Entries in Debate (3)


How Jeremy the College Kid Got on the Stage With Obama and Romney

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Although most of us try to avoid telemarketers, Jeremy Epstein’s sister didn’t. She picked up the phone and was asked by a research company if she was a registered voter. She said no, but her older brother was. She handed him the phone.

That’s how Epstein found his five minutes of fame.

After confirming he was an undecided voter, the polling company told him he could attend the presidential debate on Tuesday and ask both candidates one question.

Luckily, Epstein, an exercise-science major at Adelphi University, is still taking unsolicited phone calls and that’s how ABC News found him. He picked up the phone at home on the first ring.

He remembered being very nervous when the cameras focused on him in the first minutes of the debate. He asked his question to Gov. Mitt Romney and President Obama.

“What can you say to reassure me, but more importantly my parents, that I will be able to sufficiently support myself after I graduate?” he asked.

Romney offered him a job on the spot.

“When you come out in 2014, I presume I’m going to be president,” Romney said. “I’m going to make sure you get a job. Thanks, Jeremy. Yeah, you bet.”

We asked him if he had other job offers considering how quickly his first one happened.

Epstein paused.

“Other than the one, really, that Mitt Romney offered me 5 minutes into the debate, not really,” he said. "You know, I don’t want to be viewed as just some person who went on TV in front of 60 million people and asked the two most powerful men for jobs. I asked the question because it’s how a lot of people in my position feel -- 20-year-old students just like me who are actually really nervous about whether or not they will get a job and how they can support themselves.”

He spent part of the day revising his resume. The debate experience is going to be the first thing prospective employers read.

“That’s probably going to go at the top -- actually my entire resume,” he said. “I think that instead of including my previous work history, I’m just going to write, ‘appeared and asked the first question on 2012 town hall debate.’”

But Epstein isn’t expecting to be part of a potential Romney administration. He still considers himself undecided but leans toward one candidate.

“Well, if the election was today, I probably would vote for the president, so I don’t know if you would call me undecided,” he said. “But it would be a good label to put me under.”

ABC News’ Jon Karl labeled Epstein as the real winner in the debate on World News. Does he feel like a winner and has it improved his social life?

“I found out on Twitter last night that I had a lot more cousins than I thought I did and people knew me who … I had no idea that they knew me,” he said. “People are saying that they went to sleep-away with me. I’ve never been to sleep-away camp. Stuff like that.”

He definitely feels like he won.

“Me being able to ask a question of the president and the governor, I think that’s why you’d be able to call me the winner of the debate,” he said, “because I think that they both kind of used me as a starting point in getting in their arguments.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Meaning Behind First Lady, Ann Romney Matching Dresses

Bruce Bennett/Michael Reynolds/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Michelle Obama and Ann Romney may not agree on who should be our next president but their wardrobes were in perfect harmony Tuesday night at the second presidential debate in Hempstead, N.Y.  Both women showed up at Hofstra University sporting hot pink dresses on their husbands’ big night.

Ann Romney wore a short-sleeved sheath dress by Oscar de la Renta along with a statement-making jade-colored necklace. Sarah Haley, spokeswomen for Mrs. Romney, said she “has been very involved with breast cancer awareness this month by visiting hospitals and meeting with patients and survivors. She’s worn lots of pink as a result!”

Andrea Rader, managing director of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation, told ABC News that they noticed that the first lady and Ann Romney wore pink Tuesday night. “When women like the first lady and Mrs. Romney support breast cancer awareness, they help us to remind women of the importance of breast health and the mission to end breast cancer through treatments and community health programs. ”

According to the Obama campaign, the first lady also wore pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Michelle Obama was dressed in a hot pink dress with a matching collared jacket by Michael Kors. Though this pink popped on the first lady during the debate, this is not the first time that she has sported the feminine shade. She was recently seen wearing a beautiful pink Tracy Reese Dress during her Democratic National Convention speech in September.

On Oct. 3, the White House turned on pink lights and reportedly President Obama has been spotted wearing the supportive pink bracelet symbolizing support for breast cancer awareness.

The president also issued a proclamation on Oct. 1 declaring the month National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Nixon Admitted 1960 Debate Prep Was ‘Totally Wrong’

CBS via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- He was exhausted, sweaty and pale. His shirt was one size too big and five shades too light. And after a full day of campaigning, he was tired and anxious, all things a candidate does not want to be during his first televised presidential debate.

It was this sickly demeanor that made Republican Vice President Richard Nixon’s first televised presidential debate appearance go down in history as one of the worst. And in tapes released exclusively to ABC News Wednesday, Nixon was poignantly aware of how poor his performance was in that 1960 presidential debate against Massachusetts Sen. John F. Kennedy.

In a conversation between Nixon and his White House Chief of Staff Bob Haldeman recorded in 1971 during Nixon’s first term as president, Nixon recounts how unprepared he was for that debate, which 77 million Americans tuned in to see.

“Remember, even on the first debate. We made the mistake of not [preparing] for that one. Well, or -- we got prepared. Worked like hell,” Nixon says in a tape unearthed Wednesday by Nixon scholar Ken Hughes. “[We were] running the goddamn schedule so hard, we didn’t learn from the other -- we’re never going to make that mistake again.”

The conversation started with the two men discussing the day-long preparation that first lady Pat Nixon went through for a television interview that day.

“You know, it’s funny. She would be perfectly willing to do a day’s work to get everything organized to put on a reception for 5,000 people at the White House and stand there and shake hands with them and think that was a very worthwhile thing to do,” Haldeman says. “But to do the same day’s work for a television thing, you kind of tend to feel it’s useless, because [unclear] interviewer. You forget the fact that all those millions of people see it.”

“You know something?” Nixon responds. “By God, I did not understand this enough in ’60. You know, I hated to do television shows.”

“I was totally wrong,” the president concludes.

Nixon, who lost to Kennedy by a fraction of a percentage in the 1960 election, refused to debate during his second campaign for the White House in 1968. And in 1972 when his Democratic rival George McGovern, a senator from South Dakota, challenged him to a debate, the incumbent president refused.

In another previously-unreleased taped conversation, Nixon and Haldeman came up with two excuses for why the president would not take McGovern up on his debate challenge.

“The differences between these two candidates are so great and so clear that no debate is needed to bring out those differences,” Nixon says, dictating what the White House response should be in a taped conversation at Camp David on July 22, 1972.

“Particularly with the international situation and the very sensitive matters that are being discussed, that debate would not serve the national interest,” Nixon added.

The main topic of the 1972 election was the Vietnam War. McGovern was fiercely anti-war and pledged to immediately pull all U.S. forces out of Vietnam.

Hughes, the presidential researcher at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, said Nixon’s predecessor Lyndon B. Johnson also used the national security excuse. The argument was that because of the information he as president had access to about the Vietnam War, participating in a televised debate could threaten national security because he might accidently say something confidential.

In the newly released tape, Haldeman encourages Nixon to use that excuse to get out of debating McGovern.

“Somebody ought to go out and say that for God’s sake with McGovern’s total irresponsibility and his running around talking to North Vietnamese that the president would be out of his mind and would be jeopardizing national security to debate,” Haldeman says.

Ultimately, Nixon and McGovern did not appear together on a debate stage. Hughes said there was almost no controversy over Nixon’s decision to sit it out.

“The expectation was that if an incumbent president did not have to debate he wouldn’t,” Hughes said.

And because Nixon was dominating McGovern in the polls, “no one really pressured Nixon to take part in this.”

Nixon went on to beat McGovern in one of the biggest landslide elections in history, winning 61 percent of the popular vote and 97 percent of the electoral college. McGovern only won one state: Massachusetts.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio