Romney barrels out of first debate on offense

CREATED Oct 4, 2012

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DENVER (AP) -- Mitt Romney is barreling out of the first presidential debate energized by a solid performance that showed his determination to take it to President Barack Obama with gusto.

The president, intent on keeping his momentum from stalling, is warning Americans that his Republican rival's policy prescriptions for a fragile economy are more fantasy than reality.

Standing toe-to-toe with the president Wednesday for the first time in the campaign, Romney held his own at a time when there already were signs that the race is tightening in some of the battleground states where Obama has enjoyed an advantage.

Obama kept his cool and signaled that he won't let up on his message that Romney's plans on taxes, health care, the deficit and more just don't add up.