Gov. Mitt Romney
(R) Presidential Candidate
President Barack Obama
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--LEAD IN --
Two down, and one to go. Mitt Romney and President Obama met for their second of three debates tonight, where uncommitted voters in a town hall format asked the questions.
Emily Schmidt has more on the candidates' answers.
--REPORTER PKG-AS FOLLOWS --
FOR THE SECOND TIME, PRESIDENT OBAMA AND MITT ROMNEY FACED EACH OTHER ... FOR THE FIRST TIME, THEY FACED DEBATE QUESTIONS FROM VOTERS.
What is the biggest difference between you and George W. Bush?
Mr. President, I voted for you in 2008, what have you done or accomplised to earn my vote in 2012?
THE TOWN HALL FORMAT MEANT NO PODIUMS -- CANDIDATES OUT IN THE OPEN, AND MORE WILLING TO TAKE AIM AT EACH OTHER THAN THEY WERE IN THE FIRST DEBATE.
o:Here's what we did. There were a whole bunch of oil companies.
r:I had a question and the question was, how much did you cut them by? How much did you cut them by?
o:I am happy to answer the question.
r:And it is...?
o: here's what happened
POLLS SHOWED MITT ROMNEY COMING INTO THIS DEBATE RIDING A BUMP IN SUPPORT AFTER THE FIRST ENCOUNTER.
PRESIDENT OBAMA'S CAMPAIGN STAFFERS HAD PROMISED A MORE ENERGETIC PERFORMANCE, AND BOTH CANDIDATES LET LITTLE GO BY UNCHALLENGED.
DISCUSSION GREW PARTICULARLY HEATED ABOUT LIBYA--AND WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SECURITY OF DIPLOMATS AFTER THE U.S. AMBASSADOR TO LIBYA WAS KILLED IN AN ATTACK LAST MONTH.
R:It took them a long time to say it was a terrorist act by a terrorist group and to suggest am I incorrect in that regard? On Sunday, your secretary of state, excuse me the ambassador to the UN went on Sunday television shows and said this was a spontaneous reaction..
O:I am happy to have a longer conversation about foreign policy.
Candy: I know, absolutely, I want to move you on.
THE QUESTIONS TENDED TO COME BACK TO DOMESTIC ISSUES LIKE EDUCATION, GAS PRICES AND TAXES--ISSUES THE VOTERS SAID DIRECTLY AFFECTED THEM.
I will not under any circumstances increase taxes on the middle class
I want to give middle class families and folks striving to get into the middle class some relief.
THE DEBATE STRETCHED MORE THAN 90 MINUTES--IT HAS 21 DAYS TO IMPACT VOTERS.
ELECTION DAY IS JUST THREE WEEKS AWAY.
I'M EMILY SCHMIDT, REPORTING.
--SUGGESTED ANCHOR TAG --
Tomorrow morning, the candidates hit the campaign trail again.
President Obama is scheduled to visit the battleground states of Iowa and Ohio; Mitt Romney will be in Virginia.