While the third and final presidential debate of 2012 was dedicated to foreign policy, it didn't take long for Republican nominee Mitt Romney to steer focus to domestic issues.
Romney raised the economy and rising national debt — where he has greater strength — as topics that he sees as more important in this election, NECN wrote.
Romney charged that the US economy was not getting stronger under President Barack Obama's administration, noting that he had not balanced the budget in nearly four years in office.
Calling mounting debt the "biggest national security threat" for the nation, Romney said:
"We have to strengthen our economy here at home. You can't have 23 million people struggling to get a job. 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 of them can't find a job today, or a job that's commensurate with their college degree. We have to get our economy going. 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 12 million new jobs and rising take-home pay."
Xinhua noted Romney's reference to American foreign policy in regards to China, and how it could impact on the economy.
"We can be a partner with China. We don't have to be an adversary in any way, shape or form. We can work with them, and we can collaborate with them, if they're willing to be responsible."
Defending his economic record, Obama said the administration was trying to restore manufacturing jobs and cut the nation's deficit.
He said the administration had made great progress digging out of the hole caused by the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression in the 1930s.
Romney used his own record of financial management — citing his decades in private business, stewardship as governor of Massachusetts and administration of the 2002 Winter Olympics as evidence he could balance the books.
According to the LA Times, however, Obama accused Romney of favoring across-the-board tax cuts that would help the wealthy but plunge the country even deeper into debt.
Obama also "laced into" Romney on teacher hiring, according to the Huffington Post.
"Governor Romney, when you were asked by teachers whether or not this would help the economy grow, you said this isn't going to help the economy grow," Obama said.
Romney had mocked Obama in June for proposing the hiring of more public sector employees, stating:
"[Obama] wants another stimulus, he wants to hire more government workers. He says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It's time for us to cut back on government and help the American people."