Presidential debate 1992, Bush, Clinton, Perot

1992: Three candidates participated in the debates, another first. President George H.W. Bush shared the stage with Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton and Texas businessman Ross Perot. What you might remember: In the second debate, held at the University of Richmond in Virginia, undecided voters asked the questions. One woman, apparently meaning to ask how the recession had affected the candidates’ lives, instead used the term “national debt”: “How has the national debt personally affected each of your lives?” When it was Bush’s turn to answer, his halting reply helped paint him as out of touch with ordinary Americans. It didn't help when he also was seen checking his watch, leading some people to think he was eager to leave. What you might have forgotten: How much of a wild card Perot was. His inclusion on the stage helped elevate, by comparison, the credibility of an unknown governor from Arkansas who was trying to unseat a man who had been vice president or president for nearly 12 years.
Marcy Nighswander / Associated Press
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