Obama, Romney Highlight Debate Performances

Posted October 17th, 2012 at 2:20 pm (UTC-5)
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U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney have hit the campaign trail, fresh off of Tuesday's presidential debate.

Mr. Obama urged supporters in Iowa on Wednesday to vote for him for a second term so that he can finish the progress he said he had made on economic issues.

Referring to Tuesday's debate, he said Mr. Romney's five-point plan to boost the economy is really a one point plan that offers special benefits to the wealthy.

Mr. Romney told supporters in Virginia that Mr. Obama does not have an agenda for a second term.

Focusing on the economy, he said the president has no jobs plan and that middle income American families face a $4,000 a year tax increase if Mr. Obama is reelected.

Mr. Obama travels to Ohio later on Wednesday, while Mr. Romney will make a second appearance in Virginia.

The president is hoping to build on the momentum from his strong performance in Tuesday's debate.

Instant voter opinion polls by several news outlets, including CNN, showed Mr. Obama the winner over the former Massachusetts governor, a reversal from the first debate earlier this month.

During Tuesday's town-hall style meeting with undecided voters, Mr. Romney attacked the president's record over the last four years, saying Mr. Obama had “doubled” the deficit and had not accomplished what he said he would do.

“He said that by now we'd have unemployment at 5.4 percent. The difference between where it is and 5.4 percent is 9 million Americans without work. I wasn't the one that said 5.4 percent. This was the president's plan – didn't get there. He said he would have by now put forward a plan to reform Medicare and Social Security because he pointed out they're on the road to bankruptcy. He would reform them. He'd get that done. He hasn't even made a proposal on either one.”

The president fired back, saying he has kept most of his commitments. He said the commitments he has not been able to keep were not for “a lack of trying,” and promised he would fulfill them in a second term.

“Four years ago I told the American people, and I told you, I would cut taxes for middle class families, and I did. I told you I'd cut taxes on small businesses and I have. I said I would end the war in Iraq, and I did. I said that we would refocus attention on those who actually attacked us on 9-11, and we have gone after al-Qaida's leadership like never before and Osama bin Laden is dead.”

The two also battled over plans to pull the U.S. out of its economic slump in the next four years. Mr. Obama said Mr. Romney's plan to lower tax rates for everyone, keep tax cuts for the wealthy and increase defense spending would add to the deficit and hurt the economy.

However, Mr. Romney said his tax plan would lead to job growth and a balanced budget.

“Of course they add up. I was someone who ran businesses for 25 years and balanced the budget. I ran the Olympics and balanced the budget. I ran the state of Massachusetts as a governor, to the extent any governor does, and balanced the budget all four years. When we're talking about math that doesn't add up, how about $4 trillion of deficits?”

The third and final presidential debate will be held next Monday in Florida, and will focus exclusively on foreign policy.