What question do you want answered at the presidential debate tomorrow?

Tomorrow night is the first presidential debate so, today we’re talking about whether debates really matter and getting a behind-the-scenes glimpse at how they work.

Kerri wants to know if there is a question that you think never gets asked, but should be asked. What is it?

Here’s a trip down memory lane: the first McCain-Obama debate in 2008.

–Stephanie Curtis, social media host

  • kent

    What question do you want answered at the presidential debate tomorrow?

    Why are politicians and govenment employees entitled to many more lifetime taxpayer benefits than non-government emplyees and politicians?

    This is a question that is always circulated at election time but never addressed?!

  • Beth Peterson

    We hear a lot about the middle class and tax cuts to the rich, but I think not enough questions are asked about poverty. Over 46 million Americans lived in poverty in 2011. More than one in five children live in poverty and I would like to hear what the candidates would do in the to address child poverty in the U.S.

  • Stephanie

    Here’s an interesting take on why there isn’t more diversity amongst presidential debate moderators. The co-chair of the Commission on Presidential Debates says blame the TV news networks. from Poynter:

    “The television industry has not done a very good job with diversity with regard to really having women, or blacks or Hispanics in leading situations,” Frank Fahrenkopf told Poynter via telephone.

  • Mark H.

    I would like to have Gov. Romney asked how much his 20% across the board tax cut plan will cost in lost tax revenues, and then follow up with how the math adds up to then balance the budget?

  • DNA

    October first marked the 75th anniversary of the prohibition of cannabis. It was illegally criminalized for racial and fascist reasons. Given what we know now about the world’s most utilitarian plant how is it that any administeration can keep this illegal to the people. Isn’t it time to end prohibition of cannabis hemp?

  • Mike in MPLS

    If we are the greatest nation in the world, why do we imprison more of our citizens than any other country?

  • Chad Christy

    I would ask basically any question from the board game Scruples


    Under what circumstances is it OK to break a campaign promise?

  • Stephanie


    Everyone liked the idea of Scruples.

  • Mark

    When a candidate fails to answer the actual question asked, I would like the moderator say “I am sure that is the answer to a question, but not the one I asked” and then use silence to wait for answer.

  • Yvonne

    I would love to hear both Candidates to DEFINE middle class – ie gross/net income levels- families /singles/couples etc ! Both keep saying “middle class” doubtful they mean the same subset of people.

  • Rich in Duluth

    I would ask, “Gov Romney, what do you think it is about women that makes them incapable of making the correct decision regarding abortion?”

  • Tom

    What is the TRUTH about the relationship between taxes and jobs?

  • Susan

    What are you going to do about the failed War on Drugs. Hasn’t Nixon’s legacy afflicted the world long enough?

  • John

    I would ask: Would you be willing to participate in a Twitter debate? I’m really tired of the long, lawyer-style non-answers!

  • Mia

    Paul Ryan recently said in a Fox interview that it would take “too long” to explain the math behind their proposed tax cuts. The moderators should ask him and Romney to take a few minutes and explain it – most Americans have the basic math skills to understand this.

  • Thomasina

    When will the American public be allowed to grow hemp as our founding fathers (and ancestors) did and suggested that we do likewise?

  • James

    Mr. Obama, in the debates four years ago, you mentioned seeking common ground on the issue of abortion. However, those in the pro-life movement have been disappointed with your record. And, in this year’s Democratic Party national convention, the language was strongly pro-choice. Why should someone who is pro-life vote for you or any Democrat?

  • georges

    Ask each of the candidates what his intention is toward the Thanksgiving turkey.

    I will vote for the first one to say he will chop the head off and roast that turkey. Ummmmm, good.

  • Sam

    This is not specifically a question that need be answered during the debate, rather a general comment.

    I think it is unfortunate that the debates are partisan now as they are controlled by the Commission on Presidential Debates, run by the two major political parties. Prior to 1988, the League of Women Voters (non-partisan) sponsored the debates, but withdrew because of the partisanship and control that Democrats and Republicans wanted.

    I think we need to get back to non-partisan debates which will help make, as the LWV put it, “campaign-trail charades devoid of substance, spontaneity and answers to tough questions” a thing of the past. It will also allow third-party candidates a chance.

  • Jeff Nygaard

    What sort of “regular people” get into the Town Hall Forum debates? Who decides who gets in?

  • Greg

    While in Denver, and soon after shooting in Aurora, how do we stop killings without some support for new laws? Does 2nd ammendment trump public safety?

  • James

    Mr. Romney, your campaign has been saying President Obama has been given four years to fix the problems that existed when he took office, and he failed. How do you respond to those who claim that as a result of the Republicans becoming the majority in the House of Representatives in the 2010 midterm elections, and the resulting deadlock between the House and the Democratic dominated Senate, Mr. Obama was, in effect, given only two years?

    How would you handle a “do-nothing” legislature?

  • Anna

    When the 30 million citizens go on Medicaid for healthcare, where are the providers going to come from who will provide care? We don’t have enough family and internal medicine providers now.

  • Frank Owen

    If your doctors told you had dementia, would you resign the presidency?

  • kristin anderson

    Evidence shows that a woman’s ability to control her reproductive choices has enormous impact on her economic well being.

    I would ask how the policies advocated by the candidate would impact women’s economic status.

  • Lindsey

    There have been 0 deaths due to marijuana as primary cause however there are countless and continuous deaths due to FDA approved drugs. The name marijuana was used to dissuade the public from a plant that has been used for thousands of years safely and effectively for medicine and many other uses. Medical marijuana, rightfully called hemp or cannabis, could save the American public billions in healthcare eat each year. What is your response to the majority of Americans who want it legal and available?

  • Daniel

    Seeing how important the national debt is to our nation and how the pension plans are caving in the post office.

    Would the candidates reduce or get rid off the gov. pension plans to reduce the national debt?

  • James

    I’d like to give the candidates essay questions, in which the candidates would be given days or weeks to answer.

    Here’s one:

    Part One:

    Describe the maximum average sustainable life style the Earth can support? That is, suppose everyone on Earth had equal an equal share of Earth’s resources, and lead the same life style. What would that be? For example, could every nuclear family live in a 50 room mansion and have 10 cars? Explain and support your answer.

    (In responding to this part, do not assume that anyone is advocating that everyone live the same life style.)

    Part Two:

    How should the Earth’s resources be fairly distributed between nations? Within a nation, how should the resources to which that nation has access be distributed between its citizens?

  • Mike

    Will you legalize pot (or decriminalize). Why or why not?

  • Geoffrey Serdar

    Earlier on the air I gave Kerri the question I most would like seen asked the debating candidates.

    I’d like to clarify my question, “Given the international importance of the United States elections and the no doubt across the world discussed debates, what role do you see yourself in if you do not actually win the election?”

    My question was similar on the air but Kerri ended up slanting my question by adding something along the lines of, “What role do you play for the common good?”

    I believe that this was framing the question in certain light and would not allow the candidates free reign in their answers. I would want to keep the question completely neutral and hear their own ideas for themselves after the election’s end.


    Geoffrey Serdar


  • John

    I agree with Jim Lehrer – Romney should be asked if he agrees with his church’s treatment of women – I don’t understand why this has not been addressed yet.

  • John

    I agree with Stacey Solie at the Daily Beast – Romney should be asked if he agrees with his church’s treatment of women – I don’t understand why this has not been addressed yet.



  • I would like to know why so much money needs to be spent campaigning? Why not use the money to feed hungry children right here in the US or find deadbeat non-custodial parents living the good life with no responsibility to their children. Former President Bill Clinton signed the “Deadbeat parent Act” in 1996, but yet it is rarely used. There are definitely laws in place to prosecute and locate them. Come on its 2012 I know the resources are there to find them.

  • Jerome

    Seventeen states, including Michigan, are in open revolt with the federal government over its drug policies. Three states have ballot proposals in this federal election cycle openly legalizing marijuana use for adults, including Colorado, where the first presidential debate is scheduled. Polls show these initiatives are likely to succeed in Colorado and Oregon. National polls continue to show the presidential race within just a few percentage points. A large swath of both Republican and Democratic voters support a fundamental change in federal drug policies. These voters make up a percentage far larger than the gap between the candidates. Yet the candidates refuse to give any serious attention to this topic and the policies they would support as president, treating it as a non-issue or as a joke.

    My question for the candidates: “Granted that our nation faces far greater problems than the legalization or medical use of marijuana, what would your administration’s policy be, and why, regarding existing federal laws classifying marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, prohibiting its use for any reason and imposing strict limitations on research involving it?”

  • RealityIsNotOptional

    How long will the U.S. dollar last before it is printed into oblivion?

  • Dakota

    I would like to know what Romney would do to break down partisan silos and bring back bi-partisanship. I would like to hear how he feels partisanship has helped or hindered the country over the last 4 years and I want to know if his party will claim any of the responsibility for the gridlock we have seen in Congress since President Obama took office.

  • Paul Fitzsimons

    I would like to ask Romney, how he justified taking 10 million dollars from the FDIC to save Bain Capital by threatening to pay out big bonuses to his top executives and then walking away with 4 million dollars.

  • Paul Fitzsimons

    I would like to make my question a little clearer for Romney.

    According to Rolling Stones Magazine, when Bain Capital was almost bankrupt, you requested a loan for 10 million dollars from the FDIC. And according to Rolling Stones Magazine, you told the FDIC that if you did not get the loan you would start paying out large bonuses to your top executives from you cash reserves, there by forcing Bain to go bankrupt. After getting the loan from the FDIC, you walked away with 4 million dollars.

    From what I have read, it seems as though Bain Capitals main bussiness was to buy companies and strip them of their assets and benefits then walking away with a large profit. Many employees at these companies loosing their health insurance, retirement benefits, etc., etc. If this is true, why should I believe you are going to help the middle class in America?

  • Stephine kelch

    What do they plan to do to help single parents who get no child support? Most single parents can’t get help from the goverment because they make to much money but don’t make enough to pay all their bills.