Economic Woes Key in First Presidential Debate

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President Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney are preparing to take the debate stage in Denver Wednesday.

Fifty million viewers are expected to watch as the race now enters its final weeks and appears to be tightening up.

Biden: Middle Class 'Buried'

With tonight's debate centered on domestic issues, the president will be on the defense, trying to explain how an economy with a persistent unemployment rate above 8 percent has begun to rebound - even though some indicators have shown it slowing down.

Meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden, in another gaffe, admitted the middle class has been "buried."

"How they can justify raising taxes on the middle class - that has been buried the last four years," Biden said.

It didn't take long for Republican vice presidential hopeful Paul Ryan to pounce on the comment.

"Vice President Biden just today said that the middle class over the last four years has been, quote, "buried." We agree!" the Wisconsin lawmaker said. "That means we need to stop digging by electing Mitt Romney."

Another likely topic in Wednesday's debate is health care and the trillion dollar deficits under Obama, the $16 trillion national debt, and what each candidate would do with the tax system.

Romney wants an across-the-board tax cut while the president wants to raise taxes on high income Americans.

Also, with gas prices nearing $4 a gallon in many areas, another potential topic could be the country's energy needs and the president's opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline.

Jeremiah Wright Video
 
But Obama may also have to deal with another jab from Romney on an exclusive video on The Daily Caller website.

In that video, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama mentions his former pastor, the controversial Jeremiah Wright. Obama refers to Wright as his "friend" and "a great leader."

He then tells the mostly black audience that the 1992 Los Angeles riots and Hurricane Katrina occurred because Washington doesn't care about African Americans.

The Democratic Rapid Response Team responded with an email to reporters, titled "That Was Lame" and called the jab "desperation tactics."

The latest Rasmussen poll shows a dead heat, with Obama leading 48 to 47 percent, inside the margin of error. The poll gives Obama the lead in Electoral College votes.

In a race this tight and fluid, and with enough voters still undecided or willing to switch, the outcome of the three presidential debates could very well swing the race.

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Dale Hurd

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A CBN News veteran, Dale Hurd has reported extensively from Western Europe, as well as China, Russia, and Central and South America.  Since 9/11, Dale has reported in depth on various aspects of the global war on terror in the United States and Europe.  Follow Dale on Twitter @HurdontheWeb and "like" him at Facebook.com/DaleHurdNews.