All Democratic and Republican presidential candidates have confirmed their attendance at the two ABC News and ABC5/WOI-TV live debates in August 2007. The 90-minute forums, moderated by ABC News' George Stephanopoulos and with additional questioning from David Yepsen of The Des Moines Register, will be held at Drake University. The Republican debate is on Sunday, August 5 and the Democratic debate is on Sunday, August 19, 2007. The debates will begin at 8:00 a.m., CT and air across the country as a special edition of This Week with George Stephanopoulos.
The candidates confirmed to attend the Republican debate are Senator Sam Brownback, former Governor Jim Gilmore, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Governor Mike Huckabee, Rep. Duncan Hunter, Senator John McCain, Rep. Ron Paul, former Governor Mitt Romney, Rep. Tom Tancredo and former Governor Tommy Thompson.
The Democratic forum is co-sponsored with the Democratic Party of Iowa and sanctioned by the Democratic National Committee. All eight candidates have confirmed -- Senator Joe Biden, Senator Hillary Clinton, Senator Christopher Dodd, former Senator John Edwards, former Senator Mike Gravel, Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Senator Barack Obama and Governor Bill Richardson.
ABC News Chief Washington Correspondent and This Week anchor George Stephanopoulos said: "I think it's terrific that we are able to continue our On the Trail series in Iowa with two live programs from a state crucial to the election process. This is an historic election and I look forward to bringing our viewers the first and only presidential candidate forums on Sunday morning television."
Raymond Cole, President/COO of Citadel Communications and Chairman of the ABC Affiliates Board of Governors, said: "We are pleased that ABC News recognizes the unique role that Iowans play in the electoral process. Our stations in Des Moines and Sioux City, along with the other ABC stations serving the state, are proud to be partners in these special broadcasts from Iowa."
"Drake University has long had a powerful commitment to serving as a place where the community comes together to address the vital issues of the day," said Drake University President David Maxwell. "It is an honor and a privilege for us to serve in this capacity on a national scale in hosting these two forums."
Drake University is a private institution recognized as one of the top master's universities in the country for student achievement and educational quality and value. Drake has more than 5,350 students from 45 states and 61 countries.