Top 10 memorable debate moments (part one)
June 10th, 2011
02:18 PM ET
10 years ago

Top 10 memorable debate moments (part one)

(CNN)–We remember how the nation was surprised when, in 1960, Richard Nixon showed up to the first televised debate with John F. Kennedy look tired, pasty and with visible razor stubble, a stark contrast to the young, fresh senator form Massachusetts would later take the White House. Or Ronald Reagan quipping to Jimmy Carter in 1980 after one of his attacks on the California governor, “There you go again.”

Over the next few days leading up to CNN’s first Republican debate in New Hampshire on Monday, June 13 at 8 p.m., we’ll take a look at the 10 Most Memorable Moments of recent debates.

Here are the first three moments. Check back each day for the next installment, with the 10th being revealed on Monday, June 13. And let us know what you think. Did we miss your favorite moment?

10. “Lightning Strike” | New Hampshire, 2007 (June 5)
During the Republican primary debate in New Hampshire, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani was in the middle of answering a question on abortion when a lightning strike hit and knocked out his mic. His response: “Look, for someone who went to parochial schools all his life, this is a very frightening thing that’s happening right now." (Laughter.)

9. “The YouTube and The Snowman” | South Carolina, 2007 (July 23)
In one of the first forays into social media, CNN joined with YouTube to sponsor a Democratic presidential debate using video questions submitted online. Of the 39 questions chosen from nearly 3,000 submitted included one from an animated, talking snowman asking about global warming. Yes, really.

8. McCain on Woodstock : “I was tied up at the time” | 2007 (Oct 22)
During the Republican presidential debate in 2007, Sen. John McCain, a decorated Vietnam War hero, was asked about his support of Hillary Clinton’s support for a Woodstock museum . McCain responded that he missed the 60’s concert: “I was tied up at the time.”



Filed under: 2012 • New Hampshire 2012 Debate
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    I remember that sceme, Nixon vs. Kennedy, all too well. We were on a family vacation, and I wanted to watch Bozo. That stuff was on every channel, except for the one channel showing televangelicals.

    June 10, 2011 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  2. Paul J. Grosso

    One of the most interesting and telling items to come from the Nixon-Kennedy debates is: most people polled that watched the debates on television declared Kennedy to be the winner, and most polled that just listened to the debates on the radio declared Nixon to be the winner.

    June 10, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |