The Nine Most Memorable Debate Moments

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Al Gore Confronting George W. Bush


During the town-hall style 2000 presidential debate Vice President Al Gore and Texas Gov. George W. Bush were engaged in a back-and-forth over pending legislation in Congress over a “patients’ bill of rights.” Bush favored a Republican version; Gore favored a version known on Capitol Hill as “Dingell-Norwood” after its sponsors, which Gore claimed “is the main one pending.” As Bush started to answer, Gore rose from his chair and walked over to Bush as though he were stalking him. Perhaps Gore was trying to intimidate Bush—or simply show the audience he was taller. Or maybe he wanted to startle Bush into blurting out that he’d never heard of Dingell or Norwood. Whatever it was, it didn’t work. Hiding a smile, Bush just nodded at Gore as if to dismiss the gambit, and continued his answer. Whatever he was up to, Gore came across as bullying and rude. The next morning, Barbara Bush drove in the knife by telling Charlie Gibson, “I thought he was going to hit George!”

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