US presidential debate

2012-10-04 10:20
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and US President Barack Obama greet one another at Magness Arena moments before the start of their first debate at the University of Denver in Denver, Colorado. (Michael Reynolds, AFP)

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and US President Barack Obama greet one another at Magness Arena moments before the start of their first debate at the University of Denver in Denver, Colorado. (Michael Reynolds, AFP)

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US presidential debate analysis

2012-10-04 08:25

Watch ABC News channel discuss 2012's first presidential debate. WATCH

Denver - US President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney faced off on Wednesday in the first of three televised debates in the run-up to the 6 November election.

Here are some of the key quotes of the night.

Unaccustomed modesty

Obama: "You know, four years ago, I said that I'm not a perfect man, and I wouldn't be a perfect president, and that's probably a promise Governor Romney probably thinks I've kept."

Feel the fear

Romney: "No question in my mind, if the president is re-elected you will see a middle class squeeze ... You will see chronic unemployment - 43 straight months with unemployment above 8%."

Flattery will get you everywhere

Moderator: "We've barely got three minutes left. I'm not going to grade the two of you and say your answers have been too long or I've done a poor job."

Obama: "You've done a great job, Jim."

The zinger

Romney: "Mr President, you are entitled to your own airplane, your own house as president, but not to your own facts."

Church and church and state

Romney: "That statement says we are endowed by our creator to pursue happiness as we choose ... We are a nation that believes we're children of the same God and we care for those with difficulties."

Sarcasm bites

Obama: "He now says he'll replace Obamacare and ensure all the good things in it will be in there ... Is the reason that Governor Romney is keeping all these plans to replace secret because they are too good?"

Moderating the moderator

Obama: "Now, the last point I would make, before ..."

Moderator: "Two minutes is up, sir."

Obama: "No, I think - I had five seconds before you interrupted me."

Again with the sarcasm

Obama: "So the question is, does anybody out there think that the big problem we had is that there was too much oversight and regulation of Wall Street [prior to the 2008 financial crisis]? Because, if you do, then Governor Romney is your candidate."

Obama family values

Obama: "My grandmother died three days before I was elected president. She was fiercely independent. Only with a high school education, started as a secretary and ended up being vice president of a local bank."

Romney family values

Romney: "Look, I have five boys, I'm used to people saying something that isn't always true and keep on saying it hoping ultimately I will believe it. That is not the case."

Big oil

Obama: "Now, does anybody think that ExxonMobil needs some extra money, when they are making money every time you go to the pump? Why wouldn't we want to eliminate that? Why wouldn't we eliminate tax cuts for corporate jets?"

The pain in Spain

Romney: "Spain spends 42% of their total economy on government. We're now spending 42% of our economy on government. I don't want to go down the path of Spain. I want to put more Americans to work."

Morality tale

Romney: "It's frankly not moral for my generation to keep spending massively more than we take in, knowing burdens will be passed on to the next generation and paying interest and principal all their lives."

Broken record

Romney: "The president said he would cut the deficit in half. Unfortunately, he doubled it. Trillion dollar deficits for the last four years."

What's he hiding?

Obama: "Well, for 18 months he's been running on this tax plan, and now five weeks before the election, he says his big bold idea is 'never mind'."

The trump card

Obama: "We do have a difference when it comes to definitions of small businesses ... Donald Trump is a small business. Donald Trump doesn't like to think of himself as small anything."

Sack the muppet

Romney: "I'm sorry Jim. I'm gonna stop the subsidy to PBS. I'm gonna stop other things. I like PBS. I like Big Bird. I actually like you too."
Read more on:    us  |  us elections 2012

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