Published On: Nov 06 2011 03:14:27 PM ESTUpdated On: Oct 13 2014 02:16:53 AM EDT
The midterm elections are coming up fast. Take a look at some of the most memorable debates in political history.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower's Vice President, Richard M. Nixon was the Republican nominee for president in 1960. But his appearance in a debate against his Democratic challenger, Sen. John F. Kennedy worked against him.
Recovering from the flu, Vice President Nixon appeared pale and sweaty.
Meanwhile, Sen. Kennedy appeared tan and fit. While radio listeners of the debate gave the edge to Nixon, television viewers said Kennedy won the debate.
In his second presidential debate with former Georgia Gov. Jimmy Carter in October 1976, President Gerald Ford made the unforgettable gaffe about Communist rule, saying, "I don't believe that the Poles consider themselves to be dominated by the Soviet Union."
Former Gov. Carter went on to win the election over Ford, who served as Commander-in-Chief for two years after the resignation of President Richard M. Nixon in 1974.
In a 1980 Republican New Hampshire primary debate, the moderator tried to prevent Reagan from making an opening announcement by asking that Reagan’s mike be cut off.
Since the expenses of the primary debate were paid for by Reagan, he snapped, "I am paying for this microphone!"
In a vice presidential debate between Republican Sen. Dan Quayle (Then-Vice President George H.W. Bush's presidential running mate) and Democratic Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (Gov. Michael Dukakis' running mate), Quayle noted how he had as much experience, in length of service, as President John F. Kennedy did before he ran for office.
Sen. Bentsen pounced on the reference, saying to Sen. Quayle, "Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy, I knew Jack Kennedy, Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy." After prolonged applause, Quayle responded, "That was really uncalled for, Senator."
President George H.W. Bush drew criticism during the second debate between he and Democratic challenger Bill Clinton in 1992.
As the moderator fielded a question from the audience, Bush looked at his watch, apparently impatient for the evening to end. Critics said it suggested Bush was distant and out of touch with ordinary people.
In the first presidential debate of the 2000 election, Vice President Al Gore audibly and repeatedly sighed while Republican candidate George W. Bush responded to questions.
The sighs captured as much attention from commentators as the substance of the debate and left the impression that Gore was disrespectful and condescending.
After the first debate between President George Bush and Sen. John Kerry in 2004, coverage focused on Bush’s apparent annoyance with Kerry and numerous scowls and negative facial expressions.
Bush referred to the criticism in their second debate, joking at one point about one of Kerry’s remarks, “That answer made me want to scowl.”
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin brought her trademark charm and colloquial accent to the much-anticipated 2008 vice presidential debate with Democrat Joe Biden.
Providing even more fodder for comedians, Palin winked at several points during the debate and asked Biden beforehand "Hey, can I call ya Joe?"
GOP candidate John McCain raised eyebrows with comments he made during the second presidential debate in 2008.
McCain referred to Democrat Barack Obama as "that one" when discussing a 2005 Senate vote on an energy bill, a tone some called disrespectful and demeaning.