WASHINGTON (AP) — Don't look for podiums, opening statements or surprise topics at the debates if President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney follow the plan organizers released Wednesday.
The nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates said debates would be 90 minutes each and feature topics that would be announced ahead of time so voters and candidates alike can study the subjects.
"The debates are the most widely watched political programs of any kind," debate planners Frank Fahrenkopf and Mike McCurry said in a statement. "These format changes are designed to promote substantive dialogue before, during and after the debates about the major issues of the day. They will permit citizens and candidates to come prepared for a series of voter education forums that inform and engage the public."
Moderators for the televised events are set to be announced in August.
The first debate, scheduled for Oct. 3 at the University of Denver, is set to focus on domestic policy. Organizers plan six, 15-minute segments that would open with a question, a two-minute reply from each candidate and then a discussion. They want the candidates to sit at a table with the moderator, rather than standing on podiums.
The second, scheduled for Oct. 16 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., would take the form of a town hall-style meeting. Planners say the questions would come from undecided voters selected by pollster Gallup. Each candidate would get two minutes to tackle the question, with a moderator facilitating a follow-up discussion.
The final debate would take the same format as the first, but would focus on foreign policy topics announced ahead of time. That is scheduled for Oct. 22 at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla.
Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to meet Romney's yet unnamed running mate for a debate on Oct. 11 at Centre College in Danville, Ky. The event would be divided into nine, 10-minute segments devoted to foreign and domestic policies. Each candidate will be allowed a two-minute response with a moderator dividing the time.
"There are serious issues facing this country and the public has the right to expect a serious examination of those issues during this fall's debates," organizers said. "The (Commission on Presidential Debates) believes this can be accomplished best by focusing big time blocks on major domestic and foreign topics."
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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