Commission on Presidential Debates Provides Update on Debate Planning

Sep 21, 2004

The Commission on Presidential Debates (“the Commission”) is pleased that the Bush and Kerry campaigns have committed to the series of three presidential debates and one vice presidential debate, including the locations, dates, times, moderators and 90-minute lengths, as proposed by the Commission. The first presidential debate will be held at the University of Miami on September 30, 2004.

Invitations to candidates to participate in the debates will be extended based on the application of the Commission’s Non-Partisan Candidate Selection Criteria, adopted in September 2003. As planned, those Criteria will be applied on September 24, 2004 to determine candidate participation in the September 30, 2004 presidential debate and the October 5, 2004 vice presidential debate. After the application of its Criteria, the Commission will be pleased to finalize with the invited candidates debate ground rules and other technical matters. The Commission will be guided by its goal of providing the American people with informative debates in which the candidates address the critical issues facing the country.

In the meantime, the Commission is proceeding with the preparations for each of the scheduled debates. The full schedule of debates is as follows:

First presidential debate:
University of Miami
Coral Gables, FL
Thursday, September 30
Jim Lehrer
Anchor and Executive Editor, The NewsHour, PBS

Vice presidential debate:
Case Western Reserve University
Cleveland, OH
Tuesday, October 5
Gwen Ifill
Senior Correspondent, The NewsHour, and Moderator, Washington Week, PBS

Second presidential debate:
Washington University in St. Louis
St. Louis, MO
Friday, October 8
Charles Gibson
Co-Anchor, ABC News Good Morning America

Third presidential debate:
Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ
Wednesday, October 13
Bob Schieffer
CBS News Chief Washington Correspondent, and Moderator, Face the Nation

Each debate shall begin at 9:00 p.m. EDT.