The Nine Most Memorable Debate Moments

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Ronald Reagan: "There You Go Again"

 

Having dispatched of his Republican rivals—all except John Anderson, who ran as an independent—Reagan faced off in the general election against Democratic incumbent Jimmy Carter. President Carter, as he was doing on the campaign trail, attacked Reagan’s record on Medicare. The “microphone” line he used against George Bush was borrowed from a 1948 Spencer Tracy film. To blunt Carter’s attacks on Medicare, Reagan came up with a one-liner of his own devising-but one he had rehearsed beforehand. “There you go again,” he interjected as a way of conveying that the president was over reliant on that line of argument and was misrepresenting Reagan’s positions. The gambit disarmed Carter and proved so popular that Reagan reprised it in 1984 against Walter Mondale.

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