Friday, July 27, 2007

GOP Candidates Passing Up YouTube Debate


YOUTUBE, TAKE TWO
Few GOP Candidates Commit to Debate

Four days after the Democratic debate in Charleston, S.C., more than 400 questions directed to the GOP presidential field have been uploaded on YouTube, as Republicans are scheduled to take their turn at video-populism on Sept. 17.

But only Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) and Rep. Ron Paul (Tex.) have agreed to participate in the debate, co-hosted by the Republican Party of Florida in St. Petersburg.
"Aside from those two candidates, we haven't heard from anyone else," said Sam Feist of CNN, which is co-sponsoring the debate with the popular video-sharing site.

Rudolph W. 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 Giuliani campaign said the former New York mayor is unlikely to participate.

Kevin Madden, Romney's spokesman, said the former Massachusetts governor has seven debate invitations over a span of 11 days in September.
"We haven't committed to any of them yet," Madden said.

In an interview Wednesday with the New Hampshire Union Leader, Romney said he's not a fan of the CNN/YouTube format. Referring to the video of a snowman asking the Democratic candidates about global warming, Romney quipped, "I think the presidency ought to be held at a higher level than having to answer questions from a snowman."