Official 2008 Obama/McCain Presidential Debate Schedule, Videos

The official Presidential debate schedule for John McCain and Barack Obama along with Vice Presidential candidates Sarah Palin and Joe Biden has been finalized and released in a joint statement from each campaign. There will also be a vice presidential debate as well.

Click below to watch the entire video from all three presidential debates and the vice presidential debate, in their unedited entirety.

September 26, 2008: Video: Presidential debate with foreign policy focus, University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS

October 2, 2008: Video: Palin / Biden Vice Presidential debate, Washington University, St. Louis, MO

October 7, 2008: Video: Presidential debate in a town hall format, Belmont University, Nashville, TN

October 15, 2008: Video: Presidential debate with domestic policy focus, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY


August 16, 2008: Video: Saddleback Civil Forum with Rick Warren at Saddleback Church, Lake Forest, California
(Not part of the official sanctioned schedule but both candidates attended)

September 11, 2008: Video: 9/11 Forum on public and national service from Columbia University, New York
(Not part of the official sanctioned schedule but both candidates attended)

Here is a break down of what each debate will consist of:

1. First Presidential Debate:
Date: September 26 – Site: University of Mississippi – Topic: Foreign Policy & National Security – Moderator: Jim Lehrer – Staging: Podium debate – Answer Format: The debate will be broken into nine, 9-minute segments. The moderator will introduce a topic and allow each candidate 2 minutes to comment. After these initial answers, the moderator will facilitate an open discussion of the topic for the remaining 5 minutes, ensuring that both candidates receive an equal amount of time to comment

2. Vice Presidential Debate
Date: October 2nd – Site: Washington University (St. Louis) – Moderator: Gwen Ifill – Staging/Answer Format: Debate will consist of both foreign and domestic policy questions asked by the moderator. Format will be similar to the presidential debates.

3. Second Presidential Debate
Date: October 7 – Site: Belmont University – Moderator: Tom Brokaw – Staging: Town Hall debate – Format: The moderator will call on members of the audience (and draw questions from the internet). Each candidate will have 2 minutes to respond to each question. Following those initial answers, the moderator will invite the candidates to respond to the previous answers, for a total of 1 minute, ensuring that both candidates receive an equal amount of time to comment. In the spirit of the Town Hall, all questions will come from the audience (or internet), and not the moderator.

4. Third Presidential Debate
Date: October 15 Site: Hofstra University – Topic: Domestic and Economic Issues – Moderator: Bob Schieffer – Staging: Candidates will be seated at a table – Answer Format: Same as First Presidential Debate – Closing Statements: At the end of this debate (only) each candidate shall have the opportunity for a 90 second closing statement.

All four debates will begin at 9pm ET, 6pm PT and last for 90 minutes. Both campaigns also agreed to accept the CPD’s participation rules for third-party candidate participation. Third-party candidates will be included if they poll 15% or above in at least 5 national polls.

Each debate will be broadcast on the major broadcast networks, including CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, and PBS. They will also be aired on cable news channels such as CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and C-SPAN.

Online streaming is available at or among others.

We will have full videos of each debate uploaded once they air.

  • plunge protection team

    you MUST take one of the candidates who forced you to pay for the Wall Street bailout.

    “The two parties should be
    almost identical, so that
    the American people can
    ‘throw the rascals out’
    at any election without
    leading to any profound or
    extensive shifts in policy.”
    -Carol Quigley

  • My Man McCain said he would veto any bill with PORK in it and that he would name names concerning who inserted the PORK…

    Congress just passed $850 Billion PORK bill and McCain was right in the slop like the rest of them…

    The market’s reaction to the bail-out shows that it was a grave mistake for the bastion of Free Market Economy to throughout the baby with the bath water by choosing socialist solutions to our existing socialist problem.

    The sell-off of bank assets and the write-down of bad loans, foreclosure, and devaluation of hyper-inflated home values IS the market correction! The only things for the government authorities to do is arrest and prosecute the individuals who defrauded the World’s People by deliberately misrepresenting the value of the properties and credibility of the buyers to bilk money out of investors via Mortgage Backed Securities and Government Guarantees…

    The world already has socialism, that’s why the world invests its money here in the US as an alternative to the failed socialist nations.

    Do you suppose Palin has chance with this guy on her ticket?

    …Frankly, we’re off to a really bad start.

  • V Miller

    Gee, both parties agreed to the CPD’s rule about 3rd party candidates? What a surprise. Please visit and take action!

  • Do you think the fact that a large number of job sent to low wage counties that put high wage in the U.S. people out of a job and now can’t pay for their home?
    Do you think by let illegal works in the us witch allows companies to explot themhelp the U.S. work

  • Pam Donovan

    Ee all know our economy is in a very serious condition and a look at each and every line of spending is in need. However how do we keep cutting a Federal Fund such as IDEA for special needs children that has never been fully funded or even 50% funded from the very beginning of being passed into law? Both canidate are quick to support education for typical developing children but no canidate every address’ this much need community with any serious change or support.

  • Kevin

    Why hasn’t anyone, including teh candidates explained why they couldn’t pass a $700 Billion bill, but they could pass a $840 Billion bill with $140 Billion in pork?

  • Democrats 08

    Obama is so concise on what needs to be done and considerate of the poor and middle class. McCain is full of garbage, his defense of his supporting the failure Bush in his own words “over 90% of the time” is to shamelessly point out those same failed policies he helped create by giving the wealthy more huge tax cuts to fix it all? He would invest all our money left, on tax cuts for his wealthy friends, all we have left on the waste product Iraq war and have a domestic “spending freeze” that would paralyze America here at home for good. One of the main reasons America is in the trouble we are in because the Bush administration instead of investing in the American people with more Domestic spending, invested in Iraq and tax cuts for the wealthy instead! Obama will reverse all of that and get us out of Iraq taking those tax cuts and wasted war spending and re-invest that money in job creation, energy, health care, housing and everything Americans desperately need right NOW. It’s obvious why more and more Americans are turning away from the failed policies and ideas of McCain/Bush and moving to get behind Obama.

  • Brad

    Sen. McCain,

    You’ve been claiming that you know how to win the war and you know how to capture Bin Laden.

    If this is true, have you shared this knowledge with anyone else in oder to accomplish this?

    If Obama wins, will you share this information with him for the good of the country?

    If the answer to either of these is no, how are you not aiding terrorism?

  • Babs

    Mr. Obama,

    You claim Bin Laden is in a small region in the hills of Afganistan, and that you will “kill him”.

    If this is true, have you shared this knowledge with anyone else in order to accomplish this?

    If McCain wins, will you share this information with him for the good of the country?

    If the answer to either of these is no, how are not aiding terrorism?

  • Brad

    If Obama has stated, in a nationally televised debate, not just that he knows where Bin Laden is, but actually stated where he beleives Bin Laden is hiding, how has he not shared the extent of his knowledge with EVERYONE??

    Maybe you can just copy paste and change the names on this one too, Again, without any comprehension of what you’re saying

  • Babs

    Brad, I comprehend exactly what I’m saying, if you haven’t HEARD Obama say this more than once, then you’re not paying any attention.

  • patrick

    ur awsome obama go get him

  • Don

    The Wars, the Economy, and other issues mean nothing if we live in a country without honor.

    I would think that with John McCain’s background this would be a no-brainer but he’s faltered on my deciding issue.

    My question: If elected President, what will he do with those in the Bush administration that approved the use of torture?

    And no, I’m not a liberal. I’m a pre-Bush Republican.

  • Roy

    Babs…Sooo how you doin’?

  • Babs

    Roy, I do good, how ’bout you? 😉

  • McCain and Obama Town Hall Debate
    The Pulse of Politics

    I handed my husband his digital blood pressure monitor as John McCain and Barack Obama sparred on our television screen. No, I wasn’t worried about David busting a blood vessel over political rhetoric. Last month he had undergone cardiac bypass surgery and it was time to measure his vital signs. I nudged his dinner plate aside on our round rattan table.

    Tom Brokaw delivered the next question to the two candidates. As most of the other selected questions tonight, this one had a predictable feel. The responses sounded scripted. How disappointing. I wanted to learn something more about Obama and McCain, about how their minds worked.

    Minds. For two weeks, the possibility of losing David–the “hero” in my life–had gnawed at my mind and stomach with the rat teeth of fear. The hum of the blood pressure meter had become all too familiar. The death rate was one per person. Eventually, tragedy hit all lives. I glanced at the television screen. So how would McCain or Obama function in the face of simultaneous sudden personal loss and national disaster? If they lost loved ones on the same day the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged to 5,000, could they cope? Become the “hero” our nation would require?

    I recorded David’s vital signs. Blood pressure too low. Pulse rate too high. He’d been having atrial fibrillation. His heart’s auricles had shimmied around instead of delivering the full contracted shipment of life blood to his ventricles. A medical analogy for routine governmental operations?

    The thump of a tail joined the candidates’ vocal beat. Our hundred-pound pooch implored with wistful eyes. I set my dinner plate, now containing his evening treat, on the kitchen floor. McCain and Obama tossed out some dubious financial “facts.” If only a meter could measure the pulse of politics, display the truth of all politicians’ claims. My published book, Heroes Arise, had been classified as science fiction/fantasy, but I preferred to base my votes on pure reality.

  • Where is the real McCain. I thought I was watching the “Night of the Living Dead.” John get mad and do the job you are running for.

  • john

    mccain’s “that one” comment about obama demonstrates how he thinks about bringing people together, ending partisanship, etc. as he so often says. instead, we see how he creates partisanship – he’s a king. i cringe thinking about how he thinks of the international community. he called a teen asking him a question about his age, “a little jerk”. senator mccain is a “maveric” all right. but a maveric can be good or bad, intelligent or not, respectful or disrespectful. a maveric is out for himself. these men will be elected to represent you and i, not themselves.

  • Robert Singer

    What has made the American people so mad is the arrogance and lack of accountability in Washington. Whether it is Fanny May and Freddy Mac or trusting that deregulation would not bring about bad behavior caused by greed, both Republicans and Democrats bear responsible for the current economic crisis. All the American people hear and see is finger pointing and blame casting. No one has been man or women enough to stand up and acknowledge their parties responsibility in this crisis. We the American people do not mind making sacrifices for the greater good, but we not only deserve but demand people in Washington who will admit their errors, apologize and then ask us to sacrifice and seek solutions. Where is the apology from both parties? I think that in the next debate, the candidate that can admit his own parties faults, apologize to the American people and state how he will take on his OWN party (be it Democrat or Republican),remove the arrogance & entitlement attitude in Washington, bring about a culture of accountability, get the American people an apology and put the American people first will be the next President of the United States. He most certainly would get my vote.
    Question: How would you take on your own party to remove the arrogance of Washington, bring back personal accountablity to Washington and get the American people an appology for the mistakes your own party has made in the last 8 years?

    Thank you

  • Kelly

    There has been an email circulating that I think everyone should take a moment to consider the possibilities…

    “We Deserve it Dividend” summary below proposed by T.J. Birkenmeier

    Take the $85,000,000,000.00 Bail Out money and divide it evenly upon all bonafide U.S. Citizens 18 years or older.

    To make the math simple the suggestion is to assume there are 200,000,000 bonofide U.S. Citizens Adults 18 and up. So divide 200 million adults 18+ into $85 billion that equals $425,000 a piece.

    Of course, it would NOT be tax-free. So let’s assume a tax rate of 30%.

    Every individual would pay $127,500.00 in taxes which sends back $25,500,000,000 right back to Uncle Sam. But it means that every adult 18+ has $297,500.00 in their pocket. A husband and wife team has $595,000.00.

    What would you do with $297,500.00 to $595,000.00 in your family?

    Pay off your mortgage – housing crisis solved.
    Repay college loans – what a great boost to new grads.
    Put away money for college – it will be there.
    Save in a bank – create money to loan to entrepreneurs.
    Buy a new car – create/save jobs.
    Invest in the market – capital drives growth.
    Pay for your parent’s medical insurance – healthcare improves.
    Enable Deadbeat Dads to come clean – or else.

    Why Not?

  • GDubya

    Kelly, aparently your hero and yourself are in need of a remedial math refresher. 85Billion divided by 200M equals $425 per person. This is what happens when people believe what they want to without a shred of doubt or realism.

  • NJM

    Sorry Kelly, but that would be $425 each not $425,000!

  • Keith

    try again…
    850 billion (the pork bill was for 850 billion, not 85 billion) divided by 200 million is $4,250 per person.

    A billion here, a billion there – pretty soon you are talking about serious money!

  • rindacella

    Obama is a socialist. O’Reilly exposed this already on his show. Why aren’t the mainstream news interested in this story? McCain needs to nail Obama with this.

    On the bailout – we need a commission. We had one for 9/11. The American people deserve to know – what happened, how it happened and who played a role – Dem or Rep. We can’t keep giving our money away on Socialist programs.

  • Mas Giansante

    Bob Schieffer should never be allowed to moderate a debate, why not someone among the living instead?

  • Conservative

    My question is to McCain and palin. you know exactly how to nail barrack HUSSEIN obama to the wall and catch him in his lies yet you have let him slide by without a fight on very obvious issues. you need to push them to the walla dn leave them no way out period. You owe this to your country to do the best you can to ensure its freedoms. you know as well as i do that if he wins this nation will become 100% socialist. The liberals lie and cheat adn have so many agendas that you could pick from, when you respond to the questions you need to remember how we are suppose to vote for this office as the american people. It is not about foreign policy or domestic. It is not about the war or anythign political. It is making sure that the american people see your character. Character is how we are suppose to vote for the president of the United States of America. need to instill trust in the american people. This country can’t afford obama (in which by the way the reason that he mimmicked that on his add means he is scared of you in the first place) is that we cannot trust him and he has absolutly no character to speak of. you ont he other hand need to quit repeatign yourself about your military experience adn state why we can trust your judgement adn character vs. his. again it is not about policy. It is about Character adn trust. You have great character now it is time for you to shine at this last debate. Give them haities!!!!

  • Babs

    Many people do not believe that character should be an issue in this election. But I say this:

    If one does not have good character and is known to be deceptive about his own character, how are we supposed to believe them when they roll out their plans? Are they not the “little boy who cried wolf”? Maybe they’re telling the truth, and maybe they’re not. How are we to know?

  • Time for Change

    Conservative-if Liberals “lie and cheat” and “we cannot trust Obama”, what Dubya did was be honest about the Iraq war right? Awesome character.

  • jake mencelli

    I can’t believe ANYONE thinks John McCain won that debate. He was a mess. As a former fan, I genuinely felt sorry for him. There’s no question for me now, that Barack Obama will be a far better President for this country. I was on the fence before tonight, but I am absolutely clear now… my choice has been made.

  • McCains strong military

    Coming from a military background especially being a war vet, I would have thought that I would vote for McCain. However I have one issue and that is he is too “military”. Believe it or not you can be to “militaristic”. His views on dealing with other countries and dealing with Iran are horrible, basically just tell us straight out that just like President Bush, you will be going to war with Iran in your term. One thing everyone need’s to realize, is Iran holds a lot of power due to it’s ties with oil. You go to war with Iran, expect a lot of other countries to get involved, then just pray they are backing you and not thinking your trying to control the oil for the world. Go to war with Iran and chances of a lengthy WWIII is very good.

    Being too militaristic basically is like ruling with a heavy hand. You do this and we will destroy you as we are more powerful than you. Right now we don’t need that, we need money to go back into our pockets not into helping rebuild another country.

    You can tell he is too militaristic when you listen to what he says about his “spending freeze”, notice he will say “except in the areas of defense spending and veteran affairs”. So basically keep building the military so we can attack Iran and the rest of America, your on your own.

    Then tonight he mentions the plan of “Troops to Teachers”, where “military personnel can go straight to teaching and not have to take these examinations (referring to the teachers exams needed to become a teacher)”. I will leave this message on this note….I’m a military war veteran, I and you do not want me teaching your kids, just because I served my country…trust me…

  • theodore t life jr

    i thik John McCain Missed his calling, he should have been an actor!What’s scary about this last debate is that there are people out there who will believe this last dis effort against Obama from this highly pretentious and clearly deceiving man.There’s no doubt that Obama bring’s real substance to the game and did so tonight,however McCain is relying on the federalist in which he called himself in this last debate to vote for him and there lies the danger!

  • Conservative American

    During last nights Debate i noticed that Obama was trying to pull away from the factthat he was a supporter of abortion. Myself and many others would agree that having an abortion is murder. Another thing that really jumped out at me was Obama wanting to raisetaxes to help support a problem that isnt going to be fixed by taking more tax payers money. He says that if we spend more well be able to fix the problem. I think that if McCain was going to go to war with Iran (which he more than likely wont) he would have a better reason then to control oil. If you didnt notice he is a supporter of drilling on U.S. property to get oil. He wants do drill on American shores. The only one thing Obama had a good idea on was howwe should get kids learning more at a younger age so they wont be so screwed in middle and high school. Also givign that $4,000 do people wishing to go into college rite out of hihg school. BUT if you will notice that takes money. Where he plans on getting all this money, I dont know. Troops to Teachers i think is a program/idea that has been misinterpruted by alot of people. If a military vet is qualified to teach then they can teach. Another thing is that military vets can teach in many ways; teaching other military trainees teaching special classes such as JROTC.Ill close on this mark. McCain knows hes the better man for the job but he has to get past Obama’s Young age strong voice and look.

  • Amber12300


  • Unknown5

    I think Senator BArak Obama should win b/c he would make the education system great. He will also try to end our wars with Iraq and many other things that are important.

  • Tyler

    I’m 16 years old and not elligible to vote. I’ve spent the greater part of the past hour reading all the points of view the commenters have. But in all honesty what I find more apalling is the how riled up people get about views of their fellow americans. Their own brothers and sisters if you will. We live in a country that supports freedom of speech and expression but the voters fail to practice our earliest amendments. This lil’ comment may have been off topic but to redirect it I say this: I’m fine with either candidate winning, but each has their own flaws. For instance McCain is trying to strengthen our military and keep us in Iraq, and while I see the point in this, I have a brother-in-law over there that I would LOVE to see again. I have many friends that I would like to see again. To counter my previous statement, there’s nothing that we can do. Even to withdraw our troops, it would take 6mo-2yrs. We can’t just abandon everything we started there. But what do I know? I’m just a pothead failing out of school. The scum of society right?

  • brittany

    i think they both led a good campain and i hope the best to our country that obama doesnt reuin it..!

  • Jennifer

    im very glad with the results of the election … there will be a change