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Obama vs. Romney, Round 2 — Highlights From the Town-Hall Presidential Debate

Obama And Romney Square Off In First Presidential Debate In Denver
Win McNamee, Getty Images

The second presidential debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney got started just after 9 o’clock from the campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. The town-hall-style debate, with an audience of uncommitted voters selected by Gallup, was moderated by CNN’s Candy Crowley.

Here are some highlights of the action:

The first question of the evening was from a college student wondering what the employment situation would be when he graduated.

  • Romney said keeping college costs affordable was essential, and that he had a five-point plan for the economy: “I will make sure you have a job when you graduate in 2014.”
  • Obama answered: “Governor Romney doesn’t have a five-point plan—he has a one-point plan, to make sure the people at the top play by a different set of rules.” 
  • During the next segment of the debate, the two candidates actually began speaking to each other directly (something they weren’t supposed to do) in a fairly heated exchange over American energy policy, covering oil drilling as well as gas prices. Romney at one point said, “You’ll get your chance in a moment, I’m still speaking.” 
  • “It’s conceivable that Gov. Romney could bring down gas prices because with his policies, we might be back in that same mess,” Obama said, referring to the economic downturn that began in 2007.
  • Romney on taxes: “[My policy will be] no tax on your savings. That makes life a lot easier.”
  • Obama: “Your first $250,000 worth of income: no change… Governor Romney’s allies in Congress have held the 98 percent hostage because they want tax breaks for the top 2 percent.”

The tax discussion continued, with things getting rather feisty again:

  • Obama addressed Romney’s tax proposals: “Nobody who’s looked at [Romney’s tax plan] who’s serious really believes it adds up.”
  • Romney quickly replied, “What about $5 trillion in deficits over the past four years? That’s math that doesn’t add up.” 

More to come as the debate continues.

 

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