Expert: Presidential Debate Rules Came into Question, Led to More Spontaneous Debate

Debate rules came into question several times during the course of the Republican Presidential Debate Oct. 18 – can candidates interrupt? Ask questions of their opponents?

Pitch

Debate rules came into question several times during the course of the Republican Presidential Debate Oct. 18 – can candidates interrupt? Ask questions of their opponents?

 

Expert

Joe Gantt, debate coach, Department of Communication Studies, (806) 742-1328, joe.gantt@ttu.edu.

 

Talking Points

  • Gov. Perry’s performance, in which he showed a greater energy on stage and seemed to have a better knowledge of the questions being asked than in previous debates.
  • Herman Cain accused his rivals of committing a logical fallacy in their criticism of his 9-9-9 plan, but Cain was actually the one committing the fallacy himself.
  • While the rules themselves disallowed much of the direct interaction between candidates during the debate, viewers were rewarded with a debate that was lively, interesting and provided important contrasts among the candidates.

 

Quotes

  • “After the last three debates, two of which where he seemed unprepared and another where he seemed disinterested, Gov. Perry badly needed a better night in the CNN debate, and for the most part, he got it. That being said, his exchanges with Gov. Romney seemed to overcorrect the problems of the past; he appeared too aggressive in his attacks, especially when bringing up for a second time the issue of undocumented workers working for Gov. Romney. One time was effective; the second time seemed mean.”
  • “The criticism was simple: under the 9-9-9 plan, citizens in states with state sales taxes would be responsible to pay both the federal and the state tax. Rather than respond to this criticism, Mr. Cain obfuscated the point by claiming that his rivals were ‘mixing apples and oranges’ without directly responding to the point.”
  • “The public would be better served by having debates with fewer rules, fewer rehearsed answers and more spontaneous responses.”