Niagara Gazette

Web Extra

October 3, 2012

10 memorable moments in presidential debates

(Continued)

1992: James Stockdale asks: "Who am I? Why am I here?"

Stockdale, a decorated Vietnam veteran, was third-party candidate Ross Perot's running mate. His unique opening earned him some laughs, but in the long run, also made him the subject of jokes that undercut his aim of being a serious contender.

1988: Michael Dukakis and the death penalty

When asked whether he would favor an irrevocable death penalty for someone who raped and murdered his wife, Dukakis, the Democratic nominee, quickly answered that he wouldn't. While a calm and efficient response would seem befitting for most debate questions, Dukakis's automatic, technical answer to such an emotionally distressing question didn't sit will with voters looking for a more human response.

1988: Lloyd Bentsen tells Dan Quayle: "You're no Jack Kennedy"

Just about every political put-down has to be compared to this one from the vice presidential debate 24 years ago. Quayle defended his experience and readiness to be president by noting that he had "as much experience as Jack Kennedy did, when he sought the presidency." The Democratic vice presidential nominee replied curtly: "Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy."

1984: Ronald Reagan says he won't exploit Walter Mondale's "youth and inexperience"

Facing questions about this age, the incumbent turned the argument on its head, earning laughter from the audience when he delivered this line about Mondale. This debate was a reminder that humor holds the potential to defuse issues that are difficult to navigate.

1980: Reagan: "There you go again"

After Jimmy Carter cast him as an opponent of Medicare and expanding health insurance in debate No. 2, Reagan's memorable line was an effective jumping off point for a rebuttal. Taken together with his also memorable "are you better off?" closing argument, Reagan commanded the attention in this debate.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Web Extra
Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page