Make or break moments
The power of presidential debates
- Duration 5:21
- Date Oct 6, 2012
The power of presidential debates
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67 million Americans tuned -- to watch President Obama admit -- square off in their first presidential debate this past week.
And the showdown was not a zinger -- exactly but it did have some memorable line.
Congratulations to you Mr.
President on your anniversary I'm sure this was the most most dramatic place you could imagine here.
Here with me so -- At some point I think the American people after -- themselves -- the reason that governor Romney is keeping all these plans to replace.
Because they're too good.
Look I got five boys.
I -- I'm used to people saying something that's.
Not always true but just keep on repeating it and ultimately hoping I'll believe it but that that is not the case had a friend who said you don't just pick the winners and losers -- pick the losers Amish present your title.
As presently -- airplane and do your house but not your own facts now.
The last point I'd make.
But before didn't deserve -- no I'm not have got to have your I have five seconds -- -- -- to me was.
So what is this a game changer.
And how does it compare to memorable moments from past debates let's bring in presidential historians sit -- -- he joins us live from Washington high neck.
Good morning Alex okay so we're just sitting getting your take on Wednesday night's debate what you think the take away was in what you think.
The most memorable moment was.
I thought for governor Romney in most memorable moment when he's used the line trickle down government.
Most of because that's a -- he hadn't used before and he sought instantly -- on Twitter people start -- re -- it and picking up bonnet.
It seemed to be -- a legitimate breakthrough moment in describing the president's philosophy and even this next day.
Governor Romney started using that on the speed.
-- -- assumed it -- just let's play it for viewers in case they missed it.
The president has a view very similar to the -- he had.
When he ran for years ago that a bigger government spending more taxing more regulating more if you will trickle down government would work.
That's not the right answer for America and you like that because it -- Catchy phrase.
Now it's one in just a catchy phrase I mean that's when the descriptive line I think in a nutshell it's -- -- how governor Romney feels about the president's Bosnian government.
And I think the fact that he used at the next thing to stump speech and I'll probably use it going forward.
Means that has a little resonance and it's catching on with the base.
Nick you are a presidential historian how do you explain president Obama's lackluster performance.
You know the only thing I could say is the governor Romney had a lot of practice debates in the primaries and -- got very good at debating its been four years since the president's debated.
And you could tell he was a little rusty.
And I think by nature the president doesn't really like to debate I think James Carville and another network said it is set -- -- said the governor wanted to be there it didn't seem like President Obama really wanted to be there and it came for a month.
Let's look back at some of the most memorable debate moments and of course as.
We've heard so much this season and Ronald Reagan really was the gold standard.
Of how to deliver -- line during a debate let's watch one of those.
And governor Reagan -- amount of -- began his political career campaigning around this nation.
Against Medicare and you go again.
Are you better off.
And you were four years ago.
I was sort of combine two memorable moments they're there you go again.
Which was folksy -- approachable and then are you better off.
Yeah I mean two great moments and and Reagan really decisively beat Carter Rick there you go again was a way for Reagan to quickly say.
To -- audience like President Carter just is is not in command of the facts and then are you better -- for years ago captured and not show.
How people felt about the economy from 1936 and 1980 it was perfect.
You know on Wednesday night people were always just trying to spot -- -- see if anybody had some real good comedic.
One liners and again Reagan did that against Mondale let's watch that moment.
I will not make age an issue of this campaign I am not going to exploit for political purposes.
My opponent's youth and inexperience.
That's sick right -- It was wonderful because he import -- Ronald Reagan did poorly in the first debate there -- question about his age.
And it you know with that one line he kind of disarmed his critics and said yes I'm I still have it.
The lesson memorable moment that we want to show you is is not much what someone said.
It's what Al Gore did in terms of moving his body on Wednesday night obviously the candidates -- behind the podium.
And that was probably for the best when you look back at what Al Gore did in his debate.
-- President Bush.
That's what the question in this campaign is about.
Only what's your philosophy and what your position on issues.
But can -- get things done.
And I believe I can.
-- I mean I just that's my all time favorite debate moment because.
I mean you could see Al Gore trying to be an -- and owned the room and it came off as awkward and clumsy President Bush just analytical and -- that you -- position on issues after a lot of voters it gets enough -- what they felt about Al Gore which is he's very uncomfortable in his own skin heavily -- -- We're watching it again I thought about it in -- I got thanks so much -- -- fun to get your historical process.
I just went out like -- and -- your personal space side I get that sometimes.