereand and earn a living for their family. These are not just women's issues. These are family issues.These are economic issues. And one of the things that makes us grow as an economy is wheneverybody participates and women are getting the same fair deal as menare. CROWLEY: Mr. President... OBAMA: And I've got two daughters and I want to make sure thatthey have the same opportunities that anybody's sons have. That'spart of what I'm fighting for as president of the United States. CROWLEY: I want to move us along here to Susan Katz, who has aquestion. And, Governor, it's for you.QUESTION: Governor Romney, I am an undecided voter, because I'mdisappointed with the lack of progress I've seen in the last fouryears. However, I do attribute much of America's economic andinternational problems to the failings and missteps of the Bushadministration. Since both you and President Bush are Republicans, I fear areturn to the policies of those years should you win this election.What is the biggest difference between you and George W. Bush, and howdo you differentiate yourself from George W. Bush? ROMNEY: Thank you. And I appreciate that question. I just want to make sure that, I think I was supposed to get thatlast answer, but I want to point out that that I don't believe... OBAMA: I don't think so, Candy. ROMNEY: ... I don't believe... OBAMA: I want to make sure our timekeepers are working here.
ROMNEY: The time - the time... CROWLEY: OK. The timekeepers are all working. And let me tellyou that the last part, it's for the two of you to talk to oneanother, and it isn't quite as (inaudible) you think. But go ahead and use this two minutes any way you'd like to, thequestion is on the floor. ROMNEY: I'd just note that I don't believe that bureaucrats inWashington should tell someone whether they can use contraceptives ornot. And I don't believe employers should tell someone whether theycould have contraceptive care of not. Every woman in America shouldhave access to contraceptives. And - and the - and the president'sstatement of my policy is completely and totally wrong. OBAMA: Governor... ROMNEY: Let me come back and - and answer your question. President Bush and I are - are different people and these aredifferent times and that's why my five point plan is so different thanwhat he would have done. I mean for instance, we can now, by virtue of new technologyactually get all the energy we need in North America without having togo to the - the Arabs or the Venezuelans or anyone else. That wasn'ttrue in his time, that's why my policy starts with a very robustpolicy to get all that energy in North America become energysecure. Number two, trade - I'll crack down on China, President Bushdidn't. I'm also going to dramatically expand trade in Latin America.It's been growing about 12 percent per year over a long period oftime. I want to add more free trade agreements so we'll have moretrade. Number three, I'm going to get us to a balanced budget.President Bush didn't. President Obama was right, he said that thatwas outrageous to have deficits as high as half a trillion dollarsunder the Bush years. He was right, but then he put in place deficitstwice that size for every one of his four years. And his forecast forthe next four years is more deficits, almost that large. So that'sthe next area I'm different than President Bush. And then let's take the last one, championing small business.Our party has been focused too long. I came through small business.I understand how hard it is to start a small business. That's whyeverything I'll do is designed to help small
businesses grow and addjobs. I want to keep their taxes down on small business. I wantregulators to see their job as encouraging small enterprise, notcrushing it. And the thing I find the most troubling about Obama Care, wellit's a long list, but one of the things I find most troubling is thatwhen you go out and talk to small businesses and ask them what theythink about it, they tell you it keeps them from hiring more people. My priority is jobs. I know how to make that happen. AndPresident Bush has a very different path for a very different time.My path is designed in getting small businesses to grow and hirepeople. CROWLEY: Thanks, Governor. Mr. President? OBAMA: Well, first of all, I think it's important to tell youthat we did come in during some tough times. We were losing 800,000jobs a month when I started. But we had been digging our way out ofpolicies that were misplaced and focused on the top doing very welland middle class folks not doing well. Now, we've seen 30 consecutive - 31 consecutive months of jobgrowth; 5.2 million new jobs created. And the plans that I talkedabout will create even more. But when Governor Romney says that hehas a very different economic plan, the centerpiece of his economicplan are tax cuts. That's what took us from surplus to deficit. Whenhe talks about getting tough on China, keep in mind that GovernorRomney invested in companies that were pioneers of outsourcing toChina, and is currently investing in countries - in companies thatare building surveillance equipment for China to spy on its own folks. That's - Governor, you're the last person who's going to gettough on China. And what we've done when it comes to trade is notonly sign three trade deals to open up new markets, but we've also setup a task force for trade that goes after anybody who is takingadvantage of American workers or businesses and not creating a levelplaying field. We've brought twice as many cases against unfairtrading practices than the previous administration and we've won everysingle one that's been decided. When I said that we had to make sure that China was not floodingour domestic market with cheap tires, Governor Romney said I was beingprotectionist; that it wouldn't be helpful to American workers. Well,in fact we saved 1,000 jobs. And that's the kind of tough tradeactions that are
required. But the last point I want to make is this. You know, there aresome things where Governor Romney is different from George Bush.George Bush didn't propose turning Medicare into a voucher. GeorgeBush embraced comprehensive immigration reform. He didn't call forself-deportation. George Bush never suggested that we eliminate funding for PlannedParenthood, so there are differences between Governor Romney andGeorge Bush, but they're not on economic policy. In some ways, he'sgone to a more extreme place when it comes to social policy. And Ithink that's a mistake. That's not how we're going to move oureconomy forward. CROWLEY: I want to move you both along to the next question,because it's in the same wheelhouse, so you will be able to respond.But the president does get this question. I want to call on MichaelJones. QUESTION: Mr. President, I voted for you in 2008. What have youdone or accomplished to earn my vote in 2012? I'm not that optimisticas I was in 2012. Most things I need for everyday living are veryexpensive. OBAMA: Well, we've gone through a tough four years. There's nodoubt about it. But four years ago, I told the American people and Itold you I would cut taxes for middle class families. And I did. Itold you I'd cut taxes for small businesses, and I have. I said that I'd end the war in Iraq, and I did. I said we'drefocus attention on those who actually attacked us on 9/11, and wehave gone after Al Qaeda's leadership like never before and Osama binLaden is dead. OBAMA: I said that we would put in place health care reform tomake sure that insurance companies can't jerk you around and if youdon't have health insurance, that you'd have a chance to getaffordable insurance, and I have. I committed that I would rein in the excesses of Wall Street, andwe passed the toughest Wall Street reforms since the 1930s. We'vecreated five million jobs, and gone from 800 jobs a month being lost,and we are making progress. We saved an auto industry that was on thebrink of collapse. Now, does that mean you're not struggling? Absolutely not. Alot of us are. And that's why the plan that I've put forward formanufacturing and education, and reducing our deficit in a sensibleway, using the savings from ending wars, to rebuild America andputting people back to work. Making sure that we are controlling ourown energy, but not only the energy of today, but also the energy
ofthe future. All of those things will make a difference, so the pointis the commitments I've made, I've kept. And those that I haven't been able to keep, it's not for lack oftrying and we're going to get it done in a second term. But, youshould pay attention to this campaign, because Governor Romney hasmade some commitments as well. And I suspect he'll keep those too.You know when members of the Republican Congress say, "We're going tosign a no tax pledge, so that we don't ask a dime for millionaires andbillionaires to reduce our deficit so we can still invest ineducation, and helping kids go to college. He said, "Me too." When they said, "We're going to cut Planned Parenthood funding."He said, "Me too." When he said, "We're going to repeal Obamacare.First thing I'm going to do," despite the fact that it's the samehealth care plan that he passed in Massachusetts and is working well.He said, "Me too." That is not the kind of leadership that you need,but you should expect that those are promises he's going to keep. (CROSSTALK) CROWLEY: Mr. President, let me let... (CROSSTALK) OBAMA: ...the choice in this election is going to be whosepromises are going to be more likely to help you in your life? Makesure your kids can go to college. Make sure that you are getting agood paying job, making sure that Medicare and Social Security...(CROSSTALK) CROWLEY: Mr. President. Thank you. (CROSSTALK) OBAMA: ...will be there for you. CROWLEY: Thank you. Governor? ROMNEY: I think you know better. I think you know that theselast four years haven't been so good as the president just describedand that you don't feel like your confident that the next four yearsare going to be much better either. I can tell you that if you were to elect President Obama, youknow what you're going to get. You're going to get a repeat of thelast four years. We just can't afford four more years like the lastfour years. He said that by now we'd have unemployment at 5.4 percent. Thedifference
between where it is and 5.4 percent is 9 million Americanswithout work. I wasn't the one that said 5.4 percent. This was the president'splan. Didn't get there. He said he would have by now put forward a plan to reformMedicare and Social Security, because he pointed out they're on theroad to bankruptcy. He would reform them. He'd get that done. Hehasn't even made a proposal on either one. He said in his first year he'd put out an immigration plan thatwould deal with our immigration challenges. Didn't even file it. This is a president who has not been able to do what he said he'ddo. He said that he'd cut in half the deficit. He hasn't done thateither. In fact, he doubled it. He said that by now middle-incomefamilies would have a reduction in their health insurance premiums by$2,500 a year. It's gone up by $2,500 a year. And if Obamacare ispassed, or implemented - it's already been passed - if it'simplemented fully, it'll be another $2,500 on top. ROMNEY: The middle class is getting crushed under the policiesof a president who has not understood what it takes to get the economyworking again. He keeps saying, "Look, I've created 5 million jobs."That's after losing 5 million jobs. The entire record is such thatthe unemployment has not been reduced in this country. Theunemployment, the number of people who are still looking for work, isstill 23 million Americans. There are more people in poverty, one out of six people inpoverty. How about food stamps? When he took office, 32 million peoplewere on food stamps. Today, 47 million people are on food stamps.How about the growth of the economy? It's growing more slowly thisyear than last year, and more slowly last year than the year before. The president wants to do well. I understand. But the policieshe's put in place from Obamacare to Dodd-Frank to his tax policies tohis regulatory policies, these policies combined have not let thiseconomy take off and grow like it could have. You might say, "Well, you got an example of one that workedbetter?" Yeah, in the Reagan recession where unemployment hit 10.8percent, between that period - the end of that recession and theequivalent of time to today, Ronald Reagan's recovery created twice asmany jobs as this president's recovery. Five million jobs doesn'teven keep up with our population growth. And the only
reason theunemployment rate seems a little lower today is because of all thepeople that have dropped out of the workforce. The president has tried, but his policies haven't worked. He'sgreat as a - as a - as a speaker and describing his plans and hisvision. That's wonderful, except we have a record to look at. Andthat record shows he just hasn't been able to cut the deficit, to putin place reforms for Medicare and Social Security to preserve them, toget us the rising incomes we need. Median income is down $4,300 afamily and 23 million Americans out of work. That's what thiselection is about. It's about who can get the middle class in thiscountry a bright and prosperous future and assure our kids the kind ofhope and optimism they deserve. CROWLEY: Governor, I want to move you along. Don't - don't goaway, and we'll have plenty of time to respond. We are quite aware ofthe clock for both of you. But I want to bring in a different subjecthere. Mr. President, I'll be right back with you. Lorraine Osorio has a question for you about a topic we havenot... OBAMA: This is for Governor Romney? CROWLEY: It's for Governor Romney, and we'll be right with you,Mr. President. Thanks. ROMNEY: Is it Loraina? QUESTION: Lorraine. ROMNEY: Lorraine? QUESTION: Yes, Lorraine. ROMNEY: Lorraine. QUESTION: How you doing? ROMNEY: Good, thanks QUESTION: Mr. Romney, what do you plan on doing with immigrantswithout their green cards that are currently living here as productivemembers of society? ROMNEY: Thank you. Lorraine? Did I get that right? Good.Thank you for your question. And let me step back and tell you what Iwould like to do with our immigration policy broadly and include ananswer to your question.
But first of all, this is a nation of immigrants. We welcomepeople coming to this country as immigrants. My dad was born inMexico of American parents; Ann's dad was born in Wales and is afirst-generation American. We welcome legal immigrants into thiscountry. I want our legal system to work better. I want it to bestreamlined. I want it to be clearer. I don't think you have to –shouldn't have to hire a lawyer to figure out how to get into thiscountry legally. I also think that we should give visas to people –green cards, rather, to people who graduate with skills that we need.People around the world with accredited degrees in science and mathget a green card stapled to their diploma, come to the U.S. of A. Weshould make sure our legal system works. Number two, we're going to have to stop illegal immigration.There are 4 million people who are waiting in line to get herelegally. Those who've come here illegally take their place. So Iwill not grant amnesty to those who have come here illegally. What I will do is I'll put in place an employment verificationsystem and make sure that employers that hire people who have comehere illegally are sanctioned for doing so. I won't put in placemagnets for people coming here illegally. So for instance, I wouldnot give driver's licenses to those that have come here illegally asthe president would. The kids of those that came here illegally, those kids, I think,should have a pathway to become a permanent resident of the UnitedStates and military service, for instance, is one way they would havethat kind of pathway to become a permanent resident. ROMNEY: Now when the president ran for office, he said that he'dput in place, in his first year, a piece of legislation - he'd file abill in his first year that would reform our - our immigrationsystem, protect legal immigration, stop illegal immigration. Hedidn't do it. He had a Democrat House, a Democrat Senate, super majority inboth Houses. Why did he fail to even promote legislation that wouldhave provided an answer for those that want to come legally and forthose that are here illegally today? What's a question I think the –the president will have a chance to answer right now. OBAMA: Good, I look forward to it. Was - Lorranna - Lorraine - we are a nation of immigrants. Imean we're just
a few miles away from Ellis Island. We all understandwhat this country has become because talent from all around the worldwants to come here. People are willing to take risks. People whowant to build on their dreams and make sure their kids have an evenbigger dreams than they have. But we're also a nation of laws. So what I've said is we need tofix a broken immigration system and I've done everything that I can onmy own and sought cooperation from Congress to make sure that we fixthe system. The first thing we did was to streamline the legal immigrationsystem, to reduce the backlog, make it easier, simpler and cheaper forpeople who are waiting in line, obeying the law to make sure that theycan come here and contribute to our country and that's good for oureconomic growth. They'll start new businesses. They'll make things happen tocreate jobs here in the United States. Number two, we do have to deal with our border so we put moreborder patrol on the - any time in history and the flow ofundocumented works across the border is actually lower than it's beenin 40 years. What I've also said is if we're going to go after folks who arehere illegally, we should do it smartly and go after folks who arecriminals, gang bangers, people who are hurting the community, notafter students, not after folks who are here just because they'retrying to figure out how to feed their families. And that's whatwe've done. And what I've also said is for young people who comehere, brought here often times by their parents. Had gone to schoolhere, pledged allegiance to the flag. Think of this as their country.Understand themselves as Americans in every way except having papers.And we should make sure that we give them a pathway to citizenship. And that's what I've done administratively. Now, Governor Romneyjust said, you know he wants to help those young people too, butduring the Republican primary, he said, "I will veto the DREAM Act",that would allow these young people to have access." His mainstrategy during the Republican primary was to say, "We're going toencourage self-deportation." Making life so miserable on folks thatthey'll leave. He called the Arizona law a model for the nation.Part of the Arizona law said that law enforcement officers could stopfolks because they suspected maybe they looked like they might beundocumented workers and check their papers. You know what? If my daughter or yours looks to somebody likethey're not
a citizen, I don't want - I don't want to empowersomebody like that. So, we can fix this system in a comprehensiveway. And when Governor Romney says, the challenge is, "Well Obamadidn't try." That's not true. I have sat down with Democrats andRepublicans at the beginning of my term. And I said, let's fix thissystem. Including Senators previously who had supported it on theRepublican side. But it's very hard for Republican's in Congress tosupport comprehensive immigration reform, if their standard bearer hassaid that, this is not something I'm interested in supporting. CROWLEY: Let me get the governor in here, Mr. President. Let'sspeak to, if you could... ROMNEY: Yes. CROWLEY: ...the idea of self-deportation? ROMNEY: No, let - let - let me go back and speak to the pointsthat the president made and - and - and let's get them correct. I did not say that the Arizona law was a model for the nation inthat aspect. I said that the E-Verify portion of the Arizona law,which is - which is the portion of the law which says that employerscould be able to determine whether someone is here illegally or notillegally, that that was a model for the nation. That's number one. Univision the other day. Why, when you said you'd filed legislationin your first year didn't you do it? And he didn't answer. He - hedoesn't answer that question. He said the standard bearer wasn't forit. I'm glad you thought I was a standard bearer four years ago, butI wasn't. Four years ago you said in your first year you would filelegislation. In his first year, I was just getting - licking my wounds fromhaving been beaten by John McCain, all right. I was not the standardbearer. My - my view is that this president should have honored hispromise to do as he said. Now, let me mention one other thing, and that is self-deportationsays let people make their own choice. What I was saying is, we'renot going to round up 12 million people, undocumented illegals, andtake them out of the nation. Instead let people make their ownchoice. And if they - if they find that - that they can't get thebenefits here that they want and they can't - and they can't find thejob they want, then they'll make a decision to go a place where –where
they have better opportunities. But I'm not in favor of rounding up people and - and - andtaking them out of this country. I am in favor, as the president hassaid, and I agree with him, which is that if people have committedcrimes we got to get them out of this country. ROMNEY: Let me mention something else the president said. Itwas a moment ago and I didn't get a chance to, when he was describingChinese investments and so forth. OBAMA: Candy? Hold on a second. The... ROMNEY: Mr. President, I'm still speaking. (CROSSTALK) ROMNEY: Mr. President, let me finish. (CROSSTALK) ROMNEY: I've gotta continue. (CROSSTALK) CROWLEY: Governor Romney, you can make it short. See all thesepeople? They've been waiting for you. (inaudible) make it short(inaudible). ROMNEY: Just going to make a point. Any investments I have overthe last eight years have been managed by a blind trust. And Iunderstand they do include investments outside the United States,including in - in Chinese companies. Mr. President, have you looked at your pension? Have you lookedat your pension? OBAMA: I've got to say... ROMNEY: Mr. President, have you looked at your pension? OBAMA: You know, I - I don't look at my pension. It's not asbig as yours so it doesn't take as long. ROMNEY: Well, let me give you some advice. OBAMA: I don't check it that often.
ROMNEY: Let me give you some advice. Look at your pension. Youalso have investments in Chinese companies. You also have investmentsoutside the United States. You also have investments through aCayman's trust. (CROSSTALK) CROWLEY: We're way off topic here, Governor Romney. (CROSSTALK) OBAMA: I thought we were talking about immigration. (CROSSTALK) OBAMA: I do want to make sure that... CROWLEY: If I could have you sit down, Governor Romney. Thankyou. OBAMA: I do want to make sure that - I do want to make surethat we just understand something. Governor Romney says he wasn'treferring to Arizona as a model for the nation. His top adviser onimmigration is the guy who designed the Arizona law, the entirety ofit; not E-Verify, the whole thing. That's his policy. And it's a badpolicy. And it won't help us grow. Look, when we think about immigration, we have to understandthere are folks all around the world who still see America as the landof promise. And they provide us energy and they provide us innovationand they start companies like Intel and Google. And we want toencourage that. Now, we've got to make sure that we do it in a smart way and acomprehensive way, and we make the legal system better. But when wemake this into a divisive political issue, and when we don't havebipartisan support - I can deliver, Governor, a whole bunch ofDemocrats to get comprehensive immigration reform done, and wecan't... ROMNEY: I'll get it done. I'll get it done. First year... OBAMA: ... we can't - we have not seen Republicans seriousabout this issue at all. And it's time for them to get serious on it. CROWLEY: Mr. President, let me move you on here please. Mr.President, (inaudible). OBAMA: This used to be a bipartisan issue. (CROSSTALK) CROWLEY: Don't go away, though - right. Don't go away becauseI - I want
you to talk to Kerry Ladka who wants to switch the topicfor us. OBAMA: OK. Hi, Kerry. QUESTION: Good evening, Mr. President. OBAMA: I'm sorry. What's your name? QUESTION: It's Kerry, Kerry Ladka. OBAMA: Great to see you. QUESTION: This question actually comes from a brain trust of myfriends at Global Telecom Supply (ph) in Minneola yesterday. OBAMA: Ah. QUESTION: We were sitting around, talking about Libya, and wewere reading and became aware of reports that the State Departmentrefused extra security for our embassy in Benghazi, Libya, prior tothe attacks that killed four Americans. Who was it that denied enhanced security and why? OBAMA: Well, let me first of all talk about our diplomats,because they serve all around the world and do an incredible job in avery dangerous situation. And these aren't just representatives ofthe United States, they are my representatives. I send them there,oftentimes into harm's way. I know these folks and I know theirfamilies. So nobody is more concerned about their safety and securitythan I am. So as soon as we found out that the Benghazi consulate was beingoverrun, I was on the phone with my national security team and I gavethem three instructions. Number one, beef up our security and procedures, not just inLibya, but at every embassy and consulate in the region. Number two, investigate exactly what happened, regardless ofwhere the facts lead us, to make sure folks are held accountable andit doesn't happen again. And number three, we are going to find out who did this and we'regoing to hunt them down, because one of the things that I've saidthroughout my presidency is when folks mess with Americans, we goafter them.
OBAMA: Now Governor Romney had a very different response. Whilewe were still dealing with our diplomats being threatened, GovernorRomney put out a press release, trying to make political points, andthat's not how a commander in chief operates. You don't turn nationalsecurity into a political issue. Certainly not right when it'shappening. And people - not everybody agrees with some of thedecisions I've made. But when it comes to our national security, Imean what I say. I said I'd end the war in Libya - in - in Iraq,and I did. I said that we'd go after al-Qaeda and bin Laden, we have. Isaid we'd transition out of Afghanistan, and start making sure thatAfghans are responsible for their own security, that's what I'm doing.And when it comes to this issue, when I say that we are going to findout exactly what happened, everybody will be held accountable. And Iam ultimately responsible for what's taking place there because theseare my folks, and I'm the one who has to greet those coffins when theycome home. You know that I mean what I say. CROWLEY: Mr. President, I'm going to move us along. Governor? ROMNEY: Thank you Kerry for your question, it's an importantone. And and I - I think the president just said correctly thatthe buck does stop at his desk and - and he takes responsibility for– for that - for the failure in providing those security resources,and - and those terrible things may well happen from time to time. I– I'm - I feel very deeply sympathetic for the families of those wholost loved ones. And today there's a memorial service for one ofthose that was lost in this tragedy. We - we think of their familiesand care for them deeply. There were other issues associated withthis - with this tragedy. There were many days that passed before weknew whether this was a spontaneous demonstration, or actually whetherit was a terrorist attack. ROMNEY: And there was no demonstration involved. It was aterrorist attack and it took a long time for that to be told to theAmerican people. Whether there was some misleading, or insteadwhether we just didn't know what happened, you have to ask yourselfwhy didn't we know five days later when the ambassador to the UnitedNations went on TV to say that this was a demonstration. How could wehave not known? But I find more troubling than this, that on - on the dayfollowing the assassination of the United States ambassador, the firsttime that's happened since 1979, when - when we have four Americanskilled there, when apparently we didn't know what happened, that thepresident, the day after that happened, flies to Las Vegas for apolitical fund-raiser, then the next day to Colorado for
anotherevent, other political event. I think these - these actions taken by a president and a leaderhave symbolic significance and perhaps even material significance inthat you'd hope that during that time we could call in the people whowere actually eyewitnesses. We've read their accounts now about whathappened. It was very clear this was not a demonstration. This wasan attack by terrorists. And this calls into question the president's whole policy in theMiddle East. Look what's happening in Syria, in Egypt, now in Libya.Consider the distance between ourselves and - and Israel, thepresident said that - that he was going to put daylight between usand Israel. We have Iran four years closer to a nuclear bomb. Syria –Syria's not just a tragedy of 30,000 civilians being killed by amilitary, but also a strategic strategically significant player forAmerica. The president's policies throughout the Middle East began with anapology tour and - and - and pursue a strategy of leading frombehind, and this strategy is unraveling before our very eyes. CROWLEY: Because we're - we're closing in, I want to still geta lot of people in. I want to ask you something, Mr. President, andthen have the governor just quickly. Your secretary of state, as I'm sure you know, has said that shetakes full responsibility for the attack on the diplomatic mission inBenghazi. Does the buck stop with your secretary of state as far aswhat went on here? OBAMA: Secretary Clinton has done an extraordinary job. But sheworks for me. I'm the president and I'm always responsible, andthat's why nobody's more interested in finding out exactly whathappened than I do. The day after the attack, governor, I stood in the Rose Gardenand I told the American people in the world that we are going to findout exactly what happened. That this was an act of terror and I alsosaid that we're going to hunt down those who committed this crime. And then a few days later, I was there greeting the casketscoming into Andrews Air Force Base and grieving with the families. And the suggestion that anybody in my team, whether the Secretaryof State, our U.N. Ambassador, anybody on my team would play politicsor mislead when we've lost four of our own, governor, is offensive.That's not what we do.
That's not what I do as president, that's notwhat I do as Commander in Chief. CROWLEY: Governor, if you want to... ROMNEY: Yes, I - I... CROWLEY: ... quickly to this please. ROMNEY: I - I think interesting the president just saidsomething which which is that on the day after the attack he wentinto the Rose Garden and said that this was an act of terror. OBAMA: That's what I said. ROMNEY: You said in the Rose Garden the day after the attack, itwas an act of terror. It was not a spontaneous demonstration, is that what you'resaying? OBAMA: Please proceed governor. ROMNEY: I want to make sure we get that for the record becauseit took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazian act of terror. OBAMA: Get the transcript. CROWLEY: It - it - it - he did in fact, sir.So let me - let me call it an act of terror... OBAMA: Can you say that a little louder, Candy? CROWLEY: He - he did call it an act of terror. It did as welltake - it did as well take two weeks or so for the whole idea therebeing a riot out there about this tape to come out. You are correctabout that. ROMNEY: This - the administration - the administrationindicated this was a reaction to a video and was a spontaneousreaction. CROWLEY: It did. ROMNEY: It took them a long time to say this was a terrorist actby a terrorist group. And to suggest - am I incorrect in thatregard, on Sunday, the - your secretary – OBAMA: Candy? ROMNEY: Excuse me. The ambassador of the United Nations went onthe Sunday television shows and spoke about how –
OBAMA: Candy, I'm – ROMNEY: - this was a spontaneous – CROWLEY: Mr. President, let me – OBAMA: I'm happy to have a longer conversation – CROWLEY: I know you – OBAMA: - about foreign policy. CROWLEY: Absolutely. But I want to - I want to move you on andalso – OBAMA: OK. I'm happy to do that, too. CROWLEY: - the transcripts and – OBAMA: I just want to make sure that – CROWLEY: - figure out what we – OBAMA: - all of these wonderful folks are going to have achance to get some of their questions answered. CROWLEY: Because what I - what I want to do, Mr. President,stand there a second, because I want to introduce you to NinaGonzalez, who brought up a question that we hear a lot, both over theInternet and from this crowd QUESTION: President Obama, during the Democratic NationalConvention in 2008, you stated you wanted to keep AK-47s out of thehands of criminals. What has your administration done or planned todo to limit the availability of assault weapons? OBAMA: We're a nation that believes in the Second Amendment, andI believe in the Second Amendment. We've got a long tradition ofhunting and sportsmen and people who want to make sure they canprotect themselves. But there have been too many instances during the course of mypresidency, where I've had to comfort families who have lost somebody.Most recently out in Aurora. You know, just a couple of weeks ago,actually, probably about a month, I saw a mother, who I had met at thebedside of her son, who had been shot in that theater. And her son had been shot through the head. And we spent sometime, and we said a prayer and, remarkably, about two months later,this young man and his mom showed up, and he looked unbelievable, goodas new.
But there were a lot of families who didn't have that goodfortune and whose sons or daughters or husbands didn't survive. So my belief is that, (A), we have to enforce the laws we'vealready got, make sure that we're keeping guns out of the hands ofcriminals, those who are mentally ill. We've done a much better jobin terms of background checks, but we've got more to do when it comesto enforcement. But I also share your belief that weapons that were designed forsoldiers in war theaters don't belong on our streets. And so what I'mtrying to do is to get a broader conversation about how do we reducethe violence generally. Part of it is seeing if we can get an assaultweapons ban reintroduced. But part of it is also looking at othersources of the violence. Because frankly, in my home town of Chicago,there's an awful lot of violence and they're not using AK-47s.They're using cheap hand guns. And so what can we do to intervene, to make sure that youngpeople have opportunity; that our schools are working; that if there'sviolence on the streets, that working with faith groups and lawenforcement, we can catch it before it gets out of control. And so what I want is a - is a comprehensive strategy. Part ofit is seeing if we can get automatic weapons that kill folks inamazing numbers out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill.But part of it is also going deeper and seeing if we can get intothese communities and making sure we catch violent impulses beforethey occur. CROWLEY: Governor Romney, the question is about assault weapons,AK-47s. ROMNEY: Yeah, I'm not in favor of new pieces of legislation on– on guns and taking guns away or making certain guns illegal. We,of course, don't want to have automatic weapons, and that's alreadyillegal in this country to have automatic weapons. What I believe iswe have to do, as the president mentioned towards the end of hisremarks there, which is to make enormous efforts to enforce the gunlaws that we have, and to change the culture of violence that we have. And you ask how - how are we going to do that? And there are anumber of things. He mentioned good schools. I totally agree. Wewere able to drive our schools to be number one in the nation in mystate. And I believe if we do a better job in education, we'll –we'll give people the - the hope and opportunity
they deserve andperhaps less violence from that. But let me mention another thing.And that is parents. We need moms and dads, helping to raise kids.Wherever possible the - the benefit of having two parents in thehome, and that's not always possible. A lot of great single moms,single dads. But gosh to tell our kids that before they have babies,they ought to think about getting married to someone, that's a greatidea. Because if there's a two parent family, the prospect of living inpoverty goes down dramatically. The opportunities that the child will– will be able to achieve increase dramatically. So we can makechanges in the way our culture works to help bring people away fromviolence and give them opportunity, and bring them in the Americansystem. The - the greatest failure we've had with regards to togun violence in some respects is what - what is known as Fast andFurious. Which was a program under this administration, and how itworked exactly I think we don't know precisely, where thousands ofautomatic, and AK-47 type weapons were - were given to people thatultimately gave them to - to drug lords. They used those weapons against - against their own citizens andkilled Americans with them. And this was a - this was a program ofthe government. For what purpose it was put in place, I can'timagine. But it's one of the great tragedies related to violence inour society which has occurred during this administration. Which Ithink the American people would like to understand fully, it's beeninvestigated to a degree, but - but the administration has carriedout executive privilege to prevent all of the information from comingout. I'd like to understand who it was that did this, what the ideawas behind it, why it led to the violence, thousands of guns going toMexican drug lords.OBAMA: Candy? CROWLEY: Governor, Governor, if I could, the question was aboutthese assault weapons that once were once banned and are no longerbanned. I know that you signed an assault weapons ban when you were inMassachusetts, obviously, with this question, you no longer do supportthat. Why is that, given the kind of violence that we see sometimeswith these mass killings? Why is it that you have changed your mind? ROMNEY: Well, Candy, actually, in my state, the pro-gun folksand the anti-gun folks came together and put together a piece oflegislation. And it's referred to as an assault weapon ban, but ithad, at the signing of the bill, both the pro-gun and the anti-gunpeople came together, because it provided
opportunities for both thatboth wanted. There were hunting opportunities, for instance, that haven'tpreviously been available and so forth, so it was a mutually agreed-upon piece of legislation. That's what we need more of, Candy. Whatwe have right now in Washington is a place that's gridlocked. CROWLEY: So I could - if you could get people to agree to it,you would be for it? ROMNEY: We have – OBAMA: Candy? ROMNEY: - we haven't had the leadership in Washington to workon a bipartisan basis. I was able to do that in my state and bringthese two together. CROWLEY: Quickly, Mr. President. OBAMA: The - first of all, I think Governor Romney was for anassault weapons ban before he was against it. And he said that thereason he changed his mind was, in part, because he was seeking theendorsement of the National Rifle Association. So that's on therecord. But I think that one area we agree on is the important of parentsand the importance of schools, because I do believe that if our youngpeople have opportunity, then they are less likely to engage in thesekinds of violent acts. We're not going to eliminate everybody who ismentally disturbed and we have got to make sure they don't getweapons. (AUDIO GAP) OBAMA: because I do believe that if our young people haveopportunity, then they're less likely to engage in these kind ofviolent acts. We're not going to eliminate everybody who is mentally disturbed,and we've got to make sure they don't get weapons. But we can make adifference in terms ensuring that every young person in America,regardless of where they come from, what they look like, have a chanceto succeed. And, Candy, we haven't had a chance to talk about education much,but I think it is very important to understand that the reforms we'veput in place, working with 46 governors around the country, are seeingschools that are some of the ones that are the toughest for kidsstarting to succeed. We're starting to see gains in math and science.
When it comes to community colleges, we are setting up programs,including with Nassau Community College, to retrain workers, includingyoung people who may have dropped out of school but now are gettinganother chance, training them for the jobs that exist right now. And in fact, employers are looking for skilled workers. And sowe're matching them up. Giving them access to higher education. As Isaid, we have made sure that millions of young people are able to getan education that they weren't able to get before. Now... CROWLEY: Mr. President, I have to - I have to move you alonghere. You said you wanted to... (CROSSTALK) CROWLEY: We need to do it here. OBAMA: But - but it'll - it'll - it'll be... (CROSSTALK) OBAMA: ... just one second. CROWLEY: One... OBAMA: Because - because this is important. This is part ofthe choice in this election. teachers was important to growing our economy, Governor Romney saidthat doesn't grow our economy. (CROSSTALK) CROWLEY: The question, Mr. President, was guns here, so I needto move us along. OBAMA: I understand. CROWLEY: You know, the question was guns. So let me - let mebring in another... OBAMA: But this will make a difference in terms of whether ornot we can move this economy forward for these young people... CROWLEY: I understand. OBAMA: ... and reduce our violence.
CROWLEY: OK. Thank you so much. I want to ask Carol Goldberg to stand up, because she gets to aquestion that both these men have been passionate about. It's forGovernor Romney QUESTION: The outsourcing of American jobs overseas has taken atoll on our economy. What plans do you have to put back and keep jobshere in the United States? ROMNEY: Boy, great question and important question, becauseyou're absolutely right. The place where we've seen manufacturing gohas been China. China is now the largest manufacturer in the world.It used to be the United States of America. A lot of good people havelost jobs. A half a million manufacturing jobs have been lost in thelast four years. That's total over the last four years. One of the reasons for that is that people think it's moreattractive in some cases to go offshore than to stay here. We havemade it less attractive for enterprises to stay here than to gooffshore from time to time. What I will do as president is make sureit's more attractive to come to America again. This is the way we're going to create jobs in this country. It'snot by trickle-down government, saying we're going to take more moneyfrom people and hire more government workers, raise more taxes, put inplace more regulations. Trickle-down government has never workedhere, has never worked anywhere. I want to make America the most attractive place in the world forentrepreneurs, for small business, for big business, to invest andgrow in America. Now, we're going to have to make sure that as we trade with othernations that they play by the rules. And China hasn't. One of thereasons - or one of the ways they don't play by the rules isartificially holding down the value of their currency. Because ifthey put their currency down low, that means their prices on theirgoods are low. And that makes them advantageous in the marketplace. We lose sales. And manufacturers here in the U.S. making thesame products can't compete. China has been a currency manipulatorfor years and years and years. And the president has a regularopportunity to label them as a currency manipulator, but refuses to doso. On day one, I will label China a currency manipulator, which willallow me as president to be able to put in place, if necessary,tariffs where I believe that they
are taking unfair advantage of ourmanufacturers. So we're going to make sure that people we trade with around theworld play by the rules. But let me - let me not just stop there.Don't forget, what's key to bringing back jobs here is not justfinding someone else to punish, and I'm going to be strict with peoplewho we trade with to make sure they - they follow the law and play bythe rules, but it's also to make America the most attractive place inthe world for businesses of all kinds. That's why I want to down the tax rates on small employers, bigemployers, so they want to be here. Canada's tax rate on companies isnow 15 percent. Ours is 35 percent. So if you're starting abusiness, where would you rather start it? We have to be competitiveif we're going to create more jobs here. Regulations have quadrupled. The rate of regulations quadrupledunder this president. I talk to small businesses across the country.They say, "We feel like we're under attack from our own government."I want to make sure that regulators see their job as encouraging smallbusiness, not crushing it. And there's no question but that Obamacarehas been an extraordinary deterrent to enterprises of all kinds hiringpeople. My priority is making sure that we get more people hired. If wehave more people hired, if we get back manufacturing jobs, if we getback all kinds of jobs into this country, then you're going to seerising incomes again. The reason incomes are down is becauseunemployment is so high. I know what it takes to get this to happen,and my plan will do that, and one part of it is to make sure that wekeep China playing by the rules. CROWLEY: Mr. President, two minutes here, because we are thengoing to go to our last question. OBAMA: OK. We need to create jobs here. And both GovernorRomney and I agree actually that we should lower our corporate taxrate. It's too high. But there's a difference in terms of how wewould do it. I want to close loopholes that allow companies to deductexpenses when they move to China; that allow them to profit offshoreand not have to get taxed, so they have tax advantages offshore. All those changes in our tax code would make a difference. Now, Governor Romney actually wants to expand those tax breaks.One of his big ideas when it comes to corporate tax reform would be tosay, if you invest overseas, you make profits overseas, you don't haveto pay U.S. taxes.
But, of course, if you're a small business or a mom-and-popbusiness or a big business starting up here, you've got to pay eventhe reduced rate that Governor Romney's talking about. And it's estimated that that will create 800,000 new jobs. Theproblem is they'll be in china. Or India. Or Germany. That's not the way we're going to create jobs here. The waywe're going to create jobs here is not just to change our tax code,but also to double our exports. And we are on pace to double ourexports, one of the commitments I made when I was president. That'screating tens of thousands of jobs all across the country. That's whywe've kept on pushing trade deals, but trade deals that make sure thatAmerican workers and American businesses are getting a good deal. Now, Governor Romney talked about China, as I already indicated.In the private sector, Governor Romney's company invested in what werecalled pioneers of outsourcing. That's not my phrase. That's whatreporters called it. And as far as currency manipulation, the currency has actuallygone up 11 percent since I've been president because we have pushedthem hard. And we've put unprecedented trade pressure on China.That's why exports have significantly increased under my presidency.That's going to help to create jobs here. CROWLEY: Mr. President, we have a really short time for a quickdiscussion here. iPad, the Macs, the iPhones, they are all manufactured in China.One of the major reasons is labor is so much cheaper here. How do youconvince a great American company to bring that manufacturing backhere? ROMNEY: The answer is very straightforward. We can compete withanyone in the world as long as the playing field is level. China'sbeen cheating over the years. One by holding down the value of theircurrency. Number two, by stealing our intellectual property; ourdesigns, our patents, our technology. There's even an Apple store inChina that's a counterfeit Apple store, selling counterfeit goods.They hack into our computers. We will have to have people play on afair basis, that's number one. Number two, we have to make America the most attractive place forentrepreneurs, for people who want to expand their business. That'swhat brings jobs in. The president's characterization of my taxplan...
(CROSSTALK) ROMNEY: ...is completely...is completely... (CROSSTALK) ROMNEY: ...is completely false. Let me tell you... CROWLEY: Let me to go the president here because we really arerunning out of time. And the question is can we ever get - we can'tget wages like that. It can't be sustained. OBAMA: Candy, there are some jobs that are not going to comeback. Because they are low wage, low skill jobs. I want high wage,high skill jobs. That's why we have to emphasize manufacturing.That's why we have to invest in advanced manufacturing. That's whywe've got to make sure that we've got the best science and research inthe world. And when we talk about deficits, if we're adding to ourdeficit for tax cuts for folks who don't need them, and we're cuttinginvestments in research and science that will create the next Apple,create the next new innovation that will sell products around theworld, we will lose that race. If we're not training engineers to make sure that they areequipped here in this country. Then companies won't come here. Thoseinvestments are what's going to help to make sure that we continue tolead this world economy, not just next year, but 10 years from now, 50years from now, 100 years from now. CROWLEY: Thanks Mr. President. (CROSSTALK) CROWLEY: Governor Romney? ROMNEY: Government does not create jobs. Government does notcreate jobs. CROWLEY: Governor Romney, I want to introduce you to BarryGreen, because he's going to have the last question to you first? ROMNEY: Barry? Where is Barry? QUESTION: Hi, Governor. I think this is a tough question. Toeach of you. What do you believe is the biggest misperception thatthe American people have about you as a man and a candidate? Usingspecific examples, can you take this opportunity to debunk thatmisperception and set us straight?
ROMNEY: Thank you, and that's an opportunity for me, and Iappreciate it. In the nature of a campaign, it seems that some campaigns arefocused on attacking a person rather than prescribing their own futureand the things they'd like to do. In the course of that, I think thepresident's campaign has tried to characterize me as - as someonewho's very different than who I am. I care about 100 percent of the American people. I want 100percent of the American people to have a bright and prosperous future.I care about our kids. I understand what it takes to make a brightand prosperous future for America again. I spent my life in theprivate sector, not in government. I'm a guy who wants to help withthe experience I have, the American people. My - my passion probably flows from the fact that I believe inGod. And I believe we're all children of the same God. I believe wehave a responsibility to care for one another. I - I served as amissionary for my church. I served as a pastor in my congregation forabout 10 years. I've sat across the table from people who were out ofwork and worked with them to try and find new work or to help themthrough tough times. I went to the Olympics when they were in trouble to try and getthem on track. And as governor of my state, I was able to get 100percent of my people insured, all my kids, about 98 percent of theadults. I was able also to get our schools ranked number one in thenation, so 100 percent of our kids would have a bright opportunity fora future. ROMNEY: I understand that I can get this country on track again.We don't have to settle for what we're going through. We don't haveto settle for gasoline at four bucks. We don't have to settle forunemployment at a chronically high level. We don't have to settle for47 million people on food stamps. We don't have to settle for 50percent of kids coming out of college not able to get work. We don'thave to settle for 23 million people struggling to find a good job. If I become president, I'll get America working again. I willget us on track to a balanced budget. The president hasn't. I will.I'll make sure we can reform Medicare and Social Security to preservethem for coming - coming generations. The president said he would.He didn't. CROWLEY: Governor... ROMNEY: I'll get our incomes up. And by the way, I've donethese things. I served as governor and showed I could get them done. CROWLEY: Mr. President, last two minutes belong to you.
OBAMA: Barry, I think a lot of this campaign, maybe over thelast four years, has been devoted to this nation that I thinkgovernment creates jobs, that that somehow is the answer. That's not what I believe. I believe that the free enterprisesystem is the greatest engine of prosperity the world's ever known. I believe in self-reliance and individual initiative and risktakers being rewarded. But I also believe that everybody should havea fair shot and everybody should do their fair share and everybodyshould play by the same rules, because that's how our economy's grown.That's how we built the world's greatest middle class. And - and that is part of what's at stake in this election.There's a fundamentally different vision about how we move our countryforward. I believe Governor Romney is a good man. Loves his family, caresabout his faith. But I also believe that when he said behind closeddoors that 47 percent of the country considered themselves victims whorefuse personal responsibility, think about who he was talking about. Folks on Social Security who've worked all their lives. Veteranswho've sacrificed for this country. Students who are out there tryingto hopefully advance their own dreams, but also this country's dreams.Soldiers who are overseas fighting for us right now. People who areworking hard every day, paying payroll tax, gas taxes, but don't makeenough income. And I want to fight for them. That's what I've been doing forthe last four years. Because if they succeed, I believe the countrysucceeds. When my grandfather fought in World War II and he came back andhe got a G.I. Bill and that allowed him to go to college, that wasn'ta handout. That was something that advanced the entire country. AndI want to make sure that the next generation has those sameopportunities. That's why I'm asking for your vote and that's why I'masking for another four years. CROWLEY: President Obama, Governor Romney, thank you for beinghere tonight. On that note we have come to an end of this town hall debate.Our thanks to the participants for their time and to the people ofHofstra University for their hospitality. The next and final debate takes place Monday night at Lynn (ph)University
in Boca Raton, Florida. Don't forget to watch. ElectionDay is three weeks from today. Don't forget to vote. Good night.
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