I have to admit I didn’t really care for the idea of the whole “Youtube Debate” that Democrats did last week, but after watching a bit of it, I think it was a huge success and something we’re only going to see more of in the future. And for the most part, the Democratic candidates did fairly well with the format, and the debate had an aura of freshness to it that has been missing in the format for some time.
Now comes word that the follow-up Youtube/CNN debate for the Republican candidates is slightly less than popular.
But so far, only Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) and Rep. Ron Paul (Tex.) have agreed to participate in the debate, co-hosted by Republican Party of Florida in St. Petersburg.
“Aside from those two candidates, we haven’t heard from anyone else,” said Sam Feist of CNN, who’s co-sponsoring the debate with the popular videosharing site.
Rudolph Giuliani and Mitt Romney, both with dozens of videos on their YouTube channels, have not signed up. Neither have the rest of the Republican candidates, including Rep. Tom Tancredo (Colo.), whose “Tancredo Takes” on his YouTube channel draw hundreds of views. Sources familiar with the Guiliani campaign said he’s unlikely to participate. Kevin Madden, Romney’s spokesman, said the former Massachusetts governor has seven debate invitations covering a span of 11 days in September. – Washington Post
I think the real issue here is that the Republican candidates are for the most part afraid of having to answer tough questions that haven’t been pre-approved by their personal screeners, and more so, I think they’re afraid of the kind of people who will be asking those questions: their base.
I mean, I can only imagine right now how many ultra-conservatives are sitting in front of their computers creating just crazy questions for their Republican candidates about things like “protecting the border” from Mexicans, anti-abortion pieces, and asking why we don’t torture terrorists like Jack Bauer does on TV?
You know, the sorts of red meat issues that whip the conservative base up into a frenzy, but not the kinds of things you really want to have to talk about in front of a national TV audience.
Compare that with most of the questions from the Democratic base last week that dealt with Iraq, health care, and global warming and how easy it was for the candidates to answer those questions and I think you can see why the Republican candidates are scared senseless by this whole thing.
Once again, props to Ron Paul for committing to the debate format.