Barack Obama and Mitt Romney were facing each other in the first US presidential debate. Do voters now have a clear choice? What are the policy differences?

The US economy dominated the first presidential debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

After the carefully-controlled messages delivered during their party conventions, the event in Denver provided the first opportunity for the rival candidates to challenge each other's policies.

Health care and education also featured in a debate that focused purely on domestic issues. 

On this special edition of Inside Story US 2012, we will bring you the hightlights from the debate. With me to discuss the performances of the presidential rivals is Ryan Grim, the Washington bureau chief for the Huffington Post.


  • The first debate focused on domestic policy and divided into six segments
  • Obama and Romney debated domestic issues for 90 minutes in Denver
  • Obama said Romney's tax plan would force the middle class to pay more
  • Obama called on Romney to release specifics of the deficit-reduction plan
  • Obama said Romney's medical plan would increase costs for seniors
  • Obama said Romney wanted to turn medicare into "voucher system"
  • Obama said Romney's plans will leave the US with $8 trillion in debt
  • Snap polls show Obama cam across as reserved and distant in the debate
  • Romney touted five-point plan as best way to turn around US economy
  • Romney seen as giving aggressive performance in the first debate
  • Romney attacked 'Obamacare' and vowed to repeal health care plan
  • Romney criticised Obama's approach as 'trickle-down government'
  • Romney says that regulations are essential in a free market economy
  • The next presidential debate is to be held on October 16 in New York

Source: Al Jazeera