Thursday night’s Republican CNN/YouTube debate was the highest-rated cable debate in campaign history with more than 4.4 million viewers tuning in to see Republican candidates answer video questions from YouTube users.
The faceoff started with a testy -- and lengthy -- exchange between former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani during which moderator Anderson Cooper’s repeated “time” entreaties were ignored by both candidates.
The Republicans outrated CNN’s YouTube debate with the Democrats in July by almost 2 million viewers (4.48 million compared with 2.62 million).
The previous top-rated cable debate of the season was CNN’s Democratic debate Nov. 15 in Las Vegas, which drops to No. 2 with 4.03 million viewers followed by another CNN debate -- the Democratic debate in New Hampshire in June, which attracted 2.78 viewers.