DES MOINES (CNN) – The Republican Party of Florida, CNN and YouTube will announce Monday that the organizations' Republican presidential debate will be held on Nov. 28, two months before Sunshine State voters hold their gateway primary into "Super Tuesday."
Originally, the three partners targeted Sept. 17 as the date for the debate that will feature video questions submitted by voters through YouTube. But some campaigns expressed concerns about the timing of the event and the debate partners worked to find an alternative date.
CNN's Anderson Cooper will moderate this debate that will be held at the Mahaffey Theater at the Progress Energy Center for the Arts in St. Petersburg. In July, CNN and YouTube partnered with the South Carolina Democratic Party to hold a similar debate in Charleston. Cooper also moderated that event, which was sanctioned by the Democratic National Committee as the party's first official presidential primary debate of the 2008 race for the White House.
Candidates such as New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Arizona Sen. John McCain have told the partners they will participate.
– CNN Political Editor Mark Preston
Posted 8/13/2007 08:56:06 AM
PRESS RELEASE from the Republican
Party of Florida
July 20, 2007
RPOF, CNN and YouTube Announce Details of Republican Presidential Debate in St. Petersburg
Tallahassee--The Republican Party of Florida, CNN, and YouTube announced today that the three organizations will partner to produce a historic, user-generated debate between the Republican presidential candidates. The two-hour debate, which will take place on September 17, 2007 at the Mahaffey Theater at the Progress Energy Center for Performing Arts in St. Petersburg, will be moderated by CNN’s Anderson Cooper and will air live on CNN and CNN en Espanol.
“We are pleased that our Republican presidential candidates will have another opportunity to discuss the issues that are important to Florida’s voters,” said Governor Crist. “This is a testament to the leadership of the Florida Legislature, which wisely made Florida a more important player in the presidential nominating process by moving Florida’s primary date forward.”
“This debate is an unprecedented opportunity for people across the nation to ask the Republican presidential candidates where they stand on the issues that are important to them, using mediums that are integral to the 2008 presidential election cycle—CNN and YouTube,” noted RPOF Chairman Jim Greer. “The debate is further evidence of Florida’s growing and prominent role in the 2008 Presidential election cycle, and we are excited to partner with CNN and YouTube to bring the Republican Presidential candidates to viewers across America.”
Viewers will be able to submit video questions immediately via www.rpof.com and on YouTube at www.youtube/republicandebate.com beginning Monday evening at 9:00 pm EST. Questions submitted will be featured on YouTube in addition to tips on how to help get videos chosen. CNN will produce the televised events and will select the questions used in the debates.
“Thanks to the breadth of our community, YouTube offers something for everybody; we’ve become the world’s largest town hall for political discussion. Teaming with CNN and the Republican Party of Florida, we have extended personal access to presidential candidates beyond New Hampshire and Iowa,” said YouTube cofounder Steve Chen. “YouTube is an incredibly tangible and personal medium for political discussion, which you'll see in these debates.”
“For this debate, CNN and YouTube created a one-of-a-kind format to enable American voters to pose their own questions directly to the Republican candidates themselves,” said Jon Klein, president of CNN/U.S. “We are grateful to the Republican Party of Florida and to Governor Crist for their partnership and for bringing the CNN-YouTube debate to this critical early primary state.”
“This televised debate will provide great exposure for the city and we look forward to welcoming journalists and visitors from around the nation,” said St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker. “Our thanks go out to Progress Energy and the Republican Party of Florida for providing the resources to make this event happen in our great city.”
"The Internet is a powerful tool in not only educating voters on the Presidential candidates, but also allowing voters to express their opinions and ideas,” concluded Chairman Greer. “We are especially excited that CNN En Espanol will be airing the debate, because we have been working hard to reach out to the Hispanic community in Florida from the grassroots up. This fits in perfectly with our minority outreach initiatives and we look forward to hearing a variety of viewpoints and questions.”
To submit a video question for the RPOF/CNN/YouTube Republican Presidential candidates’ debate, visit www.rpof.org or www.youtube.com/debates.
# # #
PRESS RELEASE from YouTube
June 14, 2007
CNN, YouTube Team Up to Host First-Ever
Voter-Generated Presidential Debates
Public to Submit Video Questions for Candidates for July 23 Democratic Debate, Sept. 17 Republican Debate
CNN, the most trusted news source, and YouTube, the leading online video community that allows people to discover, watch and share originally created videos, today announced plans to bring two unprecedented presidential debates to the American public. For the first time in presidential debate history, the live forum will feature video questions submitted to YouTube which will be broadcast and answered by the candidates on CNN. CNN’s Anderson Cooper will moderate the two-hour debates and pose follow-up questions.
The Democratic debate, the first Democratic National Committee-sanctioned presidential forum of the 2008 election cycle, will be held at the Citadel in Charleston, S.C. from 7:00 to 9:00 PM (ET), on Monday, July 23, and will air live on CNN. The Republican presidential forum hosted by CNN and YouTube will take place from 7:00 to 9:00 PM (PT), on Monday, Sept 17, in Florida.
Starting today, YouTube users will be able to submit their questions at www.youtube.com/debates.
CNN will produce the televised events and will select the questions used in the debates. Select YouTube users will be among the live audience. “YouTube enables voters and candidates to communicate in a way that simply was not possible during the last election,” said Chad Hurley, CEO and co-founder of YouTube. “For the first time in the history of presidential debates, voters from around the country will be able to ask the future president of the United States a question in video form and hear the answer.”
“These debates take the bold step of embracing the ever-increasing role of the Internet in politics,” said Jim Walton, CNN Worldwide president. “The inclusion of the massive online community enables these debates to engage more viewers – and potential voters – than ever before.” YouTube will feature special debate coverage on its “You Choose ’08” platform and its Citizentube political channel before and after the debates. Immediately after the debates, user questions and candidate answers will be featured prominently on YouTube where people can interact with the content through YouTube’s community features, extending the life of the debates.
In addition to the live airing on CNN, the debates will appear on CNN’s multiple platforms. The events will be simulcast on CNN.com, CNN International, CNN en Español, CNN Radio and CNN Airport Network. CNN.com’s Election Center, available at www.CNN.com/ELECTION, also will provide extensive coverage and analysis of the debates, including behind-the-scenes reports, podcasts and on-demand video, including the entire debates in streaming and downloadable formats. The broadcast of the debates also will be made available to all CNN Radio affiliates worldwide, with special coverage available on Headline News and to CNN Newsource affiliates.
YouTube is the world’s largest online video community allowing millions of people to discover, watch and share originally created videos. YouTube provides a forum for people to connect, inform and inspire others across the globe and acts as a distribution platform for original content creators and advertisers large and small. YouTube is based in San Bruno, Calif., and is a subsidiary of Google Inc.
CNN Worldwide, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time
Warner Company, is the most trusted source for news and information. Its
reach extends to nine cable and satellite television networks; one private
place-based network; two radio networks; wireless devices around the world;
CNN Digital Network, the #1 network of news websites in the U.S.; CNN Newsource,
the world’s most extensively syndicated news service; and partnerships
for four television networks.