Great Debate Moments

By Emma Fidel and Lauren Vicary - 2012-10-05T21:28:12Z

Photograph by Charles Robinson/AP Photo

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Oldie But Goodie

When asked in a 1984 debate whether his age could affect performance, President Ronald Reagan, then 73, quipped, "Not at all ... I want you to know that 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." The response got a howl from the audience and a chuckle from his opponent, former Vice President Walter Mondale, who was 56 at the time. Mondale later told Jim Lehrer of PBS, "If TV can tell the truth, as you say it can, you'll see that I was smiling. But I think if you come in close, you'll see some tears coming down, because I knew he had gotten me there. That was really the end of my campaign that night, I think."