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Originally published Wednesday, October 3, 2012 at 8:24 PM

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Immigration, '47 percent' absent in first debate

The issues that have dominated television advertising in up-for-grab swing states were all but absent from President Barack Obama's first debate with Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

The Associated Press

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DENVER —

The issues that have dominated television advertising in up-for-grab swing states were all but absent from President Barack Obama's first debate with Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

Instead, Obama and Romney sparred on spending, taxes and the role of government.

No one mentioned the "you didn't build that" comment that quickly became a favorite Republican attack after Obama said it to an audience in Virginia. Nor did anyone invoke the "47 percent" of Americans who Romney said in a hidden-camera video don't pay taxes and see themselves as victims.

Neither candidate discussed Obama's endorsement of gay marriage or his decision to halt deportations for some young illegal immigrants. And no one brought up Romney's strong criticism of unions, either.

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