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The First Presidential Debate: Obama vs. Romney

Obama and Romney at the debate by Michael Reynolds of Getty Image

The first Presidential Debate wrapped up moments ago, the first of three between President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney

These debates are very important and how well the two candidates do will be sure to shift many of undecided voters in swing states. Some even say whoever comes out on top of the three Presidential Debates will be likely to be in the White House following the November 6 Presidential election.

The debate earlier contained six segments, three segments focused on the economy, one on health care, another on the role of the government, and the final one on governing.

Obama started off with a shout out to his wife, The First Lady, Michelle Obama because today is their anniversary. Romney jokingly said he is happy Obama is spending his anniversary with him at the debate.

Romney made a dramatic addition to his tax plan during the early portion of Wednesday night's first presidential debate, insisting that he would lower tax rates to the extent he could find tax hikes to pay for them. Romney kept making a point that Obama's tax plan will kill 700,000 jobs.  

Obama discussed "Obamacare," healthcare for all who don't have any and keeping middle class families safe. 

In Obama's closing statement, he acknowledged he never said he would be a perfect president. 

"Four years ago, we were going through a major crisis," Obama said. "And yet, my faith and confidence in the American future is undiminished. The reason is because of its people." 

Obama cited a North Carolina woman who went back to school at age 55. He talked about Midwestern auto workers "who take such pride in building the best cars in the world." 

"Four years ago," Obama continued, "I said that I am not a perfect man and I wouldn't be a perfect president. That's probably a promise that Gov. Romney thinks I've kept. But I also promised that I would fight every single day on behalf of the American people, and the middle class and all of those who are striving to get in the middle class. I have kept that promise. If you will vote for me, then I promise I will fight just as hard in a second term." 

Romney said if the president was elected, he warned, "you will continue to see a middle class squeeze with incomes going down and prices going up." 

There would be "chronic unemployment." "Obamacare will be fully installed," he said. "In my view that means a whole different way of life [for people] .... If I'm elected we won't have Obamacare." He went on, continuing his argument that there would be "$716 billion in cuts to Medicare." 

Romney said 4 million people would "lose Medicare advantage," and warned about "dramatic cuts to the military."

Who do you think won tonight's debate?

Following tonight's debate there will be two further presidential debates, which will take place on Oct. 16 and Oct. 22. There will also be a Vice-Presidential debate between Vice-President Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan, which is scheduled to take place on Oct. 11.

If you missed the first debate (shame on you), catch up and watch all the highlights HERE. Read the transcript HERE.

Below is the full schedule of the Presidential Debates 2012:

October 11, 2012
Topic: Foreign and domestic policy
Air Time: 9:00-10:30 p.m. Eastern Time
Location: Centre College in Danville, Kentucky
Sponsor: Commission on Presidential Debates
Participants: Vice President Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan
Moderator: Martha Raddatz (ABC News Chief Foreign Correspondent)

The debate will cover both foreign and domestic topics and be divided into nine time segments of approximately 10 minutes each. The moderator will ask an opening question, after which each candidate will have two minutes to respond. The moderator will use the balance of the time in the segment for a discussion of the question.

October 16, 2012
Topic: Town meeting format including foreign and domestic policy
Air Time: 9:00-10:30 p.m. Eastern Time
Location: Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York
Sponsor: Commission on Presidential Debates
Participants: President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney
Moderator: Candy Crowley (CNN Chief Political Correspondent)

The second presidential debate will take the form of a town meeting, in which citizens will ask questions of the candidates on foreign and domestic issues. Candidates each will have two minutes to respond, and an additional minute for the moderator to facilitate a discussion. The town meeting participants will be undecided voters selected by the Gallup Organization.

October 22, 2012
Topic: Foreign policy
Air Time: 9:00-10:30 p.m. Eastern Time
Location: Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida
Sponsor: Commission on Presidential Debates
Participants: President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney
Moderator: Bob Schieffer (Host of Face the Nation on CBS)

The format for the debate will be identical to the first presidential debate and will focus on foreign policy.