Tonight: Mitt Romney and Barack Obama Square Off


The first debate in the 2012 presidential election airs tonight. Republican Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama will take the stage before millions of citizens one month before voters head to the ballot box.

Obama and Romney will spend the first half of the evening at the Magness Arena at the University of Denver talking about the economy. The second half will be devoted to health care and the role of government.

PBS NewsHour's Jim Lehrer will moderate. He also moderated the first debate between Obama and Sen. John McCain during the 2008 election.

The debate begins at 7 p.m. Obama won the coin toss for opening statements and will be introduced first. Romney won a coin toss for closing statements, in which each candidate is given two minutes to make his case and will deliver his statements last.

Thursday, Oct. 11, Vice President Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan will engage in the vice presidential debate. Tuesday, Oct. 16, and Monday, Oct. 22, Obama and Romney will return to the stage for the election's final presidential debates.