2012 Make-or-Break Presidential Debates

President Obama and republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will face each other in a series of presidential debates on Oct. 3, 16, and 22. The candidates will discuss topics concerning national issues such as the economy (taxes, national debt, and jobs); education; health care; immigration; foreign policy; abortion; same-sex marriage; gun control; environment protection; terrorism; social security; and the role of government.

The candidates will have their final opportunity to reiterate their beliefs, visions, and purposes before the Presidential election on Nov. 6.

History and Legal Studies Professor Charles Zelden said that when students watch the debates they should study the candidates’ method and content of responses and analyze their body language and presentation. It could determine how sincere they are.

Legal Studies Associate Professor Timothy Dixon said, “[Students] should look for specific proposals to deal with U.S. problems amidst the generalities and promises. Watch how each candidate presents his experience in office and his successes/failures. Students should care because the job market and education spending affect them directly.”

Held at the University of Denver, the first debate will be moderated by Jim Lehrer, host of PBS’ NewsHour, on Oct. 3 at 9 p.m. EST. The 90 minute debate will be divided into six 15 minute segments- each dedicated to a different topic.

Senior Yineth Sanchez, legal studies and philosophy major, said, “Free elections are a tool to ensure the exercise of true democracy. Choosing to engage in them is one way to contribute significantly to the preservation of our civil liberties.”

Political Science Professor Nelson Bass said, “The number one reason why students should be motivated to watch the debates and educate themselves on the candidates is to see what their plans are for issues that affect young people. Specific polices of interest would include federal student loan interest rates and economic policies that will affect the job market of our college students upon graduation.

The debates will stream live online at CNN.com, and broadcast on television stations such as ABC, FOX, CNN, and MSNBC.

Students and faculty are invited to the Don Taft University Center where NSU will air the debates from the Flight Deck. Legal studies professors, including Bass, Dixon, and Zelden will be there to discuss the contents.

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