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Romney ‘wins’ US election debate

President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney returned to the campaign trail in battleground states on Thursday after going toe-to-toe on dominant campaign issues of taxes, healthcare and the economy in a debate that analysts and a snap poll agreed the Republican challenger won, CNN informs.In exchanges full of policy proposals, facts and figures, Romney was more aggressive in the 90-minute encounter on Wednesday night at the University of Denver, the first of three debates ahead of the November election.  A forceful Romney criticized Obama’s record and depicted the president’s vision as one of big government, while the Democratic incumbent defended his achievements and challenged his rival’s prescriptions as unworkable.The post-debate verdict swung clearly to Romney.  The CNN/ORC International poll of 430 people who watched the debate showed 67 percent thought Romney won, compared to 25 percent for Obama.Obama remained in Colorado for his first post-debate appearance before heading to Wisconsin. Romney joins running mate Rep. Paul Ryan at a rally in Virginia. Meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden will speak at an Iowa campaign event.On Wednesday, neither presidential candidate scored dramatic blows that will make future highlight reels, and neither veered from campaign themes and policies to dae. But Romney came off as the more energized candidate overall by repeatedly attacking Obama on red-meat issues for Republicans such as health care reform and higher taxes, while the president began with lengthy explanations and only later focused more on what his opponent was saying.Moderator Jim Lehrer of PBS had trouble keeping the duo within time limits for responses, especially Obama, who ended up speaking four minutes longer than Romney.Romney’s strongest moments came in emphasizing his frequent criticism of Obama’s record, saying the nation’s high unemployment and sluggish economic recovery showed the president’s policies haven’t worked.  “There’s no question in my mind if the president is re-elected, you’ll continue to see a middle-class squeeze,” Romney said, adding that another term for Obama also will mean the 2010 Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, “will be fully installed.”  At another point, he noted how USD 90 billion spent on programs and policies to develop alternative energy sources could have been devoted to hiring teachers or other needs that would bring down unemployment.Obama argued that his policies were working to bring America back from the financial and economic crisis he inherited, and that Romney refused to divulge specifics about his proposed tax plans and replacements for the health care law and Wall Street reform that the Republican has pledged to repeal. In his strongest line of the night, Obama said Romney lacked the important leadership quality of being able to say “no” when necessary.

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