Says green power has yet to become viable and the causes of climate change are unknown. Proposes to remove carbon dioxide from list of pollutants controlled by Clean Air Act and amend clean water and air laws to ensure the cost of complying with regulations is balanced against environmental benefit. Says cap and trade would "rocket energy prices."
Obama: Opposes a near-term military strike on Iran, either by the U.S. or by Israel, to sabotage nuclear facilities that could be misused to produce a nuclear weapon. Says the U.S. will never tolerate a nuclear-armed Iran but negotiation and pressure through sanctions are the right way to prevent that outcome. Reserves the right to one day conclude that only a military strike can stop Iran from getting the bomb. Declined to repeat the Libya air power commitment for Syrian opposition, instead seeks to build international consensus toward the goal of persuading President Bashar Assad to leave and to press Russia and China to stop shielding his government from international sanctions. Chastised Israel for continuing to build housing settlements in disputed areas and has pressed both sides to begin a new round of peace talks based on the land borders established after the 1967 Arab-Israeli conflict. Signed law to expand military and civilian cooperation with Israel. The law affirms U.S. support for negotiating the establishment of a Palestinian state, reflecting a U.S. bipartisan consensus. Opposes citing China as a currency manipulator, which could lead to broad trade sanctions, instead pressing the matter through diplomacy and aggressively bringing unfair-trade cases against China to the World Trade Organization.
Romney: Appears to present a clearer U.S. military threat to Iran and has spoken in more permissive terms about Israel's right to act against Iran's nuclear facilities without explicitly approving of such a step and while describing a U.S. attack against Iran as a last resort. "Of course you take military action" if sanctions and internal opposition fail to dissuade Tehran from making a nuclear weapon, he has said. Would identify those in Syrian opposition who share U.S. values, then work with U.S. allies to "ensure they obtain the arms they need to defeat" Syrian government. But has not proposed direct U.S. arms supplies to rebels and opposes U.S. military intervention for now. Associates himself more closely with hardline Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, pledges more military assistance to Israel and agreed with Israel's position that Jerusalem is the capital, disregarding the Palestinians' claim to the eastern sector annexed by Israel in 1967 in a move that is not internationally recognized. Has branded Russia the "No. 1 geopolitical foe" of the U.S. and threatened to label China a currency manipulator in a move that could lead to broad trade sanctions and a trade war.
Obama: Supports legal recognition of same-sex marriage, a matter decided by states. Opposed that recognition in 2008 presidential campaign — and in 2004 Senate campaign — while supporting the extension of legal rights and benefits to same-sex couples in civil unions. Achieved repeal of the military ban on openly gay service members. Has not achieved repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, which denies federal recognition of same-sex marriages and affirms the right of states to refuse to recognize such marriages. Administration has ceased defending the law in court, but it remains on the books. Directed government to require all hospitals that get Medicare and Medicaid financing to grant visitation privileges to gay and lesbian partners of patients. But has declined to issue an executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating against gay employees, holding out instead for congressional action to extend such protection to workers in all sectors. In 1996 Illinois state Senate campaign, stated: "I favor legalizing same-sex marriages," a position he later abandoned at the federal level and now embraces again. "I've just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married," he said.