All four remaining GOP candidates have been confirmed for tonight’s debate sponsored by NBC News, the Tampa Bay Times, The National Journal and the Florida Council of 100. The debate will take place at the University of South Florida in Tampa. This will be the first of 2 debates this week focusing on the Florida GOP primary on Tuesday, January 31st. Note the air times on the east and west coast.

Television Air Time: Monday, January 23rd at 9pm ET, 8pm CT and 9pm PT on NBC

Full Debate Video: Watch the full NBC News/National Journal Florida GOP debate

Participants: Gingrich, Romney, Santorum, Paul

Statement from NBC News:

NBC News Senior Vice President of Specials Mark Lukasiewicz released a statement following statement regarding the status of Monday’s presidential primary debate:

“All four qualifying Republican presidential candidates have confirmed their attendance for Monday’s NBC News, National Journal, Tampa Bay Times debate. Florida has often been the stage for history in politics — we look forward to hosting a substantive and stimulating forum for the candidates to make their case to the voters in this crucial state and the whole country.”

The NBC News, National Journal, Tampa Bay Times Republican Candidates Debate, in association with the Florida Council of 100, will take place on Monday, January 23 at 9:00pm ET at the University of South Florida. The debate will be moderated by NBC’s Brian Williams and will include a panel with National Journal’s Beth Reinhard and the Tampa Bay Times’ Adam Smith.

This will be the first weekday primetime airing of a primary debate on a broadcast network in the 2012 election cycle.

The event will air live on the NBC television network at 9pm ET / 8pm CT and on the west coast at 9pm PT, and will also stream live on,, and Telemundo will broadcast the debate in its entirety with simultaneous Spanish-language translation.

Clearly coming from South Carolina where the front runner changed yet again, this debate will have some serious implications heading into Florida. Mitt Romney has to come out stronger than he has and possibly come out to the right of Gingrich in his defense of capitalism and free markets. Ron Paul and Rick Santorum would need to basically win Florida to build any momentum moving forward and avoid this becoming a two-man race between Romney and Gingrich.


It seems that many cable and satellite channel guides (I’ve confirmed DirecTV and Dish among other cable operators) don’t have the debate listed for NBC this evening. It is happening tonight, it has not been canceled. I think the fault lies with NBC in not updating their schedule with this event. If you have any question on what time it will air in your local market, please check out the NBC schedule which does in fact list the debate happening tonight (1/23/12).