MANILA, Philippines - Democrats and Republicans abroad squared off in a moderated discussion at the US Embassy on Wednesday, as the US presidential election reaches fever pitch.
Representatives from both parties discussed issues from the economy, foreign policy, and gender in an effort to differentiate and highlight the position of their candidates.
Of particular interest were issues pertaining to the Philippines such as the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry and the West Philippine Sea.
The Republicans claim Romney is supportive of job outsourcing, which is a key issue in the US as it struggles to create more jobs domestically.
The Democratic representative passed on the question, saying he is unfamiliar with the position of the party on that specific matter.
Both parties say they will continue to support the Philippines in its claim to the West Philippine Sea.
However, the Republicans seem to take a more militaristic approach to the problem to the "diplomatic" strategy highlighted by the Democrats.
The economy and foreign policy seem to be the central issue in this year's elections. Republicans have criticized Obama over government debt as well as domestic unemployment. They also say the image of the US abroad has been tarnished because of its flagging economy and "tentative" stance on security issues.
The Democrats, for their part, say that Obama created the most growth in the US in a decade, with 459,000 new jobs since 2010.
They also lauded his steady, quiet diplomacy and mulitlateral approach when it comes to foreign policy.
The discussion was attended by U.S. Ambassador Harry Thomas Jr., and other officials of the embassy