History Lesson: Past Debates

Gore’s most famous line from that debate: “I’d like to start by offering you a deal, Jack. If you won’t use any football stories, I won’t tell any of my warm and humorous stories about chlorofluorocarbon abatement.” Kemp was criticized by many Republicans after the debate for being too nice to Gore.

October 16, 1996

Who: Clinton and Dole Where: San Diego, Calif. Moderator: Jim Lehrer Format: Town hall meeting with 113 undecided voters; 2-minute opening statements; 1 ½-minute answers; 1-minute rebuttals; ½-minute responses; 2-minute closing statements Sponsor/Broadcasters: CPD; Networks Ratings: 36.3 million viewers (lowest ever)

In the second debate of 1996, the candidates took questions from audience members on subjects ranging from Social Security and defense spending to affirmative action and gay rights. Dole stepped up his attacks on Clinton’s integrity and ethics.

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