High Stakes Debate for Obama and Romney

In these Sept. 26, 2012 photos, President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney campaign in the battleground state of Ohio.
In these Sept. 26, 2012 photos, President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney campaign in the battleground state of Ohio.
VOA News

Watch the debate live here at www.VOANews.com at 0100-0230 UTC

The ailing U.S. economy is likely to take center stage later Wednesday when U.S. President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, confront each other in their first debate of the 2012 presidential race.

Domestic topics are on the agenda at this debate, which will be televised nationally from the University of Denver in the Rocky Mountain state of Colorado.  Two more debates, focused on foreign policy, will be held prior to the November 6 election.

Obama likely will be asked to defend his economic policies, which have not resulted in the robust recovery voters had hoped for when he took office in January 2009.

Romney will be tasked with explaining what he would do differently to create jobs and cut the unemployment rate, which has stayed above 8 percent for nearly all of Mr. Obama's term.

New polls show Obama is entering the debate with a slim lead over Romney or tied, both nationally and in several so-called battleground states that are expected to decide the election.  

The First 2012 Presidential Debate


  • The Economy
  • Health Care
  • The Role of Government
  • Governing


  • Six, 15-minute segments
  • Each segment opens with a question by the moderator
  • Candidates have two minutes each to respond, rest of segment used for discussion
Source: Commission on Presidential Debates

Romney, a retired multimillionaire businessman and former governor of Massachusetts, has lost ground since a secretly recorded video surfaced earlier this month that showed him telling wealthy supporters that 47 percent of Americans, who will vote for the president "no matter what," pay no taxes and consider themselves "victims" entitled to government support.  

Both men spent the day Wednesday preparing for the debate. Both were expected to do a walk-through of the auditorium prior to the big event.

Both campaigns attempted to take advantage of inadvertent remarks and new revelations Tuesday. 

The Romney campaign said Vice President Joe Biden's remarks at a campaign rally in North Carolina that middle income Americans have been "buried" by the anemic U.S. economy over the last four years was an admission that the Obama administration's economic policies have failed. 

The Obama campaign called attention to a published report in The New York Times that suggested that Romney's overseas financial holdings have made him a profit and allowed him to reduce his income tax rate.

Wednesday's debate at the University of Denver also will be devoted to domestic issues such as health care. The second and third debates are scheduled for October 16 and October 22.

Analysts say the debates could be Romney's best and last chance to revive his campaign and change the direction of the race. 

Related video report

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: NVO from: USA
October 04, 2012 11:27 AM
And these so-called "jobs" that they will create. Will these so-called "jobs" pay for the so-called American Dream?? The mortgage, ALL the bills, the car loan, the $5.00/gal gas, the rising food prices, the $50,000/year college tuition???? Do these so-called "jobs" have full health insurance?? Or will the Tyranical regime impose health insurance on you? The Global Elites want it to remain just that.....A DREAM, that will NEVER come true. The NEW WORLD ORDER IS RISING!! WAKE UP PEOPLE.

by: Mohamed Jama from: Hargeisa,Somaliland
October 04, 2012 2:20 AM
I have seen a slight lose about Brack Obama-the president, but i hope this means his kind attitude towards the approaches. i hope
he will succeed in the process and come to the chair Again . thanks

by: Jeff Gates from: Northwest Florida
October 03, 2012 11:12 PM
Great debate! Romni finally got to address the american people & the illeagles. The american people watched Obama stumble over all of his untruths. Romni has my vote for certain!!

by: EverydayPolls from: USA
October 03, 2012 7:39 PM
I have a quick 3-question survey about the debates! Did it affect your choice for president? http://everydaypolls.com/post/32834737661/presidential-debates

by: willamp from: denver
October 03, 2012 3:40 PM
How can 6 months of gaffs and blunders be wiped away by a 2 hour prepped performance?

by: NVO from: USA
October 03, 2012 12:24 PM
Will these two talk about the NEW WORLD ORDER, and their plans for a ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT?? Hmmm.....let us see!

by: Allan Bamuha from: Uganda
October 03, 2012 10:45 AM
We love you Obama...Kindly win the race
In Response

by: koofasa from: USA
October 04, 2012 12:11 PM
That is the difference between a conservative and liberal. Liberals want to 'love' their president and it is important that they connect emotionally. Conservatives want a strong unemotional relationship with their president. They want a strong leader who makes good decisions for the country. "Love" doesn't come into it and isn't necessary.
In Response

by: Peter Sidindi from: UK
October 03, 2012 5:05 PM
President Obama your heart and soul is with the poor, deprived and marginalised you shall prevail.
We salute you
In Response

by: ccross from: canada
October 03, 2012 4:31 PM
I hope and pray that Romney wins. I prefer a party that believes in GOD unlike the Democrats.
Beware Americans..... Obama has a hidden agenda which he plans to reveal after the elections and this could not only hurt America, but the entire world.....
Pray for inspiration before you cast your vote for it is a decision that you will have to live with.

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