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October 4, 2012

Aggressive Romney puts Obama on defensive in first debate

(Continued)

DENVER —

"I just don't know how the president could have come into office, facing 23 million people out of work, rising unemployment, an economic crisis at the kitchen table, and spend his energy and passion for two years fighting for Obamacare instead of fighting for jobs for the American people," Romney said. "It has killed jobs."

Obama pushed back, particularly on the point about the cut to Medicare, which he explained, and independent analysis has shown, do not include direct cuts to benefits for seniors but rather ratchet down payments to providers, including insurance companies.

The president also noted that Romney has promised to repeal Obamacare on his first day in office, yet more recently has said he wants to keep some of its provisions, notably its protections for patients with pre-existing conditions and the rights of young adults to remain on their parents' insurance plans.

He also reminded viewers that his law was modeled heavily on Romney's own health reform law, which he championed while governor of Massachusetts. "We've seen this model work really well, in Masschusetts," he said.

"He now says he's going to replace Obamacare and ensure that all the good things that are in it are going to be in there and you don't have to worry," Obama said. "And at some point, I think the American people have to ask themselves, is the reason that Governor Romney is keeping all these plans to replace secret because they're too good?"

Romney defended his plan in Massachusetts, saying he had not raised taxes and had pushed through the bill with signficant numbers of Democratic votes.

On energy, Obama said Romney would continue to favor tax breaks for the oil industry. Romney retorted by noting that the Obama administration has invested more than $90 billion in green-energy projects, "about about 50 years' worth of what oil and gas receives."

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