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Saturday 16.12.2017 | Name days: Alvīne

Second debate: Obama hits back

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U.S. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and U.S. President Barack Obama

In the second pre-election debate on October 16 US President Barack Obama hit back at his Republican rival Mitt Romney.

Obama, who was widely believed to have lost the first encounter, was more aggressive when clashing with Romney and praising his own achievements.

But the former Massachusetts governor accused Obama of not meeting promises.

During the 90-minute long debate in New York, both of the politicians freely roamed the stage, interrupting and heckling one another as they took questions from an audience of 80 undecided voters, reports BBC.

Experts say that Obama seems to have set the tone from his first answer, when he contrasted his own bailout of the US car industry with Romney’s standpoint that auto-makers should have been allowed to go bankrupt.

The president accused Romney of planning to make sure “the folks at the top play by a different set of rules”.

Meanwhile, Romney blamed the president for unemployment of 20 million Americans and increased budget deficit, insisting the country could not afford another four years with Obama in the lead.

The last month’s attack on the US Libya consulate that left four Americans dead triggered the harshest exchange of insults.

Romney implied that the Obama administration may have attempted to mislead Americans over whether it was a terrorist attack.

But the president said it was “offensive” to suggest that he had played politics on such a grave issue. He blamed Republicans for attempting to turn a national tragedy to their advantage.

Both candidates also touched upon America’s middle class. Obama said he had cut taxes for middle class families and small businesses. He stressed that if the country was serious about slashing the deficit, the rich should have to pay a little bit more.

Romney meanwhile praised his achievements as an economist, when balancing budgets in business, running the 2002 Olympics and as a governor of Massachusetts.

Obama pointed to a lot of his achievements: tax cuts for the middle class; ending the war in Iraq, killing Osama Bin Laden; helping the auto industry, as well as healthcare reform.

But Romney said the last four years were far from that rosy, arguing that the president had made pledges to deliver unemployment of 5.4%, an immigration plan, and to cut in half the deficit, but had met none of them.

One of the sharpest exchanges came when the rivals clashed over former private equity chief Romney’s wealth.

Romney was defending his investments in China through a blind trust when he asked Obama if he had looked at his own pension.

Obama said he did not check his pension that often, “because it’s not as big as yours.”

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