Has any President declined to debate an opponent on television?

Photo of the second of the four presidential debates held during the 1960 presidential election. This debate took place in Washington D.C. at NBC's WRC-TV studios on October 7, 1960.

Photo of the second of the four presidential debates held during the 1960 presidential election. This debate took place in Washington D.C. at NBC's WRC-TV studios on October 7, 1960.

Answer: Yes

Lyndon Johnson in 1964 and Richard Nixon in 1968

CNN - Televised presidential debates have become so much a part of the fabric of autumn campaigns that many people assume that the famed John F. Kennedy-Richard Nixon debates of 1960 began an uninterrupted string.

But in fact, after the four Kennedy-Nixon debates, it would be 16 years before there was another debate between a Republican and Democratic candidate. Kennedy-Nixon, for a long stretch, was the anomaly -- the exception to the rule.

Before their debates, no presidential candidates in a general election had debated on radio or television. There had been intraparty, primary-season debates but never one after the end of the summer conventions.

History - Like Lyndon Johnson in 1964, Nixon declined to debate his opponent in the 1968 presidential campaign. Televised presidential debates returned in 1976, and have been held in every presidential campaign since.

PresidentsOld Glory