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What they said in first presidential debate

Associated Press Modified: October 3, 2012 at 11:01 pm •  Published: October 3, 2012
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Romney: "My priority is jobs. And so what I do is I bring down the tax rates, lower deductions and exemptions — the same idea behind Bowles-Simpson, by the way. Get the rates down, lower deductions and exemptions, to create more jobs. Because there's nothing better for getting us to a balanced budget than having more people working, earning more money, paying more taxes. That's by far the most effective and efficient way to get this budget balanced."

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MEDICARE

Obama: "I don't think vouchers are the right way to go. And this is not my own — only my opinion. AARP thinks that the savings that we obtained from Medicare bolster the system, lengthen the Medicare trust fund by eight years. Benefits were not affected at all. And ironically, if you repeal 'Obamacare' — and I have become fond of this term, Obamacare — if you repeal it, what happens is those seniors right away are going to be paying $600 more in prescription care. They're now going to have to be paying co-pays for basic checkups that can keep them healthier."

Romney: "What I support is no change for current retirees and near-retirees to Medicare. And the president supports taking $716 billion out of that program. ... For people coming along that are young, what I do to make sure that we can keep Medicare in place for them is to allow them either to choose the current Medicare program or a private plan. Their choice."

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HEALTH CARE REFORM

Obama: "The irony is that we've seen this model work really well in Massachusetts, because Gov. Romney did a good thing, working with Democrats in the state to set up what is essentially the identical model, and as a consequence, people are covered there. It hasn't destroyed jobs. And as a consequence, we now have a system in which we have the opportunity to start bringing down costs, as opposed to just leaving millions of people out in the cold."

Romney: "I like the way we did it in Massachusetts. I like the fact that in my state, we had Republicans and Democrats come together and work together. What you did instead was to push through a plan without a single Republican vote. ... We didn't put in place a board that can tell people ultimately what treatments they're going to receive. We didn't also do something that I think a number of people across this country recognize, which is put people in a position where they're going to lose the insurance they had and they wanted."