As Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama prep for tomorrow night's first presidential debate, look back at 12 cringe-worthy moments in debate history that most candidates would probably love everyone to forget, according to Yahoo! News.
Vice President Richard Nixon appeared to be dripping with sweat during the first-ever televised presidential debate against Sen. John F. Kennedy in 1960. Nixon had just spent 12 days in the hospital for a knee operation and staph infection.
Gerald Ford stumbled in a 1976 debate with Jimmy Carter when he said there was no Soviet Union domination of Eastern Europe at the time and "there never will be under a Ford administration." When asked to clarify, Ford dug an ever deeper hole.
Adm. James Stockdale, a prisoner of war in Vietnam, introduced himself to the country during the 1992 vice presidential debate by joking "Who am I? Why am I here?" The audience laughed. The strange question became known as the "Stockdale Moment."
When asked during the second presidential debate in 1992 how the recession had personally affected him, President George H.W. Bush tucked his suit, checked his watch and gave a lengthy answer that failed to answer the question directly.
During the presidential debates in 2000, Vice President Al Gore was widely criticized for sighing loudly and repeatedly in frustration as then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush would make points. The sighs made Gore appear condescending.
Jan Brewer suffered what Newsweek called a "brain freeze" during a debate with Dem opponent state AG Terry Goddard in 2010. She "offered only vague, nonsensical statements as she giggled and tried to recall her train of thought," the magazine said.
When asked whether he would favor an irrevocable death penalty if his wife were raped and murdered, Michael Dukakis said "No, I don't, and I think you know that I've opposed the death penalty during all of my life."
Tension was already high between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in 2008 when Clinton fumbled speaking about her likeability. Obama looked up from his paper and interjected, "You're likable enough, Hillary." "I appreciate that," Clinton responded.
At the 1988 VP debate, Democrat Lloyd Bentsen pounced on Sen. Dan Quayle comparing himself to JFK. Bentson responded, "Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy."
VP Dick Cheney avoided mentioning his lesbian daughter during most of the 2004 campaign, but it was put front and center during a debate that year, when Democrat John Edwards spoke of her when asked about gay marriage.
Former NM Lt. Gov. Patricia Madrid was asked whether she could point to something in her career that would reassure voters that she would prevent a tax increase. After a long pause, Madrid said, "Your president, you," before going into another pause.
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