ABC News’ Jan Simmonds reports: http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2007/07/giuliani-unlike.html.
Rudy Giuliani (R-NY) is “unlikely to participate” in the CNN/YouTube Republican Presidential Debate “due to scheduling conflicts”, according to a campaign source.
While all the candidates on the Democratic side chose to participate in their version of the debate this past Monday, the Republicans seem more hesitant to enter this format. In an interview with New Hampshire’s Union Leader earlier this week, Mitt Romney (R-MA) said he was not a fan of the YouTube format. “I think the presidency ought to be held at a higher level than having to answer questions from a snowman,” Romney told the Union Leader.
At this time only Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) have agreed to participate in the debate, scheduled for September 17 in St. Petersburg, Florida.
While the YouTube debate has been variously praised and criticized, one thing is clear…it was a connection between ordinary citizens and politicians like we’ve not seen before. I even felt like we got a glimpse into the candidates as human beings (in between the usual pat answers) and I enjoyed the repartee between them.
Sure, there was the snowman and the two rednecks, but there were also thoughtful questions about energy consumption, nuclear power, standardized voting, racism, health care. (Click here to see all of the questions and responses on YouTube.)
Even the snowman’s question about climate change was nothing to sneeze at even if you didn’t like the presentation. And who could have missed that the debate has sparked a worthwhile deliberation about whether or not dialogue with rogue leaders is a means to peaceful resolution or a dangerous, naive decision. Who, when, why and how we align ourselves with other countries seems like a worthy discussion.
I hope the Republicans decide to participate on September 17. I’ll be watching. Maybe we should even set up a live chat so we can all watch together and comment real time. I’d love to get the reactions of my colleagues around the country as we watch together virtually. Anyone game?