PHILADELPHIA -- Democratic candidate John F. Kerry yesterday accepted an independent commission's schedule for three presidential debates and a vice presidential showdown.
"These commission debates have become an important tradition in presidential campaigns, and voters depend on them to help inform their choice," Kerry campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill said in a statement.
Presidential debates traditionally are preceded by delicate negotiations and attempts to manage expectations.
President Bush's campaign staff could not be reached yesterday for comment.
The Commission on Presidential Debates has proposed limiting two of the debates by topic. The first meeting on Sept. 30 at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla., will deal with domestic policy. The third on Oct. 13, on the subject of foreign affairs, will be at Arizona State University in Tempe.
The second forum on Oct. 8 would be a town hall format at Washington University in St. Louis, where voters can question candidates on any issue.
The commission proposed a single vice presidential nominee debate on Oct. 5 at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, to cover a wide range of issues.