Rock-The-Debates Starts With Simple Mission: Get Candidates on the Record

Here’s a press release, as written, from

Website Videos “Tell All” From Straight to Squirmy

St. Louis, MO—Rock-The-Debates has posted video clips of nine presidential candidates on its website ( responding to the question of whether they would be willing to debate third party and independent candidates in the 2008 general election.

Answers from Hillary Clinton, Rudy Guliani, Barack Obama, Bill Richardson, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Tom Tancredo and Sam Brownback were captured in one-on-one conversations with Rock-The-Debates organizers while the candidates were in retail politicking mode in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Founded by Bob Sullentrup of St. Louis for the purpose of igniting an open and inclusive debate among presidential contenders, Rock-The-Debates also includes leaders Larry Reinsch and Seth Cohn from the key primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire respectively.

“The website rates the candidates answers which have ranged from ‘I’m not afraid of an open debate’ (Mike Huckabee) to ‘I think I’ll tap dance now’ (Hillary Clinton) to ‘the media won’t let me’ (Barack Obama),” said Sullentrup. The site also captures the sidebar conversation between John Edwards and Hillary Clinton to reduce debate participation among Democrat contenders.

“The concept of open political debate is fundamental to America where responsible voters decide the issues,” continued Sullentrup. “The goal is to force the issue through shame, peer pressure or igniting a public groundswell of support for the idea that debates must include all candidates with a mathematical chance of winning regardless of party affiliation.”

Rock-The-Debates follows on the heels of predecessors including efforts of newly installed board member Jackie Salit of and her litigation on behalf of independent voters against the Commission on Presidential Debates. George Farah in 2004 blazed a trail with his Open Debates initiative and book on the subject by the same title.

CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite assessed the debates calling them an “unconscionable fraud” on the American People. “Here is a means to present the American people a rational exposition of t he major issues that face the nation, and the alternative approaches to their solution. Yet the candidates participate only with the guarantee of a format that defies meaningful discourse.”

Richard Winger, publisher of Ballot Access News, studied elections since the Civil War when the two parties assumed center stage and found that typically there were no more than four candidates with a mathematical chance of winning the presidential election. This debunks arguments that an open, inclusive debate would become unmanageable.

“Many Americans think the Presidential debates are controlled by Congress or some government entity that tries to keep things fair,” said Larry Reinsch. “But the Commission on Presidential Debates is an elitist organization that excludes third parties and independents. We need to find a way to get beyond that.”

Contact: Bob Sullentrup, Seth Cohn, Larry Reinsch
(Sullentrup: (314) 280-2847; Cohn: (603) 783-0419; Reinsch: (515) 708-0080)

9 Responses to “Rock-The-Debates Starts With Simple Mission: Get Candidates on the Record”

  1. Daniel Says:

    I’m a little confused as to why people think Ron Paul is the only clear conservative when there are obvious others who are. Sam Brownback, Duncan Hunter, Mike Huckabee, and Tom Tancredo are all conservatives on social issues. When it comes to Foreign Policy which is where it seems Ron Paul is solo on he aligns with Democrats (aka the “Constitution”) so my question is why do people think that Ron Paul is the only real conservative?

  2. Ferenc Says:

    It is a good question. Personally I Like Mr. Tancredo. I think any party candidate who is in every state of the union,must be include in every presidental debate. But, don’t hold your breath untill either of this two party control everything. They are a dictators.
    God bless you all

  3. Trent Hill Says:

    Sam Brownback supports the War in Iraq, Amnesty, and has not promised to cut spending AT ALL.

    Duncan Hunter was recently rated one of the top 22 most corrupt Congressmen.
    He’s also pro-war, he’s missed 31.4% of all his votes.

    Mike Huckabee increased taxes quite a few times as governor. He didn’t decrease spending at all.

    Tom Tancredo is pro-war. He would cut spending he claims, but not by NEARLY as much as Paul.

    Overall, none of them have promised to re-contract Federalism, cut spending drastically, eliminate the various Unconstitutional Departments/Programs, or cut taxes the way Paul has. (Forexample Huckabee and Tancredo support the Fairtax. Paul wants to eliminate the IRs and replace it with nothing, an automatic 47% reduction in national taxes).

  4. Ferenc Says:

    I like R. Poul. But becouse his age he is not going to make it. After this election he can do a big favor for America and for the true American believers. Creating a major third party with a few good American politicians with a name recognation. Bring together all of this so called third parties,and independent parties.If you reed most of their platform are
    almost same. That is the only way to have chance for a third party candidate in 2012
    God Bless You All

  5. Ben Miller Says:

    CP Goes After Hunter’s Son for Military Service / Calls Keyes, Tancredo and Hunter ‘Tweedle Dee’ and ‘Tweedle Dum’ Candidates

  6. Trent Hill Says:


    Ron Paul has bigger problems than his age. His speaking style and out-of-mainstream views are the dominant problems.

    As for Hunter, his supporting the war is an important point. But I take even bigger issue on him being named one of the “22 Most corrupt congressmen”

  7. Andy Says:

    I’d say that Ron Paul’s biggest problem is that the ruling establishment doesn’t like him because he wants to take away their power.

  8. matt Says:

    Good luck getting Obama and his ilk on the record for anything.

  9. Ferenc Says:


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