Los Angeles Times/CNN Presidential Debates (Republicans)
Thursday March 2, 2000 at Harry Chandler Auditorium in the Los Angeles Times Building, Los Angeles, CA.  6:00-7:00 p.m. (PST)
Courtesy: CNN.
Media Sponsored by: The Los Angeles Times and CNN.

Candidates: George W. Bush, Alan Keyes, and, via satellite, John McCain. 

Moderator: Judy Woodruff, CNN prime anchor and senior correspondent. 

Panelists: Doyle McManus, L.A. Times Washington bureau chief and Jeff Greenfield, CNN senior analyst.

Audience: "Republican voters, government, business, civic, education and community representatives invited by the hosts as well as representatives of the Los Angeles Times and CNN."

Format: Questions from the panelists and the moderator only.   Candidate had one minute to respond to the question and 30 seconds to answer a follow-up.  The next panelist or the moderator then posed a question to the next candidate.  Candidates could also make 30 second statements if attacked.  Closing statements.

Viewership: 2.7 rating, 2.0 million households, average 2.8 million total viewers. 

Observations:  This debate was the last meeting of the Republican candidates.  For a time it appeared that Sen. McCain might not participate.  He had agreed to, but when Bush did not commit until the latter part of February, the campaign scheduled him to be in New York.  McCain ended up appearing by satellite from St. Louis, but that may not have helped his cause; it was a bit surreal to have a candidate debating from a television monitor while the other two were there in person. 

During the course of the hour, Gov. Bush and McCain each fielded eight questions (and eight follow ups), Amb. Keyes took six questions and each made a closing statement.  In addition, Bush had several 30-second responses to attacks and McCain had one such response. 

A couple of noteworthy moments: Toward the latter part of the debate Bush went beyond a standard answer to a Greenfield question on standards and accountability in education and engaged the panelist in a fairly lively dialogue on the subject.  Also late in the debate, McCain, in response to a Greenfield question about the lack of support for him among members of Congress and the iron triangle, made a very pointed attack on Bush for "the sleepovers in Austin at the governor's mansion by the Pioneers."


Note: The Los Angeles Times and CNN announced these debates on May 10, 1999.

Copyright 1999, 2000  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action.