Introducing the second debate topic, moderator Candy Crowley asked President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney about consistently high gas prices. "Are we looking at the new normal?" Crowley asked.
The question triggered a tense exchange between the two candidates.
Romney answered first. When it was Obama's turn, the president said, "Very little of what Governor Romney just said is true." It marked the third time the president questioned the accuracy of Romney's statements in just the early part of the debate.
Romney then criticized the president for cutting federal gas drilling permits.
Obama quickly stood up and the candidates met in the center of the stage.
Romney repeatedly asked Obama how much he had cut drilling permits. The president continued to deny he had done so.
A short while later, during another Romney response, Obama once again moved toward the center of the stage. The former Massachusetts governor said, "You'll have your turn."
Crowley repeatedly had to intervene to push the candidates back on topic and to keep the debate moving forward.