July 24th, 2007
09:01 AM ET
7 years ago

Debate questioners stand out

Watch CNN’s Candy Crowley wrap up last night’s debate.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Several candidates performed well in Monday’s CNN/YouTube debate, but, as CNN’s Candy Crowley reports, perhaps the real winners were the debate questioners themselves.

Filed under: CNN/YouTube Debate
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Kathy Mullin, Houston, Texas

    I thought the debate went well, and I truly believe involving the actual people is going to promote better turnout at the polls. Especially the younger voters. I will say this, however, the silly videos do not allow much integrity to very serious issue. I think CNN should be a bit more selective in choosing video questions that are sincere and real. A talking snowman was just shy of an insult, if not for the subject-matter, but certainly not creative enough to warrant addressing a potential president of the United States. As well as the video of the two too young men asking would their marriage be allowed. Those boys were too young to be taken seriously and pretty much made a mockery of the very serious debate over same-sex marriages.

    Choose your questionaires wisely CNN, you are essentially being the voice of the people and some of us have somewhat more respect for the position of President of the United States.

    Thanks though for coming up with this concept. It has a lot of potential for bringing out the masses this election.

    July 24, 2007 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  2. Dwight Welsh McColl, SC

    An Open Letter to Hillary Clinton

    Dear Senator Clinton,

    I was watching coverage of the debates and I have a couple of questions for you.

    First of all you stated last night that you are “running on my OWN merits”, if this is so why do you have your husband Bill Stumping for you all over the country? I mean if you are TRULY running on your own merits, then you DON’T NEED his help to get votes!!

    Secondly, you have said along with many of your staff that the American people (especially women) TRUST YOU. If memory serves me right so did the people of Arkansas when you, your husband and your “Friends” started the White Water Debacle, and they all lost their shirts!! How can I trust you to do what’s right for me and the country, when you couldn’t even be trusted to do right by Investors, or even to COME OUT WITH THE TRUTH about White Water??

    Senator Clinton, don’t get me wrong I am not some Republican BUSH PUSHER trying to make you look bad, I am and have always been a DEMOCRAT. I just want to know why I should TRUST you!


    Dwight Welsh
    McColl, SC

    July 24, 2007 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  3. Josh, Tiffin Iowa

    Polls Polls Polls... I would really like to know just how these polls are taken. Do you have any idea? Are land line phones being randomly called and the data from these landed phone citizens – most of which are assuredly 40+ years of age – being used to justify these poll numbers??? In my experience, dealing with so many of the public on a daily basis, land lines are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Sure, plenty of folks still have them, but more and more people have lost the land line in favor of going mobile... Are these people being included in the polling process? My guess is that they are not, which leads me to believe that the polls are seriously flawed. Most cell phone numbers are unpublished and have been protected from calling telemarketing lists... So many young Americans are without land lines, and are starting to show up at the voting booth in ever increasing numbers. They are the ones giving Sen. Obama $25 donations by the hundreds of thousands...

    How can we find out how the polls are conducted???


    July 24, 2007 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  4. Ellen, East Stroudsburg, PA

    This is just absolutely amazing!
    At the end of the debate last night CNN showed the polls of who won the debate. It showed - on live TV –Barack Obama topped at 33% and two others (can't remember which ones) in the middle, and Hillary Clinton at the bottom with 8%. Tell me, where is that on your website here? I see it nowhere! Yet, what I do see in the headlines is "Clinton wins bodylanguage." Unbelievable!! Absolutely unbelievable and awful.

    July 24, 2007 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  5. Chickie, Le claire, Iowa

    I agree that the YOU TUBE format was great. The American people had amazing questions. We are suffering out here and need real answers.
    know the news is dumbed down with stories of Paris, Britney and other things that make Americans bobble heads. Who cares about frivolous issues. Lets get to the meat. Lets get to what will help everyday people! I was happy with the you tube but disappointed in CNN. Also, I don't like the polling in other states. It doesn't matter to me, living in Iowa what someone in N.H. thinks. We have different issues that effect us. I don't care about polling. I think polling is a way to swing/manipulate people.
    Actually, I’m a big Anderson Cooper fan but I didn’t even like him tonight either. I hated how he’d interrupt when someone was ending their point on an issue.
    American People questions A.
    Candidates answering the questions A-
    Cnn coverage after the debate D.
    Anderson Cooper hosting the debate C-.

    July 24, 2007 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  6. Dave Meccariello

    An open letter to Dwight Welsh:

    Oh good god... Whitewater?? That old dog was run into the ground a dozen years ago. Who cares?!

    I have not decided who to vote for in this election but I swear to god, every time I hear someone whine about "Whitewater", I want to punch them in the face. Kenneth Starr and that bunch ran that issue into the ground... and when they came up with nothing, they turned to the salacious in order to keep their names in the press.

    This was an embarrasment for the country... Not because Clinton "did it", but because we became the laughing stock of the world for making such an issue out of it.

    As for Hillary bringing her husband with her on the campaign trail?? Which president in history DIDN'T tote their spouse in front of the cameras?

    Like it or not, the spouse of a President is in their ear... Do you think for one second that Bush does't have a rough day in the Oval Office and turns to his wife and says... "Hey Babe... You are a citizen... got an opinion on this or that"?

    I want to see a Presidents spouse... Thank god that Laura Bush is a sharp woman... Well guess what, Hillary was an asset to Bill too.

    Everyone got on her case for being "too strong", and yet American women are screaming to be heard and respected as "Can do anything a man can do" people. Well Hillary was just as good as a man, and we crucified her for it.

    Maggie Thatcher was a great British Prime Minister... Tough as nails and took no bull from anyone. Britain turned out just fine. Germany has a woman in power now... I don't see Germany falling apart. Lighten up on Hillary. The only reason that she is a "Polarizing Figure" is because the is a tough chick that is sharp as a tack. If she had been a man, no one would give her half the grief she takes.

    As for Whitewater?? Oh Pulease. If you are going to call that old nag out of the barn, then lets bring up Iran/Contra, Haliburton and its ties to the Whitehouse (And its soaring profits since the inception of the war), etc. etc.

    Dave Meccariello
    Sick and Tired Voter

    July 24, 2007 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  7. Gideon,St.Paul,MN

    Out of all the questions that could've been presented abortion was left out.This just continues to boggle my mind that even in this type of debate the real serious issue that has been dividing Americans dozens of years has been left out. by the way I'm a pro-life liberal.

    July 24, 2007 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  8. Tom - Dedham, Mass

    Where was illegal immigration as well?

    Gideon, I applaud you for being a pro-life liberal.

    To me that issue isn't about party, but right and wrong.

    July 24, 2007 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  9. Perry, Dallas, Texas

    So who is the Clinton News Network declaring as the winner?

    July 24, 2007 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  10. JM

    CNN-Censorship News Network

    Why are so scared of letting MIKE GRAVEL speak? Are you afraid he's actually win if people knew him?

    July 24, 2007 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  11. Dari Carnes, Ijamsville, MD

    The CNN YouTube debate last night reflected BOTH the best and the worst of our current political process.

    The best portion of the debate was the ability for everyday Americans (although vetted & selected) to ask "hard" and heartfelt questions of the Democratic candidates and Anderson Cooper's ability to re-ask some of the candidates for a CLEAR answer to question. My only hope is that the questions chosen by CNN will be as incisive for the Republican debate in September and that the Republican candidates will be asked and re-asked, if necessary to answer the questions.

    The worst of the debates takes a few forms for me: The limited time responses (GREAT sound-bites but sorely lacking in substance) and the political commentaries and analysis which follow each debate.

    As someone who is disheartened over the current administration's seeming belief of being 'above the law', the loss of future generations of young Americans dying in a dishonestly started civil war, and the loss of America's position of leadership and respect in the world ( for maintaining Guantanamo Bay detainment camp which is a joint miliary prision and interrogation camp, for example), I do not think that I am alone in wanting and needing to witness REAL change in the way we DEFINE America both domestically and internationally.

    As Einstein stated, problems are never solved on the same level as they were created. So WHY, are the television networks’ political analysts dissecting and discussing the too often political, polished responses being presented as the REAL answers to last night’s REAL questions instead of using their expertise to critique many of the debaters for maintaining the status quo of “all talk, few answers” politics?

    Because politicians are known to be excellent public speakers, often ‘canned’ responses only add to the public’s inability to believe what the speaker is saying.

    This "same old, same old" approach to politics, regardless of the party elected, has created the feelings of cynicism, apathy and disenfranchisement witnessed by only 50% of Americans exercising their right to vote.

    July 24, 2007 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  12. John Schaaf, Long Beach, Ca.

    Too many questions, too many candidates! Break it up into at least two sessions, so that all the candidates have a chance to answer all the questions, or only invite seriously credible candidates. Does anyone really believe that Kucinich or Gravel have any chance?

    July 24, 2007 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  13. Dave Meccariello Tampa Area Florida

    Oh yea... go on bashing CNN... Because Fox is *SO* fair and balanced... (As long as you are a Republican, a bimbo or at least promise to kiss Rupert Murdoch's crusty old Aussie behind).

    The only thing fox has going for it is better graphics on their newscasts. (Yes CNN needs update that 70s logo, which belive it or not, DOES hurt them. You would be amazed how important logos are to the human psyche)

    I thought the debates were fantastic. Anderson Cooper did a fine job... Glorida Vanderbilt should be proud of her son for going out and making his own mark on the world and doing it with style.

    This is going to be a tough election and I think that getting the public more involved is a good thing. The American public has been all but left out of the last few elections. People are sick of the same old pundits. It is time for a fresh aproach and I think youtube was a terrific format... very refreshing and enertaining (Kudos to Chris Dodd's snarky remark about that nut with his "baby" (the machine gun).

    I know that the candidates like to control the field, but frankly, some of them came off better by showing their human and "brutally honest" side.

    If a candidate can show the "non-politician, human" side, along with the class to carry themself with poise to the American people, then I think this style of debate can be a real asset to the candidates. Of course, if the candidate is a blithering idiot or total wingnut, then they better stick with slickly produced ads and speak through speach writers.

    Sure there were a few wingnuts on youtube... welcome to America. Personally, I would like to see more of this style debate/discussion.

    By the way, keep in the wingnuts for entertainment. I like knowing that Lindsey Lohan and Paris Hilton aren't the only trainwrecks in this counrty (Has someone called the NTSB yet? I am witnessing a few careers going down in flames)

    D. Meccariello
    (I posted the email for those who want to have that "fair and balanced" debate)

    July 24, 2007 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  14. Ned Baltimore

    As I view both the R and D debates, I am beginning to ask myself, "Is this all there is to these candidates? Are these the best and the brightest America has to offer as presidential contenders?" Where is the candidate who doesn't seem mind-controlled by media consultants, where is the candidate who can reach into his/her heart and respond with authenticity, not talking points? Where is the candidate who understands the heart, mind, hopes and aspirations of the American people? Where is the candidate who is not still living in issues of the 1960's and 70's–30-40 years ago? They are not standing on these debate platforms, and that goes for both R's and D's. I fear for this country, and the fear comes more from these empty suit template politicians than the Iraq war. We are in dangerous times, ladies and gentlemen.

    July 24, 2007 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  15. kathe oakland california

    CNN, one more thing. YOUTUBE was great but this is the future of our country – so stop playing around with these silly and stupid videos, get serious and R E A L. This is not a joke, not about being 'funny', which they were not considering the few SINCERE videos about sons/daughters dying in this unholy war Bush has us in, about a person with cancer, about Americans having food on table, healthcare.
    And again, unless Elizabeth Edwards is running for President this Elizabeth Edwards vs. Hilary Clinton is a joke and Edwards needs to stand up and tell his wife to stay out of this election, who cares what she thinks. She needs to give some of her "gut" answers to her wimp husband . . . COME ON JOHN EDWARDS talk tough!!!!!

    July 24, 2007 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  16. Dave Meccariello

    For those who didnt like the lack of in depth Q&A...

    You have to use talking points in these debates... We are the same Americans who stand in front of a microwave oven and mumble "Come on, Come on, I dont have all minuet". I know 4 year olds with ADD that have better attention spans than most adults these days.

    It is still early in this race. This is how we narrow the field. I like that there is a large field to choose from in the early stages... The secondary candidates keep the primary candidates on the ball.

    July 24, 2007 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  17. Amy - TN

    I don't trust Hillary for any number of reasons but the LATEST reason is she voted for the immigration (amnesty) bill. And if someone wants to bring up Whitewater, I understand why they did. People don't change. American's are always being accused of having short or non-existent memories; presidential elections prove that that's not true. If Hillary was involved in something criminal and was and is dishonest about it, why on earth would we the American people "think she's honest"? I sure don't. I think she’s just about as honest as her husband, and we all know he’s a liar.

    July 24, 2007 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  18. Lisa, Tulsa,OK

    Okay Perry in Dallas.... think we don't know you're a republican?......you have way too much time on your hands

    July 24, 2007 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  19. Perry, Dallas, Texas

    Ok Lisa in Tulsa.....looks like you spent your welfare check on a computer.

    July 24, 2007 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  20. Lacy C, Brigeport, CT

    I enjoyed this debate more than any other I have ever seen. The questions were great yet the candidates or at least some of them tried to avoid answering them completely. Perhaps next time they will have to answer the exact question with no other added lines on other things. I sure hope Anderson will host the next debate. I feel he did an excellent job.

    July 24, 2007 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  21. Tom Dedham, Mass

    So Dave from Tampa, the reason more people watch Fox is because it is fair and balanced, O'Reilly has liberals and conservatives on during the same topic discussion (oh my god, that's awful).

    I disagree with him a lot, but do you want to just watch someone that you only agree with? That's boring man.

    Hannity and Colmes speaks for itself.

    I am so diametrically different than Colmes, but listening to another viewpoint does make you reconsider and at least have all the sides.

    Brit Humes show has a roundtable discussion and has someone from NPR and another liberal from the media on along with, yes a conservative and a moderate (there is always representation).

    I watch Olbermann on MSNBC and he NEVER has a dissenting opinion on, always someone parroting his thoughts.

    I listen to Glen Beck, Lou Dobbs and others just to get another viewpoint it beats the hell out of NPR, PBS or boring ABC,CBS and NBC.

    David Letterman that genius liberal mind never torpedoes guests but he did it to O'Reilly and after O'Reilly set him straight he asked simply, "do you ever watch the show", Lettermen responded know "No, this is what people tell me". Wow!

    Many on this site who say this is the Clinton news network are not even conservatives, but people that like other candidates and are sick of the great coverage she gets.

    Ask the question of your fellow democrats and you will hear it from them as well as the "right".

    July 24, 2007 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  22. Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky

    Mean and narrow mind people, you don't open your heart and eyes, you will have exact inexperienced president like Bush again. America is not only your County, my Country and our Country. You need to vote the right and most qualified person for the next President regardless favorite or not. If you elect wrong one, we will be in the same situation like now. America's future is on your hand, do right thing for our America.

    July 24, 2007 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  23. A Smith in suburban Texas

    No, Perry in Dallas, I think she spent it buying you a clue...(check your mailbox)
    That "welfare ish" is sooooo old and played out.. people really irk me with those classic low blows.

    July 24, 2007 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  24. emily anderson hollywood cal

    I think both candidates are skirting around the most important issues to date.
    How will Middle America receive a Muslim President and will other countries think that we will go softer on important political issues.

    Then there is the issue of countries who feel woman are not completely equal.
    Will they be willing to work with a Hillary Clinton? Will the rest of the United States be willing to Work with Obama ??

    What about immigration every new person in office used the illegal vote to get in
    Do they understand that passing the immigration bill as is will turn our country into a 3rd world country in less the 5 years.

    I am all for helping everyone but we are opening up a can of worms no one is ready to handle.

    July 25, 2007 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |