The Presidential Debates: What Do YOU Want to Hear?

Presidential debates
For months, presidential contenders Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have honed their political messages in debates and rallies, speeches and press conferences. But while the candidates and their political operative have both been quick to criticize the opposite side, they still haven't gone head to head on the public stage. Starting Wednesday, October 3, however, that will change, as the two will meet at the University of Denver in the first of three public debates. The focus of Wednesday's face-off will be the economy.

Presidential debates tend to be fluffy bits of political theater, full of sound and fury but promising little in terms of new policies or talking points. But for all their shortcomings, they are also among the most dramatic parts of an election season, moments when voters get to see the two halves of their ballot face each other across a stage and put their competing visions on the table.

So the question is, what do you hope to hear in Wednesday's debate? Do you want to hear the candidates talk about jobs or real estate, taxes or healthcare? Do you hope to hear about new plans for averting the fiscal cliff or funding education or revitalizing America's infrastructure? When the candidates speak, is there anything that they can say that will seal your vote, or have you already made your choice? In short, do the debates matter to you?

If you have any strong feelings or concerns about the debates, let us know! E-mail me your comments at bruce.watson@teamaol.com, or respond in the comment section below. As we continue to write on this topic, we may include your thoughts in a future DailyFinance, AOL Jobs or AOL Real Estate story!

Bruce Watson is a senior features writer for DailyFinance. You can reach him by e-mail at bruce.watson@teamaol.com, or follow him on Twitter at @bruce1971.

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ssanctified

This debate is like going to the biggest party of the year - but waking up the next day with a hang over. Romney was clearly the life of this party, he was theatrical, and obviously moved the debate in the direction he wanted to focus on. But, as a voter who was honestly listening to the debate objectively, I have concluded that Romney went on the attack in order to avoid telling me his specific plans on the economy, tax, and yes healthcare. Infact, he said that his plan on healthcare is a "long list" then continued without saying anything about the "long list". I was impressed by his debate performance against the president. However, the show is over and I am left with a headache because Romney did not - at any time - articulate his specific plans or proposals that would replace Obama's current and future plans. I want a president, a leader who not only has a vision but a plan to achieve the vision. Yes, I want to hear about it before I vote. I am impressed by Romney's debate style BUT I must conclude that he is all "form and no substance; dance and no rhythm" because he still has not unveil his plans concerning the issues. To worsen the hangover - Fact Finders team of the various news networks such as CNN revealed that various statements made by Romney were either not truth or not fact. Wow! Voters like me may not always believe presidential candidates, but the Fact Finders team helps me to cut through the hype without getting too involved in politics. Obama was clearly not as flamboyant as Romney tonight. But, I must conclude again that Obama gave me substance concerning his current policies and future plans. In my opinion, this 1st debate did not change my thoughts on either candidate prior to this debate. However, if today were election day, I would vote for Obama based on 1) the facts and truth per Fact Finder, and 2) Obama's articulation of his policies and plans on the economy, tax and healthcare - Romney did not.

October 04 2012 at 1:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
seashell33

Ask Romney for specifics of his tax plan and spending cuts.

October 03 2012 at 6:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Larry

Ask Obama how he can he supports our veterans after he took away our medical care that was promised back as far as the fifties. Ask why congress and he took away our COLA increases for 2 years and then tuned around and voted themselves a pay raise. Did the cost of living increase only for the greedy politicians? The price of gas has doubled, the price of food has doubled and th price of utilities ha doubled, but the cost of living did not go up except for the greedy politicians. Not one incumbent in Washington is doing thier job or we wouldn't be in the shape we'er in in this countrry. A vote for incumbency is a vote for incomptency. The democrats and the GOP are all greedy, inefficient, incompetent idiots butthey are all rich and got thier money from us, it's time to get rid of the two party system and the electoral college.

September 29 2012 at 8:15 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Larry

Ask Obama how he can he supports our veterans after he took away our medical care that was promised back as far as the fifties. Ask why congress and he took away our COLA increases for 2 years and then tuned around and voted themselves a pay raise. Did the cost of living increase only for the greedy politicians? The price of gas has doubled, the price of food has doubled and th price of utilities ha doubled, but the cost of living did not go up except for the greedy politicians. Not one incumbent in Washington is doing thier job or we wouldn't be in the shape we'er in in this countrry. A vote for incumbency is a vote for incomptency. The democrats and the GOP are all greedy, inefficient, incompetent idiots butthey are all rich and got thier money from us, it's time to get rid of the two party system and the electoral college.

September 29 2012 at 8:15 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Larry

Ask Obama how he can he supports our veterans after he took away our medical care that was promised back as far as the fifties. Ask why congress and he took away our COLA increases for 2 years and then tuned around and voted themselves a pay raise. Did the cost of living increase only for the greedy politicians? Not one incumbent in Washington is doing thier job or we wouldn't be in the shape we'er in in this countryu. A vote for incumbency is a vote for incomptency.

September 29 2012 at 8:08 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Russ

Fearless leader is a socialist muslim extremest who is bent on destroying this country. He has accelerated the demise of our economy, shredded the Constitution, discarded our values, covered up massive corruption and established himself as czar with dictatorial powers far beyond the limits and checks and balances of his office. Regretfully, he will be re-elected by a large majority who are waiting for more \"Obamamoney\". I do not believe that the U.S. can withstand four more years, and that we will be relegated to the dustbin of history just like every other superpower the world has ever witnessed. As a totally disabled, combat veteran, seasoned citizen, true conservative and constitutional originalist, I am ashamed of what my country has become. .

September 29 2012 at 9:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Russ

Fearless leader is a socialist muslim extremest who is bent on destroying this country. He has accelerated the demise of our economy, shredded the Constitution, discarded our values, covered up massive corruption and established himself as czar with dictatorial powers far beyond the limits and checks and balances of his office. Regretfully, he will be re-elected by a large majority who are waiting for more \"Obamamoney\". I do not believe that the U.S. can withstand four more years, and that we will be relegated to the dustbin of history just like every other superpower the world has ever witnessed. As a totally disabled, combat veteran, seasoned citizen, true conservative and constitutional originalist, I am ashamed of what my country has become. .

September 29 2012 at 9:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Russ

Fearless leader is a socialist muslim extremest who is bent on destroying this country. He has accelerated the demise of our economy, shredded the Constitution, discarded our values, covered up massive corruption and established himself as czar with dictatorial powers far beyond the limits and checks and balances of his office. Regretfully, he will be re-elected by a large majority who are waiting for more \"Obamamoney\". I do not believe that the U.S. can withstand four more years, and that we will be relegated to the dustbin of history just like every other superpower the world has ever witnessed. As a totally disabled, combat veteran, seasoned citizen, true conservative and constitutional originalist, I am ashamed of what my country has become. .

September 29 2012 at 9:28 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
chris1011

One more time- Business CEO's DO NOT MAKE GOOD POLITICAL LEADERS. Businesses are a Fascist Dictatorship, democratic government is ruled by consensus. This man is so far removed from the reality of an average person, he cannot have the empathy or the experience to make decisions that benefit ALL of the classes or citizens. Throw in a rigid belief in a strict religious dogma, and you have Mitt, the unelectable candidate.

September 28 2012 at 7:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
gmydogbud

What I want to know is as follows: Will they remove the Social Security Money from The Gerneral Fund and Return It To The Social Security Fund? If Not - Why Not?

Will they Claw Back All The Money That Congress Have Made On Insider Trading & Put IT Into The Social Security Fund? - If Not - Why Not?

Will They Require Big Businesses To PAY TAXES? If Not - Why Not?

Will They STOP - Paying Back Their Friends In Big Business - On The Backs Of The American Citizens? IF Not - Why Not ?

How & When Will They Bring Production & Customer Service Jobs, Which Pay A Living Wage - Back To The United States?

What I would like to ask them is : What Makes Illegal Aliens SO Special That They Can Thumb Their Nose At The American People, Our Country & Our Laws & Then Be Rewarded By Our President & Congress? Why Were My Grandparents & One Parent Required To Obey The Laws Of This Land & Come Here Legally ?

Will They Return The Money Taken From The Medicare Fund That Was Taken To Help Fund "OBAMA CARE"? If Not - Why Not?

September 28 2012 at 4:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to gmydogbud's comment
chris1011

No money was taken from the "Medicare Fund". The 750 billion was money saved by going after abuse and fraud.

Social security has always run a surplus, and the extra money was invested in US treasuries where it earns interest. This is the same as you putting money in the bank, that money does not sit in a lock box, but is loaned out to people who are buying cars, appliances, homes etc. The largest owner of treasuries is Social Security. The future shrtfall can be easily fixed if the cutoff of collecting FICA is extended beyond $110,000 earnings.

Most of what you hear on talk radio and Fox about SS and Medicare is false.

September 28 2012 at 7:46 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply