Denver, CO (NBC News) - In Denver, Colorado, presidential hopeful Mitt Romney badly needed to bring his "A" game to his first debate with President Obama, and to most who watched Wednesday night, he did.
President Obama came into the debate ahead in every battleground state and the pressure was on for Romney with an estimated 60 million Americans watching on television, cable and the web.
Moderator Jim Lerher asked the candidates if they could put people back into work.
Romney said yes, and he would cut taxes and regulations on small business.
"My priority is jobs, so I bring down tax rates," said Romney.
Obama fired back claiming the governor's proposal would help the rich at all other's expense.
"The average middle class family would pay $2000 more," said the president of the Republican hopeful's proposal.
From the policy disagreements about the economy, the debate shifted over to healthcare.
Romney struck, in a major debate moment that the president weakened the economy by his focus on healthcare.
"I just don't know how the president could have come into office, facing 23 million people out of work, rising unemployment...and spent his energy and passion for two years fighting for "Obamacare" instead of fighting for jobs for the American people," said Romney.
It was a substantial debate.
Next comes the polling to find out if Mitt Romney make the gains with voters that he needs.
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