BELMONT - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney accused President Barack Obama on Saturday of standing by while a looming budgetary calamity unfolds in Washington as he sought to regain his footing after a tough week on the campaign trail.

Romney leaped into the debate over the "fiscal cliff," the potential for an end-of-the-year uproar when some $109 billion in across-the-board spending cuts kick in unless Obama and Congress reach a deficit-reduction deal to avert them. Bush-era tax cuts also expire at year's end.

The Washington debate mirrors the campaign battle between Obama and Romney. Democrats want to make up the shortfall by increasing taxes on wealthy Americans while Republicans favor spending cuts.

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