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Both Sides React To 2nd Presidential Debate

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

DENVER (CBS4/AP)- In the aftermath of last night’s combative debate in suburban New York, President Barack Obama campaigns today in Iowa, while Mitt Romney will be in Virginia.

The second debate between the two was filled with charges and countercharges that the other guy wasn’t telling the truth.

Republican National Convention Communications Director Sean Spicer spoke about Romney’s plan for debt reduction on CBS4 Morning News.

“When President Obama, then Senator Obama, ran for president he said he would cut the deficit in half, he’s now put in place budgets that for the first time are over a trillion dollars, and the national debt has gone from $10 trillion to $16 trillion. You have to look back and say what does Gov. Romney have a record of? Gov. Romney over four years, he balanced the budget, he turned around the Salt Lake City Olympics and in the private industry he did the same with companies,” said Spicer.

“He has a proven track record to do this kind of stuff, to tackle tough problems and put solutions in place. Just comparing the two track records it is pretty clear where the safe bet is if we want to address the nation’s debt and deficit.”

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar appeared as an Obama Administration Appointee on CBS4 Morning News to comment on the debate. He said the president was the clear winner.

“I think the president did a great job. He communicated directly with the American people, the people who were in that hall asking those questions wanted to hear from the candidates and I think what the president succeeded in doing was making sure know that there is a clear choice between himself and Mitt Romney. The president stands clearly on the side of the American people and the middle class and I think that came out very clear last night.”

Salazar discussed the president’s explanation of the events leading up to the deadly attack in Libya.

“The president was very clear. He has come out as Commander in Chief and he is presidential and he was very clear when he said that the Romney campaign had essentially taken Libya and politicized it was offensive. It is offensive to the national security of the United States. We have one of our ambassadors killed overseas and it’s important that the United States hang together,” said Salazar.

“The president has taken all the steps you can take in this circumstance and I think that he challenged Gov. Romney in his assertion that not enough had been done. The president did everything he needed to do the time that happened and before that time to make the world more secure not only in Libya but around the world.”

With less than three weeks until the election, Obama appears to be assured of 237 of the 270 electoral votes needed, and Romney is confident of 191. That leaves 110 electoral votes up for grabs in nine battleground states.

Both campaign teams are calling last night’s presidential debate a win for their candidate.

Romney’s running mate Paul Ryan issued a fundraising appeal issued not long after the debate ended, declaring “Mitt crushed it again at tonight’s debate.”

Obama’s team also claimed victory for the re-energized incumbent, though adviser David Plouffe allowed that the race remains tight as ever.

Spicer also discussed unfair trade practices in China and how Romney will address those issues.

“The governor, again through his business experience, understands the unfair trade practices that China engages in whether it’s the non-tarriff barriers that keep U.S. products out of entering the market in China or the manipulation of their currency. He’s had to deal with it as a businessman he knows how to tackle it. Conversely this goes back again to what President Obama as a candidate said he was going to get tough on China, he was going to stop them from manipulating their currency and seven times this administration has failed to certify them as a currency manipulator. So I think that this comes down to is you can look at the track record of the two and figure out who will do a better job of addressing the problems we face in competing with China,” said Spicer.

Salazar also touched on energy independence and said the president has the best plan for moving the U.S. past foreign oil reliance.

“We’ve done a lot more in the last four years to get energy independence than we have ever done in the past 20 years. We are producing more oil and gas both on federal lands and private lands. Gov. Romney frankly did not tell the American people the truth because the numbers are significantly up. We are importing less oil than at any time in the last 16 years and things look good for the U.S. on the energy front. The president was also clear that we believe in the all of the above energy strategy that he’s implemented from day one. That includes wind energy, solar, geothermal and alternatives and fuel efficiency. That’s not part of the Romney plan at the end of the day. What Gov. Romney would have us do is go back to the failed policies of the prior administration that essentially got us into the energy mess in the first place,” said Salazar.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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