Mitt Romney used his first face-off with President Obama on Wednesday night to try to chip away at the caricature that Democrats have been drawing of him the past two years, arguing that contrary to the president’s claims he does not want a $5 trillion tax cut skewed to the wealthy.
At the same time, the Republican nominee pressed the case that the president’s policies have become a barrier to job growth and that his plans for a second term would “kill jobs.” Echoing the words of Vice President Biden earlier in the week, Romney said: “Under the president’s policies, middle-income Americans have been buried.”
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Romney tried to align himself with middle-class Americans throughout the 90-minute debate in Denver, claiming his primary goal is jobs.
Obama, though, appealed to the same swath of voters – he continued to argue that his opponent is promising a return to failed policies that would boost the privileged and burden the middle class. He slammed Romney for wanting to turn Medicare in to a “voucher” system, repeal the federal health care overhaul and allegedly push a tax cut for top earners.
While Romney accused Obama of pushing “trickle-down government,” Obama accused Romney of wanting to “double down on the top-down policies” that preceded the financial crisis.