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NEW YORK — President Obama spoke longer in the first two presidential debates, but rival Mitt Romney spoke more.

CNN said Thursday that Mr. Romney spoke more words in both debates than Mr. Obama, even though the network’s on-air clock showed Mr. Obama had more speaking time. Some of the Republican candidate’s supporters questioned why the president had been given more time.

During the first debate, Mr. Obama spoke for 42 minutes, 50 seconds, compared to 38:32 for Mr. Romney. But CNN said Mr. Romney got in 7,802 words and Mr. Obama spoke 7,294 words.

Same thing during Tuesday’s debate: Mr. Obama’s time count was 44:04 and Mr. Romney’s 40:50. Mr. Romney said 7,984 words and Mr. Obama 7,506.

CNN said the count was done by a computer program.

MASSACHUSETTS

Sen. Brown sorry for remark on Warren ad

BOSTON — Republican Sen. Scott P. Brown has apologized for suggesting Democratic rival Elizabeth Warren used paid actors in political ads defending her work in an asbestos lawsuit.

The Taunton Daily Gazette reported that Mr. Brown was asked how Mrs. Warren got family members of asbestos victims to appear in her ads.

Mr. Brown said that “a lot of them are paid.” He also said “we hear that maybe they pay actors.”

Mrs. Warren called the comments “shameful.”

Mr. Brown’s campaign immediately issued a statement from Mr. Brown saying he was wrong “to have jumped to those conclusions.”

IOWA

Humane Society hatches bid to unseat lawmaker

Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa has little use for the Humane Society, particularly when it comes to laws designed to give calves, pregnant sows and hens a little more freedom on the farm.

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