President Obama: 'The World Needs a Strong America'

The president on how he views America's role in the world.
3:00 | 10/22/12

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Transcript for President Obama: 'The World Needs a Strong America'
What is America's role in the world and that is the question. What do each -- you -- -- our role in the world and I believe governor Romney captured turned gophers well I I absolutely believe. That America has. A responsibility. And the privilege. Of helping defend freedom and promote the principles that that make the world more peaceful. And those principles include human rights human dignity free enterprise. Freedom of expression. Elections because when there are elections people tenable for peace they don't vote for war so we want it to promote those principles around the world. We recognize that there are places of conflict in the world. We want to -- those conflicts to the extent humanly possible but in order to be able to fulfill our rule the world America must be strong. America must lead. And for that to happen we have to strengthen our economy here at home you can't have 23 million people struggling to get a job. If you can't have an economy that over the last three years keeps slowing down its growth rate you can't have kids coming out of college. Half -- can't find a job today or a job that's commensurate with their college degree we have to get our economy going and our military. We've got to strengthen our military long term we don't know what the world it's gonna throw at us down the road. What we make decisions today in a military. That there will confront challenges we can't imagine in the 2000 debates. There was no mention of terrorism -- And a year later 9/11 happened so we have to make decisions based upon uncertainty. And that means a strong military I want my -- military budget. We have to also stand by our allies. I think the tension that it existed between Israel and the United States was very unfortunate. I think also pulling our missile defense a program out of Poland and the way we did was also unfortunate terms of -- if you will disrupting that that the relationship in some ways that existed between us and that of course with progress to standing for principles when. When the students took to the streets in Tehran and the people there protest. The green revolution occurred. For the president to be silent I thought was an enormous mistake we have to stand for our principles. Stand for our allies stand for a strong military and stand for stronger economy -- Question America remains the one indispensable nation. And the world needs a strong America and it is stronger now than when I came and office. Because we -- the -- Iraq we were able to refocus our attention. On not only the terrorist threat but also beginning a transition process in Afghanistan. It also allowed us to refocus. On alliances relationships that have been neglected. For a decade. Governor Romney are licenses have never been strong. In Asia. In Europe. In Africa. -- this -- where we have unprecedented military. And intelligence cooperation including dealing with Iranian threat. But what we also haven't been able to do is position ourselves so we can start rebuilding America. And that's what my plan -- Making sure that we're bringing manufacturing back to our shores of the -- creating jobs here as we've done when the auto industry. Not rewarding companies that are shipping jobs overseas making sure the we've got. The best education system in the world. Including retraining our workers for the jobs of tomorrow. Doing everything we -- to control our own energy we've cut our oil imports to lowest level in two decades. Because we've developed oil and natural gas but we'll set. To develop clean energy. Technologies. That would allow us to cut our exports in half by two point one. That's the kind of leadership that we need to show. And we've got to make sure that we reduce our deficit unfortunately governor Romney's plan doesn't do it. We've got to do in a responsible way by cutting -- spending we don't need but also. -- asking the wealthiest pay a little bit more that way we can invest in the research and technology that's always kept us at the cutting edge. Now that governor Romney has taken a different approach throughout this campaign. -- both at home and abroad he has proposed. Wrong and reckless policies. He's praised George Bush is a good economic stored and Dick Cheney as somebody -- -- Shows great wisdom and judgment and taking us back to those kinds of strategies that got us into this mess are not the way that we are gonna maintain leadership and 20% for. Governor Romney wrong and reckless policy. I've got a policy for the future. And agenda for the future and when it comes to our economy here at home I know what it takes to create twelve million new jobs and rising take on today. And what we've seen over the last four years -- something out of wanna see over the next four years that the president said by now -- be at five point 4% unemployment. We're nine million jobs short of that. I would get America working again and see rising take home pay again -- -- with five simple steps. Number one we are gonna have North American energy independence. Way to do it by taking full advantage of oil coal gas nuclear and a -- number two. We're gonna increase our trade -- goes about 12% for your doubles about every every fiber or so years we can do better than that particularly in Latin America. The opportunities for us in Latin America we had just not taken advantage of fully that affect Latin America's economy is almost as big as the economy of China. We're all focused on China Latin America's a huge opportunity for us time zone language opportunities number three. We're gonna have stamped a training programs that work for our workers. And the schools that finally put the parents and the teachers and the kids first in the teachers' unions and have to go behind. And then we're gonna have to get to balanced budget. We can't expect -- open doors. And businesses large and small to take their life savings or their companies money and invest in America if they think we're headed to the road to Greece. And that's we're going right now unless we finally get off the spending and borrowing binge and -- get us on track to a balanced budget. And finally number five we've got to champion small business small businesses where some where jobs come from. Two thirds of our jobs come from small businesses. New business formation is down the lowest level in thirty years under this administration I want to bring him back and get back good jobs and rising take -- -- Let's talk about what we need to compete first -- governor Romney talks about small businesses but governor what you're. In Massachusetts. Small businesses. Development -- about 48 I think out of fifty states -- Massachusetts. Because the policies that -- promoting actually don't help small business and the way you define small businesses include. Folks at the very top. If they include you and make. That's not the kind of small business promotion we need but but let's take an example but we know is gonna make a difference point for century and that's our education policy. We -- a lot of chance talk about this last debate. -- under my leadership what we've done is reformed education working -- governor's 46 states. We've seen progress and gains in schools that were having a terrible time in their -- and has finally make progress. And what I would not want to do is to hire more teachers especially in math and science because we know that -- fallen behind when it comes to math and science. And those teachers can make a difference. Now governor -- when you were asked by teachers whether or not this would help the economy grow yourself this is gonna help the economy grow. When you were asked about reduced class size -- you said class sizes don't make a difference but I tell you if you talk to teachers. They won't tell it does make a difference. And if we've got math teachers who are able to provide the kind of support they need for our kids. That's what's gonna determine whether or not the new businesses are created here companies are -- locate -- depending on whether we've got the most highly skilled workforce. And the kinds of budget proposals that you put forward -- we don't ask. Either your need to pay a dime more in terms of reducing -- -- -- but instead we slash support for education. That's undermining our long term competitiveness that is not good for America's position in the world and the world notices. Let me get back from farm policy well and I just backed well I did this being a moment of OK -- about just about education because that I'm. I'm so proud of the state that I had the chance to be governor. We have at every two years tests that look at how well our kids are doing. Fourth graders and eighth graders are tested in English and math while I was governor I was proud that our fourth graders -- -- number one of all fifty states and English and also math. And her eighth graders number one English. And also -- First time one stated the number one in all four measures. How do we do that. Well Republicans and Democrats came together on a bipartisan basis to put in place. Education principles that focused on having great teachers. In the classroom tenure -- that was that was all that was what allowed us to become the number one state. In the nation but -- -- this is where you took Roberts and -- -- apps let let -- coverage -- -- first -- -- affairs office first and we kept our schools number one the nation is still number one today are and the principles that we put in place we also gave kids. Not just to graduation exam. That that determine whether they were up to the skills needed to add it to be able to compete but also if they graduated the top quarter of their class. They got a four year tuition free ride at any Massachusetts public institution a -- -- happened -- reported criminal as that was actually mind actually Mr. President you've got -- --

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

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