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The GOP YouTube Debate Is Back On

This just in: The Republican CNN/YouTube debate, in limbo for the past few weeks, is on again.

But Mitt Romney, who won Saturday's Iowa straw poll and has criticized the debate format, has yet to commit to the Nov. 28 event.

Romney, the lone GOP holdout, has posted more videos on his YouTube channel (283 as of Sunday afternoon) than any other presidential candidate, Republican or Democrat. But he has resisted the debate, in which videotaped questions are submitted through YouTube. In an interview with Manchester Union Leader, Romney said, "I think the presidency ought to be held at a higher level than having to answer questions from a snowman."

That drew a video response from Billiam, the snowman who questioned the Democrats on global warming last month in their YouTube debate. This time, he riffed on another Romney quote from the campaign: "Lighten up slightly."

Sources at CNN said the debate, co-hosted with the Republican Party of Florida, will be held at the Mahaffey Theatre in St. Petersburg. Steve Grove, head of news and politics at YouTube, said that more than 1,100 videos have been submitted, and the popular video-sharing site will allow YouTube users to upload their videos until Nov. 27.

The process is the same as the Democratic debate in Charleston, S.C.: Questions can't be more than 30 seconds long, and CNN's political team, led by Washington bureau chief David Bohrman, will select the 30 or so videos for the debate. CNN drew some criticism for including the Billiam question, but Bohrman, the mastermind of the YouTube-CNN marriage, defended the call in a recent interview with The Washington Post: "It was a really good question, and it was funny. I think running for president is serious business ... but we do want to know that the president has a sense of humor."

Many of the questions already submitted for the GOP candidates, from a diverse set of YouTubers, are thoughtful. A 21-year-old asks the thrice-married Rudy Giuliani if he really has the character for the presidency. A 26-year-old Mormon asks Romney, also a Mormon, to explain his changing views on abortion. A 69-year-old asks how the candidates to detail their plans to reduce the size of the U.S. government.

-- Jose Antonio Vargas

By Post Editor  |  August 12, 2007; 9:23 PM ET
Categories:  A_Blog , New Media , The Debates  
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Fruit Worth A Fight

Comments

What if the YouTube debate were actually moderated by a YouTuber? It might look a little something like this:

http://www.cracked.com/index.php?name=News&sid=2331

Posted by: washingtonpost | August 22, 2007 8:14 PM | Report abuse

It's time for a bunch of these candidates like Romney and Giuliani, who don't have a chance at winning, to gracefully bow out and let the top-tier candidates like Ron Paul be heard a little more often.

Posted by: meckert1960 | August 21, 2007 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Romney is afraid to be on the same stage as Ron Paul. All the other candidates are afraid of Ron Paul. Ron Paul is the only one running who is truly for reduced government size and cost in our lives, and addressing the fundamental problems of big government and how big government has been violating the Constitution for decades.

If you Google Video or YouTube "Ron Paul" you will understand what I mean.

Posted by: jeff111 | August 15, 2007 12:43 PM | Report abuse

oh, hey, why aren't ANY of Mitt's FIVE ELIGIBLE ADULT SONS serving in the Army in Iraq?

I served seven years in the Army voluntarily. And I'm a Democrat.

Guess Republics talk a lot and do nothing.

Cowards!

Posted by: WillSeattle | August 14, 2007 1:43 PM | Report abuse

If you can't take the Global Warming heat, Red Bushie neo-cons, get OUT of the race!

America doesn't want you or your traitorous, trade deficit enlarging, national debt increasing, Red China enlarging, anti-American impulses.

Posted by: WillSeattle | August 14, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Oh. Please run Romney. As it is, Rudy won't get the Southern Chreeeschn' vote for numerous social positions, not to mention much more personal baggage that has yet to come out.

The great conservative hope seems like it's Romney, but...if he's actually nominated America will soon be saturated in "education" about Mormonism.

Most Americans don't hold a high opinion of members of this sect, and most don't even know the half of what they realy believe and practice.

I couldn't personally give a rats ass about any candidates religion, I'd vote for a Mormon as quick as I'd vote for anyone else, as long as they at least say they're going to work for the things that matter to me. For the most part, I realy couldn't care less about any politicians personal life.

The Southern Evangelicals who the GOP NEEDS to win, won't be so indifferent to the mans faith. That's ALL they care about. Once they see Rudy in Drag and hear about Mitts "Magic" underwear, they will stay home or vote for some third party nut job. The GOP has only themselves to blame. They sided with this intolerant bunch and it's ALL or nothing with them.

With Rudy, you might have a chance, because...he may be able to pick up enough moderates and libertarians to offset the loss in Bible thumpers. Romney? Not a chance. Please support Romney, I can't take another four years of GOP inaction on the issues people REALY care about, like affordable healthcare.

Posted by: highmarcs | August 13, 2007 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Even if Hillary was to run against Romney, there isn't a shot in hell someone like him could ever win. Too many Americans now have legitimate concerns that they know the GOP can't possibly not screw up. Healthcare? Predatory loaning? Fed rates that will go nowhere?

Romney has no answers for any problems, he and no Republicans have no solutions for anything besides hiding like ostriches in the sand.

Posted by: omgthepatriots | August 13, 2007 7:02 PM | Report abuse

god, reading this far down is depressing.
until we have actual debates -- you know, regarding a limited number of topics, where candidates hold forth and rebut -- we will not have anything other than an newly packaged version of spin cycles.

that said, there is value in candidates directly answering questions submitted by real people. i sincerely hope that is actually what is happening.

Posted by: oxala75 | August 13, 2007 6:40 PM | Report abuse

I want to hear answers to the top questions that all Americans want to know: What are your plans about health care for all Americans? When is the fence going up along the boarder between Mexico and the U.S.? When will we start prosecuting illegal aliens, deporting them, and prosecuting people that give them jobs and rent to them, and when will we stop giving them any government subsides? When will we be getting out of Iraq? These are the things that most people want to know.

Posted by: kootya10 | August 13, 2007 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Great. Can we expect to see another appearance of Goatse? If you don't know what I'm talking about, look here: http://beginnorth.com/blog/?p=93
or search for it on Digg.

Posted by: inoverthe | August 13, 2007 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Beni Dakar of Duluth, GA:

Re your comments: "The questions for the Democratic candidates were well thought out and the kind of questions that regular citizens and not seasoned journalists (who may fear the wrath of their bosses or news organization) want to ask."

Don't you realize that CNN is vetting the questions? The CNN folks won't be able to resist trying to harm the Republican candidates with carefully selected questions. They aren't afraid of bosses! They all share the same left wing viewpoints. Or do you still try to maintain that CNN and the vast majority of other newsrooms are neutral? Give me a break! The only reason folks see Fox News Channel as right wing is because in looks so in comparison to all the other left wing stuff we've been force-fed for years! This is why FNC is a runaway hit! YouTube is not the way to learn more about a candidate. You won't get anything meaningful until it is GOP vs. Liberal face-to-face. Then the liberal doubletalk begins to be exposed for what it is - pandering for votes.

Jason
Cumming, GA


Posted by: jasonlheard | August 13, 2007 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Why should Republicans be asked about abortion and marriage? Were the Democrats?

And why do we call them debates? Reality TV yes. Debate, hardly.

Talk about dumbing down America. Is this what it takes to get the dull witted involved. If it is, I say we try not to encourage them to vote.

Posted by: hippiessmell | August 13, 2007 4:23 PM | Report abuse

I will not vote for any presidential candidate, no matter what party, who appears on YouTube. Moreover, as the matriarch of my family and extended family I will persuade all to do the same. We have written in candidates in the past, we can do it again!

Posted by: kaempfruth | August 13, 2007 4:15 PM | Report abuse

We republicans need to get a clue. Being a conservative doesn't mean being a Luddite. I can just hear all these "No YouTube" voices 50 years ago decrying television as being so much worse than a live debate.
Times change, media is changing. A question is a question is a question; the medium by which the question is delivered doesn't matter a whit. Those who post saying "No YouTube" only show themselves to be pretty clueless about the techno-social changes in our society, and therefore make themselves (and unfortunately our party) less relevant.
C'mon folks - we can still stand for right conservative principles and accept the newmedia.

Posted by: dougdell | August 13, 2007 3:20 PM | Report abuse

All these people that have a problem with Mitt being asked about his religion, I agree with them. The issue should not even be brought up.

However, it's the Republicans who have made God and Religion and ones personal religious beliefs on a large number of personal topics a HUGE ISSUE in American politics for the last 25 years! If he's having to deal with people judging him on his religion, he's ONLY having to do so because of the Faith mixed with Politics Beast that his own party has created.

Mitt behaves like a spoiled brat when it comes to this issue because he wants things both ways. He wants to use religion and "morality" when it benefits him. He wants to appeal to evangelicals touting his strong faith in God and Jesus, tell them why is now anti-gay and anti-abortion etc. He brings up all these personal, and to many, religious issues to fire up the Bible thumper base of the GOP.

He wants religion when it can benefit him, but he doesn't want the downside of using religion. How dare someone ask HIM a question about HIS faith? He's the one talking about faith...when it suits him! That sword cuts both ways Mitt. I want to laugh when Mitt gets his panties in a wad over questions that show the slightest bit of...intolerance about his faith. Once he finger wags and throws a tantrum at whoever has just raised the issue, claiming that it's intolerance, Mitt goes on to promote intolerance of others, like gays, and uses his religious beliefs as cover. Does he see the irony?

You can't have it both ways Mitt! If he believes that he should not support some groups of people, because his faith tells him that said group of people are "immoral", then he can't get mad when other people refuse to support him due to the fact that THEY believe him to be "immoral" due to his membership in a group that many believe to be illegitimate at best and blasphemous at worst.

If people are anti-Morman because of THEIR "strongly held religious beliefs", aren't they as validated in their prejudice against Mitt, as Mitt is in his prejudice against gays and abortion? Doesn't the excuse of religion provide universal cover to ALL forms of irrational intolerance?

I won't be supporting Mitt because he's a biggot, not because he's Morman. My religion has no problem with Mormans or any other faith, but I am not allowed to vote for someone who attempts to marginalize others, as Mitt does.

Religious based intolerance cuts both ways! You want to marginalize others because of YOUR religious beliefs...then don't be surprised when people marginalize YOU because of THEIR religious beliefs.

Ever asked a southern evangelical what they think about Mormans? It ain't pretty.

Posted by: highmarcs | August 13, 2007 3:19 PM | Report abuse

I hope some questions for Congressmen Ron Paul will be picked. When people hear him speak, they realize that he is the only presidential candidate that is not a politician. He is a statesmen and modern day Jefferson. The other republicans are not really for smaller government. They just want more war or to impose Christianity on everybody by banning gay marriage, putting people in jail for smoking Marijuana, or banning abortion. Ron Paul is right. Those issues should be left to the states and the individual. If Ron Paul is n't nominated, I will probably vote third party or for Hillary Clinton.

Posted by: rmann | August 13, 2007 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Romney, don't go!
You will gain much more respect from thoughtful American voters by not giving such a travesty any of your time.
Please act like someone we'd like to be president.
The same goes for the rest of the erstwhile candidates, who should back out now rather than later.

Posted by: Xardox | August 13, 2007 2:19 PM | Report abuse

I would advise Romney to appear at the St Pete GOP Debate. He is as popular as a skunk so needs all the exposure he can get. While Governor of Massachusetts which is a majority Catholic state, Romney signed a bill forcing Catholic hospitals to give out condoms which is a communistic tactic. Romney only cares about his bank account. His beliefs have greenbacks floating thru and not godly thoughts.Bad choice for a president.

Posted by: mascmen7 | August 13, 2007 2:18 PM | Report abuse

The Youtube debates with questions from a Snowman is a most cheesy and demeaning approach for evaluating candidates to become the President of a country. Questions from an audience are certainly acceptable, but let's keep this professional....an no stupid questions whether a candidate wears boxers or briefs.

Posted by: rshore | August 13, 2007 2:17 PM | Report abuse

No no no...Tvalen15 - George W. Bush has grown the goverment more than any previous president. He has also spent way more than any previous president.

Smaller government? How does outlawing gay marriage count for small government? How does faith-based intiatives count for small government? Homeland Security is a disorganized, over-bloated mess that can't even maintain a trailer park of empty trailers. All I see is governemnt seeping into my church and my bedroom. Time to drop that tired old saw. Democrats will shrink this over-bloated goverment. Check your calendar old man, your half-way decent conservative values were thrown out by your party a long time ago. Now, all you have is crooks and cronies. Which brings me to another response to another commenter...

Ricardo4max writes:

"jblo39, average everyday Americans ARE the Republican party. Come to my community and see them working hard and raising their families with sound moral principles and American values. The left wing nuts that vote for Democrats are NOT average everyday Americans but either average everyday freeloaders and underachievers or intellectual elitist, Marxist, hypocritical snobs."

Yes we big-city folks are snobs for a reason. We're more intellectual than you. Here's a case in point - You say your fellow republicans represent "sound moral values". Ok let's rewind the tape of the last 6 years:

GOP Rep. Bob Ney - convicted of bribery
GOP Rep. Duke Cinningham - Convicted of bribery
GOP Rep. Mike Vitter - Solicited a prostitute
GOP Rep. Mark Foley - Child predator
GOP Vote supression - Cheating an American election is real moral - oh yeah..
GOP Lobbyist JAck Abramoff's Indian Gambling Scandal - Gambling? What are you guys? The Sopranos?
Enron - Republicans through and through
Fmr. GOP Rep. Tom Delay - Money laundering
Sabatoging Democrat phones banks on election day in New Hampshire - Real Moral...

Don't confuse your small-town intolerance and bigotry with moral values. Thanks to you red-staters, all of these crooks managed to get in to office. What a bunch of crooks! We have you to thank for them...

No no - hating gays is not moral. It's just hate.
Lying about a reason to go to war is not moral. It's throwing away the lives of American soldiers.
Hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqi civilians is not moral. It's a bloodbath.

I know it takes a while for news to reach your part of the country, but sorry - You republicans lost the moral high ground a very long time ago.

Oh yeah... how come mass-shootings always happen in red states? We don't get that here in the Bronx or Boston or Vermont...funny how that is...

Posted by: tjbo39 | August 13, 2007 1:47 PM | Report abuse

The republicans have had the majority for 6 years and have proven themselves incompetent as well as "on the take"
Now they are paying the price
THEY NEED TO GO HOME AND QUIT CRYING ABOUT THEIR BLUNDERS! The majority of U.S. voters have spoken in the last election.

Posted by: tmac1938 | August 13, 2007 1:29 PM | Report abuse

"For those hung up on corporations. Corporations don't pay taxes. They only accept the liability and pass them on to YOU, and you pay those taxes you want to put upon the corporations."

But it sure works to lure liberal voters doesn't' it? I love how the left always bashs the Right about how we love the corporations and not the people. Have they taken basic economic courses? The more you tax and "punish" corporations the more expensive products become (because you're now paying their tax liability), the less salary you make at your job (the corporations can't afford to pay you as much) and your stock's and dividends decrease in value.

It's a good thing though that the Democrats have been "Punishing" corporations for the last 75 years, it's definitely given me more wealth and less tax burden, thanks.

Posted by: jhb | August 13, 2007 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: tjbo39 | August 13, 2007 06:55 AM

Jaysus Keerist...what a long drawn out rambling dissertation. Typical leftist rhetoric and dogma. I don't think all Democrats are stupid or evil or even misguided...just most...and certainly you. You think the Democrats don't pander to the Big Corporations just like the Republicans? Democrats pander to them and to Unions like the Teacher's Union and the AFL-CIO, they pander to the NAACP, the ACLU, they pander to Al Sharpton (surely one of the biggest pieces of trash on the planet), they pander to people like Hugo Chavez, they pander to Planned Parenthood. Democrats want you to be beholden to them, they only care about the individual as part of an easily led coalition. They don't do anything for blacks, why should they, blacks vote for them (the few that do) anyways-without asking for anything in return-that is the liberal brainwashing taking effect. Seriously you need to try to be m ore objective, both parties want power, neither cares about the American people, but at least the Republicans let me keep more of my own paycheck in my pocket where I can decide how to spend it-and that is a good thing isn't it? After all I earned that money, nobody handed it to me for nothing.

Posted by: mheminger | August 13, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

And to the Chkwagner above, that was a FANTASTIC generalization about a whole subsegment of the online population! I'm sure that you made those comments after lengthy research about the consumer demographics of the site.

As a reader posted earlier, Romney receives more YouTube postings than any other candidate, either Republican or Democrat. Are we to then believe that these individuals are also all posters of the same "left-wing", "jobless" ilk that you so describe?

Lastly, and perhaps the most disturbing...even if these people are "jobless degenerates" who have time to use snowmen to communicate a question, does that mean that they are somehow unworthy to partake in the political process?

Elitism at its best folks, the foundation of the GOP platform.

Posted by: bsullivanp | August 13, 2007 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Romney's comment shows either his unlimited hubris, or his sheer stupidity.

Does the fact that the person used a snowman to communicate his question really negate the validity of the question itself?Or does Romney, and apparently some of his GOP supporters on this board, really think that a snowman was asking the question?

Better yet, forget the snowman. Does Romney also feel that the presidency ought to be held to a higher level than having to answer questions from a woman dying of cancer asking about healthcare reform? Or a gay couple looking to get married and seeking equal civil liberties? Or a parent who lost her child in Iraq asking why her government sent her son or daughter to die?

Hearing some of the hateful retorts from some our conservative brothers and sisters on this board really makes me weep for the future of our once great country. From some of our conservative posters, I guess I am to gather that if a question is not first scrubbed and a response properly scripted by a cadre of political strategists, before it is shown through media channels that are blatantly supportive of the candidate's views, then the topic should not be discussed.

Has our system of governance really come to this? Has our political system really become more about winning the propaganda war than discussing actual issues that are important to real americans (regardless of whether the issue has a conservative or progressive slant)?

Shame on all of us because we don't deserve our wonderful democracy.

Posted by: bsullivanp | August 13, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Questions posted on YouTube are NOT questions being asked by "everyday Americans," as someone suggested. YouTube posters are in a whole class by themselves. Just oberving the videos that are posted everyday, you get the sense that these are degenerates with no jobs (hence lots of free time to create "talking" snowmen) and with an extreme left political agenda.

Mitt Romney was 100% correct in his original statement. I hope the rest of the GOP group declines this stupid mockery of a presidential debate.

Posted by: chkwagner | August 13, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

The whole idea that we are having this many debates this early is the real problem. This snowman thing is very ridiculous, if you are going to ask a question at least appear to be credible even though the topic is not credible.

Posted by: jseabul | August 13, 2007 12:35 PM | Report abuse

When the candidates talk "to" us, they also talk over our heads to the big boys.
i.e "I believe in a stong military" wink wink Pentagon.."Tax Cuts spur economic growth"..wink wink investment bankers. When I look at politicians I realize I am looking at the head of the snake.

Posted by: vicp101 | August 13, 2007 12:29 PM | Report abuse

ps - It was Dwight Eisenhower, in his parting address, that warned the American people of the impending role and rule of the 'military/industrial complex'. Those were the days when a politician could be moderate without being labelled with some hyberbolic term because he told the truth.
Now we see how true his words are as we watch a 400 billion dollars a year defense budget cripple out nation. Our closest competitor? Russia coming in at 70 billion with China at 50 billion.
We could fix some schools, some bridges but nooooooooooo....

Posted by: chap | August 13, 2007 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I haven't followed too much of the online commentary here but
I am amazed at the zealousness and anger from the conservative side. Still dragging out the myth of the liberal media (please check ownership od said media and the basics of market driven capitalism). The airwaves are flooded with everything from right wing nutjobs like Michael Savage (use your real name!) and Rush (to the medicine cabinet) Limbaugh to Lil' Tucker and Bill O.
American media is flooded with right wing representation still clinging to failed ideas and tagging everything in the name of 'God'. I always want to know, which God? Is it Michael Savage's God? (he's Jewish) or Bush's God (he doesn't attend) or Mitt Romney's God? (a very different Mormon God). Are we to assume that because someone is a person of faith, they get a free pass? Pat Robertson dissaproves of any but his God so what does Mitt do?
There isn't a single candidate that can speak frankly because they might 'slip up' and the other side would shred them. That's not a vetting process, it's a media frenzy (money driven, not politically driven).
The late Petter Jennings said that his greatest career regret was jumping on the media bandwagon in the lynching of Howard Dean by running the isolated microphone feed 700 times.
Who knows, had we all not rushed to judgement and used our minds to make a decision, we might not be in the social free fall and mideast quagmire that is taking a huge financial toll and shamefully letting courageous soldiers die everyday for nothing. Shame on this President and any who would follow in his policy footsteps.

Posted by: chap | August 13, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

By the way Jim, the "old generalities" still work...because they are TRUE! Democrats are for bigger government--that is a FACT. Their record over the last few decades proves this out. You can deny this until your face turns purple, but that hasn't changed. What has changed is that many Republicans have been seduced by the same ideals of social programs and spending which has caused the Dems to cry "hypocracy". Well, guess what. Our party votes those people out for the most part because we conservatives stand for traditional values of smaller government, strong defense, life, right to bear arms, and unfettered capitalism. So tell me how our security is compromised by this ridiculous War? Were we in Iraq before 9/11? Where's the last attack since then? You can spout talking points all you like and talk about "realities", but that is a cold hard reality you seem to ignore. Of course we're much safer then we were 6 years ago. Does it mean we ignore the threats we face today? Do Democrats offer a strong solution other than appeasement (see Neville Chamberlain)? Lastly, "white guilt" doesn't mean you have a conscience. It means that you feel guilty, because society has told you that you should feel this way and that you, Jim So-and-So, a white man should somehow feel shame about things done in the name of your race previous to your lifetime. That is an absurd assumption and any rational, thinking human being would reject such nonsense. Republicanism, to be sure, is at a cross-roads, and it deserves criticism. The biggest difference is that conservatives are fighting it with everything they've got, while the Democrats are accepting the far-left liberal thinking, which is grounded in NOTHING that America was founded in. Until you all grow up and realize that Snowmen aren't "real Americans", maybe you'll wake up and smell the coffee.

Posted by: tvalen15 | August 13, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Karl Rove is retiring to reep the consiquences of his actions as misadvisor to President Bush. His fate awaits as do all who act as though they speak the living word when the know it not. I await the rebirth of our nation this coming election year. I Am a Spiritual liberal idealists and dreamer.

Posted by: jim | August 13, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

scotash: There are no serious Republican candidates. Just hacks, wingnuts, and flip-floppers.

Posted by: Spectator2 | August 13, 2007 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Fatuous? Don't you mean the President of the United States who can't string a sentence together? Don't you mean the inane, illusory scare tactics used over and over and over>? How many times does he use the word terrorist every time he steps up the microphone? We've had fatuous rhetoric up the ying-yang for years now. "If we don't kill the terrorists in Iraq, they will kill us here." "Stay the course....."blah blah blah

And STOP calling us socialists. It is not true and you know it. Your party wants to win at all costs and wants our government to become a strictly one-party system. Eh, Tom Delay? Who's a commie now? Your party wants to suppress voters who don't go their way. Who's totalitarian?

And please come up with something better than John Edwards' haircut. We don't care about it. How lame do you have to be to use a candidate's haircut as a political talking point?

Substantive questions about religion and marriage???? Hey - here's a clue: The government does not belong anywhere near religion or marriage!!! It is none of their business... You call us socialists and you want the government to rule on religion and marriage???? Do you really expect thinking people to understand your whacked-out drivel???

Go ahead - call me a socialist just as long I can call you a fascist - ok?

Posted by: tjbo39 | August 13, 2007 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Mitt Romney is wise to reject this circus.

CNN is a biased liberal news organization that is going to try and sabotage any serious Republican candidate.

Posted by: scotash | August 13, 2007 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Karl Rove will be going to Hollywood to produce a new show; "Extreme Makeover: Middle East Country Edition"

Posted by: vicp101 | August 13, 2007 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Now that Karl Rove is "moving on", guess what he will be getting involved with ?

Posted by: vicp101 | August 13, 2007 10:49 AM | Report abuse

CNN hosting a debate?
Fatuous, false, agenda driven.... and socialist.
Why does the hijacking of the English language BElong to the Democrats?
this is not a "DEBATE" this is an INQUISITION.( "yes or no answers, I will interrupt because I am in charge")...
while Ms. pretty in pink, and Mr. hairstyle primp onstage and answer no substantive questions whatsoever, about religion and marriages.

? Say what? Ms. pretty in pink says "I do not recall" about Rose Law firm records?
? And what about women's rights and bimbo eruptions, Ms. pretty?

Mr. hairstyle pontificates about poverty -- which he has not seen since the last time he fleeced a client as a trial lawyer!

CNN will host another GONG show !!
Swill for the masses....
Evita-- Les Miserables -- until you control and enslave them.

Posted by: sdproffittwbhinet | August 13, 2007 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Jakeson - Ashcroft embarrased himself many times over! That's the only one you can come up with? If politicians didn't do so many embarrasing things, they wouldn't have to fear the you-tubers! I say bring on the questions, ANY QUESTIONS! Once you start picking and choosing the questions, you are revealing your fear. The internet is here and corporate news outlets are not going to shape the debate forever as much as you would want them to - sorry.

And this:

"Corporations don't pay taxes. They only accept the liability and pass them on to YOU, and you pay those taxes you want to put upon the corporations."

What??? Corparations generate billions for upper managment and investors and you want to put the tax burden on Joe Lunchbox? Is that your idea of fair? I can't pass my liabilities on to anyone else. Why should big corporations?

Posted by: tjbo39 | August 13, 2007 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Mitt Romney sounds like another Bush wannabe. He is a snob who would not tell the truth to America. He feels that the people are beneath him. Mr. Romney, the people are not irrelevant. I think the CNN/Youtube debates were the most American thing, so far, in the presidential race. Mr. Romney, you must answer the snowman.

Posted by: jerbo1 | August 13, 2007 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Just like the Dems debate, producers at CNN have the same questions they have always asked... they'll sift through more than 3,000 videos to find the ones that match what they were going to ask inthe first place... and I GUARANTEE that every question they pick will be either mean, loaded, unfair, stupid, or biased in some form or another in favor of the left!

I spent more than a decade working in TV newsrooms -- even despite a centrist or conservative or two, they ALL tilt left, whether it's NYC, Chicago, Peoria, Lubbock, Denver, Springfield, Burlington, Columbus, or any other market... DO NOT expect fairness.

Posted by: otherrandomstuff | August 13, 2007 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Given the vast number of totally uninformed comments on this site, you can imagine the inane comments on the you-tube questions. I won't watch that travesty if it happens. I have no doubt it will consist of stupidity like the photographer who consistently aligned the bare breasts of the statue of justice on the shoulder of Ashcroft, only for the sexist value to embarrass Ashcroft politically. After Ashcroft covered them with a drape the liberal press just went bonkers. Those are the type of questions the you-tubers will produce. For those hung up on corporations. Corporations don't pay taxes. They only accept the liability and pass them on to YOU, and you pay those taxes you want to put upon the corporations.

Posted by: Jakeson | August 13, 2007 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Commenter Mark Burns1 writes:

"Do you really think the Clinton News Network will allow any questions to better America like Fair Tax for example? No they will stick too " what can the Government do for me" by the Joe & Jane Six-Pack crowd."

Please, Mark! You guys keep talking about dems asking "what can the goverment do for me?"

The goverment has it's own welfare program for big interests and your party is to blame. Subsidies for corporate farms, relaxed rules for energy companies. Refusal to collect royalities for domestic oil. Your party even lets lobbyists write the laws and allows former executives to join the goverment and regulate their own industries. Your party allows Haliburton to charge whatever they want and launder their money off shore. Didn't Blackstone group just use a loophole to avoid paying billions in taxes? C'mon! Big busisness is always asking, "what can the goverment do for me?" and your party just keeps giving and giving. GEt REal! You guys just don't have your priorities straight. I agree with the fair tax issue..

Commenter Gottalink says, "Okay, now will the Democrats do a debate on FOX?"

No they shouldn't! FOX is a propaganda network. They are the most biased news outlet there is. We've all seen the proof of that. You may not like the things said on CNN but that's the breaks. The truth hurts. CNN may not be very good at fully-informing their viewers but they do not brazenly try to fool them and misinform them as FOX does.

Why do Republicans always so badly want Dems to "shut up"? Why are they so afraid to debate the issues? You guys hate those pesky problems like the thousands of people uninsured in this country and the ridiculous cost of drugs. Why do we pay more than Canada? Deal with it! The rest of us are concerned about these things...

C'mon, Republicans - Grow a a pair of cojones and face the little people.

Posted by: tjbo39 | August 13, 2007 10:17 AM | Report abuse

ynot4tony2, you have been so pwned by the talking heads. There is no such thing as a "partial birth abortion". There are many procedures doctors do to save the life of a woman whose late pregnancy is about to kill her. What should be asked of the republican candidates is why, despite being the supposed party of individual freedom, they've decided that a person's doctor, who, news flash, already has the life of the patient in his or her's hands, is not allowed to decide how best to save that patient's life. That's what the democrats support, imagine! that the doctor, there in the treatment room, not a bunch of congressmen, should be allowed to make a treatment determination. This makes the democrats the party of individual freedom, by the way. And the republicans akin to the Taliban, who are also fond of using religion to screw over women.

Nature didn't to give men the ability to control their own procreation, so they invented religion to do it for them.

Posted by: williams1 | August 13, 2007 10:16 AM | Report abuse

tjblo39, average everyday Americans ARE the Republican party. Come to my community and see them working hard and raising their families with sound moral principles and American values. The left wing nuts that vote for Democrats are NOT average everyday Americans but either average everyday freeloaders and underachievers or intellectual elitist, Marxist, hypocritical snobs.

Posted by: ricardo4max | August 13, 2007 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Jim, After reading your post I went back and read the post by Mikeshelt to see if you were accurate and realistic in your response. As it turns out, Mikeshelt's post was homest, accurate, and intelligent. Now we see that "progressive" and "liberal" ARE dirty words these days. They represent immature emotionalism, hostility, divisiveness, obstructionism, bigotry, anti-Americanism, and dishonesty.

Posted by: ricardo4max | August 13, 2007 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Jim, After reading your post I went back and read th epost by Mikeshelt to see if you were accurate and realistic in your response. As it turns out, Mikeshelt's post was homest, accurate, and intelligent. Now we see that "progressive" and "liberal" ARE dirty words these days. They represent immature emotionalism, hostility, divisiveness, obstructionism, bigotry, anti-Americanism, and dishonesty.

Posted by: ricardo4max | August 13, 2007 9:57 AM | Report abuse

We are watching a 24 month infomercial known as the American Presidential Election sponsored by CNN, MSNBC, FOX etc. All the money raised will be spent for TV ads and it will all come down to money being poured into a state like Florida or Ohio over issues like gay marriage or NASCAR. Mitt Romney reminds me of your typical car salesman and Rudy does the Little Caesar routine. The only guy who impresses me is Duncan Hunter and the letter he read from his son in Iraq was the only thing I found truthful. Otherwise it's an infomercial: so I ask when will Ron Popeil and Billy Mees the Oxyclean guy get into this !

Posted by: vicp101 | August 13, 2007 9:49 AM | Report abuse

The straw poll means squat to the rest of America outside of Iowa and the Conservative base, so Romneys "win" in Iowa of 31% rings hollow to the rest of America. I seriously doubt if the Romney fans ask him the hard questions. The candidates that look down their noses at the average Joe is just what we DON'T need for the next President.

Posted by: morningglory51 | August 13, 2007 9:47 AM | Report abuse

These aren't ordinary Americans asking the questions, these are people asking the requisite tired, liberal questions about homosexual marriage and socialized medicine so that they can make a name for themselves and turn that recognition into a career. The 'funny' and 'cute' videos aren't even close to being funny or cute.

We are turning into sad, childish society who will eventually play right into the hands of the Progressives (or socialists/communists not familiar with the latest covert machinations of the left).

Posted by: dana.thurston | August 13, 2007 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Republicans consider the format "ridiculous" or "pathetic" because they cannot relate to the average American and have no idea of how to relate to those outside their scripted partisian bubble. Romney will be lost trying to communicate to average Joe questions on YouTube, instead of controlled, predictable, kid glove questions from journalists.

Posted by: morningglory51 | August 13, 2007 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Do you really think the Clinton News Network will allow any questions to better America like Fair Tax for example? No they will stick too " what can the Government do for me" by the Joe & Jane Six-Pack crowd. Ignore this debate.

Posted by: markburns1 | August 13, 2007 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Some of the Youtube questions were hard to answer with prepackaged answers. Some were more penetrating than many reporter's questions. I thought some of the Youtube questioners were speaking to my own concerns. Finally I thought: WE have a voice!

When you speak about "degrading the office", aren't you instead dismissing questions from those common folk like ourselves ? A Presidential candidate should have to deal with ordinary people.
CNN can winnow out the chaf.

Posted by: nfahringer | August 13, 2007 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Romney's positions on abortion have been logically (albeit incredulously)explained in light of his religion.

What hasn't been explained or even discussed to my knowledge, is his changing views on gay rights. The Mormon church regularly spends millions against gay rights legistlation. Case in point was the Mormons spending millions in California. Like that wasn't enough they also went as far as bussing students from BYU to California to support anti-gay marriage and civil right legislation. Mitt, on the other hand, promised to be, "more gay friendly than Ted Kennedy" back in his senate race against him. Now his rhetoric and record as Mass governor is in lockstep with the lockstep with the extreme right wing.

What gives with the sudden homophobia Mitt, should your wife be worried?

Posted by: gunter12 | August 13, 2007 8:56 AM | Report abuse

The You Tube debate idea is in a word ASININE. Only candidates that hold contempt for the electorate will consider it.

Posted by: CT2007 | August 13, 2007 8:55 AM | Report abuse

In an media, entertianment, driven society such as ours it is an unavoidable consequence that the line between serious subjects and entertainment will be blurred. Mitt Romney seems to understand this a little inasmuch that he is posting so much already on YouTube, he knows where the people are at and he is speaking to them. Which does in my mind beg the question, why is he avoiding the debate? In our new media world we are going to have to face that the nature of and the settings of debates will change. The person answering the questions can either help to bring down the tone and seriousness or elevate it. Being asked a silly question by a snowman is no different than being asked the same silly question by a real person in another format, except that it is far more anynonymous. We must be willing to adjust with the times and remain relavent to developments around us and not fear this change but direct it.
Let us also bear in mind that first debates were held in person, then on the radio, then on TV! The debate formats change with the change of technology. Some I am sure thought that radio or TV would trivialize the debates, but they haven't. Everybody just breathe.

Posted by: rev.brandonbowden | August 13, 2007 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Honestly, I was really hoping the republicans would avoid doing this debate like most said they would a few weeks ago. It would have been a slam dunk for the Democrats to nail them for not wanting to take questions from voters, instead of from media personalities.

Posted by: scorbett1976 | August 13, 2007 8:51 AM | Report abuse

In an media, entertianment, driven society such as ours it is an unavoidable consequence that the line between serious subjects and entertainment will be blurred. Mitt Romney seems to understand this a little inasmuch that he is posting so much already on YouTube, he knows where the people are at and he is speaking to them. Which does in my mind beg the question, why is he avoiding the debate? In our new media world we are going to have to face that the nature of and the settings of debates will change. The person answering the questions can either help to bring down the tone and seriousness or elevate it. Being asked a silly question by a snowman is no different than being asked the same silly question by a real person in another format, except that it is far more anynonymous. We must be willing to adjust with the times and remain relavent to developments around us and not fear this change but direct it.
Let us also bear in mind that first debates were held in person, then on the radio, then on TV! The debate formats change with the change of technology. Some I am sure thought that radio or TV would trivialize the debates, but they haven't. Everybody just breathe.

Posted by: rev.brandonbowden | August 13, 2007 8:50 AM | Report abuse

To steal a phrase from the younger generation (That train left 'my' station when I turned 45!), I like to 'Keep it real', and in that spirit I offer the following: An earlier post criticized the republicans for their fears of the YouTube venue. I have two thoughts. First, the democrats wouldn't even face Fox News...arguably more right leaning than CNN, but still in total, professionals at their craft. In my own life, I can easily ignore fools and children (A moniker I can apply to anyone that spends a lot of time goofing off on YouTube.), but have a harder time ignoring serious people with serious issues. I think Fox News 'and' CNN make the cut as serious, while YouTube was, is, and will remain in my mind the realm of goofy adolescents (Yeah..I know Romney posts there a lot......but notice I said 'Goofing off' rather than taking advantage of a source of free media!). Secondly, it's not an even playing field when the dems go up on a liberal media platform. I sense that the goal of some media outlets (...and I'll bet in advance that YouTube is one of them!) is to embarrass the reps but to make the dems look cool. Though the playing field is more or less equal for all dems and all reps when evaluated as individual groups, it becomes less even when you contrast the groups, especially when they do not receive equal treatment by media outlets. For example, I think Hilliary gets a huge pass from the media on her ability to display situational awareness (Ie, knowing who's smoking cigars and who's not in the white house. Dirty Pool? C'mon.....if I'd commented about Giulianni's 'wife return' policy, liberals would be drooling...wouldn't they?).

Posted by: calirangr | August 13, 2007 8:42 AM | Report abuse

The Republicans just refuse to learn.

This is a major league set up designed to embarrass the Republicans by CNN.

The only possible saving grace is that virtually no one will watch.

Each of the Republicans candidates ought to send a cardboard cutout snowman to stand at their respective podiums instead.

Posted by: KJS1953 | August 13, 2007 7:41 AM | Report abuse

Any debate is useless as long as you have so many brainwashed morons on the right that don't realize CNN bends over backwards to be just like the biggest propaganda organization on the planet, Fox news.

Posted by: timebanded | August 13, 2007 7:15 AM | Report abuse

I want ANY of the candidates, on either side, to give the definitions and state the differences between "theory" and "hypothesis".

It seems neither side understands these concepts when it comes to their sided dogmas for advancement toward political power.

Posted by: scooternyc | August 13, 2007 6:59 AM | Report abuse

Well it's good that these repubs have decided to come around but their initial reluctance to participate in this debate is very telling. Average, everyday Americans have never been very big with the republican party. This party historically tends to side with business interests. See the recent decisions made by the supreme court, usually against the the rights of the individual and for the rights of big corporations to make big bucks. America is very diverse and has a lot of problems not fully explored by the mainstream media. This debate is the first time that real Americans, (Snowmen, homosexuals, people ravaged by a horrible healthcare system) get to put real questions to the candidates. Mitt Romney has every reason to fear these people. He's not genuine. He just wants to get elected and will say anything to get a chance to stand by this filthy, cynical and dishonest republican party.
What connection do republicans have to real Americans? I can see only one, the cynical campaign strategy of co-opting the pro-life nut jobs and anti-gay bigots of America.
Being a democrat is great because you don't need to utilize tired-old generalities about the republicans as they do (social programs, tax and spend, soft on terror - please!)All democrats need to do is open a newspaper or point to the latest outrage - selling out the middle class, extreme hypocracy, selling votes to lobbyists. - That's the republican way.
I'm happy to see these republicans growing enough backbone to face the real America. Romney's reluctance says one thing - he's scared to death of real America. He has no concern for real America.

Commenter, myk171 says we have "white guilt". Well I'm proud of my "white guilt". It shows I have a conscience - something republicans have lost a long time ago.

Commenter Yasser says, "The Democratic debate was a joke. We do not lower ouselves to that level." This is part and parcel to how republicans feel about real Americans - minimum wage earners, single moms,etc...

Republicans can't stand any questions that they can't shape themselves. The truth hurts. The recent republican stewardship of this nation was an utter disaster. A perfect example comes from commenter dgreatone: "If you think CNN is going to permit one Republican question to be asked by even one Republican during this debate, you got another thing coming. Avoid this debate." What exactly is a "republican question"? Democrats don't need "democrat questions". We'll take any questions. We have the reality of the horribly inept republican party to fall back on. You republicans are our best ally on this.

In sum - Don't be afraid to face questions from real Americans. CNN and the so-called "liberal media" are biased. Yes - biased by reality. We don't need to shape anything. We only need to hold up what you corrupt, intolerant, cynical republicans have done for the past 6 years. You compromised our national security with this ridiculous war. You compromised our environment with your love of polluters. You compromised the middle class with your love of the Walton family and big corporations. You compromised our principles with your innate corruption. Thanks GOP!.

Posted by: tjbo39 | August 13, 2007 6:55 AM | Report abuse

I can truthfully say that being progressive and being liberal are not bad words but noble and uplifting qualities in man. I am a descendant of George Wallace and I will not begin to defend his actions as our Governor but I will defend our southern spirit. I abode anything racist or anything to suggest as such. George Wallace did say once that "down here in the South Sir, we don't cipher and calculate. We go ahead with our business and let history take care of its self." Religion as a whole should be worn within and demonstrated without through our thoughts deeds and actions. Calling peoples names like bigoted and absurd will not fly in these days and times. Intolerance is defined by post such as Mikeshelt.

Posted by: jim | August 13, 2007 6:16 AM | Report abuse

I'd be relunctant to participate too if I didn't even know the difference between YouTube and MySpace!

Posted by: uh_huhh | August 13, 2007 5:50 AM | Report abuse

It's sadly obvious that the majority of the posts prove without a modicum of doubt that the collective stupidity of the liberal left is overshadowed only by their mind numbing intellectual dishonesty.

Your "White Guilt" and constant whining of being held under the thumb of the "Man" is pathetic at best and I must say again, if you hate this country so damn much, get the hell out of it and don't come back. I'm sure that with the current political and socio-economic situation in Russia, they would love to have you knee jerk, bleeding heart whiny Bolshaviks.

Until then, just shut the Hell up and deal with it. Besides proving your collective stupidity along with your intellectual dishonesty, you also prove why the mascot of the Democrat Party is a Jackass.

Posted by: mykl7161 | August 13, 2007 3:56 AM | Report abuse

The Iowa straw poll is meaningless because of the way the repubs top tier avoided it and left Mitt with a sure win. About the only thing that can be said is the Iowa repub party got a few bucks. The total voting was a far cry from the Mormon population registered to vote, as a % of the votes cast, which one can only assume were overwhelming in favor of Mitt.

Posted by: lylepink | August 13, 2007 3:36 AM | Report abuse

Okay, now will the Democrats do a debate on FOX?

Posted by: gottalink | August 13, 2007 3:17 AM | Report abuse

Mitt Romney is right on. We do not need to degrade the office of the President.

He is more than willing to answer questions from "real" Americans. Thus the Ask Mitt Anything- Q/A's.

He is a proven leader. He is a conservative and is campaigning now. He is not hidding from anything. Unlike Thompson, Rudy and McCain who feared him in the IOWA straw poll and decided to skip it.


The Democratic debate was a joke. We do not lower ouselves to that level.

He has my support.

Romney 08!!!!

Posted by: yasser15 | August 13, 2007 2:59 AM | Report abuse

Humor is important! I think Romney should opt in, as he's actually a funny guy and could benefit with this format.

John in San Diego

Posted by: johnsteinbeck | August 13, 2007 2:28 AM | Report abuse

The concept of the public having opportunity to submit questions to candidates is good. The methods being used in these debates make their value suspect. Why? Any candidate of any political view can load the deck by having questions favorable to themselves submitted over and over by users they control. Also, since the questions are NOT straight to the candidate, but through a "Choke Point" called CNN, we have the very real possibility of the deck being stacked one way or the other. CNN is self confessed as a liberal, Democrat supporting station. I mean they run a video they get from a terrorist showing Amercan soldiers being executed by a sniper and they give you a sympathetic dialog with it (they say they had to or they could not get the film). They served "puffballs" to the Democrats in their debate. I predict that you'll see questions for Republicans designed to make them look bad. Remember the report of political giving by members of the news media (I blogged it in oarts because it was so long)taken from published records...showed what?...Media gave 90% of their gifts to Democrats and 10% to Republicans. So we defintely have to see bias from CNN, admitted or not. Follow the money is a good idea. Bottom line, don't waste your time, whatever you see won't be designed to educate, it's be designed to tell you what you should think. Go to the blogs. Get some truth. At least we all know the big biased ones and they know themselves and noone is scared to say their view.

Posted by: dewenschhof | August 13, 2007 1:57 AM | Report abuse

Mitt has no rock solid beliefs. He changed his mind about abortion in 2004 (but not based on seeing a fetus, so based on ..what?), lied that he had a gun to curry favor with NRA members, even waffles about the war ("I support the troop surge...as long as it has a reasonable chance of success.") Well, Mitt, we all support any policy that has a reasonable chance of success, and we withdraw our support for any failed policies. Talk about trying to say nothing of substance.

Posted by: Fazsha | August 13, 2007 1:36 AM | Report abuse

Actually, let me correct myself - two hoots might be appropriate. But not three ;). The problem is that we focus too much on these personality issues and not enough on more substantive concerns. And CNN is the worst in terms of trivializing things that way.

Posted by: stepheneliotdewey | August 13, 2007 1:17 AM | Report abuse

CNN is biased!!! Get over it! If you don't want to be in that debate than fine, nobody cares, it's just less publicity for you're side. You bring up Congress's numbers like that is actually going to have an affect on the election in 2008.

The Democrats are ahead in every poll...I don't even like Hillary but she is polling (among democrats) out of this world. So if you want to complain, complain that you don't have a good enough candidate. Because if you're complaining about "the system" join the company, we've been complaining about it since 2000.

Posted by: matthew.rankow | August 13, 2007 1:16 AM | Report abuse

"I think running for president is serious business ... but we do want to know that the president has a sense of humor."

Actually, I don't think we should give two hoots about whether or not the president has a sense of humor.

Posted by: stepheneliotdewey | August 13, 2007 1:09 AM | Report abuse

Only the WaPo - a source that refuses to ask tough questions - could pretend that the debate questions are "thoughtful". In fact, almost all of them are puffball and general questions that will simply allow the candidates to give their stump speeches.

Here's an example of the type of question that both CNN and the WaPo are too corrupt to ask:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5Dp7FaKIJo

Compare that question to the ones that CNN selected for the first debate.

Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | August 13, 2007 1:01 AM | Report abuse

I'll be the first one to tell you that every Youtube question is screened heavily by CNN. I'm not even arguing the politics of the situation...I could care less who becomes the next President. I'm just saying that ranting about CNN and Youtube is not what Republicans need to be worried about. If a candidate cannot answer questions on the spot like that then get them off the stage!

Ya'll are acting scared that some geek on Youtube is gonna throw Mitt Romney's campaign outta whack. If he can't handle some geek on Youtube how is he going to handle the terrorists and other threats upon this nation???

Posted by: matthew.rankow | August 13, 2007 1:00 AM | Report abuse

matthew.rankow:
"Very few people like him (Bush) anymore". Well Matthew, Congress has a LOWER approval rating than Bush, and lower than ANY Congress in the history of this poll. And WHO is in charge? Maybe you don't know Matthew so I will remind you: DEMOCRATS. People like you are so blinded for your hatred for Bush that you don't even see that this country is NOT happy about where you Democrats are taking it.

Posted by: cnjs | August 13, 2007 12:58 AM | Report abuse

A political debate on U-Tube by the PUBS would be participation in farce.
I don't believe it will (or should} happen).
It was silly even for the menagerie of CRATS to show,
although the casting was more appropriate for this venue Anyone passing up this proctoscopy, has to be worth +3 percentage points in the Presidential.
J.A. Vargas is pulling an Urban Myth.

Posted by: pprice41 | August 13, 2007 12:57 AM | Report abuse

A political debate on U-Tube by the PUBS would be participation in farce.
I don't believe it will (or should} happen).
It was silly even for the menagerie of CRATS to show,
although the casting was more appropriate for this venue Anyone passing up this proctoscopy, has to be worth +3 percentage points in the Presidential.
J.A. Vargas is pulling an Urban Myth.

Posted by: pprice41 | August 13, 2007 12:57 AM | Report abuse

A political debate on U-Tube by the PUBS would be participation in farce.
I don't believe it will (or should} happen).
It was silly even for the menagerie of CRATS to show,
although the casting was more appropriate for this venue Anyone passing up this proctoscopy, has to be worth +3 percentage points in the Presidential.
J.A. Vargas is pulling an Urban Myth.

Posted by: pprice41 | August 13, 2007 12:57 AM | Report abuse

If you think CNN is going to permit one Republican question to be asked by even one Republican during this debate, you got another thing coming. Avoid this debate.

Posted by: dgreatone | August 13, 2007 12:53 AM | Report abuse

Mitt Romney probably wants to avoid questions along the lines of "why didn't any of your 5 sons join the military?".

His answer was "Well, ah, it's a VOLUNTEER army".

So if his son's were FORCED to go they would have gone, Otherwise have SOMEONE ELSE'S sons fight.

Posted by: eracer_x | August 13, 2007 12:49 AM | Report abuse

These aren't random YouTube questions. They are selected by journalists, and I'm sure they can find whatever question they like in that huge pile of amateur efforts. The YouTube style doesn't add or detract from the substance of the debate.

Unfortunately, there isn't much substance, since the candidates know that the only point of the debate is to repeat your campaign points and not make any quotable mistakes.

Posted by: mgoodfel | August 13, 2007 12:48 AM | Report abuse

Look, the Republicans stuck behind President Bush for the past 6 years and that's ok. But the problem with that is very few people like him anymore...so you have associated yourselves with someone that nobody likes. This election and this process isn't unfair, it's just the way it goes.

Call it the Liberal media or whatever you want, but you guys screwed yourselves over. It's not Youtube or CNN or Keith Olberman that gives Republicans a bad image...it's what you've done for the past 6 years (or rather the man you've supported). Don't get mad at American's for asking the questions that matter, get mad at the fact that everything a Republican candidate says is overshadowed by the failures of this Presidency.

Posted by: matthew.rankow | August 13, 2007 12:41 AM | Report abuse

The attacks on Romney make me ill. The YouTube debates are debasing and wasteful and I wish all the candidates would refuse to join in. The anti-Romney posts are bigoted and absurd. I'm not Mormon but I'd defend his right to be Mormon and not to be subject to stupid questions about his religion. The truly intolerant people in America these days are the "progressives" and "liberals". It was so simple when all we had to worry about was George Wallace.

Posted by: mikshelt | August 13, 2007 12:29 AM | Report abuse

Mitt only 'invested' $5 Million in this straw poll. It may also be open to all people but it cost $24 to cast a vote. In the past, 20,000 people participated, in 2004-24,000. This year 16,000. We welcome those people to our party.

Posted by: katiebug1 | August 13, 2007 12:24 AM | Report abuse

It's not so much that I worry about Americans asking stupid questions (though I'm sure they will), or that Americans in general are stupid (Though I'm sure many are.). What I worry about is CNN picking the questions. Yes...I'm one of those that thinks they're biased. The line forms on the right.

Posted by: calirangr | August 13, 2007 12:24 AM | Report abuse

It's ridiculous to say Mitt Romney is afraid to answer the "really tough" questions. For many months he has been on the campaign trail holding "Ask Me Anything" meetings with the public. Some of the most revealing YouTube moments have come form these meetings covered by all stripes of news media--friend and foe alike. Of all these scores of face-to-face encounters with the public, Romney has responded frankly, courteously, and honestly.

He's a "class act" and we are fortunate to have a highly qualified candidate like him submit himself to some of the uncivil treatment (like that of other comments above and below this one). He's taken more uncivil, profane, unfair, hateful, bigoted, and just silly questions and comments than any other candidate, yet he's shown he can still respond in a respectful and dignified manner.

He's "presidential" through and through. He's tough when he needs to be and refined as a president should to be.

Do you ever notice that almost all negative comments about him contain crude/bigoted/hateful/insincere language?
That tells me that critics can't find substantive criticism; they turn to name-calling and foul language. Heaven help this great country if we all can't be more respectful to the candidates.
D.V.

Posted by: dvilt | August 13, 2007 12:23 AM | Report abuse

"A 26-year-old Mormon asks Romney, also a Mormon, to explain his changing views on abortion..."

AAARRRGGGHHHH!!! How many freakin' times is Romney going to be asked that question? Asked and answered, Your Honor!

This debate will be just as lame as the Youtube Democrat debate. A bunch of questions from "the people" but filtered and selected by a liberal media.

It's okay to ask Romney the same abortion question a dozen or so times, but no one has the courage to ask why each and every Democrat running for President supports partial birth abortion? It's okay to ask Republicans "one word answer, yes or no" questions DURING A DEBATE, but not give such litmus-test questions to Democrats and deny them a chance to explain themselves?

Just look at the people asking questions in either the Republican or Democrat debates. Many of them are former employers of Democrat politicians, or just out nutball flaming liberals (like Olbermann).

At least the Republicans have the courage to face their harshest critics. Democrats don't have that courage.

If they can't stand up to Chris Wallace (a Democrat, for the record) from Fox News, how can we expect them to stand up to hostile despotic dictators?

Posted by: ynot4tony2 | August 13, 2007 12:21 AM | Report abuse

If Gov. Romney has a problem answering questions from ordinary Americans than he shouldn't be running for President. Yes, some Americans are goofy and post weird stuff like a snowman asking a question, but that doesn't mean they're irrelevant.

The problems in this nation aren't gay marriage and abortions...it's healthcare and Veteran's support and everything else these Youtube people are talking about. You don't get to define the problems in this election...we do...and I want to know your answers to THOSE questions, not your own fabricated problems.

Posted by: matthew.rankow | August 13, 2007 12:16 AM | Report abuse

Former Senator Fred Thompson will be the next president of the United States, no matter what happens at these silly debates. Hillary Clinton's negatives, combined with Fred Thompson's background, sensible conservatism and eloquence will win over the American people. http://www.ImWithFred.com

Posted by: fkpaxson | August 13, 2007 12:13 AM | Report abuse

Gov. Romney is not afraid to answer questions from "real Americans". As you know, he just won the Ames Straw Poll with 31% of the vote. He attended more than 300 events in Iowa this year. These are mostly public events, open to all comers. Surely, some "real Americans" had a chance to ask him some tough questions.

What Mr. Romney objects to, and I agree with him, is lowering the dignity of the office by answering questions from animated snowmen.

Posted by: JTC1767 | August 13, 2007 12:10 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Romney does not like the format because does he want America to see him for who he really is. A bigot. He is affraid of real questions posted by real Americans, not scripted by beaurocrats like him. That is the reason why he is not keen of the Youtube format. He will feel out of control something he is not used to.
Mr. Romney, the only thing to fear is fear itself!!!!

Posted by: sorayagg17 | August 12, 2007 11:49 PM | Report abuse

Mitt "Never Saw a Photo Op He didn't like" Romney should be the last person to complain about the debate format...The Mittster is just nervous because be can't control the situation to his liking...come on Big Hair - all those Mormon wives will hold your hand if you get too frightened...

Posted by: Jerryvov | August 12, 2007 11:32 PM | Report abuse

If this is the only way that the media networks are forced to ask some of the "real questions" (not related to gays, god, and guns), then more power to the format!

It is about time that the Republican and Democratic candidates for President get the same questions, speaking about issues that all Americans care about.

Posted by: kb7psn | August 12, 2007 11:24 PM | Report abuse

More awesomeness from Jose Antonio Awesome...keep up the good work

Posted by: yonatanb | August 12, 2007 11:12 PM | Report abuse

The format is truly pathetic. The "debates" themselves, even absent snowmen, lesbians, and overall annoying people, are mindless drivel. Biden's right: there should be a debate on each major issue, and not until the field has been narrowed down.

That being said, Romney is completely right in turning his nose at this silliness. He doesn't need this. As long as he doesn't do anything stupid, he should skip his way to the nomination.

Posted by: brettgardner_ | August 12, 2007 11:02 PM | Report abuse

They won't have a debate. their Neo con Mantra is.. Give it up for the Corporations!
They can't have questions like .. How come My insurance was cut off.. How come my job was outsourced?? What will you do to make sure that the CEO's in charge of the Enrons don't abscond with the money?

Posted by: CurtJ | August 12, 2007 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Mitt Romney is just fearful of American citizens asking him some really relevant and hard questions -- especially about his faith or gay marriage that he may not want to address.

I think that the You Tube video format is a wonderful and creative way for everyday Americans to engage the presidential hopefuls. The questions for the Democratic candidates were well thought out and the kind of questions that regular citizens and not seasoned journalists (who may fear the wrath of their bosses or news organization) want to ask.

If Romney thinks that the questioning by everyday Americans somehow depreciates the presidency, then certainly he is not a man worthy of the presidency.

Beni Dakar
Duluth, GA


Posted by: wedaconnectionmoderator | August 12, 2007 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Romney's right; the format is ridiculous. Perhaps it's a reflection of how vapid American politics have become. Nevertheless, I'd appreciate some questions about "Wives for Romney."

Posted by: filoporquequilo | August 12, 2007 10:33 PM | Report abuse

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