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ABC, Bloomberg Debate Falls Through

Debate Would Be Moderated By Diane Sawyer. 6/08/2008 01:44:00 PM Eastern

ABC and B&C Hall of Famer and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg joined presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain (R-Ariz.) in trying to set up a town meeting match-up between McCain and his opposite number on the Democrat side, Barack Obama (D-Ill.). However, both candidates declined to appear at the debate as proposed.

 On Sunday, ABC said it would have devoted prime time coverage to a 90-minute town meeting--in this case more of a "city" meeting--with Bloomberg offering up New York's historic Federal Hall (George Washington took the first oath of office there).

  ABC has a long history of the format, with former Nightline anchor Ted Koppel employing it on Nightline on numerous occasions.

 ABC News President David Westin and Bloomberg extended their invitation to both campaigns in a letter Sunday. ABC's Diane Sawyer would have been the moderator.

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