Obama, Romney Debate US Economy

Posted October 4th, 2012 at 2:15 am (UTC-5)
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The first debate of the 2012 U.S. presidential campaign saw Republican challenger Mitt Romney take an aggressive stance against incumbent President Barack Obama over the economy, health care, education and the role of government.

Mr. Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts, said Mr. Obama's approach of higher taxes and government spending amounted to “trickle-down government” that would harm the American economy and worsen the federal deficit.

Mr. Romney said middle-income Americans have been “buried” or “crushed” under high taxes, and that tax rates need to come down, both for corporations and individuals.

But Mr. Obama countered that Mr. Romney's plan to cut taxes, especially for wealthy Americans, would lead to severe cuts in important domestic programs.

The president said while the “first role” of the federal government is to “keep the people safe,” it should also create frameworks in which people can succeed. He noted that the government in the past has helped create railroads, research institutions and educational institutions.

The two men also sparred over the health care reform law Mr. Obama pushed through Congress. Mr. Romney repeated his pledge that he would repeal the law, commonly known as “Obamacare,” if he were elected. He criticized the president for focusing on health care rather than the economy during Mr. Obama's first years in office.

But Mr. Obama countered that health care reform was key to both small businesses and individuals.

The president said in closing that he wants to build on the strengths of his first four years in the White House. He said he will fight just as hard in his second term as he did in the first.

Mr. Romney concluded by saying that re-electing the president four more years of Barack Obama would mean more hardship for the middle class.

The Republican nominee was attempting to re-energize his campaign, which was rocked when a secretly-recorded videotape emerged in which he described 47 percent of voters who believed themselves as “victims” who depended on government benefits and would not support him.

Wednesday night's debate at the University of Denver was the first of three scheduled before Election Day.

The two candidates are to meet again October 16 for a town hall-style debate during which they will take questions from the audience.