During the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting on Tuesday both presidential candidates gave their thoughts on what would make the world a better place.
For President Barack Obama, that meant ending human trafficking, which he said was akin to “modern slavery.”
“I do not use that word, ‘slavery' lightly. It evokes obviously one of the most painful chapters in our nation's history. But around the world, there's no denying the awful reality,” the president said. “When a little girl is sold by her impoverished family — girls my daughters' age — runs away from home, or is lured by the false promises of a better life, and then imprisoned in a brothel and tortured if she resists — that's slavery.”
While neither speech was meant to be political, NPR noted that Obama's might have had more weight for those in the audience because his remarks “allowed him to use the incumbent's advantage to talk about his record and to announce new initiatives.”
Mitt Romney, spoke about the importance of free enterprise and how it should be promoted in foreign countries in exchange for any financial or labor assistance the US might provide. He has noticed that sometimes aid sent by the US has ultimately done little to help a country move beyond poverty issues.
“A temporary aid package can jolt an economy,” Romney said. “It can fund some projects. It can pay some bills. It can employ some people some of the time. But it can't sustain an economy—not for long. It can't pull the whole cart because at some point, the money runs out.”
USA Today noted that Romney's remarks ultimately received a “polite applause” and added that an apparent goal of his speech was to “bolster his image as someone who would be ready on day one to serve as commander in chief.”
Romney joked that he hoped the appearance would increase his polling numbers, which have taken a beating in recent days following his “47% comment.”
“If there's one thing we've learned this election season, it's that a few words from Bill Clinton can do a man a lot of good," Romney said. "All I got to do now is wait a couple days for that bounce to happen.”