After months of a Republican showdown, GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney debated President Barack Obama for the first time Wednesday evening.
Talk about the economy took up the first half hour of the debate, and even spilled over into the rest of the next hour.
Moderator Jim Lehrer gave both candidates plenty of time to elaborate on their plans to create more jobs, repair the economy and lower the deficit.
It led to a debate without personal attacks and plenty of details.
"I think we've got to invest in education and training. I think it's important for us to develop new sources of energy here in America,” President Obama said. “That we change our tax code to make sure we're helping small businesses and companies that are investing here in the United States, that we take some of the money that we're saving as we wind down two wars, to rebuild America, and that we reduce our deficit in a balanced way that allows us to make these critical investments."
Mitt Romney said his plan for presidency could be broken into five parts.
"One, get us energy independent--North American energy independent--that creates about four million jobs. Number two, open up more trade, particularly in Latin America,” Romney said. “Crack down on China, if and when they cheat. Number three, make sure our people have the skills they need to succeed and the best schools in the world, we're far away from that now. Number four, get us to a balanced budget. Number five, champion small business. It's small business that creates the jobs in America."
The candidates also talked at length about Medicare, social security and the Affordable Care Act.
Here in Austin, young and undecided voters at the Austin Community College Northridge campus had a viewing party. The issue on their minds was also the economy, an subject that has even dictated what some of them choose to study.
"Yeah you do, you worry, you're going to worry, you come into get an education and you don't know if it is going to be jobs out there that fit your degree plan," student Edward McCoy said.
While many in the young audience were still undecided, some were first time voters.
"I think I got a better understanding of both. I am not decided right now, but it did just open my eyes to who these people are," student Holly Maakestad said.
Early voting already started in many states across the nation, but voters here is Texas have time to make up their minds.
"America is an off-the-chain country,” McCoy said. “It is an awesome country to be in, but then when you sit there and talk about were going to do this, we're going to do that, and you don't see nothing done, I understand it takes time, cool, but you ain't done it yet,” McCoy said.
The next presidential debate takes place Oct. 16 at Hofstra University in New York.
It's set to be a town hall format with questions from the audience.