Breaking: CBS’ hopes for a primary debate, have been officially dashed. The North Carolina Democratic party announced they are canceling plans for Sunday’s debate because they could not get a commitment from Sen. Barack Obama. The face-off was to be moderated by Katie Couric and Bob Schieffer with a plum spot after 60 Minutes.
“I’m disappointed, we all are,” CBS News Senior VP of news coverage Paul Friedman tells TVNewser. CBS has been negotiating for the debate since March 4. “It’s been very frustrating, between the choice of venue and the time,” Friedman said.
What’s next? Well, with their primary on May 6 Friedman says he’d be happy to organize a debate in Indiana, but that’s a long shot. And getting Couric or Schieffer to moderate a general election debate is not in the cards either. “I think the commission on Presidential debates has made it clear that they are not likely to choose one of the main anchors because they don’t want to go through all that.”
Friedman says Couric and Schieffer, “are both disappointed. They would have loved to do it.”