September 25, 1988; Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Moderator: Jim Lehrer, PBS

Michael Dukakis and public service
In response to a question by Peter Jennings of ABC News, Michael Dukakis explained his "passion" for public service.

George Bush, Dukakis and the ACLU
George Bush addressed a question asked by Peter Jennings concerning Bush's characterizations of Michael Dukakis as a "card-carrying" member of the American Civil Liberties Union.

October 5, 1988; Omaha, Nebraska
Moderator: Judy Woodruff, PBS

Bentsen on Quayle: "No JFK"

In his only debate encounter with Democratic vice presidential candidate Lloyd Bentsen, Republican candidate Dan Qualye compared his experience in Congress to that of John F. Kennedy. Bentsen, of course, took exception.

October 13, 1988; Los Angeles, California
Moderator: Bernard Shaw, CNN

Dukakis v. Bernard Shaw
Moderator Bernard Shaw addressed the infamous first question of this debate to Michael Dukakis. While Shaw's question would later be criticized as tasteless and intrusive, it was Dukakis' calm, deliberative response that garnered negative reactions from many debate viewers.

Bush on Quayle
Shaw's first question to George Bush asked if Bush were to die before assuming office, would he have confidence in Quayle's ability to lead. Bush used his answer to attack the press's treatment of Quayle.