Obama to Romney: U.S. Uses Less 'Horses and Bayonets'

President challenges GOP presidential candidate's assertions on military spending.
3:00 | 10/21/12

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Transcript for Obama to Romney: U.S. Uses Less 'Horses and Bayonets'
Red lines Israel and a wrong. Would either review and -- like two minutes and President Obama you have the first go at this one. Would either of you be willing. To declared that the attack on Israel. It's an attack on the United States. Which of course is the same promise that we give -- -- close allies like Japan. -- -- made such a declaration. Would not that deter. Iran. It says certainly deterred the Soviet union for a long long time when we made that when we made that -- -- now lives stretched. First of all Israel is a true friend it is our greatest ally in the region. And if Israel was attacked America will stand with -- -- -- I've made that clear throughout my presence so your -- -- saying they've already made that -- -- action. I will stand with Israel if they are attacked and this is the reason why. Working -- -- we have created the strongest military and intelligence cooperation. Between our two countries in history. In fact this week will be carry -- the largest military exercise with Israel in -- this very week. But. To the issue -- As long as I'm president United States Iran will not get a nuclear weapons. I've made that clear when I came in office we better organized the strongest. Coalition. And the strongest sanctions against Iran in history and it -- crippling America up. -- currency has dropped 80%. Or production has -- to lowest level since they were fighting a war with a rock twenty years ago. Their economy is in a shambles. And the reason we did this because a nuclear Iran is a threat to work national security and it's a threat to Israel's national -- But we cannot afford to have a nuclear arms race. In the most volatile region of the world. Iran's state sponsor terrorists and for them to be able to provide nuclear technology. To non state actors that's unacceptable. And they have said they want to see is were wiped off the map. So the work that we've done with respect to sanctions now. Offers a lot of choice they can take the diplomatic route and end their nuclear program or. They we'll have to face a united world. And a United States president me who said we're not gonna take any options off the table the disagreement I have with governor Romney is that. During the course this campaign he's often talked as if we should take pretty much for military action. I think that would be a mistake because. What -- sent young men and women in the harm's way I always understand that that is a last resort not the first was. Tibetans well first of all. I'd -- to underscore that the same point the president made which is that it if I'm president had states. When I'm president that states we will stand with Israel. And and if Israel -- attacked we have their back not just diplomatically. At this culturally militarily. -- number one number two with regards to to Iraq and the threat of Iraq. There's no question but that a nuclear Iran and nuclear capable Iran is unacceptable to Americans. It presents a threat out onto our friends but ultimately a threat to us to have Iran have nuclear material nuclear weapons to could be used against us -- be used to be threatening to us. It's also essential trust understand what our mission is in Iraq and that is to dissuade Iran from having a nuclear weapon through peaceful and diplomatic means. And crippling sanctions or some thing are called for five years ago when I was in Israel speaking at -- personally a conference -- laid out seven steps. Crippling sanctions we're number one. And they do work you're seeing it right now on the economy -- apps to the right thing to do to have crippling sanctions how to put -- place earlier but it's good that we happen. Number two something I would add today is I would tighten those sanctions. I would say that -- that ships that carry Iranian oil can't commend our ports I mentioned the EU would agree with us as well. Natalie ships couldn't I'd say companies that are moving their oil can't people who are trading in -- -- can't I would tighten those sanctions further. Secondly I'd take on diplomatic isolation efforts and make sure that -- did the job is indicted of the genocide convention. His words -- amount to genocide in citation I would indicted for it. I would also make sure that they're diplomats are treated like the -- they are around the world. The same way we treated the apartheid. A diplomats of South Africa. We need to increase pressure time and time again on Iran because. Anything other than a a -- solution to this which says which stops this this nuclear folly of theirs is unacceptable to America. And of course a military action is the last resort. It is something one would only only consider. If all of the other avenues had been -- that it had been I've tried to their full extent.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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