Obama, Romney Clash on Economy in First Debate
In a showdown at close quarters, President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney sparred aggressively in their first campaign debate Wednesday night over taxes, deficits and strong steps needed to create jobs in a sputtering national economy. “The status quo is not going to cut it,” declared the challenger.
Obama in turn accused his rival of seeking to “double down” on economic policies that actually led to the devastating national downturn four years ago - and of evasiveness when it came to prescriptions for tax changes, health care, Wall Street regulation and more.
The economy dominated the evening, as it has the race for the White House all year. Pre-debate opinion polls showed Obama with a slight advantage in key battleground states and nationally.
With early voting already under way in dozens of states, Romney was particularly aggressive in the 90-minute event that drew a television audience likely to be counted in the tens of millions - like a man looking to shake up the campaign with a little less than five weeks to run.
Photo Credit: (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)