TV debate moments: Jimmy Carter v Ronald Reagan | October 1980

“There you go again.”

The US presidential debate between Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter was memorable in more ways than one. But the moment that sticks in most minds is Reagan's response to Carter's attack on his opposition to Medicare and social security benefits while Reagan was serving as governor of California.

The Republican candidate chuckled and tossed Carter the one-liner, "There you go again."

While Carter's argument was not a bad one (it was quite relevant, in fact), it was Reagan's curt response that entered folklore.

Another moment in the debate that remains etched in history also came from Reagan. He faced the camera and asked the American people:

Are you better off than you were four years ago? Is it easier for you to go and buy things in the stores than it was four years ago? Is there more or less unemployment in the country than it was [sic] four years ago? Is America as respected throughout the world as it was four years ago? Do you feel that our security is as safe, that we're as strong as were were four years ago?

Bluntly posing questions that attacked Carter's record, Reagan gave Americans a simple choice.

In this week's New Statesman magazine, Dominick Sandbrook delves deeper into the Reagan/Carter debate -- and what the British candidates can learn from it.

You can watch both moments in the clip below.

 

 

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