2nd Presidential Debate 2012: Highlights from a Testy Debate

2nd Debate Recap
3:00 | 10/17/12

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Transcript for 2nd Presidential Debate 2012: Highlights from a Testy Debate
Let's get right to it. President obama and governor romney, squaring off in the second big debate on tuesday night. 20 days to go until the final vote. It is "your voice, your vote." And abc's jake tapper was inside the debate hall at hofstra university on long island last night. And he's here with us this morning, with all of the highlights. Good morning, jake. Reporter: Good morning, elizabeth. Boy, it was tense inside the room. There was a palpable sense of dislike, as the candidates challenged one another, over and over. The president didn't take time to say hello to the first questioner before going on the attack, just 42 seconds into his first answer. Governor romney said we should let detroit go bankrupt. Reporter: That's how it went all night. What governor romney said just isn't true. Not true, governor romney. Reporter: But romney pushed back. Going after the president, as well. When you say I wanted to take the auto industry bankrupt, you actually did. Reporter: Sometimes it seemed romney was fighting the moderator, candy crowley, over the rules, just as often. If I could have you sit down, governor romney. Reporter: The two exchanged blows like prize fighters. Did you look at your pension? I don't look at my pension. It's not as big as yours. Reporter: Stepping all over each other, at risk of ignoring the undecided voters in the room and all over the country. You'll get your chance in a moment. I'm still speaking. I don't feel that's the case -- that wasn't the question. That was a statement. Reporter: Romney campaign officials say they feel good about where their candidate was on the economy. What we're seeing in this country is 23 million people struggling to find a job. The president's policies have been exercised over the last four years. And they haven't put americans back to work. Reporter: Although, when romney talked about recruiting women to work for his cabinet as massachusetts governor. I went to women's groups, and they brought us binders full of women. Reporter: The most intense moment of the night came with discussing the terrorist attack in libya. I want to make sure we get that for the record because it took the president 14 days to call the attack in benghazi an act of terror. Let me call it an act of terror. Can you say that louder? He did call it an act of terror. Reporter: Since the president won the coin toss and had the final word, he was able to bring up the 47% comment and romney could not respond. When he said behind closed doors that 47% of the country consider themselves victims, who refuse personal responsibility, think about who he was talking about. Reporter: To go back to that question, about the day after the benghazi attacks. He said, no acts of terror will shake the resolve of this great republicans say that's not a reference to benghazi. The bigger question, for romney, do you want this to be a semantic debate? And for obama, do you want to talk about it at all? They'll probably hear about it monday night, the foreign policy debate. Let's turn to the running

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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