Seven Republican candidates will take the stage in Manchester, New Hampshire on Monday night. Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Herman Cain, and Ron Paul will take to the podiums in what many consider the first real debate of the season since it includes most of the heavy hitters that were not in the South Carolina debate in May.
Conspicuously absent from the stage is John Huntsman who said he would not debate until he formally declares his candidacy. Huntsman has been unofficially campaigning a great deal in New Hampshire already. Skipping this debate might prove risky since he has all but ignored Iowa. That strategy backfired on Rudy Giuliani in 2008. Romney and Gingrich also showed little interest in Iowa. This is either an acknowledgment of Bachmann’s strength there or admission of the Mormon disadvantage.
The debate could be the make or break moment for Gingrich what with all his recent misfortunes. Rumour has it that other campaigns were already trying to poach his supporters and donors after his staff bailed on him this past week. There are also rumblings of a late entry by Texas Governor Rick Perry into the race if Gingrich drops out after the debate.
The debate will be hosted by CNN from 8:00 to 10:00pm ET. Let the Obama bashing begin.
- GOP field anything but steady as NH debate nears (thegazette.com)
- New Hampshire Debate Nears As GOP Presidential Field Remains Far From Settled (huffingtonpost.com)
- Gingrich Aides Quit En Masse From His Presidential Campaign (businessweek.com)