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NEW YORK — After a few weeks of being up in the air following a less-than-enthusiastic response from the GOP presidential candidates, the CNN-YouTube Republican debate is back on.
CNN said Monday that the debate would be held Nov. 28. It had been scheduled for mid-September, but most of the Republican presidential candidates had claimed scheduling conflicts. CNN and YouTube said they were working hard to resolve those conflicts, leading to the change in date.
“It was tricky to triangulate everyone’s schedule,” said David Bohrman, senior vp and Washington bureau chief at CNN. There were challenges not only with other candidates’ schedules but also quarterly fundraising deadlines and even other debates. The McCain and Giuliani campaigns have committed to the dates and others, including former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and “Law & Order” actor Fred Thompson, are considering.
The venue will remain the same, the Mahaffey Theatre in St. Petersburg, Fla. So will the host, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, who hosted the Democratic debate in mid-July in Charleston, S.C.
Bohrman said Florida is an ideal spot.
“We know they’ll spend a lot of time there, and they know they’ll spend a lot of time there,” he said.
Like the Democratic debate, CNN and YouTube are soliciting video questions on their Web sites. Bohrman said 1,000 questions have already been submitted.
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