SYDNEY, Oct. 9 (Xinhua) -- Similarities outweigh differences when comparing the foreign policies of U.S. President Barack Obama with Republican candidate Mitt Romney, according to the latest research paper from Australian thinktank the Lowy Institute.
"Each candidate is doing his best to emphasise his difference from the other. But the similarities in their foreign policies are more striking than the differences. This is a very different situation from the 2008 presidential race," said report author and Executive Director of the Lowy Institute, Dr. Michael Fullilove.
"President Obama is not as left-wing and dovish as many believe, and Governor Romney is not as right-wing and hawkish as he would have us believe," he said in Sydney.
Launched on Tuesday at the Lowy Institute, "The Audacity of Reasonableness: Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, U.S. foreign policy and Australia" found that on key issues of foreign policy -- the war in Afghanistan, the threat of a nuclear Iran, and the U.S. relationship with China -- Obama and Romney converge.
"Governor Romney's rhetoric has been several notches tougher than President Obama's, but his heart is not in it," said Fullilove.
The report concludes that there are strong continuities between the two candidates. The Australia-U.S. alliance is secure regardless of any changes in leadership in Washington or Canberra.
Although President Obama and Governor Romney have points of difference, on issues such as Russia, Israel and the United Nations, Fullilove argues that these policy differences are less than generally believed.
"Americans have a foreign policy choice to make in November -- their choice will be felt here in Australia --- but the world is not at a crossroads."