Super Awkward Moments in Presidential Debate History

FILE - This Aug. 8, 2014, file photo shows Governor Rick Perry as he speaks at the 2014 Red State Gathering, in Fort Worth, Texas. Perry has been indicted for abuse of power after carrying out a threat to veto funding for state public corruption prosecutors. The Republican governor is accused of abusing his official powers by publicly promising to veto $7.5 million for the state public integrity unit at the Travis County District Attorney's office. He was indicted by an Austin grand jury Friday, Aug. 15. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)


(ABC)– As the first presidential debate approaches, a record-breaking number of viewers are expected to tune in to watch Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump address their respective policies, scandals and contentious campaign attacks.

While much of the hype revolves uniquely around the two candidates themselves –- in a historic election cycle that has seen both survive disputes within their own parties and their respective legal cases –- it’s also about seeing how they perform against each other in a key hallmark of the American electoral process.

Though Trump’s primary debate performances suggest a very unusual debate series, ABC looks back at the many presidential debates broadcast on television, which show an important truism: Debates can be awkward and unexpected.

From President Bush checking his watch to Sarah Palin’s bashful “Can I call you Joe?” in her debate with Joe Biden to Rick Perry’s infamous “oops” moment, here are some of the most awkward debate moments in history –- with a few cameos from the 2016 primaries.

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