POSTED: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - 4:43pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - 5:15pm
Tyler, TX — Tonight is the second presidential debate and yesterday Time Magazine released the debate contract agreed to by both campaigns. Now, there has been some anger and frustration from some, that both the Romney and Obama campaign would agree to a debate format which some claim to be too soft.
In past years, debate contracts were rarely released. UT Tyler's debate coach says the presidential debate is structured in order to persuade rather than to win. Dr. Charles Walts said, "They're about focusing on a very specific part of the population, yah know the un-decided."
Part of the agreement is the different stage setups between the three presidential debates and the one vice presidential debate. We asked East Texans which set up they find most effective. Here's what they had to say.
"I like the podium because i like to see people head to head going at it."
"I like the podium, I think it really depends on who's administrating or overseeing the whole thing."
"Town hall, I would say its more controllable."
"I like the town hall where people can actually ask questions instead of the moderator."
Dr. Walts says the town hall format makes the candidates appear more personable. He said, "When the audience asks questions the candidates have to balance answering the questions in a respectful way to the audience and being aggressive towards the person they're debating against."
Another agreement in the contract is the moderator will not coach the questions or ask follow up questions in regards to the audience.
Walts said, "If she doesn't have that ability it essentially turns the debate into talking points." He said one thing that was so great about the vice presidential debate was that they were driven to fully answer the questions and he hopes that tonight's moderator will bring their feet to the fire to explain details.
The debate is airing tonight on KETK at 8 o'clock.