August 21st, 2008
09:54 AM ET
15 years ago

Campaigns reach final agreement on presidential debates

(CNN) - The McCain and Obama campaigns said Thursday that they have nailed down the details for this fall’s three 90-minute presidential debates.

As announced two weeks ago, Jim Lehrer of PBS’s The NewsHour will moderate the first presidential debate between Barack Obama and John McCain September 26 at the University of Mississippi. The faceoff will focus on foreign policy and national security issues.

Thursday’s announcement laid out the debate format: each candidate will get two minutes to respond to a question, followed by an open discussion for another five minutes.

The second debate, moderated by NBC’s Tom Brokaw, will be held October 7 at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. The format will be town-hall style; all questions will come from members of the audience or queries sent in over the Internet.

The Presidential Debate Commission said earlier this month that Gallup will choose undecided voters from in or around the Nashville, Tennessee area to participate in the town hall, and Brokaw will review each question before it is posed to avoid duplication.

The final presidential debate – which will cover domestic and economic policy issues - will take place October 15 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. CBS Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer will moderate.

The Hofstra faceoff will be the only debate where each candidate will have the chance to make a 90-second closing statement.

Details of the vice presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis, which will be hosted by NewsHour’s Gwen Ifill, will be released after both candidates name their running mates.

soundoff (188 Responses)
  1. susie

    CNN did a report last night on Obama. He really is not a good person, the ways he did in is opponents in the Chicago election. I hope he doesn't become President.

    August 21, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  2. Maggie

    Jeff, you say we continually pick the biggest clowns in the circus. Who would be your choice for president?

    August 21, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  3. Brian

    Heck yeah, Obama's going down. Just look at the Saddleback forum. Typical Obama: I – uh – uh – what I meant -uh – uh – that is to say -uh – uh – not really sure here – duuuuuuh

    August 21, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  4. Republicans Hate America

    Whats there to debate really Obama has my vote

    August 21, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  5. Michael

    Why only 3 debats, what does Obama have to be afraid of?

    August 21, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  6. Eddie Blake

    At this point, I expect B. HUSSIEN Obama to just outright declare that he supports sharia law. I will laugh at you libs when he destorys seperation of church and state and makes Islam the government sponsored religion instead of Christianity. Come soon lord Jesus!

    August 21, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  7. shay

    I will be tuned in to all of the debates. Can't wait to here what McCain has to say about the Draft. He lost me on that statement. I support those who volunteer but to do it by force. I am not for it. You lost me on that one . That is where judgement comes into play. He agreed with the lady about drafting.yesterday.because she believe there will not be enough men to go to war. McCain responded quickly and said he agree to drafting.

    This will be great McCain versus McCain he will have a lot of explaining to do against himself. LOL

    Too quick on war. I'm waiting for him to retrack the draft. This will be funny. I hope the media will keep track of this because it will be a kodak moment.

    McCain is totally lost on explaining his economy plan and just stumbles with it are evades the question.

    McCain was the one who started the negative ads, everyone seems to forget that McCain said that he would not be a part of negative ads but turn around and do them anyway. Now everyone wants to talk about Barack Obama, what is he suppose to do sit back and take it.

    I would say fair exchange is not highway robbery.

    August 21, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  8. Richard,Orlando,FL

    I'm sure McSame will get all the questions before each debate, it's the only way he will be able to answer them. I saw him speaking on the Oil rig and all he did was read from some piece of paper. Could not even remember what he needed to say. I think senility is already working on him.

    August 21, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  9. We Need A Change!

    McCain will be hooked up to an ear piece like GW was. There is no way this man can think on his own......he doesn't even read what "he" thinks very well.

    August 21, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  10. ex-Republican for Obama

    This time McWar won't be given the questions in advance as he was at the Pastor's Forum.

    August 21, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  11. Vincent

    It is apparent that there is a large amount of the American voting public that want to believe things about a candidate that are truly false. Why they consistently forward such blatant falsehoods is beyond any rational thinking. This does not mean they are wrong, it means that they don’t have the mental capacity to distinguish a lie from the truth.

    I thought that Obama would go far politically when I heard him speak before the DNC in 2004. I have read both his books and am quite comfortable voting for him for President. I voted for McCain during the Primary during 2000, and to my credit, I never voted for G.W. Bush.

    I truly believe those who voted for G.W. Bush the first time, believed that he was better than McCain. Why they voted for G.W. again for a second term is a mystery (not that they learned much from their first mistake). Those are the same people now who believe that McCain is better than Obama. To those people I say, "Let the debates begin" and I hope, this time people will listen to the men and not the hype from those on the radio or t.v. (We know how you all love to distort the truth to fit into your agenda and just how much your audience believes your half-truths).

    It seems that there are quite a few people on this board that suffer from Tropophobia. (You all know who you are).

    August 21, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  12. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    After Saddleback, Obama must be wetting his pants. he's going to be crushed.

    August 21, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  13. JC

    And what excuse will Obamabots on here give when Obama tanks at the next debate? Media bias? Brokaw is biased? The questions weren't fair? McCain was given the questions the day before so he had a night to prepare? Excuses will be coming as surely as the earth rotates. Because afterall, Obama can't make mistakes – it is always someone else's fault.

    August 21, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
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