NBC NATIONAL NEWS — The pressure was on Mitt Romney to perform, to back up his plans with details.
Taking on the man even Republicans describe as one of the most skilled debaters in modern politics.
The point of this debate was to make differences clear: on lowering the debt. "You said you'd cut the deficit in half. It's now four years later. We still have trillion-dollar deficits," said Mitt Romney, (R) Presidential Nominee.
"The way we do it is $2.50 for every cut, we ask for $1 of additional revenue, paid for, as I indicated earlier, by asking those of us who have done very well in this country to contribute a little bit more to reduce the deficit," said President Barack Obama
The President insisted Romney would spend five trillion on tax breaks favoring the wealthy. "Math, common sense, and our history shows us that's not a recipe for job growth," said President Barack Obama.
"Everything he just said about my tax plan is inaccurate," said Mitt Romney, (R) Presidential Nominee.
They clashed on Wall Street - whether banks should be too big to fail - and Medicare. "Cutting $716 billion from Medicare to be able to balance the additional cost of Obamacare is, in my opinion, a mistake," said Mitt Romney.
"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," said President Barack Obama.
The fiercest exchange was over health care, and jobs.
"I just don't know how the President could have come into office, facing 23 million people out of work, rising unemployment, an economic crisis at the -- at the kitchen table, and spend his energy and passion for two years fighting for Obamacare instead of fighting for jobs for the American people," said Romney.
"We did work on this, alongside working on jobs, because this is part of making sure that middle-class families are secure in this country," said President Barack Obama.
President Obama, on defense Romney, challenging his record.
As both now wait to see if this exchange had any impact on voters.