Presidential Debates

2012 Presidential Election
3:09 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

During Debates, Silence on Some Issues Was Deafening

Demonstrators clash with riot police in Athens while protesting the visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Oct. 9. The euro crisis is one of several issues that came up little, if at all, during the U.S. presidential debates.
Max Gyselinck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 10:13 pm

It's possible that the presidential debates will be remembered mainly for trivia — Big Bird, binders and bayonets.

But Mitt Romney and President Obama did discuss issues of paramount importance, including taxes, entitlements and the role the U.S. should play in the Middle East.

Those issues — and above all else, the economy — dominated discussion throughout the debate season. That meant other important topics such as immigration were barely mentioned, while others never came up at all.

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2012 Presidential Election
6:06 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Media Circus: Tone Trumps Content In Final Debate

President Obama and GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney walk away after they greet each other at the end of the third presidential debate in Boca Raton, Fla., on Monday.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 11:55 pm

For most American viewers, including this one, much of Monday night's presidential debate on foreign policy was conducted as though it were in a foreign language.

References to Mali, to former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, missile shields in Poland, "status of forces" agreements — could only have befuddled the voting public.

It's not that the candidates invoked unimportant issues. And it's not that the two held so elevated a conversation mere mortals could not understand. It's that they were debating almost entirely in tone rather than content.

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2012 Presidential Election
11:01 am
Mon October 22, 2012

Tonight, Obama, Romney Take On Foreign Policy in Third and Final Debate

Crew work to put finishing touches on the stage a day ahead of the third and final presidential debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 8:55 am

We've reached an important landmark in the presidential campaign: President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney face off tonight in the third and final presidential debate.

As was the case the last two times, the debate starts at 9 p.m. ET. This time, the venue is Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla.

If you believe the snap polls, the first debate went to Romney, the second went to Obama, which means we have a 1-1 tie with just minutes to go in the fourth quarter. That is to say, we're just two weeks away from Nov. 6.

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2012 Presidential Election
6:04 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Obama, Romney Reprise Their Greatest Debate Hits On Campaign Trail

President Obama campaigned at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, on Wednesday.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 6:02 pm

A day after their second presidential debate, President Obama and GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney were in different swing states, reprising some of their greatest hits from Tuesday night.

And "hits" is the exactly the right word because each man energetically repeated attacks he made on his rival.

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2012 Presidential Election
11:07 am
Wed October 17, 2012

Presidential Debate Spins 'Binders Full Of Women' Meme, Fact Checks

This photo of Playboy's Hugh Hefner was published on a Tumblr blog devoted to poking fun at the "women full of binders" meme.
Tumblr

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 3:34 pm

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2012 Presidential Election
5:22 am
Wed October 17, 2012

How Obama Got His Groove Back, And Other Debate Takeaways

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Obama spar over energy policy during the second presidential debate at Hofstra University on Tuesday.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 12:25 am

Anyone who thought the presidential candidates couldn't get aggressive within a town hall-style format underestimated the sharp differences in policy that divide them.

President Obama and Mitt Romney remained continuously critical against one another throughout their second debate Tuesday night. Neither ever seemed to finish a statement without launching an attack against his opponent.

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2012 presidential election
7:34 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Live Blog: Obama & Romney's Town Hall Debate

Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 5:23 am

  • Listen To The Debate
  • Listen To NPR's Analysis Of The Debate

In a town hall-style debate that saw the candidates constantly challenge each other on issues ranging from the economy to the handling of the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, President Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney got up close and personal at times Tuesday night.

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2012 Presidential Election
10:28 am
Tue October 16, 2012

Obama Vs. Romney: Presidential Candidates Set For Round Two

Media sets up in Spin Alley as they prepare for the debate between Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and and President Barack Obama.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 7:26 am

After a zinger of a vice presidential debate last week, the bosses have a lot to live up to tonight. Just in case you haven't been paying attention: President Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney face off in the second of three presidential debates.

It starts at 9 p.m. at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y. The town-hall style debate will be moderated by CNN's Candy Crowley.

After what has been universally called a strong Romney victory during round 1, the spotlight is on Obama.

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2012 Presidential Election
6:36 am
Fri October 12, 2012

5 Takeaways From The Vice Presidential Debate

Vice President Biden and his Republican opponent, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, participate in the vice presidential debate at Centre College in Danville, Ky., Thursday.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 8:07 am

Neither candidate let his opponent get away with much of anything during the vice presidential debate Thursday night.

The tabletop discussion between Vice President Biden and Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin showcased their clear differences over policy. The two disagreed about nearly every issue that came up, whether it was military posture, tax policy or abortion.

Many of these differences were expressed in negative, sometimes surprisingly personal terms.

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2012 Presidential Election
7:02 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Live Blog: Biden Vs. Ryan in the Vice Presidential Debate

Vice President Joe Biden (left) and Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan during Thursday's debate.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 11:54 am

  • Listen to the Debate
  • Listen to NPR Analysis of the Debate

Vice President Biden and his Republican opponent, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, had a lively debate at Centre College in Danville, Ky., this evening — one marked by Biden's aggressive challenges to many of the Republican vice presidential nominee's claims and Ryan's oft-repeated message that the Obama-Biden administration's policies aren't working.

The discussion was steered by ABC News' Martha Raddatz. It's the only vice presidential debate of the campaign.

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2012 Presidential Election
11:49 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Wonkfest Or Slugfest? Anticipation Mounts Ahead Of Biden Vs. Ryan

Tonight's faceoff between Vice President Joe Biden (right) and GOP Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin will likely be an important stage-setter for next week's second presidential debate.
Jose Luis Magana/Thanassis Stavrakis AP

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 12:51 pm

It may be the undercard to the main event, but partisans on both sides are talking some trash ahead of the vice presidential debate tonight in Danville, Ky.

The pressure is particularly intense on Vice President Joe Biden, following his boss' lackluster performance in last week's presidential debate, which moved GOP nominee Mitt Romney into a national polling lead.

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2012 Presidential Election
1:43 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Sesame Workshop To Obama Campaign: Leave Big Bird Out Of It

Sesame Workshop asked President Obama's campaign to stop running an ad featuring its Big Bird character.
Obama campaign ad

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 1:12 pm

In its attempt to turn the tables on Mitt Romney following the Republican presidential nominee's big win in the first presidential debate, President Obama's campaign has sought to enlist Big Bird.

The president has repeatedly reminded supporters at rallies that Romney, during the debate, specifically cited Big Bird when he promised to defund the Public Broadcasting Service to reduce federal deficits.

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2012 Presidential Election
3:54 pm
Mon October 8, 2012

Romney's Debate Performance Swings Polls In His Favor

Mitt Romney and President Obama wave to the audience during the first presidential debate at the University of Denver, on Wednesday.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Mon October 8, 2012 9:10 pm

In the five days since Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney was declared by many the winner of the first presidential debate, political watchers have waited to see if polls would shift in response to his performance. And, they did.

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2012 Presidential Election
10:48 am
Mon October 8, 2012

What If They Held a Debate and Nobody Won?

President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney greet one another before Wednesday's debate in Denver.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 7, 2012 1:06 pm

For most people reacting to last week's presidential debate, their first thought was probably not about who made the best arguments or told the most truths. Rather it was likely deciding who won.

The answer this time around was unusually definitive: Mitt Romney, by virtually every account and measure.

But in presidential debates — and the vice presidential version, which takes place on Thursday — does there need to be a winner?

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2012 Presidential Election
11:47 am
Thu October 4, 2012

The Men in the Middle: Jim Lehrer, Big Bird Caught in Debate Crossfire

Big Bird, of the children's television show Sesame Street, in Los Angeles.
Matt Sayles AP

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 5:45 pm

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