President Obama and Mitt Romney both spoke at the Clinton Global Institute's annual meeting in New York. Their presence showed the event's growing clout.
UNITED NATIONS, N.Y.
President Obama was in town to speak Tuesday morning at the United Nations, and Mitt Romney made a quick stop before heading out on a campaign bus tour of Ohio. But both candidates acknowledged by their presence that the former president’s annual confab on global development, timed to coincide with that other Manhattan gathering of world leaders (the UN General Assembly), is now a must-do for presidential aspirants.
Former Massachusetts Governor Romney – whose speech was almost simultaneous with Mr. Obama's UN address – offered a blueprint for a revamped foreign aid program. When his turn came, Obama focused on the scourge of human trafficking and what to do about it. In both cases, the appearances were about projecting gravitas and vision in the realm of foreign policy.
The two candidates will meet face-to-face to spar on foreign policy in their final debate on Oct. 22.
Romney, reflecting his business roots, made the case for foreign aid that focuses on the private sector and builds entrepreneurship. In his speech a few hours later, Obama said it is time to call the scourge of human trafficking what it really is: “modern slavery.”