CNN-YouTube sets debate


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 will be held Nov. 28. It had been scheduled for mid-September, but most of the candidates claimed scheduling conflicts. CNN and YouTube said they were working 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 John McCain and Rudy Giuliani campaigns have committed to the date, while others, including former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and "Law & Order" actor Fred Thompson, are considering.

The debate still will be held at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, Fla., and be hosted by CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, who moderated 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 already have been submitted.