Romney wins first U.S. presidential debate as Obama flutters

U.S. presidential candidates Mitt Romney (left) and President Barack Obama kick of the 2012 presidential debates in Denver, Colorado early this morning.

By Henry D Gombya

The first presidential debate in this year’s U.S. general election ended early this morning with most media commentators giving the win to the Republican contender Mitt Romney. The 90-minute debate held in Denver Colorado, saw both candidates exchange blows on mostly domestic issues with President Barack Obama who is fighting to retain the White House charging that his opponent was bent on raising taxes for middle class Americans.

Most media commentators twitted that Mr Romney, the former Governor of Massachusetts was more presidential and treaded better blows than Mr Obama who at times looked like he was afraid to gaze into the eyes of his opponent. Romney challenged Obama’s assertions that he (Romney) was planning to make tax cuts of about $5 trillion. Saying that this was inaccurate, Romney explained: “My view is that we ought to provide tax relief to people in the middle class but I am not going to reduce the share of taxes paid by high income people. High income people are doing just fine in this economy.”

Trying to align himself throughout the 90-minute debate with middle class Americans, Governor Romney pressed his charge that President Obama’s policies had during the last four years become a barrier to job growth. He warned that a second term for Mr Obama would end up killing jobs.

Twitting after the debate, Sky News Political Editor Adam Boulton wrote: “I just don’t know what to say. Romney changed stripes again tonite (sic), spoke many untruths and like a thief stole the night.” Colleen Gruffy, a former US deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy in Europe and Eurasia twitted: “That is what u get for having (former democratic presidential candidate) John Kerry as your debate partner.” And CNN’s anchor Piers Morgan twitted: “WINNERS: Romney, Trump. LOSERS: Obama, Jim Lehrer.”

During the debate which was held at the University of Denver in Colorado, Mr Obama accused his opponent of planning huge tax cuts without saying how he could pay for them. “Governor Romney’s proposal, which he has been promoting for 18 months, calls for a $5 trillion tax cut on top of $2 trillion of additional spending for our military and he is saying he is going to pay for them by closing loophole and deductions. The problem is he has been asked over 100 times how he will close those loopholes and deductions and he hasn’t been able to identify them.” Obama went on to explain: “But when you add up all those loopholes and deductions that upper income households are taking advantage of and you take those all away, you don’t come close to $5 trillion in tax cuts and $2 trillion in additional military spending.”

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