October 15th, 2012
11:09 AM ET

What should the candidates be talking about?

Tomorrow night, the U.S. presidential contenders will discuss domestic and foreign policy at a town hall meeting style debate in New York state. But what exactly should they be talking about?

Two surveys last month by polling firm Rasmussen found that more than half of Americans believed national security and the war on terrorism were very important issues, while a third said Afghanistan is also of key importance. Meanwhile, a poll by the Pew Global Attitudes Project last month found that half of Americans view China’s emergence as a major world power as a threat to the United States, while three quarters of members of the public said that the large amount of U.S. debt held by China was a very serious problem.

CNN iReport: Your global views on the election

Global Public Square invites readers to share their thoughts on the most important foreign policy issues facing the United States and to talk about why they matter to you. Do you want to see President Obama and Mitt Romney talking about Iran’s nuclear program? China’s currency? The Arab Spring? Or something else completely? We’ll be rounding up and publishing some of the best responses later this week.

soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Jerry Horgen


    "If you're lucky enough to live at the lake, you're lucky enough"

    October 15, 2012 at 11:17 am | Reply
  2. MIthila Saraf

    I think they should talk about Iran's nuclear program and how they believe the US govt. should react to it. Between America's commitments to Israel and the escalating tensions between Iran and several of its neighbors, America's action (or inaction) in this matter will be vital to how the situation unfolds. So far the Obama administration has held a firm verbal stance, but there has been little inclination towards physical force. Several Republicans have expressed in the GOP that they would want to change that. Romney and Pres. Obama should discuss what they're policy on Iran would be, if they won the election, and how that policy will help resolve the conflicts in the region. America needs to know if we're headed towards another war!

    October 15, 2012 at 11:35 am | Reply
  3. Zahid Wazir

    Arab spring is more important because it would define U.S role in the Middle East, which alternatively would affect U.S standing in the world. China should also be included.

    October 15, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Reply
  4. Paul Hofman

    International affairs are important, but what is happening here is astounding, such as the attack on the court systems, like in Iowa, by the right wing fanatics. Do we want to politicize our judicial system by attacking judges because of their opinions? This is really serious and should be stopped immediately.

    October 15, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Reply
  5. j. von hettlingen

    National security and defence will dominate the debate.
    Although Obama had got rid of al-Qaeda's leadership, including Osama Bin Laden; pulled US troops out of Iraq; agreed to a $487m reduction in defence spending over 10 years, he has to focus on cyber security, to avoid another Pearl Habour attack on the US:
    Romney would spend heavily on military hardware and invest in missile defence, adding an estimated $100bn to the Pentagon's budget, while reducing the civilian defence. That wouldn't help to protect the country!

    October 15, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Reply
  6. j. von hettlingen

    Energy could be another issue. It's important to wean oneself off the oil dependence on the Middle East.
    While Obama would urge for clean energy and block development of the Keystone oil pipeline, Romney would ease regulations to build it.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Reply
  7. Charles Davis

    The candidates should talk about implementing a nuclear-weapons-free Middle East. This would require mutual inspection by Iran, Israel and countries in the region that aspire to nuclear weapons, e.g., Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Better yet would be to extend it to India and Pakistan. The annihilation that use of nuclear weapons would bring is so great it prevents their being used for their destructive purpose. Their main purpose now is to support international bullying. That should stop.

    October 15, 2012 at 6:31 pm | Reply
  8. Ferhat Balkan

    North Korea should also be on the table. Communism may be diminished, but it's still a very real threat. Also I'd like to know what they think of the UN Security Council's failure to act on Syria and if they'd support reforming it.

    October 15, 2012 at 9:39 pm | Reply
  9. amarwah

    I know that both of them have their separate stands on immigration, but I really think they should clarify what their plans are to make the immigration process more transparent and efficient. Whatever the immigration policy they decide to abide by, I do not think the process should be complicated. On the one hand, America has boasted of welcoming immigrants with open arms, but in recent times, it has become so difficult for people to obtain a citizenship. If you are against, people migrating to the country in fear of them stealing the jobs, it should be stated clearly. But, giving them a visa that puts 100 restrictions and then eventually keeping them hanging for years, is not fair. Why would you not want people living here to give back to this country by working and using their skills? I would really like to hear both candidates whether they want to make immigration easy or difficult and how, so that the rest of the world and its people can decide whether they want to get into this maze. I myself, being an immigrant really appreciate all the opportunities I have had in this country, but it gets tiring to apply for a visa every now and then, go through the unexplained long waiting process and always be in uncertainty. The system just has to be more clear!

    October 17, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Reply
  10. yem

    Mitt has to talk about how he will be a better leader . Never America should again send sons and daughters to war. Talk about peace, negotiation and coalition building with allies. Don't threaten Iran. Bring them into the fold. Sanctions are good. Use sanction as a tool for negotiation with Iran. Don't make enemy of the Iranian people.The new middle east countries, democracy takes time to play out.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:01 am | Reply
  11. Danny Medida

    The China Currency is the more important issues to be discuss cause most of american debt is in the hands of the chinese, also labor cost depends on the real value of their currencies

    October 31, 2012 at 9:00 am | Reply

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