Let the empathon (empathython? empathothon?) begin. Each candidate gets two minutes to answer each question, then moderator Candy Crowley gets two minutes to try to get them to expand on their answers in a meaningful way (good luck with that).
Mitt Romney gets to answer the first question first, and it's a 20-year-old asking how they can assure him he'll get a job when he graduates.
Two things, Romney says. Make it easier too afford college, which is unresponsive to the question, and help people get jobs, which is ... duh. "I know what it takes to get this economy going," Romney says, as he always does. Tell us then, please tell us.
No answer at all -- though he does seem to have said he'd hire the guy when he graduates in 2014.
President Barack Obama says the young man's future is bright, and we have to make sure we're creating good-paying jobs in this country. Restore manufacturing jobs, "like I did when I bailed out the auto industry." Change tax code. Help small businesses to export. Make sure we have the best education system in the world. Retraining for older folks. Get control of and invest in our own energy, and future energy sources.Reduce deficit, in a balanced way, and take money spend on wars to rebuild infrastructure.
Obama killed him on this question out of the gate. Crowley follows up to ask what we can do to get people jobs.
Romney's answer: Not whatever Obama has been doing, 'cause that hasn't worked.
He has a five-point plan to create 12 million jobs. No one really gets what the five points are.
He is fighting back on the auto industry charges, that he wanted to take it bankrupt, saying Obama actually did take those company bankrupt as he suggested.
Obama flares up and fights back, making the point that what he did was bankruptcy plus bailout, not just bankruptcy.
And he scores, saying that Romney's five-point plan is just a one-point plan: cutting taxes on the rich.
Obama crushed Romney on the first exchange.