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Kerry and Bush agree on debates

Sept. 20, 2004 at 10:36 PM

WASHINGTON, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- Republican George W. Bush and Democrat U.S. Sen. John F. Kerry signed an agreement Monday for three presidential campaign debates.

The campaigns announced Monday the candidates will meet for their first debate next week on Sept. 30 at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The debate will be moderated by Jim Lehrer of PBS, CNN reported Monday.

ABC's Charles Gibson is to moderate the second debate Oct. 8 at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., and the third debate Oct. 13 is to be held at Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz., with CBS's Bob Schieffer acting as moderator.

The first debate will focus on foreign policy and homeland security, the second debate will be held as a town hall meeting with questions asked by "soft" supporters of each candidate. The final event will address economic and domestic policy.

The agreement stipulates the candidates may not ask each other direct questions, however they will be able to ask rhetorical questions, CNN reported.

"The debates will provide an opportunity for President Bush and Sen. John Kerry to have a serious discussion about the important issues to be decided in this election," a joint statement from the campaigns said.

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