News In Brief

Moscow characterizes Reagan as on defensive during debates

Soviet news media characterized President Reagan as ''on the defensive'' during the first debate with Walter Mondale in the 1984 presidential campaign televised Sunday night.

Tass, quoting heavily from Mr. Mondale's criticism of the administration's domestic policies, said ''Reagan continued to shift the blame for the economic muddle ... on to the previous Carter-Mondale administration'' and that Reagan ''tried to justify in every way the policy of stepping up military expenditures along with the sharp reduction of allocations for social programs which is pursued by his administration.''

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