WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An independent U.S. panel
Monday scheduled three presidential debates for next October
between President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger.
The Commission on Presidential Debates set the first debate
for Oct. 3 at the University of Denver in Colorado, the second
for Oct. 16 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, and
the third for Oct. 22 at Lynn University in Boca Raton,
A debate between the vice presidential nominees was set for
Oct. 11 at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky. The
presidential election is on Nov. 6, 2012.
In making the announcement, the commission also issued a
ruling that appeared to take into account the possibility of a
third-party candidate emerging next year.
It said candidates eligible to be invited to the general
election debates must appear on enough state ballots to have a
mathematical chance of winning the presidency, and have at
least 15 percent support in major polls.
Obama campaign manager Jim Messina said in a statement that
Obama looks forward to next year's debates.
"Once the Republicans have selected their candidate, we
will work through the details with their campaign and the
Commission on Presidential Debates," he said.
(Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Xavier Briand)
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