A Do-Over Debate

By Erick Erickson and Jed Babbin Posted in Comments (128) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

Dear Duncan, Fred, John, Mike, Mitt, Ron, Rudy, and Tom:

The CNN-YouTube Debate was a disgrace. The blame lies largely with CNN, which wanted Republican voters to meet their Republican candidates but only on Democrats’ terms. They did so by portraying the GOP as women-arresting, gun toting, confederate flag-waving simpletons.

You – and we - need a do over as soon as possible.

RedState and Human Events are happy to combine forces and offer the following.

We have a base of readers who represent the Republican wing of the Republican Party. You – and the Republican Party – deserve to face the questions posed by undecided Republicans, not Democratic activists. We will solicit and obtain YouTube videos from those people and vet each questioner to establish that they are – really - - undecided Republicans. We hope to include soldiers in the field in Iraq, Young Republicans, and others who still have not decided among you.

Today, allow us to make you this offer: We will organize a debate at a time and date amenable to you all. We will work with a national broadcaster to broadcast the debate as well as offer it online. We, not the liberal drive by media, will ensure the questioners are who they say they are. And we will choose them based on criteria that will be fully disclosed to you all which ensure the questioners aren’t activists for any Democratic candidate.

It's time to start talking to Republican voters about issues that will help them choose the Republican nominee. This could be a very good way to do it.

It can be done. We're happy to help do it. Are you game?


Jed Babbin
Editor, Human Events

Erick Erickson
Editor, RedState.com

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A Do-Over Debate 128 Comments (0 topical, 128 editorial, 0 hidden) Post a comment »

But don't we have enough debates already? After a while, they get boring and repetitive.

“Republicans believe every day is the Fourth of July, but the Democrats believe every day is April 15.”
-Ronald Reagan

I can only think of one -- the one hosted by FNC.

Stare decisis is fo' suckas -- Feddie

I think Fox should sponsor a debate for Dems to put them on the spot and make them show their mettle.

Go tell your favorite candidate about this challenge.

Hopefully this will not be another mud slinging.

Jim Tomasik

to do this. It would great for them and egg on the face of cnn.

"I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast; for I intend to go in harm's way."
John Paul Jones (letter to M. Le Ray de Chaumont,16 Nov.1778)

I got ?????s.

I meant what I said and I said what I meant. An elephant's faithful 100 percent.

Wubbies World, MSgt, USAF (Retired):
public static void main(String[] args) {
System.out.println("An argument is a sequence of statements aimed at demonstrating the truth of an assertion.); }

I love the idea, but time is short.

The naive forgive and forget.
The foolish forget but do not forgive.
The wise forgive but do not forget.

Why not push for a Democrat debate with questions from Republican activists?

Let's see HillaBamaWards dance a little.
“It must not be supposed that folly is as powerful as truth,
just because it can, if it likes, shout louder and longer than truth.”


Why must the questions be from 'undecided' Republicans? A whole bunch of RedState users (and Directors and Contributors), very well informed and thinking people, have selected and championed a particular candidate.

Is haystack (for example )therefore unable to offer up a YouTube video because he's a known Fred™ guy (as am I, BTW)? Why not allow questions from any of us, and those who are known supporters of Candidate X will have their video subtext saying 'Candidate X Supporter'.

We're adults here, and we can ask fair, if tough, big-boy questions. I trust that HE and RS people can filter out the cheap-shot questions.

Stare decisis is fo' suckas -- Feddie

Let's get it done!

I just sent my email to the Thompson campaign urging them to jump on this opportunity to give the conservative movement another look at what conservatives care about. Everyone needs to send their candidate...or if you are undecided then email the national party...and let's get this debate done!


The toughest thing about this will be getting everyone to agree on a date at this point in time. If you can, I sure hope Mitt will participate.

Nathan W.

all come to one spot, have them doing a live feed from where they are. (save them some money as well)

Jim Tomasik

I like the following ideas:

1) Have all the candidates back out of the CNN/LA Times debate for Redstate/Human Events one.
2) If the "back out" doesn't fly, then do the live feeds from remote locations as a last resort if scheduling is too tough.
3) Make this debate about solutions to American problems. Critism is welcome, but let's keep it focused on the solution and problems with those solutions.

You think we're amateurs here? Or that the subject hasn't been thought through?

Jan 30, 2008 there is a scheduled Republican debate hosted by the communists at CNN and the communists at the LA Times.

I'd say every candidate back out of that debate, and we have the Human Events debate that night. Each candidate already has that night scheduled.

No problem, other than the primary season will already be underway.

If that's too late, then Jan 5, ABC is the host. Another communist-lefty sponsored debate night.

Stare decisis is fo' suckas -- Feddie

...if you promise him a few new transistors, a lube job for his hair and an upgrade to his OS.

Sorry, I just couldn't resist. I love the idea of a debate put on by us, though!

Visit The Scratching Post!

...a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right...

---Thomas Paine---

Why were you naive enough to expect CNN to provide an appropriate debate forum?


Maybe HOPEFUL at best.

Stare decisis is fo' suckas -- Feddie

Life is not fair, but It's still a Wonderful Life!

Some of those questions were a waste of the candidates and prospective voters time !

(i.e. gays in the military, flags, abortion fines and charges, etc.)

it should have been 2 hours of grilling on illegal immgration, spending, taxes, national and international security and policy and the future in relationship to medicare, social security and education ! this is what america wants to know about !

no offense meant to citizens with specific concerns, but that is what the polls say america wants government to improve upon. wasting 1/3 off that debate on issues that wont apply to the next presidents term is really sad.

... but if we're trying to do this right, let's do it right, and politely inform RonPaul!, Duncan, and Tranc that they've failed to attract enough Republican support to be on the stage.

If we could really format this correctly then the ideas of Duncan, Tancredo and even HWSNBN are definitely needed in the debate. Let's remember each of them bring aspects of strong conservatism to the table (yes, even HWSNBN...even though he is proving to be a one note pony in the debates). I say the more the merrier as long as the format is right!

Any debate format that gave each of eight candidates a reasonable amout of air time would just take far too long. No one's running a three hour debate.

I am tired of the same format of debates: 90 seconds per answer and 30 seconds for rebuttle. It is same-old, same-old.

I think each candidate should get 5 minutes opening remarks to say the things most important to them. Or as an alternative, ask questions on topics such as education and healthcare, which never get asked, and allow them more than 90 seconds. We will never get a full understanding of their positions during these short soundbites.

Or why not a series of debates --Lincoln Douglas style. Fred Thompson claims he is interested, but when challened by Huckabee to this style debate, he refused. Why not challenge him again, since he recently said on Fox News he is for this type of debate.

Thank you!

Great alternative to the badly bungled You Boob debate on 11/28! (Any allegorical connection between this post and spouse of leading Democratic candidate is completely coincidental.)

A possible venue for the debate. Is there a way I can contact a moderator or they can email me. I think it would be a very interesting location, and would help create even more buzz. Thanks

Good things take time...Great things happen all at once.


This is only a suggestion.

No Religious Questions. I'm sick of the baptist preacher and mormon junk. Huckabee hits them out of the park every time and it's not at all fair to Romney to bring that topic up when he has said his piece. I'm a huck fan but thats getting old and he has said that he would just as well not be asked about that and so has Romney.

Stick to issues that matter.

And while we are at it, what about leaving the third rail out of it? Everyone knows that everyone else is soft on immigration. Get over it already. I can't beleive any of them would be stupid enough not to take care of it when they get elected.

Jim Tomasik

Am I the only one that doesn't think this is that big of a deal? Sure he should have been vetted, but what harm was actually done? He's an American citizen who might one day be represented by one of these guys, he has a right to ask questions.

We shouldn't be scared of or bothered by questions from the other side. If we are right on the issues, this should be viewed as an opportunity to prove it.

None of the candidates is 'scared or bothered'. This suggestion (new debate hosted BY Republicans FOR Republicans) is not from the candidates, it is from movement conservatives.

The 'big deal' is that CNN went to some lengths to assure the candidates and the public that it would have such a debate. Instead, it turned out to be yet *another* cheap and partisan hatchet job, which frankly I think the candidates handled quite adeptly.

We (American Republicans) WANT to see a debate rather like the one CNN promised us. That's what this is about.

Stare decisis is fo' suckas -- Feddie

OK E.P.U., I'll buy that. The fact that CNN was asleep at the wheel, or did this intentionally, shouldn't be overlooked. But it still doesn't bother me that much. Any number of "movement Republicans" could have asked "a gays in the military" question (in a less slanted way) and the candidates answer would have been more or less the same.

I don't think we need a new debate to correct this relatively minor problem.

The odds that a "movement Republican" would waste the opportunity to ask a question on a topic like gays in the military (which has a uniform opinion shared by all candidates and close to all in the party) are pretty much nil.

That's part of the problem here, letting democrats ask questions in a Republican debate results in a waste of time on topics that are of great interest to the D's but are of little to no interest to us in deciding who our nominee is (bible reading habits question is another example).

That part of the issue is not the end of the world, but it's pretty irritating, especially when we'd been promised something else.

Only about half of Rs support don't ask don't tell. But the real point is that not many R primary voters are voting based on a candidate's view of that. It's the way the MSM and Ds think Rs think. And they are wrong.

That's why having Rs do the question screening for a primary debate would be more appropriate.

Donate to the Rs in Close Senate Races through Slatecard

I think that you guys might be over reacting in regards to how bad the CNN debate made the Republicans look. I was talking to some left-leaning medical students, who are on my internal medicine rotation, about the debate. None of them mentioned anything negative about the Republican debate, and they all said that it was entertaining and informative. In fact, one Asian guy who is a Canadian citizen went on and on about how much he liked Huckabee's answer on the Bible and Mitt's answer on the Confederate flag.

Anyway, a lot of the planted questions were totally forgettable, and I don't even remember the candidates answers--like the questions regarding Chinese toys and farm subsidies. Some of the planted questions allowed the candidates to totally hit the ball out of the park--like Romney's and Fred's answers to the Confederate flag, or Huck's answer to the Log Cabin Republican guy or Huck's answer to the guy asking about taking the Bible literally. However, I'm a Huck supporter, so I always think that he hits it out of the park.

The only real cringe worthy answer, in my opinion, came when Duncan Hunter answered General Kerr regarding gays in the military. And yes, I agree that General Kerr shouldn't have been allowed to filibuster at the debate; however, that doesn't change the fact that Hunter's answer was horrible. Hunter claimed that the reason why he's against gays in the military is that soldiers are conservatives and, therefore, wouldn't want to serve with other gay soldiers. My brother was a diver and a radioman on submarine in the US Navy for seven years, and he's a conservative. He told me that he has no problem with gays in the military and that most of the guys that he served with--that I met--didn't have a problem with it either. Furthermore, I talked with some army trauma nurses that I met on a previous rotation (one had been stationed in Germany, and another had been in Iraq) and they all said that they had no problem with gays in the military--and only one of them was a Republican. The other two were Democrats who voted for Kerry. Furthermore, like Adam C stated, half of conservatives don't really have a problem with gays in the military. Anyway, the reason why Hunter's answer was so bad, was that it sounded like he was speaking for all soldiers, and all conservatives for that matter--which would make any person seem foolish. I mean, it just seems like a wild assumption to assume that:
A.) All soldiers are conservatives.
B.) All soldiers are afraid to serve with gay people.
C.) All conservatives are against gays in the military.
However, Hunter did have a really good moment when he talked about gun safety in regards to the guy who threw the gun during his question.

And finally, if you guys do indeed get to do your own Youtube debate, I wouldn't avoid the Confederate flag question. Both Republican and Democratic governors in GA and SC lost reelection in 1998 and 2002 due, in part, to their stance on the Confederate flag. Not to mention, both George W Bush and John McCain pandered to the Sons of Confederate Veterans, with regard to the the Confederate flag, during the 2000 SC primary. Bottom line--this is now an issue that Republicans are going to have to deal with again and again in debate after debate unless you guys deal with it now, once and for all. And, if you don't mention it, the Repub candidates will appear to be dodging the issue (for fear of offending some southern voters), and you'll just wet the MSM's appetite to ask you about it in future debates. My suggestion would be to ask each candidate, during the RS/ Human Events debate, what they think of displaying the Confederate flag at public buildings. Next, go around and let every candidate state that they are against displaying the Confederate flag at public buildings. Bam--you'll put that baby to bed forever and the Confederate flag will never again be an issue for the GOP during this presidential race--because, right now, it's more of a liability than an asset. Furthermore, John McCain sounded extremely presidential, in a previous debate, when he apologized for pandering, regarding the Confederate flag in 2000--and so did Mitt Romney Wednesday night when he spoke out against publicly displaying the confederate flag. And, those few Confederate flagophiles that you might offend--what are they going to do--vote for the Democrat? Please--it's a win-win situation. Y'all have a good night and God Bless.

alienated the public and reduced the number of people that are fooled by them.

Democrat President Bill Clinton made law, what the de facto policy regarding gays in the military (and sports) has been since time immeorial, due to nature, social and male dynamics.

The military has a vital job to do that leaves no room for social engineering. Plus, it has worked, both since 1993 and since 3000 BC.

The Democrat governor, Democrat General Assembly and SC Black Caucus (all democrats) REMOVED the Confederate flag from a place of AUTHORITY, ATOP the State House dome (where the American and State flags fly), and placed it on the outdoor museum, that is the State House GROUNDS, among the slavery memorial and statutes and other memorials to fallen war heroes from all of Americas' wars. The state NAACP endorsed the compromise at the time. YEARS LATER, the NATIONAL NAACP returned to the issue for political reasons (fund raising), complaining that the flag was now MORE VISIBLE. Yes, it is now on the ground. Dawg poop is also more visible on the ground than if it were Thirty feet in the air.

Republicans had nothing to so with any of it.

Mike Gamecock DeVine @ The Charlotte Observer

...but I'd add that it wasn't one "he" - there were 8-9 other planted Dem questions that derailed what should have been a debate of substance on issues that most Republican voters really care about such as preventing the government from spending our money frivolously, ensuring a strong national defense against jihadists, creating a pragmatic immigration plan, tax reform that drives the economy rather than driving nannyism, and using free market solutions to fix social security, healthcare, and education.

Instead, we got a debate on issues that the DNC@CNN fantasizes Republicans care about - prosecuting women who abort, bible thumping, gun hugging, confederate flag waving, and hetero conspiracies.

"We want great men who, when fortune frowns, will not be discouraged." - Colonel Henry Knox

Great idea guys.

Regardless of what others may write, Republicans deserve to hear these candidates answer questions posed by other Republicans.

These candidstes are running for the nomination of the Republican Party.

Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock.

I like your idea. However how bout asking Rush to host a debate live on his show? What other venue attracts more Republican primary voters than the Rush Limbaugh show?

Perhaps the RedState gang could help compose some of the questions that Rush could pose.

I wish I could say that this was my idea, however Gullyborg first posited it yesterday and I decided to run with the idea on my blog as well (http://nwrepublican.blogspot.com/2007/11/rush-limbaugh-time-for-real-rep...).

Yip Yip

Norwest Republican Blogger: www.nwrepublican.blogspot.com

Lets have Rush, Sean and Michelle Malkin, as leading Conservatives, ask the questions, and instead of the short time frame, allow enough time for detailed answers. I could easily go for any of the three as a moderator, but I think all 3, with only those 3 asking the questions, would be great.

You haven't listened carefully to Sean for long, have you?

The "Third Worst Person in the World" and aiming higher.

Rush's show is about Rush Limbaugh. If he'd offer, I think that'd be cool, but I wouldn't want to impose on him.

Rush is, after all, more informed and entertaining that all the candidates combined.

Fight On!

I agree that Rush's show is what Rush wants to talk about, except on Friday's. However, if Rush, Sean or any of them would moderate this, that would be hugely entertaining, interesting, and very informative.

And we will choose them based on criteria that will be fully disclosed to you all which ensure the questioners aren’t activists for any Democratic candidate.

This isn't really exciting.

CNN got it half right - ask "the people" to submit questions for the candidates.

They missed the other half - and you are too: let "the people" decide which questions get asked.

I rather liked the concept behind that 10questions site that was promoted here a while ago. While it may not be televised, it has the advantage of allowing the candidates to answer without someone telling them time is up.

As a side note, I see that Huckabee has already answered 9 of the 10 questions. Obama's answered 1, and that's it so far.

9 of the 10 Qs were on D issues IIRC. If it is community chosen, then someone has to police who is the "community."

At this point, I'd be happy to have Rs screen questions for an R debate just like Ds who work at CNN screened questions for the D debate.

Donate to the Rs in Close Senate Races through Slatecard

I admit ignorance as to the organization behind the 10questions site and whether they have a political bent. The process looks intriguing however.

Certainly, it is fair to organize a limited pool of participants from whom questions are taken and by whom questions are selected for actual forwarding. In that respect if Erick and his friend can cast their net for only Republicans, I wouldn't see that as a fault.

But in my opinion any situation where a committee of gatekeepers selects the questions falls far short from the ideal, and easily attainable, goal of facilitating as close a "dialogue" as possible between voter and candidate.

Why not make a list of the 20-30 Hot Button issues of the day and get ALL candidates in the race to give their answer as to how they will handle those particular issues? Also have accountants ball park the costs of each proposal. If we do
this, several advantages will occur.
1. All candidates will speak to the same isues, so we can understand their position clearly.
2. We will get an estimate of the cost for each proposal.
3. We will not waste time on trivia or personal attacks.
4. This takes the networks and their bias out of the equation.
5 This saves time and money and doesn't interfere with previous scheduling.
6. This eliminates the ''beauty contest'' aspect or who can provide the best quip or insult.
7. This is the only way to nail down a candidates true position.
8. The truth will be open and obvious.
Once the nominees are chosen, we can then schedule debates on the fine points.

I thought it was a great debate. It showed that some of our candidates aren't able to handle the heat of loaded questions (Rudy, Mitt) and others handle them easily, even skillfully (Duncan Hunter).

Let's face it, the GOP nominee is going to run the full media gauntlet up against Hillary. If they can't even handle Anderson Cooper and his merry plants, they're going to get their butts handed to them when the entire Clinton slime machine is focused on them.

That's why I'm for Duncan Hunter. His response to Hillary regarding her campaign plants: "Please send more!"

The CNN/YouTube format, in the words of Dieter from Sprockets, "has become tiresome."

Seriously I stopped liveblogging it the other night when the dial indicators all went off the scale and I realized what it was turning into.

For a real debate, I suggest the Republicans and Conservatives go back into history and allocate at least four hours to an actual, sitdown, standup discussion. Bring all the candidates in and let them have as much time as they want to answer questions, not like they're appearing on some kind of game show being asked questions by people in dark glasses.

This is the Presidency of the United States. YouTube/CNN have blown it, in my mind. I know Rudy can really sit and expatiate for at least an hour, and so can most of the others. Put 'em around a table with some real questions, and let them do their best.

You have my support 110% on this.

With one moderator (perhaps two) and a list of discussion topics. Have them all sit around the table with the list of topics and discuss, discuss, discuss.

They can take four hours out of their lives for the most important office in the world, in my view. And it'll be fair. No artificial timetable, no commercials, no planted questions. Just the Republican candidates, a big table, and a list of topics.

Do it.

The world only goes round by misunderstanding - Charles Baudelaire

A roundtable discussion without commercials or artificial timetables is the best format. These stand-up, throw the seal a fish formats are awful. Let's hear these guys discuss real issues. Eliminate the media critters as the middlemen. I'm with ya Kowalski!

...right after the debate, debacle was saying essentally the same thing and inviting other candidates to join him in this fashion.

Founder and contributor to The Minority Report and Senior writer for The Hinzsight Report

he's an intellegent man and wants to do the debates right...

janet ney

The "Third Worst Person in the World" and aiming higher.

"and now is zee time in Sprokets ven ve dance..."

The Unofficial RedState FAQ
“You are not only responsible for what you say, but also for what you do not say. ” - Martin Luther

This is an interesting proposal you put forth to host a debate. It will be an interesting test:

1) Both for online sites such as Redstate - do these types of sites have enough clout for Candidates to deem it worth while to say "Yes"

2) If none of the candidates or none of the front-runners agree - how will Redstate view that decision?

Such as, Little Green Footballs, HotAir.com, Townhall.com.. etc.

I don't understand the defeatist attitudes honestly. Let us see if the RedState guys can get the Candidates and the other Conservative blogging community to join up.

I am totally for it and watching for some good ideas… like the round table idea, but 4 hours is a little long IMHO. Maybe do a segment once a month for 2 hours with all the candidates until the vote. Then work it from there.

That would make for a much better debate. The little three are just bathroom break filler.


Read my most recent story, "Amy Tuck for MS Senator" on First Cut Politics

For a couple of reasons. First, Huckabee's surge has been in large part due to his performance in the debates. While it is unlikely that any of the other candidates could find the big Mo this late in the game, it would be ill advised to deny them the opportunity to do so. Second, should he actually get some questions about something other than the war (I didn't see this debate, so I can't speak to it in particular), Rep. Paul can contribute quite a bit to the discussion by reminding the other candidates of the limits placed on the federal government by the Constitution and talking about the proper role of government. I'm not expecting him to win, but it is good to hear a Republican candidate talking about limited government for a change.


Paul couldn't even give the correct birthday of the country. As well as he really doesn't understand the constitution even though he says he is a Constitutionalist.

IMHO Paul is as left of the right as the Dems are. And who in their right mind would go on that show talking about aliens?

Would you care to offer some evidence of your claims?


How have you come to these conclusions on Ron Paul?

Are you aware of what a traditional "Conservative" believes in?

Not a "Neo-Conservative", or "Social-Conservative" or other hyphenated Conservative - but a good old-fashioned, real deal Conservative.

Being as you can google, yahoo or use any search engine and look up Coast to Coast/Ron Paul you will actually see it is true. I don’t need to prove anything, I honestly do not care. I think it is fascinating people honestly believe though and always wonder why they think it. I am also not into conspiracy or theories, so for me and listening or watching Ron Paul concerning anything about 9/11 or concerning the Military makes my stomach turn.

I am an old fashioned conservative all the way. I want to know what they plan on concerning the border, how they deem social security for those whom are about to retire. I want to see a person with some rocks stand up and do what America has elected them to do and not waffle on any issues from border and port security to terrorism… anything.

I will vote on who is going to be the best, and IMHO I have been behind Fred since day one. He isn’t another Ronald Reagan, but no one will be. I like what the man has to say, his directness and how he takes a moment before he answers to get the point across. Unlike quite a few of the candidates who just start screaming.

He also attracts people who come onto sites where Ron Paul shilling is banned, the better to try to defend him.


The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC. I've been usurped!

Eric and Jed,

You've missed what was the first glaring flaw of CNN's so-called debate.

They arbitrarily excluded Ambassador Alan Keyes, even though the debate was in Florida, where in public polling, Alan is, despite his late entry, already running ahead of three of the men who were on the stage: Ron Paul, Duncan Hunter, and Tom Tancredo.

When the Republican Party delivered control of their own debates, and the criteria for what makes an "acceptable" candidate, over to the political directors at the networks they did a grave disservice to the base of their party, and to the American people at large.

We've observed MANY so-called conservative leaders sell out their constituencies and our principles in this election cycle. It's inconceivable to me that Redstate and Human Events could possibly help perpetuate the unfair media blackout of Alan Keyes, a man who has courageously fought as hard or harder than anybody for our conservative ideals for so long, and who is going to be on ballots all over the country.

Let the people hear from everybody, and then let them decide, not the elite gatekeepers.

By the way, just so you know, Dr. Keyes WILL be in the December 12 Des Moines Register Debate. It will be shown on Iowa Public Television, and reportedly, CNN, Fox, and C-SPAN will also be carrying it live.

Tom Hoefling
America's Revival
Alan Keyes for President

While they're at it, they should let me participate too. Keyes is an embarassment, and I say that as someone who actually appeared on the ballot for him in 2000. Why not just have him move to yet another state and have him run a futile race for Governor? After the incident with his daughter, I have no use for him. It's not that I disagree with his moral view of her actions, but rather his allowing that to harm his personal relationship with her.


You really should know better than to believe everything you read in the Democrat Media. And on the internet, for that matter.

    When the Republican Party delivered control of their own debates, and the criteria for what makes an "acceptable" candidate, over to the political directors at the networks...

Why would you say this when you know perfectly well that it was the Florida GOP, not Fox News (Orlando) or CNN (St. Pete) that, erm, failed to invite Ambassador Keyes to their debates?

Why is it up to others to remind you of material on the web site you feature in your sig?

Drink Good Coffee. You can sleep when you're dead.

and i applaud you for making the suggestion...not sure if you can find a GOP friendly non-biased network...maybe you could approach the sportsman channel...they're all republicans! and this is no joke...i'm not kidding....

janet ney

But most immportant, can we stop making this about looks and make it about substance. Interesting that I heard Fred Thompson had no substance early on, not he is the most substantive.


_The "Third Worst Person in the World" and aiming higher._

I have wondered why the DEMOCRATS involve themselves in OUR Republican primary procedure, or why some Republicans do the same with the Democrat primaries.

Both parties need to choose their OWN representative.
Democrats can cry and skip FOX with no consequences at all, but Republicans have to go on gooftube hosted by (C)ertified(N)utty(N)ews.

If Red State and Human Events can pull this off, it should lead the way for EACH party to choose their OWN CANDIDATE!!!

Count me IN...

It's a wonderful idea, and I'll be glad to provide questions!

I would like to hear real answers to pressing problems for America, not Democrat talking points.

I would try and participate with my own lame question :-)

Why is Ron Paul not receiving the Major Media coverage? Most major media outlets are prone to deliver the message that there owners want to hear. To give an example, Rupert Murdock owner of FOX news says, quote word for word

“For better or for worse, our company (The News Corporation Ltd.) is a reflection of my thinking, my character, my values.”

Knowing this all one needs to do is look at Rupert’s well known political positions and choices for President and it is oddly coincidental that it is the very same people that are the “Touted” candidates and do so well in the FOX polls. Fair and unbiased? You be the judge..

NBC has it’s master called GE. GE has the same privilege as Rupert. GE is one of the world’s largest military contractors. Are we to be believe that we are always getting fair and balanced information? You be the judge.

As far as the other media, I am sure some of them also have there “Masters” that are proactive in what message is conveyed by there news outlets.

Imho, Ron Paul cannot count on the major media to do anything but sabotage him and we should not cry about it, thats the way the media works in this country.

What Ron Paul supporters need to do is focus on what we do have, a extremely LARGE grassroots campaign made up of millions of individuals, not several corporations like the rest of the field. Be thankful for having a true honest campaign and work hard at getting him elected. Don’t get caught up with the bad vibes of others who fear this revolution that is unfolding..

Looking forward to Ron Paul as President.

Why doesn't Ron Paul get more media attention ?

Maybe because they couldn't get a newscrew to stop laughing long enough to give him any.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

a news crew? or a new screw? or is that the same thing?

"Nothing works like freedom, Nothing succeeds like liberty"

RP will never get any serious media coverage until he can accept the realities of global politics. His brand of isolationism, even though he says he isn't an isolationist because he wants to trade with other countries, has been proven disastrous throughout the ages. We traded with Japan until they invaded China. We made a moral stand by stopping trade. Japan responded by drawing us into WWII. The rise of the Nazi's found fertile ground in the isolationist stances of the rest of the European community. 72 million people died because it was left to get out of hand. The policies of intervention that we have today are the result of learning our lesson over WWII. RP hasn't learned that lesson.

Carol1, Jefferson, Georgia
The cheap tricks pulled on the Republicans in their debate on Thursday should be done over to show the American electorate just how desperate the Liberal Democrats to win. They will stoop to any cheap tricks and they have the backing of the media, the Clinton News Network(CNN) and YouTube. But the credit goes to the Republican Conservatives who went on with the debate without fear. I Democratic Libs will not debate on the FOX News Network afraid that Fox will do to them what they did to the Republicans. But the Republicans are not afraid of the or their dirty tricks. They are condfident in what they want to do for the country and the American people.Republian Candidates answer questions pertaining to issues important to the voters. Democrats avoid the issues of importance to the voters and double talk them. All they want to do is get into power. Beware of politicians who play on your emotions. You may have a beef with the people in office but they have done their best with an obstructionist Congrss holding up progress. Now, we have a turn around in Iraq and they are still holding up funds for our troops while they admit the surge is working! I cannote urge voters to study what is happening and vote for the man and issues NOT he party!

could you maybe get FOX news to work with you on an already scheduled debate an alter the format a tad

— Jan. 10, 2008: Republican presidential debate hosted by Fox News in Myrtle Beach, SC.

I had not watched CNN before this debate since CNN allied with our enemies in Iraq and in the GWOT.

Much worse than the YouTube silliness.

What would be great is if our candidates had the guts to tell CNN what for.

If any network deserves to be boycotted, its CNNbs, followed closely by CBSbs, NBCbs, ABCbs, and MSNBCbs.

Mike Gamecock DeVine @ The Charlotte Observer

A second debate is a good idea...but ixnay on the "getting soldiers in Iraq" to contribute idea (plus, they are a bit busy with other things). Your idea *may* get them into trouble due to the "no politicking in uniform" rule. While the idea is nice in theory, it could be not so nice (for them) in practice.

Just a thought.

I would love to see this happen. Even if it were four hours long, that's a small amount of time considering the amount of information we would get to make a determination on who would be the best candidate. Guaranteed, it would be the MOST WATCHED debate (I can see sHrILLARY foaming at the mouth over not being allowed to contribute any greenery) of all time. Perhaps it would even cause a few Dems to see the light and come over from the dark side.

Hillary is only for the rights of women who don't accuse Bill of sexual assault!

It's not really very different from putting together rock concerts, as I've done many times before. If we could find out what candidates need for accommodations, we could find a venue and make necessary arrangements. I doubt if the candidates would all be into doing it in Athens, Georgia, where I could be helpful finding a venue, but I'm sure others can do it somewhere else. Sponsorship shouldn't be a problem after all that leg-work has been done, and if some other cable outlet doesn't pick it up, maybe C-SPAN would be into it. Between us and a number of other like-minded blogs and forums, we could make history. We'd have fun trying, anyway.

Jeff, any thoughts? :)


happen is that 2 or 3 candidates
should negotiate terms of a debate. Announce where they will debate and invite anyone to film it.

Mike Gamecock DeVine @ The Charlotte Observer

The ads for the CNN debate that were aired on the local radio station were one step short of the ads for the tractor pull and motocross rally ("SUNDAY, SUNDAY, SUNDAY AT THE DOME...").

Television has managed to reduce the selection of the president to entertainment for idiots, and all of these television debates are drivel. Adding the youtube element has simply resulted in a lower common denominator. I'm surprised there wasn't a snowperson asking a question about gay scoutmasters.

On the bright side, if we could figure out a way to harness the spinning of the founding fathers in thier graves, we'd finally be able to acheive engergy independence.
"You can't save the Earth unless you're willing to make other people sacrifice" - Scott Adams (speaking through Dogbert)

I'm a Liberal Canadian (two reasons why I have no business being here, I suppose), but I agree that the CNN debate format doesn't really work. I caught some of it and while I can't totally agree that it had a liberal bent, it didn't move past the same issues brought up ad nauseum elsewhere. I think a debate held by conservative voters with questions that weren't pre-selected based on how they play on TV or the reaction they'll provoke by the candidates (as seems to be CNN's criteria) is a fine idea. Frankly I'd prefer it if both parties did this -- they're not running for President yet, they're dealing with their base, so why not deal with issues more relevant to both parties? Not to say I'd want every debate separated that way, but I think both sides are pretty unsatisfied with the way things have been handled so far.

true exchanges between the candidates that clarified differences. The Fox moderators were pros.

Mike Gamecock DeVine @ The Charlotte Observer

I think it would be better not just for Americans but for everyone else in the world if American Presidential candidates were given a more serious debate format and less of a game-show format.

The world relies on how sane people in America are when they wake up in the morning. I think it should give everyone pause when we're selecting our next President based on what a snowman asks.

We're a smart bunch and we can do better than this.

Its only appropriate questions about a joke be asked by a joke.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

If the Republicans can't handle a question asked by a Democrat, how can they handle Al-Qaeda?

And why does it even matter who asks the question? I've yet to hear how the questions were unfair.

They weren't "unfair," whatever that means. The issue is that they were stupid and irrelevant. There is only a certain limited time allotted for these debates. Does "Do you believe every word in Bible?" make the top 30 of 5,000 submissions on the issue of who should be President of the United States? Does "What about the Confederate flag?"

Don't be such a victim of CNN's perfidy. Think a bit about what must have been in 5,000 questions submitted by people. The people picking those questions were jerks. And the people vetting the questioners were incompetent, dishonest, or both.

Drink Good Coffee. You can sleep when you're dead.

outraged at the aiding and abetting of America's enemies by the MSM and the Dems until we shame them into considering the unpatriotic effects of their statements and actions. Until they stop doing for free what our enemies would gladly pay them to do and say.

instead of shrugging off the stuff that gets americans killed and moving on to snowmen

Mike Gamecock DeVine @ The Charlotte Observer

Don't let us forget it.

The "Third Worst Person in the World" and aiming higher.

What is a good Republican question? All the ones I can think of could be plants, I think that's their trick.

A do-over?? You've got to be kidding me. What a bunch of infants, seriously. Grow up.

I was sure that nobody would be that dumb as to telegraph such an obvious trollname.

Well, live and learn.


The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC. I've been usurped!

Anybody have an official count? ;)

If we have to have a moderator(s), can it please be someone from the new media? ixnay anybody from any televised network. We need to send a statement that the "opinions" of the talking heads are rejected. A few thoughtful rightwing bloggers could do a vastly better job at this.

We have an opportunity to let the MSM know that their days are numbered. Let's hasten their final days.

Note, that when Fred offered to debate in a round table(s) his idea was not to have any moderator, just rely on courtesy of the participants.

Redneck Hippie

One of these "debates" moderated by guys from the internet media. For both sides. Why not give them their due? They've earned it.

The "Third Worst Person in the World" and aiming higher.

"A Do-Over Debate"....LOL A debate do over would be like stating an elction do over..it's not going to happen...

We need to answer to the best of our ablities in debates and remember the 11th Commandment.

Then of course in the elections be prepared, stick to a message, and most of remember while serving the country pratice what we preach.

Why would you want right wing talk show hosts to be asking the questions for a debate between Republicans? Are you really looking for softball questions only? Do we really want a fluff piece? We can go watch their TV ads, if that's what we're looking for.

Is this the best way to really test out the candidates, to get the hard questions asked?

Why not have liberal talk show hosts ask questions in a debate for the Republicans (Randi Rhodes, Stephanie Miller, Thom Hartman) and have right wing talk show hosts (Sean Hannity, Rush) ask questions of the dems?

Isn't the point to test out the person who might end up being the President of the U.S.? Is it really THAT much to expect that they can take and intelligently ANSWER questions from any American? Are the candidates so fragile they need protection from tough questions???

Come on!

And on those scores the debate did very well and our guys kicked rear and didn't bother to take names.

But I have to say I didn't learn anything about the candidates, I didn't know before.

"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

    Why would you want right wing talk show hosts to be asking the questions

Because unlike you, we do not consider them "right wing." They are the closest thing we have to the so-called "journalists" who populate your own, "left wing" media. Since they know us and share our concerns (unlike the left-wing "journalists" who populate so-called "news" outlets like CNN) they are better able to fashion questions that will elicit answers that we care about. This may surprise you, but the role of the Confederate flag is not a hot topic among Republican voters this year.

    Are you really looking for softball questions only?

We understand that we all look alike to you guys, but where you see a monolithic bloc of right wingers, we see a fairly wide diversity of opinion. That is why we laugh when we hear someone from your side of the Big Ditch suggest that questions from Republicans must of necessity be "softball" questions. No, what you are suggesting we need is "questions on issues we don't care about." We don't want those, because we don't care about them. Capice?

    Are the candidates so fragile they need protection from tough questions???

What tough questions? You think the questions presented by the Democrat shills in the St. Pete debate were "tough"? We don't. We think most of them were stupid. CNN wasted at least half of the time allotted for that debate on questions fashioned by Democrats from their own bigotry about Republicans. It wasn't welcome, and we didn't like it.

Drink Good Coffee. You can sleep when you're dead.

Yes, actually I'm waiting for someone to ask Giuliani if he prefers diamonds or pearls.

Ooops, that one's been taken. Sorry.

The Unofficial RedState FAQ
“You are not only responsible for what you say, but also for what you do not say. ” - Martin Luther

Just curious, Robert... when the dems dropped out of the Fox debate, right wingers were crying "if you can't face FOX, HOW can you expect to face al Qaeda"?

During the CNN/YouTube Dem debate several months ago, one question was "How will you prevent taxes from going up like they always do when a democratic president is in office"?

Another questioner asked the candidates to choose between raising taxes or cutting benefits in order to save Social Security.

Another clearly stated he had voted for Bush in the past two elections.....

Another questioner has a MySpace page, featuring the photo of Giuliani, and a photo of Obama wearing a turban...hardly a die hard Democrat.

I've been searching for all of your complaints about how unfair THAT debate was, and I can't find it. I can't even find major complaints from the left, following that debate... show some backbone and stop crying about how unfair the debate was!

It is unwise to taunt the moderators. The next thing you may hear is BLAM.

Once you've figured out how to use the feature probably, use it to rewrite your post to Bob: only this time, without the attitude.

The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC. I've been usurped!

I think they have that down on their own.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

    I've been searching for all of your complaints about how unfair THAT debate was, and I can't find it

I didn't watch it. I had planned to, but an opportunity came along to have a root canal and I just had to go for it.

What is this obsession with 'fairness'? Did I say anything about the debate being unfair? I don't see that the word, or any reasonable synonym, appears in my note. I said that many of the questions were stupid and wasted our time. Fairness would seem to be orthogonal to those concerns.

I am sorry to learn that CNN hosed up the Democrats' debate as well. To the extent CNN did that, Democrats also had their time wasted by a network that doesn't quite seem to understand its role in a process that ought to be taken a lot more seriously than 'snowmen' and 'creepy Bible guys'.

    stop crying about how unfair the debate was!

Instead I think I'll ask you to stop telling me what I am saying. I'll write my own material; you stick to yours.

Drink Good Coffee. You can sleep when you're dead.

comes across as sincere and competent. He would be a good President. I think we have 5 excellent candidates. The top 3 (Fred, Mitt and Rudy) are really great and the other 2 are good to great.

I'm confident about '08.

Mike Gamecock DeVine @ The Charlotte Observer

I saw it, too, earlier today. It immediately followed a speech by Huckabee at a New Hampshire GOP gathering over the weekend.

It gave me a chance to compare their speeches side-by-side.

Huck gave another outstanding speech. People who haven't seen him beyond a sound bite or interview really need to see him in a longer format. The guy is simply amazing.

Having said that, I was very impressed with Mitt, too. He came across as more likeable and unrehearsed. I liked his speech better than the Q&A which followed, in which he reverted back to his standard rehearsed lines. Overall, though, a net positive gain in my book.

Mr. Ed
Straight from the Horse's Mouth

pastor and preacher, we call those longer talks with 3 and only 3 points that Huck gives

sermons! And never go much past noon. Its ok if the congregation looks at their watches, but you know you messed if they take they off to see if they are wrking!


Mike Gamecock DeVine @ The Charlotte Observer

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