CNN Highlights YouTube Debate Questions Posed from Left
If the preview shown on "CNN Sunday Morning" is any guide, Wednesday's CNN/YouTube Republican debate will likely be dominated by questions posed from the left, just as the CNN/YouTube Democratic debate also featured questions posed from the left. CNN correspondent Josh Levs showed clips of several sample questions, including a question from a gay Republican who charges "a vote for you is a vote against my family," a question from a woman concerned about "returning the civil liberties to the American people and stopping these outrageous attacks on our security and our privacy," and a question about CEO salaries increasing faster than the minimum wage. While Levs cautioned that he does not know whether any of the questions used in his piece will be chosen for the debate, none of the questions that appeared in the report were posed from a conservative point-of-view. (Transcript follows)
Below is a complete transcript of the segment from the November 25 "CNN Sunday Morning":
T.J. HOLMES: All right, Wednesday is the big day. The second CNN-YouTube presidential debate. And this time around it's going to be the GOP candidates going at it.
BETTY NGUYEN: And this is a unique chance for you to share your questions and concerns with those candidates.
HOLMES: Yes, if you want to be part of the action, you need to hurry. CNN's Josh Levs here to explain why you need to get on it. Good morning to you, sir.
JOSH LEVS: Hey, good morning to you guys. Yeah, this is last day. Tonight's going to be the deadline. And what I've gotten to do over the last couple of days is piece through some of the questions we've gotten. We have received so many literally from all over the world. We're going to give you now a taste of what just might be to come. Republican candidates can run, but they cannot hide from your questions in the CNN/YouTube debate, which may include some sharp jabs.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN from video: What are you going to do to return the civil liberties to the American people and stop these outrageous attacks on our security and our privacy?
LEVS: Some offer personal stories like this man who says he's a gay registered Republican.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1 from video: -but a vote for you is a vote against my family.
LEVS: A few bring up some of the wackier topics on Earth or beyond.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2 from video: UFOs and aliens.
LEVS: Maybe he ought to be asking this YouTuber.
CARTOON OF AN ALIEN from video: I am one of many from another dimension.
LEVS: Around 4,000 questions are in -- more than the 3,000 sent in for the Democratic debate in July. All the questions are viewable online, and we're not saying which ones may be used -- just giving you a taste of what we're getting.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN #3 from video: What are you going to do as President to ensure diversity in your administration?
LEVS: There are unique spins on expected subjects like Iraq, taxes and the national debt. Some want specifics.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #2 from video: Would you be willing to open up Guantanamo Bay to public view?
LEVS: There are serious subjects that don't often make the headlines.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN #4 from video, with the words STOP THE WAR to the side: -but what about the war going on in our country -- black on black crime?
LEVS: And questions all about character.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN #5 from video: What is your one greatest strength and your one greatest weakness?
LEVS: Getting candidates to admit weaknesses? Good luck. Maybe he's in cahoots with this guy who apparently wants to lull the candidates into some form of hypnosis.
[Wording on the video's screen reads: If Minimum Wage had risen as fast as CEO pay since 1990 it would be $23.00 and hour instead of $5.85 currently.]
LEVS: -though there are plenty of characters to keep them on their toes.
UNIDENTFIED MAN #6, dressed as Elvis Presley, from video: Thank you. Thank you very much.
LEVS: Yeah, we're getting a lot of fun ones like that. And I want to let you know it's really easy. You have until midnight tonight. Here's all you need to do if you would like to submit your own questions. Go to CNN.com, click on politics, and then it will take you directly to the Web page. It's all you've got to do. And the Web page explains everything. It takes just a minute question. You don't even have to be text savvy really. It'll take you through step by step. It'll also give you some hints on what kind of questions we're looking for. So, guys, now that we've talked about it here, I'm expecting at least about 500 to 1,000 more by midnight. What do you think?
HOLMES: What was the last one? That was kind of, the last fun one, was that a bald and black Elvis that we just saw?
NGUYEN: What was he doing?
HOLMES: What was that?
LEVS: Yeah, you know, along the way, they stick in, like, a four-second question, and then it's part of, like, a 30-second skit they put on.
HOLMES: Do we have any idea the questions that are going to be on yet? I mean, how's that being decided? Who's picking these questions?
LEVS: Yeah, there's this secret cabal of CNNers that are meeting up in New York. I tried to break in. I really did. I even tried to put a suction cup against the door and they won't tell me. None of us gets to know. We don't get to find out until the actual moment itself, which is an important point because the ones I'm choosing to show you, it doesn't mean much. But we are taking a look at everything we get through midnight. Everything that comes in by midnight tonight will be considered and the final decision will be on Wednesday.