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Presidential Debate: Obama Faces Romney In Denver
Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have come face-to-face for the first time in the race for the White House.
The incumbent Democrat president and the Republican challenger began the first of the three 90-minute televised debates answering questions on the economy.
Mr Romney challenged Mr Obama's assertion that he planned to make tax cuts of about $5 trillion.
"My view is that we ought to provide tax relief to people in the middle class but I am not going to reduce the share of taxes paid by high income people. High income people are doing just fine in this economy," he said.
"Under the president's policies, middle income families have been buried, they have been crushed. They have seen their income down by $4,300."
"There will be no tax cut that will add to the deficit but I want to reduce the burden paid by middle America."
But Mr Obama repeated his claim that the Republican was planning huge tax cuts, and questioned how he would pay for those.
"Governor Romney's proposal, which he has been promoting for 18 months, calls for a $5tn tax cut on top of $2tn of additional spending for our military and he is saying he going to pay for by closing loophole and deductions," he said.
"The problem is he has been asked over 100 times how he will close those loopholes and deductions and he hasn't been able to identify them.
"But when you add up all those loopholes and deductions that upper income households are taking advantage of and you take those all away you don't come close to $5tn in tax cuts and $2tn in additional military spending."
An estimated 50 million Americans are believed to be watching the debate on TV.
National polls show the two candidates in a tight race among likely voters. But Obama has the advantage in many of the battlegrounds, including Colorado.