During the third 2012 presidential debate, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney praised President Barack Obama for his use of unmanned aerial drones to fight terrorism.
“I believe we should use any and all means necessary to take out people who pose a threat to us and our friends around the world,” the former Massachusetts governor said. “And it’s widely reported that drones are being used in drone strikes, and I support that and entirely, and feel the president was right to up the usage of that technology, and believe that we should continue to use it, to continue to go after the people that represent a threat to this nation and to our friends.”
“But let me also note that as I said earlier, we’re going to have to do more than just going after leaders and — and killing bad guys, important as that is,” he added. “We’re also going to have to have a farm more effective and comprehensive strategy to help move the world away from terror and Islamic extremism. We haven’t done that yet.”
“You look at the record of the last four years and say is Iran closer to a bomb? Yes. Is the Middle East in tumult? Yes. Is — is al Qaeda on the run, on its heels? No. Is — are Israel and the Palestinians closer to reaching a peace agreement? No, they haven’t had talks in two years.”
Obama, however, took issue with Romney’s characterization of the last four years.
“We’re always also going to have to maintain vigilance when it comes to terrorist activities,” the president explained. “The truth, though, is that al Qaeda is much weaker than it was when I came into office. And they don’t have the same capacities to attack the U.S. homeland and our allies as they did four years ago.”
Watch this video from CNN, broadcast Oct. 22, 2012.