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Economy Stars In First Part Of Presidential Debate

Max Schwartz |
October 3, 2012 | 7:09 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Photo by Todd Benson; courtesy of Creative Commons
Photo by Todd Benson; courtesy of Creative Commons
The presidential candidates were in Denver at the University of Denver Wednesday evening for the first debate the 2012 election cycle.

Moderator Jim Lehrer, host of PBS’ "NewsHour," described the debate’s format: three segments on the economy, one on health care, and one on the role of government and governing.

The candidates entered the venue around 6:00 p.m.

The first segment was only supposed to be 15 minutes, but it lasted longer than that. The first question was: “What are the major differences between the two of you in creating jobs?”

Obama responded by saying that under his administration in the last 30 months, the private sector added five million jobs. The President also added that it is up to the people which economic plan this country follows.

Romney responded to this question by saying, “…obviously a very tender topic…Yes we can help, but it is going to take a different path…” Romney said he has a five-point plan to help improve the economy: make the United States energy independent, trade (dealing with China, “when they cheat”), giving people the skills they need to succeed, balance the budget and “champion small businesses.” 

Obama responded to Romney’s comments with his plan. Obama said he wants to improve education – hire 100,000 new math and science teachers and create two million new spots in community college.

He also said there should be a “lower corporate tax rate.” Obama also discussed closing the deficit.

Romney responded to Obama’s comment on his tax plan by saying, “I don’t have a tax cut on the scale you are talking about.”

He also mentioned that there is currently an “economy tax.” Romney also stated under President Obama, gas prices have gone up. Congressman Henry Waxman has stated multiple times that the president does not control gas prices.

On the energy note, Romney said, “…oil from off shore and Alaska,” and he also said, “I like coal.” At the end of his counter statement, Romney also reinforced the idea that he does not have tax cuts in his tax plan that increases the deficit.

Obama responded to Romney’s counter argument by saying, “We cut taxes for middle class families by about $3600.” He also went into the loopholes in Romney’s tax plan and about how they do not add up.  

After Obama finished speaking, Romney interrupted Lehrer so he could counter what Obama said about his tax plan. Romney said he will “…lower taxes on middle income families.” Obama responded by saying, “His [Romney’s] big, bold idea is never mind.”

Later in the debate, Obama said 97 percent of small businesses would not have a tax increase. 

The debate is still going on and the candidates show their testy side when time is about to be called. However, Romney is testier than Obama.


Read more of Neon Tommy's coverage on the 2012 debate here.

Reach staff reporter Max Schwartz here; follow Max Schwartz on Twitter here.



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