Later this evening, nine Republican candidates will take the stage in Orlando, Florida, in a debate sponsored by Fox News, Google and the Republican Party of Florida. Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson has been added to the participant list joining the “usual 8” from the past two debates. The debate will feature questions from moderators along with video questions submitted via YouTube.


Air Time: Thursday, September 22nd, 2011 at 9pm ET on Fox News

Participants: Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Gary Johnson

Report from the Orlando Sentinel:

The GOP presidential debate from Orlando will spill into the next show Thursday night: “Hannity.”
Fox News and Google will present the event from 9 to 11 p.m. ET at the Orange County Convention Center.

Taking part, according to Fox News, will be these candidates: Rep. Michele Bachmann, Gov. Rick Perry, former Sen. Rick Santorum, former Gov. Mitt Romney, Rep. Ron Paul, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain, former Gov. Jon Huntsman and former Gov. Gary Johnson. Fox News invited Johnson to the debate despite objections by the Florida Republican Party, Politico reports.

The debate is the kick off to the Presidency 5 event sponsored by the Republican Party of Florida. This 3-day event will feature forums, speeches and the culmination of the Florida Straw Poll on Saturday, September 24th. Report on the P5 conference from WMFE:

Sept. 21, 2011 | WMFE – Thousands of Republican activists, candidates and voters are arriving in Orlando for a three day forum sponsored by the Republican Party of Florida. “Presidency 5” starts Thursday at the Orange County Convention Center. It includes a televised debate among the leading GOP presidential contenders and concludes with a straw poll.

The three day event is expected to draw national attention on its first evening as the leading Republican presidential candidates meet for a live debate Thursday evening on Fox Television.

Having nine candidates on stage is going to make for a much more crowded discussion where many candidates will be slighted for time. The past couple debates have been coined “the Mitt and Rick” show since moderators spent most of the lead off time focusing on Mitt Romney and Rick Perry.

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Nate Ashworth is the Founder and Senior Editor of Election Central. He's been blogging elections and politics for almost a decade. He started covering the 2008 Presidential Election which turned into a full-time political blog in 2012 and 2016.

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