In just a couple of hours, President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney will go head-to-head for the first time. The two will be having their first presidential debate tonight, and the entire country will be watching.
Considering that this presidential debate is the first time both will be able to flex their presidential skills, it’s an important moment for both candidates (more so Romney, who is down in the polls).
As you’ll soon see, these debates can literally make or break a candidate. To punctuate tonight’s importance, we went back in time to find the most devastating debate moments since the first one occurred back in 1960.
Take a look at them down below!
Richard Nixon Lacking Swag During The First Presidential Debate.
The first presidential debate took place 52 years ago between Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy. This was a fatal moment for Dick, who looked nervous, twitchy and sweaty for the debate, while JFK looked cool as a cucumber.
Gerald Ford doesn’t know what he’s talking about during the 1976 debate with Jimmy Carter.
“There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe and there never will be under a Ford administration.” With one quote, Gerald Ford sealed his fate. The quote was so egregious that Carter didn’t even pounce on him about it. He let one of the panelists, Max Frankel of The New York Times, kill him.
Michael Dukakis Wouldn’t Kill His Wife’s Killer.
During his 1988 debate with George Bush Sr., Michael, who was against capital punishment, was asked if someone killed his wife, would he want the death penalty. The Governor responded no, a response that was seen as cold. It was a response which helped bury his chances of being president.
Don’t Compare Yourself To A Kennedy Around Lloyd Bentsen.
During their 1988 vice presidential debate, Dan Quayle compared himself to Jack Kennedy. Big mistake. Democrat Lloyd Bentsen frankly told Quayle, “I knew Kennedy…you’re no Kennedy.” It was a move that was universally seen as a douche move.
Even George Bush Sr. Thinks This Debate Is Too Long.
One of the most memorable debates of all time was the second 1992 presidential one that featured George Bush Sr., Bill Clinton and Ross Perot. Things got ugly for Bush Sr. over his gestures. The former president actually checked his watch — twice! — while being asked a question.
Al Gore Wants A Fight…George Bush Just Nods His Head.
George Bush Jr. might be known for his infamous gaffes, but during his first presidential debate with Al Gore in 2000, it was the former vice president who was making the mistakes. During the debate, Gore kept on loudly sighing, a move that was seen as condescending. Then there was the moment you see above, where Gore just walked up to Bush while he was answering a question. Weird, weird debate.
Mitt Romney Is A Betting Man.
Even though this was just a primary debate…we couldn’t leave without posting this epic moment when Romney challenged Texas Gov. Rick Perry to a $10,000 bet. Out of touch much?