From taxes, to jobs, to federal health care -- the presidential candidates squared off on the issues in Denver.
President Barack Obama and Republican Challenger Mitt Romney just faced off in the first of three presidential debates before the November 6th election.
It began with a quick handshake and a wave to a cheering crowd -- the only time the audience was allowed to cheer.
The debate began with the challenger blaming the incumbent for an economy turned sour.
Romney: "Gasoline prices have doubled under the president. Electric prices are up, food prices are up, health care costs have gone up by $2500 a family. Middle income families are being crushed."
The president said it was his tax cut for the middle class that ended the recession.
"By giving them those tax cuts they had a little more money in their pocket so maybe they can buy a new car. They are certainly in a better position to weather the recession we went through," said Obama.
There were lively exchanges over the rules… and references to budget cuts. Nothing was off limits -- not even Big Bird.
"I am sorry Jim I am going to cut the subsidy to PBS. I am going to stop other things. I love Big Bird, I actually like you too, but I am not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for it."
While at least two satirical Big Bird accounts popped up on social media within moments of Romney's comments, the two moved on to talk more about jobs.
"Right now you can actually take a deduction for moving a plant overseas. I think most of that doesn't make sense and all that raises revenue," said Obama.
"I maybe need to get a new accountant but the idea that you get a tax break for shipping jobs overseas is simply not the case," said Romney.
And they wrapped up asking for your vote.
"This is an important election and I am concerned about America. I am concerned about the direction America has been taking over the last four years. I know this is bigger than an election, about the two of us as individuals, it's bigger than our respective parties it's about the course of America, what kind of America you want to have for yourself and your children," said Romney.
"Four years ago I said I wasn't a perfect man and I wouldn't be a perfect president and that's a promise Governor Romney probably thinks I have kept, but I also promised to fight every single day for the American people, for the middle class and all those striving to get into the middle class. I have kept that promise and if you vote for me I promise I will fight just as hard in the second term," said Obama.
Public Policy Polling just released a new Arizona poll. It shows Romney with a comfortable lead in our state -- up 53 to 44.
An NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist College poll shows President Obama's lead in Florida and Virginia is shrinking. The president is still ahead in both states, but within the margin of error. A month ago, he had a 5 point lead in both states.
In Ohio, the president has increased his lead by a percentage point, and has a pretty comfortable cushion in the Buckeye state.
Video: FOX 10's John Hook reports live from Denver.