7 Memorable Moments from Presidential (and VP) Debates


The CNN/YouTube Republican debate is tomorrow, and I'll probably forget to watch. But perhaps in five or ten years I can cherry-pick some of the funnier moments and post them for you here. In the second installment of our laziest and least-frequent regular feature, we've rounded up a few great moments in presidential (and vice-presidential) debate history.

1. Lloyd Bentsen vs. Dan Quayle

Year: 1988
Quote: "Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy."

2. Ronald Reagan vs. Walter Mondale

Year: 1984
Quote: "I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent's youth and inexperience."

3. Admiral James Stockdale

Date: 1992
Quote: "I know how governments...how American governments...can be..."

Before we get to more videos, here are a few zingers and gaffes I couldn't find on YouTube. "When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad, 'Where's the beef?'" "“Walter Mondale addressing Gary Hart in the Democratic Primary Debate, March 11, 1984 * * * * * "There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe, and there never will be under a Ford administration." "“Gerald Ford, misspeaking in a debate with Jimmy Carter, October 8, 1976 * * * * * Moderator: "Senator Dole, the president said in his opening statement, 'We are better off today than we were four years ago.' Do you agree?" Bob Dole: "Well, he's better off than he was four years ago." Bill Clinton: "I agree with that. That's right." --October 6, 1996

Here are a few from this year's campaign.

4. John McCain on Hillary Clinton

Date: 2007
Quote: "I wasn't there [at Woodstock]...I was tied up at the time."

5. Joe Biden on Rudy Giuliani

Date: 2007
Quote: "There's only three things he mentions in a sentence: a noun, a verb and 9/11."

6. Dennis Kucinich on UFOs

Date: 2007
Quote: "Did you see a UFO?" "I did."

7. Rudy Giuliani on Abortion

Date: 2007
Quote: "For someone who went to parochial schools all his life, this is a very frightening thing that's happening right now." [Thanks to reader Christopher Handel for sending this one in.]

Do you have a favorite debate moment we didn't mention? A different Reagan knockout blow? Clinton working the crowd? A classic Chester A. Arthur zinger? Let us know.

Last time on 'The Projectionist': Six Supergroups Who Saved The World.