October 19th, 2007
03:19 PM ET
3 years ago

Presidential forum revamped after little GOP response

DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) – A Republican presidential candidate forum in Iowa is undergoing a few format changes due to a lack of participation from the GOP field.

Only three candidates - Arizona Sen. John McCain, Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback, and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee– had RSVP'd for the AARP/Iowa Public Television 'Divided We Fail' forum on October 25. But on Friday, with the news that Brownback will be ending his presidential bid, AARP announced that the format will turn into that of a town hall-style meeting. The organization will now hold individual forums with the candidates on health and financial security.

“Frankly, we’re disappointed that most of the Republican candidates, including the supposed front-runners, have chosen to skip Sioux City and our Divided We Fail Forum on health and financial security issues," Bruce Koeppl, AARP's Iowa director, said in a statement.

“There’s really no excuse for these candidates to not want to talk about the top domestic issues in Western Iowa with our members," he continued, "particularly since their campaigns were advised to save the date back in March and officially invited in July.”

The Democratic portion of the same forum, held in September and broadcast nationally on PBS, included all major Democratic candidates except Illinois Sen. Barack Obama. The newly-rennovated GOP town halls will not have as wide of a television audience, but Iowa Public Television will still broadcast coverage statewide on its weekly show "Iowa Journal."

– CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch


Filed under: Iowa • Presidential Candidates
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. brian

    Okay, so the Republicans are too cowardly to take debate questions from Blacks, Latinos, and now Seniors. Anyone else you care to alienate?

    October 19, 2007 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  2. Matt, Provo Utah

    Brian, That must be it. I bet that Rudy, Romney and Thompson have pow-wows every time there is a big debate coming and pose the question, "Who else can we alienate." Yup. I believe that they are all too incompetent to have learned the first lesson of running for office, "Don't alienate your potential voters." What were they thinking when they went on CNN and FOX and to Florida to have these debates? What fools they are. I am sure glad that there are reasonable democrats out there who will not alienate potential voters by doing anything stupid to alienate voters, like trash religious people and their beliefs, or using the power of the senate to condemn a private citizen for remarks he didn't make. Nope, none of the democrats are that thoughtless or conniveing. Only the idiot republicans like Romney, Guilani, Thompson, McCain etc. I am sure glad you pointed this out Brian.

    October 19, 2007 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  3. Joshua, Washington, DC

    Brian

    There are still Jews, Asians, and woman.

    October 19, 2007 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  4. Chris, Middletown, CT

    As a side note..Brian wrote that right before his parents called him to tell him to come downstairs because his Spaghetti-O's were getting cold....I can imagine him sitting there...watching Michael Moore and Al Gore movies in a loop...he knows the truth.....well...as it was spoon fed to him

    October 19, 2007 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  5. Moe, NY

    AARP is a joke, I guess I would be considered a Senior..but, would NEVER join AARP since they sold out Seniors on Medicare.

    October 19, 2007 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  6. Steve - Peoria, IL

    No offense to Sioux City and its group, but I think candidates need to manage their time in order to maximize their impact. They get invited to hundreds of debates and can't possibly make appearances at all of the debates.

    This is getting ridiculous with every association in the d#*m country holding a debate.

    October 19, 2007 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  7. Matt, Provo UT

    Brian, That must be it. I bet that Rudy, Romney and Thompson have pow-wows every time there is a big debate coming and pose the question, "Who else can we alienate." Yup. I believe that they are all too incompetent to have learned the first lesson of running for office, "Don't alienate your potential voters." What were they thinking when they went on CNN and FOX and to Florida to have these debates? What fools they are. I am sure glad that there are reasonable democrats out there who will not alienate potential voters by doing anything stupid to alienate voters, like trash religious people and their beliefs, or using the power of the senate to condemn a private citizen for remarks he didn't make. Nope, none of the democrats are that thoughtless or conniving. Only the idiot republicans like Romney, Guilani, Thompson, McCain etc. I am sure glad you pointed this out Brian.

    October 20, 2007 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  8. Charles in Orem, Utah

    Maybe this is an early indication of the dawning of a greater realization that nobody has ever really cared what happens in Iowa? Get over yourselves.

    October 20, 2007 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  9. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    Special interest blatherfests like this should fail miserably because they perpetuate the pandering which detracts from real polemics. I'd love to see a debate on focused issues in traditional academic format, but most of the unelectables couldn't cut it in such a true debate.

    October 20, 2007 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  10. Pete, Seattle, WA

    2008 Presidential Candidate Weekly Poll

    http://www.votenic.com

    Results posted Tuesday Evening at Midnight.

    October 20, 2007 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  11. Chris, Middletown, CT

    ok....my aforementioned comment applies to Matt too – omg....write this line down...and everytime you want to blog....read it – "if you make something up – that has no facts to support it...its called rhetoric"

    October 21, 2007 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  12. Matt, Provo UT

    Chris,

    You know, after thinking about this for several days, you are right. I am a complete buffoon and a blathering idiot. I have no regard for facts and am in a severe state of only listening to the media. Yes sir, I am a media matters fanatic and cannot have a sentient thought of my own. The next time that I sit down to write a blog and the subsequent times thereafter I will remember to follow your advice and post my blogs this way, "This is SARCASM:" and then continue my blog.

    October 24, 2007 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |