South Carolina CNN Republican Presidential Debate Tonight

 Arizona CNN Republican Presidential Debate Tonight

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- CNN's Southern Republican Presidential Debate will air live tonight, January 18, 2012 at 8 p.m. E.S.T. on CNN.   The event is sponsored by CNN and the Southern Republican Leadership Conference.

Tonight will be the last debate before the January 21st South Carolina Primary.  After the withdrawal of Jon Huntsman earlier this week, the field has narrowed to only five GOP candidates remaining: Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, and Newt Gingrich. 

Some of the recent hot topics in the news that may be addressed during this debate are President Obama's refusal to permit the Keystone XL Pipeline from going through and the internet blackouts by online giants such as Wikipedia to protest internet censorship over the pending legislative bills known as Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA).

Romney will have to come out swinging in tonight's debate after taking a beating by Santorum, Perry, and Gingrich during last Monday's Fox News / WSJ Debate over Romney's record of allowing violent felons to vote, his refusal to release his tax returns, and his role at Bain Capital.  As a GOP candidate, you know you are not doing well in a debate if you are getting hammered by Rick Perry.

Look forward to both Romney and Gingrich to go back and forth about who's Super PAC ads are the worst and least truthful (and jokingly, Stephen Colbert's Super PAC).  

South Carolina is seen as Gingrich's arena to unleash revenge against Romney after Romney's Super PAC ran negative attack ads in Iowa and New Hampshire against Gingrich.  So far, the negative ads are working for Gingrich who is now neck-and-neck with Romney in recent South Carolina polls.

The negative attacks by both candidates are completely in line with the history of American politics going back to the Founding Fathers.  American politics, for the most part, has consisted of grown men acting like mean girls in high school.

Viewers can also look forward to a lively discussion regarding Romney's role at Bain Capital, and whether he actually created jobs as he claimed on the campaign trail.  Gingrich's Super PAC went so far as to put together a 28 minute movie titled "King of Bain" that claims Romney was actually a job killer rather than a job creator.

The curve ball that everyone will watch for in the debate is whether Romney puts his foot in his mouth with another remark like "I like to fire people" or make a $10,000 bet to one of the other candidates. 

Paul, once trailing in fourth place behind Santorum in the polls, had recently surged to a 20% third place in South Carolina.  However, Paul's lack of campaigning last week in the Palmetto State followed by a not so strong performance in last Monday's debate could come back to haunt him if he does not do well in tonight's debate. 

It will be interesting to see whether first place Romney and second place Gingrich go after Paul, or instead concentrate on each other and Santorum with the eye on the ultimate first place in South Carolina - Election Day.

With the exception of Romney and Paul, the other three GOP candidates suffered a critical blow last week when a U.S. District Court judge ruled that only Romney and Paul would be on the Virginia Republican Primary ballot.   The ruling could become a debate issue.  Where it can be alleged that a candidate for President of the United States should have had more planning and execution to qualify to be placed on a state's ballot.

The South Carolina debates are make-or-break for Santorum and Perry. After a strong performance during Monday's debate, Santorum was finally able to stop his double-digit free fall in the South Carolina polls last week.  

Perry has the difficult task of trying to convince South Carolina social conservatives to rally around him rather than Gingrich or Santorum.  Perry's debate performances have improved drastically over the last two debates since his early blunders in Iowa.  


One edge that former U.S. Air Force pilot Perry has over Gingrich and Santorum is that South Carolina has a large number veterans.  Look for Perry to highlight his military service and the lack of military service of the other candidates (except for Paul who was a U.S.A.F. flight surgeon).  

One thing viewers will probably not see during tonight's debate - Romney speaking French after Gingrich highlighted a French-speaking similarity between Romney and former Democratic Presidential Nominee John Kerry.

Viewers will be able to submit their questions to the candidates for tonights debate via twitter at
#CNNDebate or by using CNN's question form here

Live online broadcast of tonight's debate can be viewed here.

Ron Paul Passes Half Million Dollar Mark During Money Bomb

Virginia Judge Rules Against Gingrich, Santorum, Perry, Huntsman To Be Placed On Ballot

Popular Posts

Privacy Policy Contact Us Content redistribution use policy Copyright 2011-2017 All rights Reserved.