A Hot Air debate?

posted at 9:50 am on January 24, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Last night, my friend Peter Ingemi expressed his dissatisfaction with the NBC debate — and the presidential debates in general — by proposing that Hot Air run a Republican primary debate, moderated by yours truly.  Peter says he’s “dead serious” about this:

Just watched yet another GOP debate and was totally unamazed by the lack of questions on fast and furious and BS questions such as: “Why did theBush Tax Cuts fail?”. I think political types are sick of questions from people who want the GOP to fail.

I have a solution:

I suggest Hotair send an invitation to each candidate for a 2 hour debate moderated by Ed Morrissey.

This got quite a response on Twitter last night and this morning.  It even has its own hashtag, #hotairdebate, and it’s been endorsed by the Boss Emeritus, Senate primary candidate Jamie Radtke, and a number of bloggers.  It even got an Instapundit endorsement, who said the proposal “sounds like a winner.”

Well, never let it be said that I would disappoint my friends.  I hereby offer an invitation to the remaining four major Republican candidates to hold an on-line debate sponsored and webcast by Hot Air/Townhall, moderated by myself and a small panel of conservative and center-right bloggers.  The most convenient place to conduct this would be at or around CPAC, which takes place in two weeks or so, and fortunately hits around the middle of a four-week lull in media debates.  I believe all four candidates will be appearing at CPAC, which should make this convenient for them as well. However, I’m certain that we could schedule this at any other time and place where we could have all four on stage at the same time.

I’d change the debate format somewhat, though, to get around the game-show aspect of the 19 previous televised debates.  In November, I wrote about how to make the debate format work better for better answers and improved voter understanding.  The first hour would consist of two head-to-head debates in which the panel would ask the same questions to both pairings, and the second a roundtable discussion with all four candidates present.  This way, we get to treat the candidates with more respect, allow them more time to answer, and start asking questions that really matter to Republicans and other voters today, rather than spend quarter-hours at a time on contraception and Terri Schiavo.

Will the Republicans running for President agree to a forum that actually speaks to the voters they want to convince?  I’ll let you know what answers we get.  In the meantime, I want to thank all our friends for the vote of confidence in proposing this idea.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air



Trackback URL


That would be a debate I would watch, one with some real talent running it.

xplodeit on January 24, 2012 at 8:01 PM

I haven’t watched any of the debates, but this one I would most definitely watch.

disa on January 24, 2012 at 8:48 PM

Do it!

AshleyTKing on January 24, 2012 at 9:03 PM

williamg on January 24, 2012

I’m sure the mirror and a couple of trolls were probably duly impressed with your hyperbolic and self righteous screeds. Your “right” to post here exists only as long as the moderators choose to allow it. If the idea of Republicans moderating a Republican primary debate is too much for you, don’t let the gate hit you where the good Maker split you.

S. D. on January 24, 2012 at 9:04 PM

S. D. on January 24, 2012 at 9:04 PM

S. D. – I would LOVE to see Republican(s) Moderating a Republican Primary Debate, I don’t know if the self-promoted people meet that criteria.

It would sadden me to see another group of Circus Clowns Parading Around and creating another destructive distraction – while jabbing their thumbs stiffly into their chests Bellowing “Me! Me! Me!”. I think Brian Williams was the last one to do that.

However – if these folks can pull together something genuine and honest – that will DEFINITELY represent “helping society”, and I’m all for it.

That might sound a little contradictory, but my skepticism and memory of history with Self-Promotoers has been canceling out any enthusiasm I might have for the idea of something good coming out of it.

Have a good one – and God Bless you!

williamg on January 24, 2012 at 10:57 PM

The first hour would consist of two head-to-head debates in which the panel would ask the same questions to both pairings

Keep Romney and Newt apart, Run Romney/Santorum and Newt/Perry. Hit Romney/Sanorum on social issues, and hit Newt/Perry on the Dream Act

Both pairs would be stupified and I predict there would be an elimination

No leading questions on past votes or speeches. Just ask them to explain how the future would be affected by the consequences of the two issues

After the fiasco, in the second part of the debate, ask if manufacturing jobs are the key to recovering America’seconomic growth, since the growth nations are all manufacturing nations

You would do a great job

entagor on January 25, 2012 at 2:44 AM

People should go on YouTube and watch the Carter/Reagan debates.

crosspatch on January 25, 2012 at 4:03 AM

Everybody has a favorite, you, me, everybody. If you’re not passionate about your favorite then what’s the point.

Oldnuke on January 24, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Good point. But some of us are dispassionate about the whole lot of them.

shick on January 25, 2012 at 9:13 AM

A REAL debate offers ALL participants equal time for answers and rebuttals.

Asking different questions to different participants in scattershot manner is useless for drawing distinctions, and is NOT a ‘debate’.

We don’t need a format where candidates are asked questions which are based on the assumption that the candidate is going to personally dictate solutions to Congress: this is not how our country works, and this is not the job of a “president.”

I hope we can arrange something like a real “debate” with “open” questions which allow the candidates ample time to present their principles and explain their approach to problems, how they would evaluate solutions, and how they would manage the massive executive bureaucracy.

landlines on January 25, 2012 at 1:05 PM