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 (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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