When it comes to presidential primary and presidential debates, people always talk about the times where things seem the most contentious. While it makes for great newsbites, it often overshadows some of the other memorable moments that these debates have left us with. Some can make you laugh, and some make you cringe.
The conventions will come and go, and then come the debates. Romney and Obama are both capable debaters for sure, but one thing that will probably be on everyone's mind is; Who's going to step in it first? Who's going to make the first gaffe, or crack the first joke? Whether you're a fan of cringe-inspiring humor, biting wit or just love watching something that seems like it was made for a blooper reel, our political debates never fail to deliver.
1) Lightning strikes the building during a 2007 GOP primary debate while Rudy Giuliani is answering a question about abortion. His reaction is priceless.
2) After a poor performance during the first 1984 presidential debate, Ronald Reagan rallied. With his signature wit, Reagan was able to dismantle Walter Mondale's offense. Even though he was laughing, you could see it in his face that he had been mortally wounded.
3) At a GOP presidential debate, Michele Bachmann tried her best to lump Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich together, claiming that neither of them would ever repeal Obamacare. Romney and Gingrich responded together, getting a big laugh from the audience and embarrassing Bachmann. The frustration was apparent in her voice afterwards.
4) Ron Paul was asked if Rick Santorum was a fake. In true Ron Paul fashion, he doubled down, and got a big laugh in the process!
5) John McCain got a standing ovation for the manner in which he chose to make his point about government waste.
The Grand Slams
6) Every now and then someone hits it right out of the park, like Ronald Reagan did during a primary debate with George H.W. Bush in 1980. Bush didn't want to debate Reagan, so Reagan offered to pay to rent out the venue. When someone tried to turn off Reagan's microphone, Reagan smashed one over the fence.
7) Democratic VP nominee Lloyd Bentson was able to completely annihilate Republican Dan Quayle in this 1988 debate by showing just how young and inexperienced Qualye was.
8) Things got really bad in 1992 during this spat between Bill Clinton and Jerry Brown after Brown brought Hillary into the discussion.Yes, that's right. Bill defended Hillary.
9) Ronald Reagan was not known as one to get flustered very often. During a 1980 debate with Jimmy Carter, Reagan let out a small quip that expressed his frustration with the president. It was a sentiment that the rest of the country happened to agree with.
10) During the 2007 Democrat primaries, Rep. Dennis Kucinich claimed to see a UFO. Enough said.
11) And finally ... The most cringeworthy moment in recent debate history! Texas Governor Rick Perry forgetting what the third department he would cut after being elected president. Ouch.
It's times like these that people should remember that while U.S. politics is a full contact sport, it is also a spectator sport as well, filled with both hysterical and awful moments. As we gear up to watch Bam and Mittens take the stage, we should all be on the lookout for hularity, because if we've learned one thing after all this time, its that humor has a way of working itself into the debates.