U.S. President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney
will confront each other Wednesday in the first of three scheduled
nationally televised debates of the 2012 presidential race.
With just five weeks remaining before the November 6 election, Obama is
entering the debate with a lead over Romney in voter opinion polls both
nationally and in several so-called battleground states that are
expected to decide the election.
Romney, a retired multi-millionaire businessman and former governor of
Massachusetts, has lost ground since a secretly recorded video surfaced
earlier this month that showed him telling wealthy supporters that 47
percent of Americans, who will vote for the president "no matter what,"
pay no taxes and consider themselves "victims" entitled to government
Both men spent Tuesday behind closed doors engaged in final practice
sessions. Obama spent a second day with his campaign advisers at a
resort in the western state of Nevada, while Romney was in nearby
Denver, Colorado, the site of Wednesday's debate.
campaigns attempted to take advantage of inadvertent remarks and new
revelations Tuesday. The Romney campaign said Vice President Joe Biden's
remarks at a campaign rally in the southeastern state of North Carolina
that middle-income Americans have been "buried" by the anemic U.S.
economy over the last four years was an admission that the Obama
administration's economic policies have failed. The Obama campaign
called attention to a published report in The New York Times that
suggested that Romney's overseas financial holdings have made him a
profit and allowed him to reduce his income tax rate.
Wednesday's debate at the University of Denver will be devoted to
domestic issues, such as the economy and health care.
Foreign policy issues will be covered in the second and third debates,
scheduled for October 16 and October 22.
Analysts say the debates could be Romney's best and last chance to
revive his campaign and change the direction of the race.