BUCKFIELD — Buckfield Junior-Senior High School students took on the roles of U.S. presidential and vice presidential candidates at a mock debate Tuesday afternoon at the school.

Students prepared for the first-of-its-kind debate for weeks and hung campaign posters in the hallways.

President Barack Obama was portrayed by junior Jennifer Dyer; Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney by junior Micah Madore; Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan by junior Robert Rowe; and Vice President Joe Biden by sophomore Jeffrey Gotham.

Government teacher Breanna Bellefontaine took the role of WGME news anchor Kim Block and social studies teacher Donna Whitney played ABC World News anchor Diane Sawyer. They introduced the candidates and the moderator, sophomore Jared Eastman, who played Jim Lehrer of the PBS News Hour.

The students debated issues the candidates have been raising for weeks.

“Obamacare is what America needs,” Gotham, as Biden, said. “It makes health care work for everyone. No one should go bankrupt when they are sick. Insurance companies will drop you if you are sick and women pay more for the same plan. Is that American?” he asked.

Rowe, playing Ryan, said Obama’s plan is unconstitutional. He said Ryan and Romney would reform health care.

Madore, who portrayed Romney, said the wealthiest taxpayers should not have to pay more taxes. They already pay the most.”

Since the wealthiest receive more, they should be able to pay more, Dyer responded as Obama.

The students debated foreign policy, the economy and whether or not Obama provides enough leadership.

Five-point plans for getting the economy moving were also presented by both mock presidential candidates.

On Monday, the school will hold a mock election, continuing students’ studies of the election process.

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