Related Content: Election 2012

Analysis: Romney's aggressive debate cheers GOP

Essential Reads

Challenger Mitt Romney used Wednesday's debate to put President Barack Obama on the defensive on health care, jobs and other issues. The president's reluctance to fire back harshly gave new hope to Republican partisans. Romney managed to highlight his top campaign themes — calling for lower tax rates, less regulation, the repeal of "Obamacare" — while largely fending off Obama's demands for details on how to pay for his proposals or safeguard Americans' health and well-being.

On Economy, Romney Blurs Contrast

Essential Reads

Apparently Mitt Romney likes government regulation, loves Medicare the way it is, agrees fairly regularly with President Obama, and does not, in fact, want to cut taxes very much. Those are gross simplifications of Romney’s economic platform, and ones very much at odds with the antitax, antiregulation, pro-entitlement-reform campaign the former Massachusetts governor has waged for more than a year.

Watch the vice presidential debate online: Thursday, October 12 at 9pm (ET)

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Begins at 9 p.m. ET.

Livestream the vice presidential debate at Centre College between Vice President Joe Biden and Republican VP challenger Paul Ryan. The event will be moderated by ABC News and Washington Week panelist Martha Raddatz.

Plus, watch Martha Raddatz discuss 9/11 and the death of Osama Bin Laden in Washington Week's "The Backstory"

Question 1: What’s at stake in the first debate in Denver?

Essential Reads

First debates usually attract the biggest audience, and so for both President Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney, this is a high-stakes event. But it’s clearly much bigger for Romney.

In 90-minute debate, 2 candidates stand on equal footing

Essential Reads

President Obama will have the first word at the presidential debate. Mitt Romney will have the last word. But even before they step onto the stage and shake hands here Wednesday evening, voters across the country are already starting to have the final word.

The only debate question that matters

Essential Reads

There are plenty of important questions Jim Lehrer should ask Barack Obama and Mitt Romney during Wednesday night’s first presidential debate, but only one Big Question. Lehrer should keep asking it until he gets a real answer, even if it takes all 90 minutes.

Claims likely to surface in debate and facts behind them

Essential Reads

The first presidential debate is likely to focus on economic issues as President Obama and Mitt Romney clash over the size and role of government. Here are some topics that could come up.

How campaigning for president became a socially acceptable thing to do

Essential Reads

In the early days of the presidency, no man worthy of the office would have dared campaign for it. Now, as I write in my series How to Measure for a President, the strength of a candidate’s campaign is used as proof of his fitness for office. Here, with the help of Gil Troy’s See How They Ran is a tour of how we got here.

Republicans face voter ID law setback

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Before debate, Romney calls Obama weak on foreign policy

Essential Reads

Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney launched a fresh attempt on Monday to paint President Barack Obama as weak on foreign policy, saying he had let U.S. leadership atrophy, while the two candidates prepared for their critical first debate on Wednesday.