Tonight in Tampa, Florida, eight Republican candidates will take the stage in a debate sponsored by CNN and The Tea Party Express. Questions will come from moderator Wolf Blitzer, however, questions will also be delivered by citizens in the audience and from Tea Party events around the country.
Full Video: Watch entire CNN Tea Party Debate Video
Air Time: Monday, September 12th, 2011 at 8pm ET on CNN
Participants: Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum
Report from the Miami Herald:
WASHINGTON — The tea party movement roars into the Republican presidential spotlight Monday night, as grassroots conservative-coalition members are scheduled to question GOP candidates at a Tampa, Fla., debate.
The two-hour debate, co-sponsored by the Tea Party Express and CNN, promises to include some topics that rarely come up in national political forums, such as the candidates’ views of the Constitution and the Federal Reserve.
The debate, which begins at 8 p.m. EDT, will be closely watched because the tea party movement, through a loose collection of grassroots groups barely two years old, helped elect scores of Republicans to Congress last year.
This year, Republican presidential candidates are aggressively courting the movement’s eager-to-work followers and trying to tap into their influential social and fundraising networks.
Coming on the heels of the Reagan Library GOP debate, this Tea Party-centered event could have a different flavor than previous debates. I’m hoping that audience questions will lead to an even more substantive discussion than we just witnessed at the Reagan Library, which in itself was fairly good.
Look for entitlement reform to be a lengthy discussion especially considering the eruption over Rick Perry’s assertion that Social Security is a “Ponzi scheme.” Michele Bachmann will also be looking to get back into the forefront after she was essentially shut out of the discussion in the Reagan Library debate which was dominated by Mitt Romney and Rick Perry. Ron Paul also was a bit jilted on many topics last time around and I will assume that he will field more questions tonight from the audience.