Conservative Buzz: GOP Dropping Out of CNN/YouTube Debate?

A hat tip to blogger Skippy who, loathe as he was, gave up the conservative buzz and linked to Hugh Hewlitt's blog at, that — get this — Gov. Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani are apparently afraid of what conservatives might ask on the September 17, CNN-You Tube debates. Rumor has it they are dropping out.

Evidently answering questions of the American public in an exciting and new interactive medium is beneath them. Or is it that these two candidates, who are trying hard to prove their street cred to the GOP nominating wing, who cares about nothing but abortion, are afraid of what the combination of You Tube and ultra-conservatism might bring about? (a legitimate fear if you've seen any conservative You Tube rants).

Hewitt reports:

Over the last few hours, I'd been hearing buzz that GOP candidates were going wobbly on the CNN/YouTube debate. I was dismissive. Given the huge earned media hit the Democrats got this week, the fact that even the highly partisan questioners acquitted themselves better than Chris Matthews did in the first debate, and the sponsorship of the powerful Republican Party of Florida, I didn't think the GOP candidates would make the political mistake of passing up it up. I was apparently wrong. Rudy Giuliani is unlikely to participate, according to an official source. And Mitt Romney wouldn't commit, dissing the "snowman question." Mitt Romney didn't like some of the more frivolous trappings and told the New Hampshire Union Leader that "I think the presidency ought to be held at a higher level than having to answer questions from a snowman." I would now expect numerous candidates to bail, just like they did at Ames, citing the lack of a frontrunner.

I'm not sure there is anything in recent memory that has created as much interest and genuine enthusiasm in presidential politics as this week's You Tube debate.

That the GOP might have to cancel their debate for fear of real voters asking real questions, well, that speaks for itself. Granted, as Skippy and others point out, the Democrats ducked the Fox debate, a mistake, but no one sees Fox as anything other than partisan, as Ann Coulter herself admitted recently.

You Tube is very different from Fox. It is democracy in action, warts and all, and that is what it appears Romney and Giuliani are dodging.

Since when did answering questions from real voters become undignified?

and evidently real voter’s questions about serious topics like climate change are “beneath” Mitt but raising money from millionaires in New York is not. Here it is straight from his horsey mouth:

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  • invalid-0

    Yeah we need more snowman asking candidates questions. pffft

  • scott-swenson

    about climate change, a serious subject; asked with a bit of humor by a real voter. Anonymous, why is climate change, humor or a real voter “beneath” Romney and Giuliani?

    Be the change you seek,

    Scott Swenson, Editor

  • invalid-0

    Personally I hated the “snowman” video. Not the question it asked, but the way it devalued its very question the way it was asked. All those “funny” videos made me cringe. Like the two guys from Tennessee talking about Al Gore.

    But I can’t believe the GOP candidates can afford not to participate in the CNN/YouTube debate. It’ll look bad and they will garner too much bad publicity for not doing it. They may hem and haw but they’ll all join in, although they might not commit until that last moment possible.

    However I wonder if CNN in the meantime will cull the “funny” ones from the next debate either in response to GOP candidate criticisms or as a sense what they did for the Dems won’t fly for the GOP?

  • scott-swenson

    I suspect you are right NewsCat, the pressure seems to be building on Romney and Giuliani to attend and CNN is willing to switch the date to accommodate, so you can be certain that Romney will exact different “ground rules” to save face.

    It was interesting to see in yesterday’s GOP Iowa debate on ABC that they added viewers questions , one from “online” one from email and worked those into the format.

    Be the change you seek,

    Scott Swenson, Editor