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Obama and Romney clash in second debate

  • U.S. President Barack Obama hit out at his Republican rival Mitt Romney during a spirited 90-minute face off in the second of three presidential debates on Tuesday.

    Obama, widely panned for his lackluster performance in the first debate, packed a stronger punch in New York on issues ranging from the economy, tax, immigration and foreign policy.

    In the town hall-style debate at Hofstra University on Long Island, both candidates were able to walk around the stage, often interrupting one another as they took questions from an audience of 82 undecided voters.

    The moderator, CNN's Candy Crowley, had to intervene at several points to keep order between the rivals.

    With less than three weeks to go until the November 6 election, the debate represented one of the last chances for the two candidates to make an impression with voters.

    In his first answer, Obama set the tone for the evening when he contrasted his own bailout of the U.S. car industry with Romney's position that auto-makers should have been allowed to go bankrupt.

    Meanwhile, Romney slammed the president's record on the economy, reiterating the country could not afford another four years with Obama as leader.

    The pair also argued over last month's attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya that left four Americans dead.

    Romney claimed the Obama administration had attempted to mislead the public over whether it was a terrorist attack.

    Obama responded by saying that it was the Republican who had politicized a national tragedy by releasing a partisan press release about the deadly assault.

    The Democratic incumbent continued to hammer Romney for his low personal income tax rate and the now-infamous dismissal of "47 percent" of the electorate, seen in a secretly recorded video of the former Massachusetts governor.

    Obama also outlined the accomplishments of his first term in office, from saving the auto industry to killing Osama bin Laden.

    Romney hit back by detailed promises Obama had made but failed to keep.

    The final presidential debate takes place on October 22 in Boca Raton, Florida and will focus on foreign policy.