Obama, Romney turn up heat in 2nd debate

11:53 PM, Oct 16, 2012   |    comments
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President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney in their second debate. Photo from ABC News.

USA TODAY - President Obama sought to regain his re-election momentum Tuesday in a second debate with Republican Mitt Romney, tangling with his rival over jobs, the auto industry bailout, energy, taxes and other issues.

The two put on a more heated and energetic show than in their first debate, often questioning or interrupting each other and disputing the other's claims. Both men walked the stage, each speaking directly to their questioners and gesturing to each other.

Obama, criticized after the first debate for looking down at his notes and appearing disengaged, watched Romney intently when he spoke.

After seeing an aggressive Romney score gains in polls following their initial encounter Oct. 3, Obama entered the debate intending to show more passion and make his case to the nation for a second four-year term.

He used the first question from the audience of uncommitted voters, which was about jobs, to blast Romney's opposition to the bailout of two of the three big U.S. automakers. Obama said that if Romney's way had prevailed, bankruptcy would have cost a million Americans their jobs.

Obama ridiculed Romney's claim to have a five-point plan to create jobs.

"He doesn't have a five-point plan, he has a one-point plan, and that's to make sure people at the top play by different rules. ... That's been his philosophy," Obama said. "The last thing we need to do is go back to the same policies" that put the nation into an economic downturn four years ago, Obama said.

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