'The View' Seeking To Host Daytime Republican Debate
NEW YORK -- During the 2008 presidential race, both then-Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain stopped by to chat with the ladies of "The View," an indication that political candidates see value in reaching the daytime talk show audience.
But this election cycle, producers for the ABC show are wading even deeper into political waters with hopes of hosting a daytime presidential debate. A spokesman for "The View" confirmed that requests have been sent to Republican campaigns but declined to speak further about any interest so far. The debate would take place during the show's 11 a.m. EST time slot.
While "The View" has had luck booking political figures in the past, the producers may run into trouble getting Republican candidates to sign on for a debate given the number of recent primetime contests and plans for another seven debates before the end of the year. Next week, both CNBC and CBS News are hosting debates.
In addition to scheduled debates sponsored by news divisions at broadcast and cable networks, campaigns are also fielding requests this cycle from non-traditional venues like "The View." Such increased interest could cause even more skittishness from Republican campaigns already juggling preparation for numerous televised debates with the rigors of the campaign trail.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry recently expressed his concern about the packed schedule and even flirted with the idea of skipping some upcoming debates. However, Perry -- who has struggled in the debate format and whose performance in debates has been roundly criticized -- ended up committing to five more over the weekend.
But scheduling isn't the only potential roadblock to "The View" hosting a debate. GOP candidates may be wary of tangling with liberal co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg or Joy Behar, both of whom have grilled Republican politicians on the show in the past. Behar was especially tough on McCain for running attack ads during the waning days of the 2008 election.
"Now we know that those two ads are untrue, they are lies,” Behar told the Republican candidate. “And yet, you at the end of it say you approve these messages. Do you really approve these?"
Correction: This post originally stated that CNN is hosting a debate next week. However, network recently rescheduled its Washington D.C debate for Nov. 22.