CNN Calls Republicans’ Bluff, Reschedules YouTube Debate

On July 23, all eight Democratic presidential candidates participated in the CNN/YouTube debate. By uploading a 30-second video to YouTube, “voters could directly question a presidential candidate during the debate.” Steve Grove, YouTube’s news and politics editor, called this new debate format “more democratic than ever.”

Yet so far, just three Republican presidential candidates — Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), and as of yesterday, Tommy Thompson — have confirmed that they will participate in the Sept. 17 debate.


Both former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney have said that they have scheduling conflicts. CNN has called their bluff. The website for Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) reports today that CNN has postponed the September debate:

We received word yesterday that the CNN/YouTube/Florida GOP presidential candidates debate scheduled for September 17 has been postponed. A new date has yet to be determined.

ThinkProgress spoke with the Paul campaign today, who confirmed that CNN contacted them and said that it is rescheduling the debate. The campaign said that it believes it was done to accommodate the schedules of the other candidates. Earlier today, the New York Times reported that CNN “said it would work with the campaigns to find a new date.”

It’s unclear whether the other candidates will actually participate in the rescheduled debate. Romney recently mocked the debate, stating, “I think the presidency ought to be held at a higher level than having to answer questions from a snowman,” referring to a citizen dressed as a snowman who submitted a question about global warming.

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