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Obama, Romney champion middle class — but find little middle ground

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Presidential debate at DU highlights differences

By Gaby Zastrocky

President Barack Obama and his opponent, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, can agree on one thing: They’re both fans of the middle class.

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From there on out, however, the differences are marked and clear between the Democratic incumbent and his Republican challenger.

Obama and Romney met for the first presidential debate of the election season Wednesday evening at the University of Denver, and tackled jobs, education, health care and the preservation of the middle class.

Romney’s stance didn’t vary much whether he was speaking on education, job creation or health care.

“The private market and individual responsibility always works best,” he said.

Romney said his five-part plan would include cutting taxes and eliminating credits and loopholes. But those hoping the debate would shed more light on the specifics of his plan may have been disappointed. Obama took issue several times with his opponent’s failure to provide details.

Romney, for his part, said he hasn’t specified certain aspects of his plans because he wants to arrive at solutions in a bipartisan way.

Romney had no problem with clarity when accusing Obama of championing an oversized “trickle-down” federal government that has suppressed economic growth.

“You raise taxes, and you kill jobs,” Romney said.

Obama said that to eliminate the federal budget deficit, a “balanced approach” of tax increases and cost-cutting measures is needed.

“If we’re serious (about closing the deficit), we’ve got to take a balanced, responsible approach,” Obama said.

For a full story with local analysis, check out the Oct. 10 print edition of the Canyon Courier.

Contact Gaby Zastrocky at gabrielle@evergreenco.com or follow at Twitter.com/gabriellereport.