Great Debate Moments

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

Photograph by Ron Edmonds/AP Photo

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Tic Tock

In the tough economic climate of 1992, President George H.W. Bush was already struggling to overcome the perception that he was out of touch with the average American. Then, during a debate with Bill Clinton and Ross Perot, he was seen checking his watch several times, including immediately before a voter asked him how he had been affected by the national debt. Not only did the time checks make Bush look bored, he seemed impatient with the voter when she questioned his response. He replied: "Are you suggesting that if somebody has means, that the national debt doesn't affect them?" He followed that with, "I'm not sure I get it. Help me with the question and I'll try to answer it." In the end, he didn't get it--the election, that is. Bill Clinton won with a huge electoral margin.