September 20, 2004

Joint Statement from Secretary James A. Baker, III, Bush-Cheney '04 Debate Negotiations Team Leader and Vernon Jordan, Jr., Kerry-Edwards Lead Debate Negotiator

“We are pleased to announce today that President Bush and Senator Kerry will participate in three debates.  The first debate is on Thursday, September 30 at the University of Miami, in Coral Gables, Florida, the second is on October 8 in St. Louis, Missouri at Washington University, and the third at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona on October 13.  Vice President Cheney will debate Senator Edwards on Tuesday, October 5 at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. 

“President Bush’s campaign and Senator Kerry’s campaign have entered into a memorandum of understanding that will govern these debates.  A copy of that memorandum of understanding is attached. 

“The September 30th debate will be on foreign policy and homeland security.  The October 8 debate will be on all subjects and the October 13 debate will be on domestic and economic policy.  The vice presidential debate will be on all topics.

“The debates will provide an opportunity for President Bush and Senator Kerry to have a serious discussion about the important issues to be decided in this election.

“We have worked to produce an agreement that will ensure a productive and fruitful exchange of ideas about the most important issues facing Americans today. 

“Both President Bush and Senator Kerry are pleased with today’s announcement and look forward to the debates.

“We wish to commend the Commission on Presidential Debates for its efforts on the 2004 debates.”

Memorandum of Understanding [PDF]