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US Presidential Election Debates
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Campaign Debates — United States
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1.

John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon Debate (10/21/1960) [electronic resource]

In this September 1960 debate between Senator John F. Kennedy and Vice President Richard Nixon, the presidential candidates address foreign affairs. Kennedy and Nixon highlight their stances on Castro's regime, nuclear testing, and Communism. Note: This historical recording may contain variations in audio and video quality based on the limitations of the original source material.
Online
2015; 1960
2.

Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford Debate (9/23/1976) [electronic resource]

President Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter engage in the first of their series of Presidential debates in 1976 at the Walnut Street Theater in Philadelphia, the first Presidential debates since Kennedy-Nixon. This debate on domestic policy focuses on the challenges of combatting both inflation and unemployment. There is little direct clash over Watergate, but at the thematic level there is much discussion of restoring trust in government and confidence in America. This film includes ABC news coverage during a 28-minute delay due to a breakdown in audio at the Walnut Street Theater.
Online
2015; 1976
3.

Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford Debate (10/6/1976) [electronic resource]

In this October 6, 1976 NPR debate, presidential candidates Governor Jimmy Carter and President Gerald Ford debate foreign policy and military defense topics. They respond to press questions about their positions on government transparency and regaining the trust of Americans; the SALT Negotiations and nuclear non-proliferation efforts; arms deals and military aid to the Middle East; the morality of foreign intervention; normalizing relations with China; and bilateral relations.
Online
2015; 1976
4.

Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford Debate (10/22/1976) [electronic resource]

In this October 1976 debate between President Ford and Governor Carter, the presidential candidates address U.S. domestic matters. Ford and Carter highlight their positions on the environment, constitutional amendments, gun control, Supreme Court appointments, and the economy.
Online
2015; 1976
5.

Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter Debate (10/28/1980) [electronic resource]

In this October 28, 1980 debate, presidential candidates Governor Ronald Reagan and President Jimmy Carter respond to press questions about their positions on inflation, unemployment, the defense budget, urban decline, terrorism, nuclear arms control, energy independence, and social security and other Federal programs.
Online
2015; 1980
6.

Ronald Reagan and Walter Mondale Debate (10/7/1984) [electronic resource]

Ronald Reagan and Walter Mondale engage in their first Presidential debate of the 1984 campaign, with the questions restricted to domestic issues. Reagan seeks to focus on economic performance under his administration as compared to Carter-Mondale, while Mondale focuses on the deficit, arguing that Reagan's prediction of growing out of the deficit are fanciful; Reagan lacks an honest plan for confronting it. Note: This historical recording may contain variations in audio and video quality based on the limitations of the original source material.
Online
2015; 1984
7.

Ronald Reagan and Walter Mondale Debate (10/21/1984) [electronic resource]

In this October 1984 debate between President Reagan and Walter Mondale, the presidential candidates address foreign and domestic matters. Reagan and Mondale highlight their positions on the Soviet Union, strategic missiles, nuclear arms, illegal immigration, and more.
Online
2015; 1984
8.

George H.W. Bush and Michael Dukakis Debate (9/25/1988) [electronic resource]

In this September 25, 1988 ABC News debate, presidential candidates Vice President George H. W. Bush and Governor Michael Dukakis respond to press questions about their positions on the drug issue, the federal deficit, health insurance, homelessness, inner city decline, abortion and the death penalty, nuclear defense and Soviet relations, and international terrorism. Bush proposes cutting capital gains and government spending while increasing defense. Dukakis proposes employer based insurance, investing in job training and childcare to address unemployment, and pursuing peace through nuclear disarmament.
Online
2015; 1988
9.

George H.W. Bush and Michael Dukakis Debate (10/13/1988) [electronic resource]

In this third and final presidential campaign between George H.W. Bush and Michael Dukakis, Bush seeks to paint Dukakis as a liberal while Dukakis tries to portray this line of argument as illegitimate. The candidates highlight their positions on defense spending, Social Security, abortion, foreign policy, campaign tactics, Vice President nominations, weapons and more.
Online
2015; 1988
10.

George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Ross Perot Debate (10/11/1992) [electronic resource]

This is the first of three US Presidential Debates between independent candidate Ross Perot, Democratic nominee Governor Bill Clinton, and Republican nominee President George Bush. The debate takes place in the Athletic Complex on the campus of Washington University. Candidates highlight their positions on drug legalization, health care reform, foreign aid, and domestic policies.
Online
2015; 1992
11.

George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Ross Perot(10/15/1992) [electronic resource]

The second of three US Presidential Debates, sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates, between independent candidate Ross Perot, Democratic nominee Governor Bill Clinton and Republican nominee President George Bush. The debate takes place at the University of Richmond in Virginia on October 15th, 1992 and is moderated by Carole Simpson.
Online
2015; 1992
12.

George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Ross Perot (10/19/1992) [electronic resource]

The final of three US Presidential Debates, sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates, between independent candidate Ross Perot, Democratic nominee Governor Bill Clinton and Republican nominee President George Bush. The debate takes place on the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing on October 19th, 1992 and is moderated by Jim Lehrer.
Online
2015; 1992
13.

Bill Clinton and Bob Dole Debate (10/6/1996) [electronic resource]

Bill Clinton and Bob Dole engage in the first of their presidential debates in the 1996 campaign. Clinton argues that America is better off than four years ago, while Dole tries to focus on Clinton's more liberal policies. The candidates highlight their positions on Medicare, drugs, special interest, gun control, foreign policy, healthcare, education, and the national deficit.
Online
2015; 1996
14.

Bill Clinton and Bob Dole Debate (10/16/1996) [electronic resource]

In this October 1996 debate between Senator Bob Dole and President Bill Clinton, the presidential candidates address domestic and foreign matters. Dole and Clinton highlight their positions on health care reform, Social Security, welfare, foreign aid, retirement, Affirmative Action, U.S. manufacturing, and more.
Online
2015; 1996
15.

George W. Bush and Al Gore Debate (10/3/2000) [electronic resource]

In this October 3, 2000 ABC News debate, presidential candidates Governor George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore respond to Jim Lehrer's questions about their positions on Social Security, Medicare, and public education reform; abortion and Supreme Court appointments; energy independence; tax cuts and managing the federal surplus; and military and defense strategy. Gore proposes putting Medicare and Social Security in a "lock box" and cutting taxes to middle class families, while Bush proposes investing a portion of payroll taxes in the stock market and cutting taxes to wealthy Americans.
Online
2015; 2000
16.

George W. Bush and Al Gore Debate (10/11/2000) [electronic resource]

In this October 11, 2000 ABC News debate, presidential candidates Governor George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore respond to Jim Lehrer's questions about their positions on foreign policy, including military intervention and nation building; racial profiling and civil rights; gay marriage; gun control; affordable healthcare; and the environment and global warming.
Online
2015; 2000
17.

George W. Bush and Al Gore Debate (10/17/2000) [electronic resource]

Jim Lehrer moderates this third and final presidential debate, in St. Louis, Missouri. Democratic Vice President Al Gore and Republican Governor George W. Bush answer questions posed by audience members.
Online
2015; 2000
18.

George W. Bush and John Kerry Debate (9/30/2004) [electronic resource]

In this September 30, 2004 ABC News debate, presidential candidates President George W. Bush and Senator John Kerry respond to Jim Lehrer's questions about their positions on preventing terrorist attacks, the Iraq invasion, strategies to achieve freedom in Iraq and Afghanistan, strengthening national security, nuclear proliferation in North Korea and Iran, the Darfur genocide, and Vladimir Putin's policies. Kerry criticizes Bush's failure to exhaust all diplomatic efforts before striking preemptively in Iraq, while shifting focus from Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. Bush accuses Kerry of changing position on the Iraq invasion and damaging troop morale. Kerry points out that North Korea has developed nuclear weapons while the U.S. has occupied Iraq, and advocates stronger non-proliferation s [...]
Online
2015; 2004
19.

George W. Bush and John Kerry Debate (10/8/2004) [electronic resource]

In this October 8, 2004 ABC News debate, presidential candidates Senator John Kerry and President George W. Bush respond to audience questions about their positions on the Iraq invasion and withdrawal strategy; threat from Iran; national security and the Patriot Act; government spending; healthcare costs; the environment; and stem cell research and abortion. Kerry criticizes Bush's invasion strategy and calls for strengthening alliances to achieve democracy in Iraq. Bush says that Saddam Hussein was a threat to the U.S.-whether or not he'd harbored weapons of mass destruction. Bush questions Kerry's record on fiscal responsibility and blames the federal deficit on the recession. Kerry criticizes Bush's tax cuts to the wealthy and promises to cut middle class taxes and lower healthcar [...]
Online
2015; 2004
20.

George W. Bush and John Kerry Debate (10/13/2004) [electronic resource]

In this October 13, 2004 ABC News debate, presidential candidates Senator John Kerry and President George W. Bush respond to Bob Schieffer's questions about their positions on national security, fiscal responsibility, overseas manufacturing, gay marriage, abortion, healthcare, Social Security reform, immigration, the minimum wage, affirmative action, and gun control. Kerry proposes rolling back Bush's tax cuts to pay for healthcare, education, and Social Security reforms while decreasing the federal deficit. Bush advocates tax relief measures for small businesses to encourage job creation, health and Social Security savings accounts to empower citizen investment, and focusing on education to close the achievement gap.
Online
2015; 2004