Third presidential debate transcript: President Barack Obama’s remarks on the Egyptian revolution

Transcribed and edited by Jenny Jiang

Excerpts from the third and final presidential debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida on Oct. 22, 2012

Transcript of President Barack Obama’s remarks on the Egyptian revolution: 

Moderator Bob Schieffer: 

May I ask you, you know, during the Egyptian turmoil, there came a point when you said it’s time for President [Hosni] Mubarak to go. Some in your administration thought perhaps we should have waited a while on that. Do you have any regrets about that?

President Barack Obama:  

No I don’t because I think America has to stand with democracy. The notion that we would have tanks run over those young people who were in Tahrir square – that is not the kind of American leadership that John F. Kennedy talked about 50 years ago.

But what I’ve also said is that now that you have a democratically elected government in Egypt that they have to make sure that they take responsibility for protecting religious minorities and we have put significant pressure on them to make sure they’re doing that.

To recognizing the rights of women, which is critical throughout the region. These countries can’t develop if young women are not given that education that they need.

They have to abide by their treaty with Israel. That is a red line for us because not only is Israel’s security at stake but our security is at stake if that unravels.

They have to make sure that they’re cooperating with us when it comes to counter-terrorism.

And we will help them with respect to developing their own economy because ultimately what’s going to make the Egyptian revolution successful for the people of Egypt but also for the world is if those young people who gathered there are seeing opportunities. Their aspirations are similar to young people here. They want jobs. They want to be able to make sure their kids are going to a good school. They want to make sure they have a roof over their heads and they have the prospects of a better life in the future.

And so one of the things that we’ve been doing is, for example, organizing entrepreneurship conferences with these Egyptians to give them a sense of how they can start rebuilding their economy in a way that’s not corrupt, that’s transparent.

But what is also important for us to understand is that for America to be successful in this region, there are some things that we’re going to have to do here at home as well.

You know, one of the challenges over the last decade is that we’ve done experiments in nation-building in places like Iraq and Afghanistan and we’ve neglected, for example, developing our own economy, our own energy sectors, our own education system. And it’s very hard for us to project leadership around the world when we’re not doing what we need [at home].


Learn More:

2 Comments on “Third presidential debate transcript: President Barack Obama’s remarks on the Egyptian revolution

  1. Pingback: Third presidential debate transcript: President Barack Obama on Israel & Iran | What The Folly?!

  2. Pingback: Third presidential debate transcript: Mitt Romney on Iran's nuclear program | What The Folly?!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.