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Republican bloggers launch effort to save debate

The N.Y. Times reports that a group of Republican bloggers have launched a new website,, which argues that Republican candidates should not skip the Sept. 17 CNN/YouTube debate planned for St. Petersburg. In recent days, former N.Y. Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney have suggested they won't attend.

The website says skipping the event would be a "serious mistake." Republicans cannot afford to turn their back on new media and young voters, the website proclaims, pointing out that even Hillary Clinton, the "most calculating" Democrat agreed to appear at the Democratic You Tube debate.

In an open letter to GOP candidates it states: "We sincerely hope you will reconsider any decision to snub the critical January 29th primary state of Florida and 51 million unique YouTube users. The Republican Party is about freedom. A free and open debate that includes the American people could be just what the doctor ordered to break the stanglehold of the liberal media."