Sunday, August 15, 2004

Bush, Kerry Set for Three Debates

The nonpartisan panel that regulates presidential debates has scheduled three rounds between President Bush and Sen. John Kerry, organizers announced.

The first debate will be held Sept. 30 at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla., the Commission on Presidential Debates said Friday. The candidates will sit at a table with moderator Jim Lehrer, anchor of PBS' "NewsHour," and discuss domestic policy.

A town hall-style meeting will be the format for the second debate, which will be held Oct. 8 at Washington University in St. Louis. Undecided voters, picked by the Gallup Organization, will question the candidates. Charlie Gibson, co-anchor of ABC's "Good Morning America," will be the moderator.

Foreign policy will be the focus of the third and final debate, scheduled for Oct. 13 at Arizona State University in Tempe. Bush and Kerry will again sit around a table, and CBS "Face the Nation" host Bob Schieffer will be the moderator.

A single vice presidential debate at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland is planned for Oct. 5. This session, moderated by "NewsHour" correspondent Gwen Ifill, will feature Vice President Dick Cheney and his Democratic opponent, Sen. John Edwards, sitting around a table and discussing a wide range of topics. There also will be a question-and-answer period.

None of the debates will have opening statements, but each candidate will have two minutes for a closing statement.


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