A Debate About Foreign Policy in an Election About Economy


Romney has said he would work to declare China a currency manipulator if he is elected. President Obama's approach to China, one of the top holders of U.S. debt, has been more diplomatic. But his campaign has tried to argue that Romney's former company, Bain Capital, helped companies outsource jobs there. There is scant evidence that Romney was involved in those efforts.

While Romney wants to cut U.S. domestic spending, on defense he has suggested increased spending, particularly on the Navy, which he says has fallen into disrepair. He would tie defense spending to the Gross Domestic Product, which could create trillions in more spending.

Obama entered into an agreement with congressional Republicans to enact steep budget cuts, including to defense, if they could not reach a deficit reduction deal. That deal failed and when the election is over lawmakers will undoubtedly scramble to find a way to avert the spending cuts. But Democrats generally favor paring back on defense, especially as part of any deal to reduce the deficit.

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