WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — Taking a cue from Vice President Joe Biden, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said Wednesday night during the first presidential debate that the middle class has been “buried the last four years” in regards to the economy.

Romney stated that the “middle income Americans are being crushed” under the Obama administration.

Calling it the “economy tax,” Romney said that gas prices, health care costs and food prices have skyrocketed since Obama became president, crushing middle class Americans.

Obama came back at Romney saying that the former Massachusetts governor economic plan calls for adding trillions to the national debt.

Romney likely chose to use the term “buried” to echo a gaffe made by Vice President Joe Biden earlier this week. During a campaign rally in Charlotte, N.C. on Tuesday, Biden said that the middle class has been “buried” during the past four years. He later explained he that he meant to use that term to refer to Romney’s policies.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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