Memorable moments from 60 years of U.S. presidential debates
1960: The first televised debate pitted Democratic nominee John F. Kennedy against Republican Vice President Richard Nixon, who was recovering from a hospital visit and had a 5 o’clock shadow, having refused makeup. The 70 million viewers focused on...more
1976: In the first TV debate in 16 years, Democrat Jimmy Carter faced unelected incumbent Republican President Gerald Ford. In remarks seen as a major blunder, Ford said: “There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe, and there never will be under...more
1980: Carter appeared in a second debate with Republican Ronald Reagan after boycotting the first for including third-party candidate John Anderson. The president accused Reagan of planning to cut Medicare healthcare funding for the elderly. Reagan,...more
1984: Reagan, 73, successfully defused the issue of his age when he debated Democrat Walter Mondale, 56, quipping: “I want you to know that also I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my...more
1988: A debate against Republican Vice President George H.W. Bush opened with Democrat Michael Dukakis being asked whether he would favor the death penalty for someone who raped and murdered his wife. The question offered a candidate dubbed “the...more
1992: Three candidates - Bush, Democrat Bill Clinton and independent Ross Perot - shared a stage. Clinton won the election. REUTERS/Mark Cardwell
1996: In a debate with Clinton, Republican Bob Dole was asked by a student whether at 73 he was too old to understand the needs of young people. He replied that at his age, intelligence and experience meant he had the advantage of wisdom. Clinton...more
2000: In his first debate with Republican George W. Bush, Democratic Vice President Al Gore drew negative reviews for sighing loudly while Bush spoke. “We all make mistakes. I’ve been known to mangle a syllable or two myself,” Bush said during their...more
2004: The last debate between Bush and Democrat John Kerry offered voters a stark contrast in styles, with Bush sticking to simple arguments while Kerry released an array of facts to make his case. Bush was re-elected. REUTERS/Jim Bourg
2008: Sarah Palin, Republican John McCain’s running mate, and Joe Biden, running with Democrat Barack Obama, clashed on the economy and Iraq during a lively but polite vice presidential debate. Palin frequently displayed a folksy style. At one point,...more
2012: Obama stumbled in his first debate with Republican Mitt Romney, surprising and worrying his supporters. But in their second debate Romney, responding to a question about gender pay equality, said he had “binders full of women” as candidates for...more
2016: The first debate between Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton drew 84 million U.S. television viewers, a record for a debate and a rare number in an age of digital streaming. An exchange of insults dominated their second debate, with...more
Former President Barack Obama made his first appearance on the campaign trail for Democratic nominee Joe Biden, who is locked in a tight race with President...
Lagos is under a round-the-clock curfew enforced by police roadblocks, as smoke rose from a flashpoint area where soldiers shot at protesters the previous...
Hundreds have been killed in the latest outbreak of war over Nagorno-Karabakh, a mountain enclave that belongs to Azerbaijan under international law but is...
Images from the contrasting U.S. presidential campaigns amid the coronavirus pandemic.