U.S. presidential debates under the bright lights

Published 1:14 PM ET, Wed October 3, 2012
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Barack Obama and Mitt Romney will face off three times in person ahead of the 2012 U.S. presidential election on November 6. Getty Images
A younger, more telegenic John F. Kennedy outshined Richard Nixon in the first televised presidential debate in 1960. Time and Life Pictures/Getty Images
Ronald Reagan was famous for witty one-liners in debates. In 1984 the 73-year-old said, "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." His opponent, Walter Mondale, was 56 at the time. AFP/Getty Images
George H. W. Bush glanced at his watch during a 1992 debate -- a move that made Bush, whose re-election hopes were rapidly slipping away, seem uninterested in the concerns of the public.
In a 1988 debate, vice presidential candidate Dan Quayle (pictured) was on the receiving end of the "Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy" jab from Lloyd Bentsen. AFP/Getty Images
In 1992, Ross Perot running mate James Stockdale's "Who am I? Why am I here?" vice presidential debate opener brought laughter from the audience. AFP/Getty Images
After a presidential debate in 2000, cameras caught a visibly annoyed Al Gore (L) sighing and shaking his head when George W. Bush spoke. AFP/Getty Images/FILE
John McCain sparked controversy when he referred to Obama as "that one" during the second 2008 presidential debate. Obama later joked that his first name was Swahili for "that one," according to the New York Times. AFP/Getty Images/FILE
Republican hopeful Rick Perry became the first candidate in history to say "oops" during a debate after forgetting the name of the third government agency he'd pledged to cut. Getty Images