Debating Debating – Who Will Participate?

As we get into the second half of the summer, as well as the fall, the race for the White House is going to start to heat up once again. Along with the Ames straw poll, there are at least four debates planned between now and January. Of these, one of them, the CNN/Youtube debate in September, now appears to be in danger of being cancelled.

Already, Rudy Giuliani has announced he will not attend, and Romney has left his participation in doubt. While Giuliani has provided an understandable excuse – a major fundraiser planned for the same day – Romney’s reluctance to participate seems to be rooted more in a dislike of the format. When asked weather he would attend in the debate, Romney refused to provide a definite answer – though he did raise his concerns about some of the questions seen during the Democratic Youtube debates, saying that those seeking the Presidency should be held to a higher standard than having to answer questions from a snowman.

While I agree that the candidates should not have to answer such ridiculous questions, I don’t like the idea of skipping a debate. For one, it will definitely be spun by the Democrats as hypocritical. You don’t need much of an imagination to see how the Democrats would accuse Republicans of ignoring the concerns of the average American voter. Secondly, I don’t think there have been enough debates. There should be at least one a month, and we have not had one since May. I don’t like limiting the national exposure of the candidates, particularly since my pick (Romney) is helped by extra exposure.

If Republicans really think that the Youtube debates are flawed, that’s fine, but they should not be dropping out without trying to organize an alternative.


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