Tight rules at first presidential debate
October 3rd, 2012
10:09 AM ET
2 years ago

Tight rules at first presidential debate

Denver, Colorado (CNN) – Just what can viewers expect to see when President Barack Obama and rival Mitt Romney square off at the first presidential debate in Denver Wednesday night?

While the conversation might at-times be freewheeling and off the cuff, both candidates will have to operate under the confines of the hard-and-fast rules established by the Commission on Presidential Debates.

Tune to CNN for Wednesday's presidential debate coverage starting at 7 p.m. ET on CNN TV, CNN.com and via CNN's apps for iPhone, iPad and Android. Web users can become video editors with a new clip-and-share feature that allows them to share favorite debate moments on Facebook and Twitter.

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These include six 15 minute segments, the first three of which will focus on the economy. The others, according to the Debate Commission, will touch on health care, the role of government, and governing.

Moderator Jim Lehrer will open each segment with a question, after which both candidates will have exactly two minutes to respond. Lehrer is expected to use the remaining time in each segment for quick follow ups and discussion time. The candidates are not permitted to ask each other questions.

President Obama will take the first question and the candidates will alternate after that. The debate is expected to last exactly 90 minutes.

Now, the only question is will the candidates follow the rules.


Filed under: 2012 • CNN Debate • Colorado
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. gp

    It looks like this is another GOP tactic to deflect addressing the main issues, and distract and confuse as people as possible. This is soo petty.

    October 3, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  2. Ind.

    I hear someone on here got their talking points on a robo response (Wake up People).

    October 3, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  3. Bill from GA

    To opionated: First the USA is supposed to bow down to the wishes of Israel; now the Czech's are telling us how to run our country.

    Think For Yourself! (But based on your comment, you'll probably still get it wrong.)

    October 3, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
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