Third presidential debate transcript: Gov. Mitt Romney’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 Gov. Mitt Romney’s remarks on the Egyptian revolution:
Moderator Bob Schieffer:
Would you have stuck with [Egyptian President Hosni] Mubarak?
Gov. Mitt Romney:
No. I believe as the President indicated and said at the time that I supported his actions there. I felt that – I wished we had a better vision of the future.
I wished that looking back at the beginning of the President’s term and even further back than that we’d had recognized that there was a growing energy and passion for freedom in that part of the world, and we would have worked more aggressively with our friend and other friends in the region to have them make the transition towards a more representative form of government, such that it didn’t explode the way it did.
But once it exploded, I felt the same as the President did, which is these freedom voices that the streets in Egypt of the people who were speaking of our principles. And President Mubarak who had done things which were unimaginable, and the idea of him crushing his people was not something that we could possibly support.
Let me stand back and talk about what I think our mission has to be in the Middle East and even more broadly because our purpose is to make sure the world is more – is peaceful.
We want a peaceful planet. We want people to be able to enjoy their lives and know they’re going to have a bright and prosperous future and not be in a war. That’s our purpose.
The mantle of a leadership for promoting the principles of peace has fallen to America. We didn’t ask for it but it’s an honor that we have it.
But for us to be able to promote those principles of peace requires us to be strong. And that begins with a strong economy here at home but unfortunately the economy is not stronger.
When the President of Iran – [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad – says that our debt makes us not a great country, that’s a frightening thing.
The former Joint Chief of Staff said that – Admiral Mullen – said that our debt is the biggest national security threat we face.
We’ve weakened our economy. We need a strong economy.
We need to have, as well, a strong military. Our military is second to none in the world. We’re blessed with terrific soldiers and extraordinary technology and intelligence. But the idea of $1 trillion in cuts – the sequestration and budget cuts – to the military would change that.
We have strong allies. Our association and our connection with our allies is essential to America’s strength. We’re the great nation that has allies – 42 allies and France – around the world.
And finally, we have to stand by our principles. And if we’re strong in each of those things, American influence will grow.
But unfortunately, in no where in the world is America’s influence greater today than it was 4 years ago and that’s because we’ve become weaker…