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Obama-Romney encounter begins with exchange on jobs

Wednesday October 17, 2012 08:43:31 AM, Arun Kumar, IANS

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Washington: President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney began their pivotal second encounter at Hofstra University in Long Island, New York with an exchange over education, jobs and energy.

Romney, who got the first question by toss of coin from Jeremy, a 20-year-old student, about if he can support himself after graduation, talked about his 5-point plan, including his vow to create 12 million jobs during his first term.

"We have to make it easier for kids to afford college and to get a job," he said. "I know what it takes to get this economy going. Kids across the country are going to recognize ... we're bringing back the economy."

Obama, under tremendous pressure to put in a more "stronger, more assertive performance" after what he conceded was a bad night in their first debate two weeks ago, turned Jeremy's question into his own 5-point plan for boosting the economy, talking about clean energy among other things.

Obama told the young voter that his future is bright, and sayid he wants to build on the 5 million jobs his administration has created. He also took a dig at Romney, for saying he wanted to "let Detroit go bankrupt."

He also slammed Romney's economic plan as being "one point" to help the people at the top. Romney retorted Obama is "way off the mark".

In response to the next question to Obama about Energy Secretary statement that his job is not to control gas prices, Obama talked about what his administration has done to increase oil production.

It is a "priority" to go after natural gas, he said talking about "efficient" energy to reduce demand, which will keep gas prices low.

CNN chief political correspondent Candy Crowley is moderating the town hall format debate, where members of the audience picked up by a Gallup poll of 82 uncommitted voters ask questions. She is first woman to do so in two decades.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at



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