Republicans' YouTube debate date in limbo

Two GOP presidential candidates say they have scheduling conflicts, which CNN is trying to resolve.
Written by ZDNET Editors, Contributor
The CNN-YouTube debate featuring the Republican presidential candidates could be delayed after at least two contenders said they won't be able to make it to Florida on September 17.

Although a decision might not be made for several days, it's becoming increasingly likely that the debate will be moved in order to accommodate the candidates. Only three--Texas Rep. Ron Paul, Arizona Sen. John McCain and former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson--have committed to the event. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney have said that they can't make the current date for the debate, which will be held at the Mahaffey Theatre in St. Petersburg, Fla.

"We're still in discussions with the campaigns to resolve scheduling issues," CNN Washington bureau chief David Borman said.

It's a change from CNN's first debate using YouTube video, which was held this month in Charleston, S.C. The Democratic National Committee's approval made it mandatory for all of the party's candidates to attend. That isn't the case for the Republican candidates, who are campaigning nationwide as the primary season ramps up.

CNN has been trying to work with the candidates to find an appropriate time for the debate, which features video questions of less than 30 seconds directed to either one candidate or all of them. The Democrats' debate included two hours of questions picked from 2,000 entries on YouTube.

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