Congressional Black Caucus Institute to Sponsor Presidential Primary Debates

CNN to Broadcast Two Debates

Mar 14, 2007, 01:00 ET from Congressional Black Caucus Political Education and Leadership

    WASHINGTON, March 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, the
 Congressional Black Caucus Political Education and Leadership Institute
 (CBC Institute) has announced that it will sponsor four (4) presidential
 primary debates for the 2008 election -two for Democratic candidates and
 two for Republican candidates, and that it has reached an agreement with
 cable news leader CNN to broadcast two of these debates.
     One of the two debates broadcast by CNN will be among Democratic
 candidates. This debate will take place in January 2008 in South Carolina,
 preceding the first-in-the-South primaries. The CBC Institute is also in
 discussions with the Fox News Channel to broadcast two debates.
     In announcing the primary debates, CBC Institute Board Chair U.S.
 Congressman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) said, "The CBC Institute is continuing a
 primary debate program initiated during the 2004 campaign. This cycle we
 are pleased to work with CNN, one of the most influential news networks, to
 bring the presidential candidates to the broadcast audience."
     Thompson added, "Our goal with each debate is to provide a platform
 that will allow voters to hear the positions of candidates from both
 political parties. Our partnership with CNN provides unprecedented
 viewership and allows the CBC Institute to take the 2008 presidential
 election to homes across America."
     CNN U.S. President Jon Klein said, "CNN is pleased to join with the CBC
 Institute in spotlighting two important primary debates. These debates are
 a meaningful addition to our comprehensive coverage of the 2008
 presidential election, particularly as they give us an opportunity to
 explore more closely a range of issues that will impact the pivotal
 African-American vote."
     U.S. Congressman James Clyburn (D-SC), majority whip for the House
 Democratic Caucus stated, "I am thrilled that the CBC Institute and CNN
 will host a debate in my home state of South Carolina. It is my strong
 belief that this debate, leading to the first-in-the-South primaries, will
 be the definitive forum for America as we choose our next president."
     The Presidential Debate Program is one of several initiatives sponsored
 by the Congressional Black Caucus Political Education and Leadership
 Institute (CBC Institute), a nonprofit organization designed to train and
 educate African Americans and others on key issues of national policy. The
 CBC Institute also commissions policy research, holds conferences and
 symposia, and conducts a political education and campaign training program.
 Founded in 2000, the CBC Institute is governed by a board of directors
 comprised of individuals from academia, business, labor and elective office
 including members of the Congressional Black Caucus. Its activities are
 undertaken on a non-partisan basis. For more information visit
     CNN Worldwide, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time
 Warner Company, is one of the world's most respected and trusted sources
 for news and information. Its reach extends to nine cable and satellite
 television networks; one private place-based network; two radio networks;
 wireless devices around the world; four Web sites, including, the
 first major news and information Web site; CNN Pipeline,'s premium
 live video news service; CNN Newsource, the world's most extensively
 syndicated news service; and partnerships for four television networks and
 two Web sites.

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