President Barack Obama called for "economic patriotism" while Republican challenger Mitt Romney said a new path is needed as the candidates launched the first of three presidential debates on Wednesday night.
"America does best when the middle class does best," Obama said in response to the first question, which centered on job creation. He added that Romney's plan of tax cuts for the rich failed before.
Romney, however, said Obama pushed the same policies as when he took office four years earlier, and they had failed to bring down high unemployment and get the economy surging again.
"It's going to take a different path," Romney said, repeating his five-point plan for growth that has been part of his stump speech.
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