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Chicken Run: Repubs Bail on September YouTube Debate?

“Because I’m sure that if Rudy skips the YouTube debate, his connections to various shady characters will never, ever become something that he needs to address while running for President. Just like when John Kerry tried to ignore the Swift Boat Veterans, the issue completely went away…” (Ross Douthat)

“I thought they were supposed to be the tough guys! What are they afraid of? A question about the war from a mother whose son died? Or are they just afraid to have fun?” (Ann Althouse)

“It was a presidential debate, for cryin’ out loud, and CNN’s decision to give airtime to a stack of frozen water lowered it to the level of an Internet chat room. Now “Billiam the Snowman” has a Facebook group to explore his own presidential run,” writes Danny Glover @ Beltway Blogroll.

David Weigel @ Hit and Run writes: “Seriously, though, Republicans would be foolish to wave off their own YouTube debate. I was a skeptic of the format, too, but it turned out to be a fecund source of out-of-the-box questions. The snowman was silly, but was it really a bigger waste of time than Chris Matthews asking the Republican candidates if they wanted Bill Clinton back in the White House?”

Rick Moran @ RWNH, like Patrick Ruffini, also think it would be a bad idea, and Allahpundit @ Hot Air reminds how everyone was criticizing the Democratic candidates for shunning the Fox News debate: “You can’t go crying about the Democrats ducking Fox and then pat Rudy Giuliani on the back for having the savvy to avoid a ‘set up,’ boys.”

“If ya scared say you’re scared!” (Pierre Legrand @ Pink Flamingo)

It will be good for Ron Paul, says Joe Gandelman. (The Moderate Voice)

“Go to all the networks and talk to all the journalists, yes … But skip the setups.” (Hugh Hewitt)

“Dignity is still a good thing for a president to maintain.” (Don Surber)

Silliness Over Substance: “Nothing against YouTube here, but the office of President of the United States of America, the one remaining superpower in the world, should be taken more seriously than some of the stunts I saw being pulled on that night.” (Wake Up America)

Too scary? “I’m not sure whether the resistance is rooted is the profound feebleness of the current GOP field or the fact that the current Bush Republican party is so beholden to a worldview based on denial and suppression of evidence that exposure to unpredictable questions presents too great a danger. But if they can’t face Youtube how can they defeat the terrorists?” (Josh Marshall @ Talking Points Memo)

“My recommendation is they swallow hard and attend. When historians look back at the 2008 election I think they will call it the YouTube election.” (Watching Those We Choose)

“Ducking YouTube after the Dems did so well will look like a party uncomfortable with the culture and uncomfortable with democracy.” (Andrew Sullivan)

David All is collecting video responses. On YouTube, of course. (techPresident)