Obama, Romney butt heads in second presidential debate
Last Updated: 216 days ago
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. - President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney offered their jobs agenda at the start of the second presidential debate, responding to a college student concerned about finding a job after graduation.
Romney told the student that his question was one that's being asked by college student across the nation. He said his administration would try to make it easier for students to afford college and promote economic growth to help students.
Romney said the nation faces more debt and fewer jobs. He said, "I'm going to change that."
Obama said he would build upon the 5 million private sector jobs created during his first term, pushing for more manufacturing jobs. The president said his policies aimed to improve the education system and promote a variety of energy sources.
Obama was seen as having missed opportunities to make gains in the first debate with Romney two weeks ago. Romney was viewed as having won the debate. But the president's determination to show a more aggressive side in the second debate quickly showed.
Obama took a swing at Romney's opposition to the Democrat's handling of the auto industry bailout.
Obama also said Romney's plan is to let the oil companies write the energy policies.
Romney criticized Obama's energies policies and said his rival "has not been Mr. Oil or Mr. Gas or Mr. Coal."
Obama said he wants U.S. energy policy to look ahead 20 or 30 years, and not just look at what lowers the cost right away. The president said he's all for oil and natural gas, but he said he will not focus on them exclusively at the peril of renewable energy sources that could create thousands of jobs.
Romney said Obama has fought new energy exploration on federal lands and that Americans have faced higher energy costs as a result.
At least twice Obama has accused Romney of being untruthful. And he's addressed Romney directly, unlike their first debate in Denver, when Obama primarily addressed the moderator, while Romney criticized the president.
Romney and Obama both said their tax plans would benefit the middle class and spur job creation, and both are suggesting their opponent's plan would do the opposite.
Romney said cutting tax rates across the board would spur job growth. He said bringing rates down makes it easy for small businesses to keep more of their capital and hire more workers.
But Obama, who supports raising tax rates on upper incomes, said Romney's proposed tax cuts and his calls for increased military spending would add trillions to the federal debt.
Obama said to Romney, a former businessman, "You wouldn't have taken such a sketchy deal."
He said the American people shouldn't accept that deal either.
A voter during the debate asked Romney how he was different than Bush, who left office deeply unpopular. Romney said that he would govern under different conditions that would allow him to make North America energy independent from Arab and Venezuelan oil. He also said he would crack down on China's currency manipulation and cut the deficit by increasing trade.
Obama was ready with a quick retort. He said Romney, unlike Bush, would cut funding to Planned Parenthood and that Romney would pursue a more stringent immigration policy than Bush did.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.