This Tuesday, October 18th, will usher in the second debate taking place this month. This time around from Las Vegas, Nevada, as part of the Western Republican Leadership Conference (WLRC). The debate is sponsored by CNN and the WRLC and will bring some focus to issues concerning western states. Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, the only invited candidate from a western state, is boycotting the debate over Nevada’s decision to hold their caucus on January 14th.

Air Time: Tuesday, October 18th, 2011 at 8pm ET on CNN – Tickets

Live Stream:

Participants: Bachmann, Cain, Gingrich, Paul, Perry, Romney, Santorum

Report from the San Francisco Chronicle:

The Western Republican Primary Debate will focus — at least to a certain extent — on Western issues. All of the audience members are Republicans from 14 Western states.

But Sam Feist, who produces these throwdowns for CNN, won’t spill what those issues might be, for fear of letting the candidates prep their answers. And God knows we’d never want to hear a well-rehearsed answer at a presidential debate.

”I think you know what they’ll be,” Feist told us Friday.

Oddly, one of the actual Westerners running for president won’t be there. Former Utah Guv Jon Huntsman won’t be there, as he’s boycotting the debate — in protest of Nevada’s early start time. (No, we don’t understand why a candidate who is barely outpolling Invisible in the polls would turn down free media, but whatever.)

Anderson Cooper will moderate — and not in his trademark tight black T-shirt, Feist confirmed. “Anderson will be wearing a suit,” he said.

Interesting that Huntsman has chosen to boycott this broadcast since it doesn’t appear other candidates are following his lead yet. I’m betting he will regret this move if all he accomplishes is removing himself from a debate focused on issues he should be intimately acquainted with at a time in his campaign when he is deeply in debt and needs the national exposure.

More debate details:

  • Seating matters. Those candidates leading in the polls will sit in the center seats — think Mitt Romney, Herman Cain and Rick Perry — and the cellar-dwellers will be on the ends. …paging Rick Santorum
  • Keeping it even. With seven mouths/egos to feed, there are always candidates who complain about not getting equal airtime. But Feist says the only thing that CNN can do is control who gets asked the initial question. After that, it’s on the candidates. Some candidates step up and speak up more, and others don’t, Feist said.
  • Get your Tweet on. Debate producers keep a close eye on the #CNNDebate hashtag on Twitter for questions riffing off the debate. “A lot of people are watching the debate as a two-screen experience,” Feist said. Each of the debates has been the top trending topic on Twitter while it was on — and for a while afterwards.
  • Other ways to watch: You can watch online — and submit questions — via or on CNN’s Facebook page. Or Twitter, of course.

So far Huntsman is the only candidate to pull out but anything could happen prior to Tuesday. Several candidates are already boycotting the Nevada caucuses due to issues outlined here, however, Huntsman is the first to carry that over to Tuesday’s debate.


  1. How can you say the only thing CNN controls is the first question that gets asked? LMAO are you serious? Anderson is going to be asking questions you’re trying to tell me that a magical force takes control of him after the first question and he has no control on what questions are asked thereafter?

    Seriously Feist? Are you mentally challenged?

  2. Nate, how about sticking to the facts like a ‘real’ journalist and not inserting your liberal bias snippy remarks. Have some respect. When you run for Pres, we’ll try to do the same.

  3. Question for Dr. Paul,
    Your Restore America Plan, released on Monday, talks of selling off federal lands. Since most of those federal lands lie in the west, the focus of this debate, perhaps you could elaborate on your proposal.

  4. Why does CNN “moderate” so many of the GOP debates? Isn’t that a little like the Sanhedrin “moderating” Jesus’ charges of blasphemy? (how about getting rid of the obviously biased moderators!)

  5. I like how Ron Paul was not mentioned in this article. Seems pretty biased towards the more liberal candidates. Perry, Romney and pizza guy. Your bias journalism just makes people wonder why you are not mentioning someone and makes them do research. Research Ron Paul and he will make a believer out of you. I noticed the Black Out and did my research, now I am a Ron Paul supporter.

    Ron Paul 2012

    • Pizza guy? His name is Herman Cain and he is NOT a liberal. He is very conservative. One funny thing about being called a “pizza guy”: he will deliver! But I KNOW him and he is one honest, decent gentleman and NOT a “pizza guy”……

  6. Ask Herman Cain why Godfather’s Pizza Franchise fail at a rate of 33.33 % (Among the top 15 failed franchises in history)….this is how good he is as a businessman

    • He doesn’t own the company now….or have anything to do with it. And now that you mention it, why have so many stores failed in the past couple of years??

      • pat mock your thoughts are very dumb
        the pizza guy is a dumb A who worked for the fed reserve and is a flip flopper on everythin he says ron paul has called him out on his lies, you want a true honest man, ron paul has been saying the same things since 1988 when he ran for pres and has never changed his beliefs.

  7. pat mock your an idiot the pizza guy is a dumb ass who worked for the fed reserve and is a flip flopper on everythin he says ron paul has called him out on his lies, you want a true honest man, ron paul has been saying the same things since 1988 when he ran for pres and has never changed his beliefs.

  8. For any of the canidates:

    Why has our country gotten ourselves into this idea of a “World Economy”? As an example, it seems very obvious to me that the writing was on the wall when we sold out our manufacturing to China. How can we ever compete with a country who pays their work forces pennies for the goods we buy?

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