SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

October 4, 2012

Aggressive Romney puts Obama on defensive in first debate

DENVER — An energetic Mitt Romney launched a series of attacks against President Barack Obama here Wednesday night, calling into question the president's record on the economy, health care and the deficit and arguing that he would take the country in a fundamentally different direction.

Obama sought to parry Romney's criticisms, charging that his rival favors a top-down approach to the economy that would reward the wealthiest Americans at the expense of the middle class and that the details of Romney's proposals don't add up. But he found himself on the defensive repeatedly during their first debate, held on the campus of the University of Denver.

Romney came into the 90-minute debate after several difficult weeks but appeared rejuvenated by the opportunity to take his case directly to Obama and the American people. He was both well prepared and aggressive as he hammered the president. The contrast with Obama was striking, as the president appeared less energetic even as he rebutted some of the toughest of Romney's attacks.

The debate is likely to give Romney what he needed most, which is a fresh look from voters_at least those still undecided or open to changing their minds_and will change the conversation about the campaign, which for the past two weeks has been tilted in the president's favor. Romney now faces the challenge of trying to build on his performance and keep the president on the defensive in the days ahead.

Romney offered conservative policies throughout the evening but he often sounded like a more moderate candidate than he often does in campaign appearances. He is likely to face a challenge from Obama and the Democrats in the days to come about the contrast in tone and posture on display during the night.

But Republicans of all stripes were immediately cheered by the aggressiveness they saw in Romney Wednesday night and took it as a sign that his campaign was ready to wage a fierce battle between now and Nov. 6.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Nation/World

Local News
  • Baker(1) GOP's Baker to unveil plan to fight drug addiction

    BOSTON (AP) — Republican candidate for governor Charlie Baker has unveiled what he's calling a comprehensive approach to tackling the drug addiction crisis in Massachusetts.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140730_SN_DLE_DEMOLITION5 Demolition of Salem Harbor Station begins

    SALEM -- It all begins with B5. Or ends, depending on how you look at it. Demolition began at Salem Harbor Station Wednesday afternoon, with crews first setting upon one of the power plant's 11 steel tanks. The work was supposed to begin Monday, but

    July 31, 2014 7 Photos

  • Market Basket seeks replacement workers through job fair next week

    Market Basket began advertising a job fair for store managers and assistant managers in a direct shot at the current managers who signed petitions Monday threatening to resign if former CEO Arthur T. Demoulas is not rehired. The ad, which will appear

    July 31, 2014 2 Stories

  • Mary Manning Recovering Salem principal says thanks

    SALEM -- Just about a month before she was set to retire after 25 years as the principal of Collins Middle School, Mary Manning entered the hospital with a life-threatening condition. She hasn't been home since. A month later, in June, friends and co

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • Former school janitor Robert Scribner sentenced for assaults in truck

    SALEM -- A now-former Marblehead school janitor was ordered to serve a year in jail Wednesday after pleading guilty to charges that he assaulted and threatened to kill his estranged girlfriend after trapping her in his pickup truck in May. Robert Scr

    July 31, 2014