ROMNEY: ...you're wrong.
OBAMA: No, I am not wrong. I am not wrong.
ROMNEY: People can look it up, you're right.
OBAMA: People will look it up.
OBAMA: But more importantly it is true that in order for us to be competitive, we're going to have to make some smart choices right now.
Cutting our education budget, that's not a smart choice. That will not help us compete with China.
Cutting our investments in research and technology, that's not a smart choice. That will not help us compete with China.
Bringing down our deficit by adding $7 trillion of tax cuts and military spending that our military is not asking for, before we even get to the debt that we currently have, that is not going to make us more competitive.
Those are the kinds of choices that the American people face right now. Having a tax code that rewards companies that are shipping jobs overseas instead of companies that are investing here in the United States, that will not make us more competitive.
And the one thing that I'm absolutely clear about is that after a decade in which we saw drift, jobs being shipped overseas, nobody championing American workers and American businesses, we've now begun to make some real progress. What we can't do is go back to the same policies that got us into such difficulty in the first place. That's why we have to move forward and not go back.
ROMNEY: I couldn't agree more about going forward, but I certainly don't want to go back to the policies of the last four years. The policies of the last four years have seen incomes in America decline every year for middle income families, now down $4,300 during your term. Twenty-three million Americans still struggling to find a good job.
When you came to office 32 million people on food stamps. Today, 47 million people on food stamps.
When you came to office, just over $10 trillion in debt, now $16 trillion in debt. It hasn't worked.
You said by now we'd be at 5.4 percent unemployment. We're 9 million jobs short of that. I've met some of those people. I've met them in Appleton, Wisconsin. I met a young woman in -- in Philadelphia who's coming out of -- out of college, can't find work.
I've been -- Ann was with someone just the other day that was just weeping about not being able to get work. It's just a tragedy in a nation so prosperous as ours, that the last four years have been so hard.
And that's why it's so critical, that we make America once again the most attractive place in the world to start businesses, to build jobs, to grow the economy. And that's not going to happen by just hiring teachers.
Look, I love to -- I love teachers, and I'm happy to have states and communities that want to hire teachers do that. By the way, I don't like to have the federal government start pushing its weight deeper and deeper into our schools. Let the states and localities do that. I was a governor. The federal government didn't hire our teachers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Governor?
ROMNEY: But I love teachers. But I want to get our private sector growing and I know how to do it.
SCHIEFFER: I think we all love teachers.
SCHIEFFER: Gentlemen, thank you so much for a very vigorous debate. We have come to the end. It is time for closing statements,
I believe you're first, Mr. President.
OBAMA: Well, thank you very much, Bob, Governor Romney, and to Lynn University. You've now heard three debates, months of campaigning and way too many TV commercials. And now you've got a choice. Over the last four years we've made real progress digging our way out of policies that gave us two prolonged wars, record deficits and the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.
And Governor Romney wants to take us back to those policies, a foreign policy that's wrong and reckless, economic policies that won't create jobs, won't reduce our deficit, but will make sure that folks at the very top don't have to play by the same rules that you do.
And I've got a different vision for America. I want to build on our strengths. And I've put forward a plan to make sure that we're bringing manufacturing jobs back to our shores by rewarding companies and small businesses that are investing here, not overseas.
I want to make sure we've got the best education system in the world. And we're retaining our workers for the jobs of tomorrow.
I want to control our own energy by developing oil and natural gas but also the energy sources of the future.
Yes, I want to reduce our deficit by cutting spending that we don't need but also by asking the wealthy to do a little bit more so that we can invest in things like research and technology that are the key to a 21st century economy.
As Commander in Chief, I will maintain the strongest military in the world, keep faith with our troops and go after those who would do us harm. but after a decade of war, I think we all recognize we've got to do some nation building here at home, rebuilding our roads, our bridges and especially caring for our Veterans who sacrificed so much for our freedom.
And we've been through tough times but we always bounce back because of our character, because we pull together and if I have the privilege of being your president for another four years, I promise you I will always listen to your voices. I will fight for your families and I will work every single day to make sure that America continues to be the greatest nation on earth.
ROMNEY: Thank you.
Bob, Mr. President, folks at Lynn University, good to be with you. I'm optimistic about the future. I'm excited about our prospects as a nation. I want to see peace. I want to see growing peace in this country. It's our objective.
We have an opportunity to have real leadership. America's going to have that kind of leadership and continue to promote principles of peace to make a world a safer place and make people in this country more confident that their future is secure. I also want to make sure that we get this economy going. And there are two very different paths the country can take. One is a path represented by the president, which at the end of four years would mean we'd have $20 trillion in debt heading towards Greece. I'll get us on track to a balanced budget.
The president's path will mean continuing declining in take-home pay. I want to make sure our take-home pay turns around and starts to grow.