The Daily Need

The presidential debates are broken. Help us fix them.

Give us your best ideas. We'll pick the winners.

Mitt Romney and Rick Perry during a GOP debate in Las Vegas in October. The debates are more about good TV than good answers. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson, File)

The Republican presidential debates — 36 of them so far, with another set for Thursday night — are a ratings smash. The networks and cable news channels have each taken turns setting new viewership records. The audiences howl with anger and delight, and even the candidates want more of them, not less.

But are they good for democracy?

With their inane questions (Would you be submissive to your husband? Deep dish pizza, or thin crust?) strict time constraints and Pep Rally-like atmospheres, the debates seem less concerned with eliciting substantive answers to important policy questions than with pitting the candidates against each other in a bruising, bare-knuckled political cage match. Maybe that’s good sport and fun TV — one writer approvingly compared the debates to “the best reality TV shows” — but it’s not actually all that helpful for voters trying to decide who the next president should be.

Once in a while there’s a game-changing moment — Rick Perry’s “oops” debacle, Newt Gingrich’s anti-media screed — but for the most part, it’s red meat and circuses. The candidates pontificate, snarling at each other and at the media (Ron Paul, in particular, gets picked on mercilessly by his rivals and the crowd). And the questions aren’t all that penetrating either. No one seems to remember now, but the question that got Perry in trouble was this stumper: “Gov. Perry, you play only home games in Texas. Do you give [Mitt Romney] points for winning on the road?”

There’s no point in scrapping the debates altogether — it’s not as if the candidates have more noble things to do with their time — but if we’re going to keep them, there’s plenty of room for improvement. Maybe we should drop all the reality TV fanfare (CNN actually gave nicknames to its “cast” of candidates), or maybe we should silence the audience (or, conversely, get the audience more involved). Maybe the moderators need to ask better questions — or maybe they should stop letting the candidates off the hook when they dodge and pander to the crowd.

So we’re asking you: Help us fix the debates — please. No idea is too crazy. More time? More candidates? More questions? Would you take away the podiums? Would you make the moderators regular people? Would you add a point system? Would you add an obstacle course, hot coals, electroshocks for the candidates when they duck questions? (OK, maybe some ideas are too crazy.)

Whatever the answer is, tell us. We’re crowd-sourcing your best ideas for how to make the debates better, more interesting and more informative. Post them in the comments section below, or on Facebook or Twitter using the hash tag #fixthedebates. Vote for your favorites in the comments section on this page or on Facebook by clicking the “like” button, or by retweeting them. We’ll pick the best and most popular answers and post them here. Who knows, maybe the Commission on Presidential Debates is listening?

 
SUGGESTED STORIES
  • thumb
    The admission arms race
    From ProPublica, an in-depth look at the ways in which colleges can pump up their stats.
  • thumb
    Home-grown terrorism
    The story of the Boston bombers is still unfolding at high speed, but counterterror officials believe the brothers were Islamic extremists.
  • thumb
    Boston reading guide
    Need to play catch up? Here's a full list of resources for more on what's going on in Boston.

Comments

  • Parisamarie11

    Perhaps there should be a set of rules that simply regulates behavior so that the politicians have to simply answer the question. Straight up. No insults. No low blows. No cheap shots.No  logical fallacies. No non sequitur.

    These politicians are adept in the language and styles of logical fallacies. But just to cover all bases, the “Rules Sheet” would explain it to them. They’d have to sign the sheet and abide by the rules.

    A set of “Logic Referees” would be employed to make sure that the debates resemble intelligent discourse and simple answering of questions… not a reality TV show.

  • Tom G

    I agree with Parismarie11.  Answer the question, and stick to the time limit.  Maybe there should be a gong, an airhorn, or a buzzer when a candidate runs over their limit or disregards the rules.

    These debates should be conducted more like job interviews.  I’m not interested in what you did 20 years ago or even 10 years ago. That’s looking backward.  What have you done most recently that demonstrates your qualifications?

    More importantly, what are your plans for the future and how do you realistically, in concrete terms with well defined steps, expect to accomplish that?  What are the major obstacles in your path and how will you overcome them?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carlos-Negron/100000865555605 Carlos Negron

    1 – eliminate celebrity moderators.

    2 -ask questions that are relevant to the present situation.

    3 – eliminate personal questions ( the parroted nonsense about character is
         is ludricrous)

    4 – ask candidates to be specific on their promises ( how would you go about
         changing the present condition) ie: be specific on how you would create
         jobs.

    5 – if you claim that you have created jobs. where were they created? how did
         it impact on the economy?

    These are but (5) steps to take in correcting the nonsense that is being sold
    as debates.

    The character issue as it relates to personal behavior ie: marriage, religion etc. has been given more value than it deserves. This in no way shows how
    an individual will conduct, once in office, ie; because a woman was once a prostitute does not mean she will be unfaithful in marriage and vice versa.

    Ask yourselves how many virgens prior to marriage (male and female) were
    subsequently unfaithful in holy matrimony.

  • M2teach

    I believe the issues for debate should be identified ahead of time — or dedicate each debate to a different issue. For example, the jobs issues is way to complex to address in minutes, so in order to hear their ideas in any depth, one debate should be centered on just that issue. Another debate might focus on how to reform Medicare, Social Security, or the like.   Each candidate should have a specified amount of time (reasonable in length and relating to the content of the question) to answer the question specifically, in depth, and with no “campaign rhetoric.”  They need to specify HOW the issue would be addressed, solved, etc.  “Working hard” does not do that.  What steps need to be taken, how much money would be involved, taxation required if applicable, the projected effects and possible negative impacts, etc. should be discussed as honestly as possible.  Then voters could compare answers and the steps that the candidate believes he or she could take to accomplish the goal, whatever it is.  

    At the end, if any candidate wishes to dispute the accuracy or veracity of another’s claim, they could be allowed time for rebuttal or to raise questions — but limit that time, and the speaker has to stay ON TOPIC of THAT issue.

    Basically, it should be real debate governed by real debate conventions!
    We would certainly learn a lot more from that format than we do now.

    We face some very significant issues, and the voters need to be well-informed, hear multiple options, then they can better decide what they think would work.   We really need objective, concrete ideas presented to us, with specifics as to how the solutions could best be implemented and to what effects.  How can we make a reasonable vote otherwise? 

    In a fantasy world, I would love for there to be a “truth meter” for all candidates.  Anyone telling a lie would be “gonged” out.  Sadly, there is no such thing — YET! :-)  

  • terith

    Don’t waste your time on trying to influence the structure or number of debates. The Republicans deliberately set up this series of face to face debates/TV-ops to make the 2012 election all about the Republican Party. The avalanche of televised meetings and coverage has been regular, with just enough space in between to make the debates seem like real events.

    The Republican debates have met the Party’s oft-stated goals: belittling, attacking and obscuring the sitting President’s accomplishments, and keeping their “base” fired up by expounding on the Party’s favorite shibboleths: gay marriage, abortion, immigration, taxes. If you believe that no publicity is bad publicity, the debates are great advertising. Since their base is ideologically loyal, and as often as not willfully ignorant, look for more this year.
    The Republicans intended these gatherings to be worthless. Any moderator who asks a question where a truthful answer would reflect badly on the candidate is blistered with fiery “how dare you” rhetoric (Gingrich), ignored because “that was then” and no longer relevant (Paul) or the answer is an evasive non-answer that obscures the topic (Romney). Exploring the beliefs or actions of these guys? Off the table. Where are the journalists? Who knows. 

  • Imafo Hopiah

    Give the debates back to the “League of Women Voters”. The debates were excellent when they were in charge. The two party system took them away for this very reason. If you really want good debates, give them back to LWV now, and give them power to do it right. Both parties must follow their rules.

  • Viviansoup

    I think the people asking the questions should stick to the issues and know the issues so they can ask intelligent follow-up questions.  Instead of a media circus, let’s respect the intelligence of the voters and importance of choosing who will lead our nation.  The people asking the questions should not settle for slogans or promises – make the debaters answer the questions with specifics – what would you do to balance the budget, what are your priorities?  What regulations would you repeal.  How would you negotiate an agreement between the Arabs and Israel.  Do you believe our tax system is fair to the middle class?  Do you think we need to change it – how?  Each debate should focus on one large issue – foreign policy, education. campaign finance reform, etc. etc.  I believe we need to clarify and implement the goals of the debates; they’re not to furnish 60 second headlines or insult your opponents.  The moderator needs to set some ground rules and stick by them.  Voters are entitled to know where the candidates stand on these important issues – it’s the moderator’s responsibility to ensure that the debates inform the voters by developing a dialogue between the candidates on the issues. 

  • xconserve

    Start with “truthful things”. When a candidate says he will solve the deficit by lowering taxes, ask him how he will do that? And don’t allow them to use the “Reagan did it” lie.
    When they state that Obama (or anyone) is the worst… ask them for examples.
    When a candidate says “we need to cut”, what will they cut? When they state they will lower corp taxes, and income tax, state how much revenue will be lost and how will they replace it.
    When they accuse someone of accomplishing little or nothing, use your resources to challenge them.
    I’m tired of hearing that the stimulus did nothing, when the CBO says it did. Why do we let candidates still say it?
    Bottom line? Most debate moderators know more than the candidates – why do we let mis-truths, un-truths, and out and out lies go unchallenged?
    I am tired of it!

  • John Ross

    I shun all Republican liars and hypocrites. They make me so furious it’s bad for my blood pressure so I can’t watch or listen to them.

  • Al Verna

    I think one comment in your intro is important – more penetrating questions!  And not penetrating as relates to some marriage or off-color comment back in the 1990′s!  An example might be: How exactly would you go about changing the Dem/Rep stalemate that now exists?  And do not accept the age-old answer of trying to get both sides of the aisle to sit down and compromise! 
    Also some specific responses to “How, and specifically which, corporate subsidies and tax breaks will you cut and when?  
    Also, how do you propose to reduce and/or eliminate the overwhelming influence of corporate and special interest lobbyists?   Why does the Sierra Club (for instance) have to raise millions of dollars to counteract greedy corporations to do what is right for the earth and society as a whole???   

  • Ldave

    I’d like to see head to head debates by only two candidates at a time, but opening up the debates to all candidates who can get a hundred thousand signatures on a petition. Have a pair of candidates matched by some random method, and then have them debate live, in a room along with a moderator and a television camera. Have an audience of a hundred registered voters, randomly selected, situated in another room to watch the debate with instant feedback devices to rate each candidate as to whether they give real answers or just use scripted responses. The winner of three head to head debates goes on to debate other winners until only the three top candidates remain. These three then move onto prime time televised debates. This eliminates money as the prime factor in the selection process, and gives a more equitable chance for all people wishing to run for the nation’s highest office, even the very poor ones.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/DFQICLP3SD6NPFGPXKG6AKKV34 M

    1) Eliminate the studio audiences.
    2) Each candidate in an isolation room so that they cannot hear/react to other candidates.
    3) Real. Serious. Questions. With a moderator empowered to follow up.
    4) Afterwards – allow the candidates each 1 minute to respond to other candidates responses – again, however – without directly facing them.
    5) If this can’t be done – bring back the League of Women Voters to do it right – they had a great track record.

  • http://twitter.com/NewsConnoisseur Joe C

    Remove yourselves from the process. What I mean is, take journalists mostly out of these debates. I don’t want to hear the journalist’s stupid questions. I want the candidates to talk back and forth with each other the entire time.

    If you want to see how a debate should look, check out how they do things in the British parliament. Notice any journalists there? No.

  • http://twitter.com/NewsConnoisseur Joe C

    No, please god no. You’re asking that the moderators become MORE involved, when they should actually be LESS involved. Get these hack journalists OUT. These hacks aren’t running for office. The more they speak, the more valuable time ticks off the clock 

    There’s absolutely no reason that the candidates THEMSELVES shouldn’t be able to ask their opponents “Real Serious Questions”. Get the journalists out of this process.

  • http://twitter.com/NewsConnoisseur Joe C

    No, eliminate ALL moderators. They do vastly more harm than good. Just let the candidates question and respond to each other directly. 

  • Anonymous

    They can’t be fixed. As secularisation entailed the separation of church from state, it is only appropriate we separate business from government.

  • Anonymous

    Get rid of Newt!  That’s a STELLAR idea.  I’ve also seen a problem with questions bearing no relevance to the campaign.  Economy, record, professional character, voting record, lobbying activities, percentage of personal investment into campaign (active self-contribution of more than 51% shows that the man as President will think for himself and make educated decisions that aren’t based on PACs), the relevance of the Constitution, the US Code, immigration laws, state’s rights, and the US Tax Code.  With today’s reality TV, highwire stunts and thrills, and a general lack of education suggests to me that the debates should be more of an education to the public than a Kardashian Reality show (Gingrich).  The real contenders for the ticket are Romney and Santorum, since they most closely represent the ideals of our forefathers.  Newt doesn’t debate well, doesn’t want to talk about his own character as senator, and hasn’t done his research.  I’ve never seen a man debate on a wing and a prayer as much as I have seen this man do.  He may be Republican in name, but he is a liberal that reacts to emotion rather than fact.  The last thing we need is an emotional president!

    In my mind, if you want to improve debates, both the question askers, the media, and the candidates should stick to clearly outlined facts, personal beliefs, and historical record.  The second it looks like the candidate is going to go off on an emotional tangent without basis for it – he should be cut off, and the next question asked.  The art of debate is having a handle on emotions; you don’t cater to them.

  • Anonymous

    Get rid of Newt!  That’s a STELLAR idea.  I’ve also seen a problem with questions bearing no relevance to the campaign.  Economy, record, professional character, voting record, lobbying activities, percentage of personal investment into campaign (active self-contribution of more than 51% shows that the man as President will think for himself and make educated decisions that aren’t based on PACs), the relevance of the Constitution, the US Code, immigration laws, state’s rights, and the US Tax Code.  With today’s reality TV, highwire stunts and thrills, and a general lack of education suggests to me that the debates should be more of an education to the public than a Kardashian Reality show (Gingrich).  The real contenders for the ticket are Romney and Santorum, since they most closely represent the ideals of our forefathers.  Newt doesn’t debate well, doesn’t want to talk about his own character as senator, and hasn’t done his research.  I’ve never seen a man debate on a wing and a prayer as much as I have seen this man do.  He may be Republican in name, but he is a liberal that reacts to emotion rather than fact.  The last thing we need is an emotional president!

    In my mind, if you want to improve debates, both the question askers, the media, and the candidates should stick to clearly outlined facts, personal beliefs, and historical record.  The second it looks like the candidate is going to go off on an emotional tangent without basis for it – he should be cut off, and the next question asked.  The art of debate is having a handle on emotions; you don’t cater to them.

  • Anonymous

    Get rid of Newt!  That’s a STELLAR idea.  I’ve also seen a problem with questions bearing no relevance to the campaign.  Economy, record, professional character, voting record, lobbying activities, percentage of personal investment into campaign (active self-contribution of more than 51% shows that the man as President will think for himself and make educated decisions that aren’t based on PACs), the relevance of the Constitution, the US Code, immigration laws, state’s rights, and the US Tax Code.  With today’s reality TV, highwire stunts and thrills, and a general lack of education suggests to me that the debates should be more of an education to the public than a Kardashian Reality show (Gingrich).  The real contenders for the ticket are Romney and Santorum, since they most closely represent the ideals of our forefathers.  Newt doesn’t debate well, doesn’t want to talk about his own character as senator, and hasn’t done his research.  I’ve never seen a man debate on a wing and a prayer as much as I have seen this man do.  He may be Republican in name, but he is a liberal that reacts to emotion rather than fact.  The last thing we need is an emotional president!

    In my mind, if you want to improve debates, both the question askers, the media, and the candidates should stick to clearly outlined facts, personal beliefs, and historical record.  The second it looks like the candidate is going to go off on an emotional tangent without basis for it – he should be cut off, and the next question asked.  The art of debate is having a handle on emotions; you don’t cater to them.

  • Anonymous

    Oh, make a moderater Donald Trump!   haha  that’ll fix alot!   LOL

  • Jeffrey S.

    Put a clock on each candidates’ podium. The debate begins with each candidate getting an equal amount of speaking time.  Whenever a candidate is speaking, their clock ticks down. The candidates can use their time however they wish: to ask a question, to answer a question, to rebut an accusation, etc.; likewise, candidates can also refrain from engaging in attacks by not using their time for such purposes.  Once a candidate’s clock reaches 0:00, they are done… unless another candidate wants to cede some of their time over to their time-expired opponent.

    It would keep the debates fair, i.e. no biased media controlling what candidates get the most time and which ones get only 89 seconds.

    It would keep debates relevant, i.e. candidates aren’t going to waste precious time that they manage themselves on issues that are meaningless.

    It would keep the debates interesting, i.e. the candidates themselves could pose questions to one another so that we could see an actual debate rather than these pseudo-debates, which are more accurately just media interviews with other candidates present waiting for their own Q&A.

    It would keep the debates unpredictable, i.e. candidates would be able to determine their own failures or fortunes in the debates by bringing up issues that they believe the voters need to know but don’t, audiences would be left in suspense wondering who will do what and how each candidate will manage the economy of their time, etc.

    The moderator would be more of a referee, stepping in only when absolutely necessary: to occasionally introduce new topics in a very broad, jump-ball manner, such as “The next topic is Health Care. Go,” or to handle a situation if there is a debate foul, such as a candidate speaking over another.

  • Anonymous

    oh…give ‘em a football uniform, and a football.  Each contender should be a quarterback, and should hire a team from their own political base to advance the ball.  The games will be played in the same amount of time as the debates, and held in a stadium.  Sell tickets over the course of the debating season.  There were enough “quarterbacks” this season to have a political NFL and AFL season!   The best team wins! 

    (This is, of course, a joke.  Social engineers, don’t get any bright ideas).

  • Surubaid

    I would not watch a political debate because I feel that what they have to say is boring, pandering to people they are trying to convince to vote for them, and they don’t say much different in each successive dabate. Old news is old news, just have additional arguments about it.

  • Bill

    No.  You can never separate the church from government as long as there are people who go to church and believe in Jesus Christ.  Elements of a person’s faith inevitabley is carried forth in their affairs of governance.  It is true for business, as well.  It is important that the government and businesses see eye-to-eye on what is profitable, legally and morally right, and fair. 

    I just got done watching a Bill Moyer piece on Wall Street.  He interviewed the retired CEO of Citi, and stated that the reason for the 1929 Great Depression was because bankers and investors saw themselves as above the law.  Congress then, passed a law to prevent another Great Recession.  In 1999, President Clinton repealed it, and history literally repeated itself.  The law was repealed on the argument, “It’s old and antiquated, and no longer applies.”  What we human beings seem to forget that it is in our nature to be selfish and self-serving.  Yes, our country is built upon self-governance.  However, we must know that there is ALWAYS someone higher than ourselves no matter how high on the ladder we climb.  The reason why Christianity is so important, is that even though we might rise to the top of the world, we must know that God is above us, and He will hold us accountable. 

    Therefore, self-governance – absolutely.  Separation of business and State – NEVER:  there must be penalties for breaking the law.  If there is no law to break, there can be no penalty. 

  • Levi

    I
    feel the problem is that we do not get enough substance on each of the
    candidates’ actual policies and the plans they have for implementing them. Each
    candidate should have to present detailed explanations for their tax policy,
    trade and commerce models, foreign affairs agenda, social policy, etc. and the
    debates should revolve around discussing the merits of each. Imagine a debate
    in which a candidate gives a presentation discussing these things for 45
    minutes before an open forum begins in which all candidates can discuss and
    argue the merits of the presentation.  At
    36 debates to date we have had ample time to have had a forum to do exactly
    this for each candidate and each segment of the political agenda. I can’t
    imagine a single other position of leadership where you are elected to the job
    by regurgitating sound bytes and making ridiculous and unfounded accusations
    against the other applicants. Further, doing what I propose would give the
    public a much more clear benchmark by which to compare our presidents’ success,
    failure, and ability to implement their agendas when re-election is being
    discussed. 

  • Louis

    I would love to see candidates demonstrate other abilities  and or talents such as singing, dancing, drawing or poem writing….So we Americans can see what we are really getting as a potential president. An obstacle course challenge would also be nice to see or any other sport challenge for that matter. And last but not least, I would love to see a debate infused with alcohol consumption–this would really give us a good idea on personality!

  • Louis

    Too qualify the singing: The candidates should be able to sing our national anthem……….well. 

  • Frank

    It’s easy to find problems…. how about some focus on solutions

  • Sandra

    1. Ask substantive questions — no fluff!
    2. REQUIRE answers to the actual questions asked.  Interrupt off-subject answers; keep asking until answered or until it becomes abundantly clear that the candidate is unable to answer.
    3. Use more intelligent audience questions; they often seem more appropriate than some moderator topics.
    4. Allow equal (or nearly equal) time for all candidates — if they deserve to be there, they deserve to be heard.
    5. Make earnest attempts to find out what the candidates actually believe, not just their “talking points” — those get really boring after the first 100 or so repetitions!
    6. Discourage extended raucous yelling-applause from the audience to allow for more Q&A.  Debate shouldn’t be equated with standup comedy.

    Good luck trying to do any of the above!

  • Zeleviii

    during times of financial crisis horse and pony shows of either extremes are used to steal away from the majorities real issues that they refuse to debate.the real issue is the financial mess we are in because j street has moved into k street and the average citzens voice is not being represented. we fix it by removing our present america for sale congress.on election day vote the out and replace them with anticorporate graft officials.

  • Foyrobert

    stop using up valuable air time with political debates. If I want to see mud being flung I will go to the truck pulls.

  • Foyrobert

    Theodore Roosevelt said the same thing around 100 year’s ago, here we are now and still no-one is listening concerning the as Roosevelt put it “This unholy alliance” between corrupt politics and corrupt business which acknowledges no obligation or concern for the people.  

  • Foyrobert

    Then who would speak for the left, not Obomanation, he talks endlessly but he never relay says anything, oop’s silly me he is a professional politician.

  • Foyrobert

    The only thing Obomanation has done is bewitch the simple minded with endless talk and no action. Unless your referring to the mandated health care forced on the populous who don’t want it. So much for the right to self govern your own life. No big deal that is just a minor inconvenience of the US> constitution that he thinks is archaic and should be discarded so he can write his own version of Marxism. Then we can be just like Greece absolute government involvement in in every part of society and an economy that is still in collapse.  

  • An independent observer

    Scrap the debates – indeed scrap the whole farcical election process – the US spends multi billions of dollars on a 3 year election process.  European countries spend multi millions on a 3 week election process.  While you are at it, remove religeon and money from corrupting the process

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t say that the people should be separated from the church. Believers, like everyone else, should be free to choose and do what they feel to be right. As goes the old cliché, “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. And that refers to all forms of authority. Had you or I been in their position, it’s most likely that we too would succumb to the various financial offerings put before us. So removing most of a government’s powers, or doing away with it altogether, is the only way forward. I often ask people; what is government good for? You’d be surprised that hardly any are able to give a valid reply.

    Had it not been for government, the oligopoly would not have existed and hence would have been unable to have an adverse effect the economy. Government is lobbied by international banks and multinational corporations and in return rewarded with special privileges at the expense of competition and the consumer. When the Federal Reserve was founded in 1913 and government grew bigger than ever before, the average price of gold was $18.93/oz. The average price of gold in 2011 was $1,571.52. An increase of 8,300 percent in just under 100 years. But gold has maintained its purchasing power for over 2,000 years and would therefore be incorrect to believe that this was actually an increase in the value of gold. In reality it represent the devaluation of the US Dollar over the past 100 years. So every dollar you own is now only worth 1.2 cents of its original 100 cent value. With 1913 standards, a thousand today should be able to afford you $83,000 worth of goods and services. This is the extent to which government has impoverished its citizens. So the problem isn’t a lack of regulation but overregulation. Do you realise that it would take one to read through 160,000 pages of legislation before opening a new company? Who can afford that many lawyers but the very wealthy. All Bill Clinton did is follow orders from above and reduce on an already overregulated market. Every additional regulation presents a new loophole for the privileged to slip through.

    It is therefore a misconception to presume that government protects its people through coercive measures. As I have already explained, it’s quite the contrary. The protection we require under the rule of law should include inalienable rights, property rights and contract law. Had we lived in a free-market economy, the CEOs of the respective banks and corporations, which got bailed out, would have already been prosecuted and imprisoned. “Laissez faire” would create a level playing field for all and prevent companies which are too “big to fail”, from even developing.

    America is supposed to be a Republic which pretends to be a Democracy, but in truth, is an Oligarchy. It is almost all owned by the super rich, leaving the president as a figurehead to carry out its instructions.

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t know that. Interesting and so right.

    We can’t say the same for his “poor excuse of a son”, Franklin :)

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t know that. Interesting and so right.

    We can’t say the same for his “poor excuse of a son”, Franklin :)

  • Waterswheel

    Get rid of the studio audience

  • larry barnett

    as a person that has to work 7 days a week in a area that frushes with stupidity,of spending,and under the table works,,
    we as American don’t seem to see any change that is need,,
    debates are to explain what is wrong and what they are planning to do
    about the problems we face,,every time i see something that the state-goverment has to offer a commuity,,as money to improve it,,the big dogs
    always seem to have it spent before it comes and it is spent towards
    their buddies,roads,equipment buying ect,,
    America middle class and the poor has to wait until they spend all they WANT, then show that they still want to care for the rest,BUT it just happens to be out of money in their budgets,,,we care so much for unsual and the damest stupid things anyone on earth has ever heard of,,,but they keep us in the back of their minds so they say we don’t forget about you!!!!
    and yes it is broke nearly in half for sure!!!
    im not impressed at all of any debates i have seen,, we need action
    all they have to do is stand up,, for America,, not go along with the flow
    thats why we are so dam far in debt,,stop funding except what we need!!!
    good day
    larry barnett

  • Tallflower24

    Let the candidates question EACH OTHER.  That is a real debate.  The current system stifles this kind of exchange that would be much more indicative of the ability of their candidate to handle unscripted responses.