Seven Major Party Candidates Respond to Open Presidential Debates (so far)

Rock the Debates is running around the country (at least New Hampshire and Iowa, so far) to see which of the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates would engage in public debate with the more serious third party and independent candidates using a concept called video bird dogging. Here’s how the first seven candidates have responded on camera:

One side of Hillary Clinton: “I believe in free and open debate, so I will certainly consider it.”

The other side of Hillary Clinton: “I’m not going to make a hundred percent commitment, because it’s a hypothetical and I try to stay away from hypotheticals.”

Perhaps the fact that Clinton can immediately follow the first sentence with the second one might explain how she can suddenly be against the Iraq War.

Tom Tancredo: “I guarantee you I’m willing to debate anybody on these issues, especially if that independent has an ability to become President of the United States. You know, if it’s mathematically possible, if they’re on the ballots in enough states that they could win the presidency, of course they should be in every single debate.”

While his view on immigration is too rigid for me, Tancredo certainly wins a gold star for this one.

Bill Richardson: “Yeah, I would. With a Green. With a Libertarian. [snip] As long as it’s a legitimate party.”

This doesn’t quite make up for signing a state smoking ban, but Richardson wins a gold star, too.

Mike Huckabee hedged his bets by blaming the CPD: “If I got to choose who the debate participants are, I think that’d be great. [snip] It’s not going to be me but probably whoever sponsors the debates.”

To be fair, Huckabee has never had to deal with the CPD, but I can assure you from my experiences that if the GOP presidential nominee wants third parties in the debates, he has the clout to make it happen. I’d like to see Huckabee asked this question again with this fact in mind.

Mitt Romney wussed out by blaming the broadcasters, excusing his attempt to bump one or more candidate (while taking a potshot at Dr. Paul by including him with presidential non-starter John Cox) from the GOP debates: “Not necessarily.”

The camera guy had a good statement: ...broadcasters and newspapers are selecting who we get to hear, and that is fundamentally contrary to the concept of our country.

Sam Brownback: “I’ve got to think about that. [snip] Let me think about that.”

Even Hillary had bigger cajones than No-Child-Left-Behind-supporter Brownback.

Barrack Obama weasel-worded his answer with: “I get your point and I’m generally sympathetic with it.”

Obama clearly understands the problems with the winner-take-all system. Good lines on civil liberties, the Spirit of the Revolution and separation of powers., too. He gets a silver star. BTW, I’m becoming more fond of Obama as times goes on—but the fact that he wants to take my hard earned money to support the very wasteful healthcare and education habits of others can’t be overcome, I’m afraid.

Here’s the tally so far:

With clearly defined cajones:

Tom Tancredo-R
Bill Richardson-D

One testicle on each side of the fence:

Mike Huckabee-R
Barack Obama-D

Without cajones:

Hillary Clinton-D
Mitt Romney-R
Sam Brownback-R

Their answers are all YouTubed and you can view them here.

Disclaimer: Several of my personal friends and business connections are working with Rock the Debates. I’ve not received any compensation, financial or otherwise, for this posting. I was asked to do this posting by a currently neutral (to my personal finances, at least) source.

6 Responses to “Seven Major Party Candidates Respond to Open Presidential Debates (so far)”

  1. Fred C. Says:

    Bill Richardson is fast becoming the only democrat I wouldn’t vomit upon should he gain the nomination. Kudos on the fantastic post!

  2. Common Says:

    Tancredo was the subject of one of Steve Adams video debates.

    To my knowledge, Tancredo has not responded, so I’m not too sure how serious he is about being open to debating Independent candidates. Tancredo is right that Independents/Third-Party candidates on enough state ballots should be involved in the debates, but he is also taking a swipe at the candidates who currently cannot gain ballot access due to the strict rules in some key states. I think you should move him down to straddling the fence.

  3. G.E. Smith the Capitalist Dove Says:

    Richardson is very dichotimous. Ultimately, I see him as a libertarian-minded authoritarian; i.e. someone who would advance (some of the) libertarian agenda by force. This is better than advancing socialist agenda by force, but only practically, not epistemologically.

    Smoking bad = bad. NRA A-rating = good.

    Trying to get breathalizers installed in cars = bad. Signing a medical marijuana law = good.

    If not for Ron Paul, Richardson would be the clear “libertarian-friendly” candidate. As I’ve said on my own blog, this is the real “shame” of the Paul candidacy in practical terms. Of course, if Paul can win the nomination, there ain’t no shame in that game.

  4. Jeremy Brannon Says:

    I’m curious. Should Hillary really have been published under “without cajones?” I mean, sure, it’s true, but isn’t that holding it against her just a bit?

    Anyway, I think that among the democrats, the only ones that really have a legitimate idea of a popular government would be Gravel and Kucinich. The declaration of independence granted us the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of hapiness, and it is the government who should provide EVERYONE with the ability to have those rights. That being said, the natural flow of ideas should be towards progressivism and eventually towards socialism and the cooperative commonwealth (a term not heard often enough today). The idea of government is not to let economic anarchy of capitalists control the lives of all, there is no real right to life and happiness there, but to break down the class system and to rewire, as it were, the way in which work is performed. Not for the profit of a ruling class, but for the enrichment of all. That, my friends, is true liberty.

  5. G.E. Smith the Capitalist Dove Says:

    Gravel is for popular dictatorship. Kucinich is a commie. I’d take Hillary over either of those clowns.

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