Here’s the Full ‘Memo Of Understanding’ That the Obama & Romney Campaigns and Commission on Presidential Debates Wanted To Keep Secret

By Alex Weprin 

Last month we noted that advocacy groups asked the Commission on Presidential debates to release the secret documents that form as the basis for the three Presidential and one Vice Presidential debates. The document, called a “memo of understanding,” is crafted by the CPD along with the Romney and Obama campaigns.

The CPD declined, so TIME‘s Mark Halperin decided to release it for them. Halperin already reported that the two campaigns have taken issue with comments made by tomorrow’s debate moderator, Candy Crowley. The full document sheds light on exactly what role the moderator is supposed to play.

Among the rules: Crowley is not supposed to ask any follow-ups, and may not “coach” audience questioners  She may also not ask for “show of hands” questions. The Commission also says it will try and limit the angles of TV cameras by locking them into place, and by forbidding shots of family members or friends, or audience reaction shots.


Update: To be clear, the agreement is signed by the Romney and Obama campaigns, and the moderators and networks that televise the debates do not have to agree to anything written in it.

The full memo, courtesy of TIME, is embedded below.

2012 Debates Memorandum of Understanding Between the Obama and Romney Campaigns