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President Obama and Mitt Romney were interviewed on CBS News’ 60 Minutes Sunday night and NPR has billed the broadcast as a “shadow debate” providing a preview of what we might see next week at the October 3 debate.

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Here is Part 1 of the 60 Minutes broadcast:

Watch the remaining parts: Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

Report from NPR:

The first official presidential debate isn’t until Oct. 3 in Denver. But as The New York Times writes, last night on CBS News’ 60 Minutes there was something of a “shadow debate that offered a likely preview of the tone and substance” of what will happen on stage next week.

The Times notes that Republican nominee Mitt Romney, “criticized President Obama … for refusing to meet with Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, during this week’s United Nations General Assembly meeting, saying it sends a message that the administration is distancing itself from an important Middle East ally.”

Obama, meanwhile, “said he spoke frequently with Mr. Netanyahu … [and] also challenged Mr. Romney, who has accused Mr. Obama of not standing up forcefully enough to Syria and Iran, to be more specific about his foreign policy plans. ‘So if Governor Romney is suggesting that we should start another war,’ Mr. Obama said, ‘he should say so.’ ”

On Morning Edition, NPR’s David Schaper reported that during the interviews, Romney also said “I’m going to win this thing,” and that when it comes to the details of what loopholes, deductions and exemptions he would eliminate to help pay for his plan to lower taxes, “that’s something Congress and I will have to work out together.”

Pressed on why the nation’s unemployment rate has remained above 8 percent throughout his time in office, Obama repeated something he’s said many times on the campaign trail — that “the hole was so deep when we got in [office] that we lost 9 million jobs. We’ve created 4.6 [million].”

The battle lines have been drawn and we can see where the attacks will come from on both sides.

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Nate Ashworth is the Founder and Senior Editor of Election Central. He's been blogging elections and politics for almost a decade. He started covering the 2008 Presidential Election which turned into a full-time political blog in 2012 and 2016.

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