Fox News, Google sponsoring next debate on Sept. 22; citizens can submit questions for candidates through YouTube
Lisa Keen | Keen News Service
There were no LGBT-related questions during the Monday, Sept. 12 Republican presidential debate, even though the driving interest behind the debate was the Republican Party’s far right-wing.
The debate took place on the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa, with the same eight candidates as the most recent debate on MSNBC. About half the questions were posed by CNN news anchor Wolf Blitzer; the other half came from members of the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party.
There was considerable sparring on such issues as the survival of Social Security, how to deal with illegal immigrants and whether the government can require vaccination for a sexually transmitted cancer.
There were a lot of boos: The audience at the Fairgrounds repeatedly booed U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas for saying the U.S. is threatened by terrorists because the U.S. occupies and bombs so many Muslim nations. Texas Gov. Rick Perry was booed for defending his state’s offer of in-state tuition breaks for immigrants who are not yet citizens.
But there was a lot of cheering, too, primarily when the Republican candidates placed the blame for anything on President Obama, including the recession and the deficit.
This was the fourth nationally televised debate among announced Republican presidential hopefuls since Aug. 11, when Fox News broadcast the first just prior to the Iowa straw poll.
And this was CNN’s second debate. Its first was one in which it turned the questioning over to right-wing activists who posed questions that asserted their anti-gay political views as accepted fact.
There was some anticipation that the members of the Tea Party, also known as the Taxed Enough Already party, would focus on controversial “social issues,” such as abortion and marriage for same-sex couples. That’s because the Tea Party has — despite its supposedly tax-focused identity — established itself as the far right wing of the party on social issues.
The next Republican presidential debate takes place Sept. 22 at 8 p.m. CST, and is sponsored by Fox News and Google in Orlando, along with the Florida Republican Party.
The debate will take the form of 2008’s infamous “YouTube debate” in which ordinary citizens submitted questions via YouTube.com and some of those were played back during the debate for candidates to answer. To submit a question for the Sept. 22 debate, go to YouTube.com/FoxNews.
As of the deadline, nearly all of the social issue questions proposed address the legalization of marijuana. But a couple of questions tackle LGBT-related issues.
One asks, “If our inalienable right as stated in our United States Declaration of Independence are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, which are endowed to us by our Creator (God), isn’t the ban on gay marriage a violation of inalienable rights?”
Another question, directed to Michele Bachmann, asks, “You say that you are a small government conservative, yet you support big government on social issues. You want to ban all abortions, porn and gay rights. Isn’t that hypocritical and unelectable?”
Visitors to the website are asked to vote on questions they most hope will be asked and these votes will reportedly influence the decision of Fox News as to which questions to ask.
© 2011 by Keen News Service. All rights reserved.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 16, 2011.