Chat Live During the Debate
Welcome to the Blogcritics live online event for the Politico/NBC Republican Presidential Debate in California. The debate begins at 8pm eastern time and our live coverage will begin a little bit before that. We’ll have live chat commentary which you can participate in with capacity for hundreds to take part and share their observations during the debate, plus a post mortem after the debate which may feature a special guest. Drinking games during the debate are not only authorized, but encouraged. The chat application is right below and some information on the candidates fills out the rest of this article.
Click here for live web feed video at Politico.com. The coverage begins at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT). For cell phone viewing, the live stream can also be seen via Politico Mobile apps as well as MSNBC iPhone and iPad app and Droid app and Blackberry app.
Prior to the debate you can submit your questions for the candidates through Twitter using the hash tag #reagandebate.
Gary Johnson is not included in the debate, further feeding a major controversy over media neglect of the former two-term governor of New Mexico who was included in the first debate in South Carolina but has been left out of many polls and excluded from subsequent debates. His exclusion from the debates has generally been on the basis that he is not doing well enough in the polls, a catch-22 situation because he has not been included in many polls so we really have no idea how strong his support is. His exclusion is particularly controversial in this debate which includes two candidates (Santorum and Huntsman) who came in behind Johnson in the most recent CNN poll.
Rick Perry is the longest serving governor in the history of the state of Texas and has launched a campaign based around strong statements on states rights and getting Washington off the backs of the people. His statements are somewhat in contrast to his long record as a government insider and supporter of federal programs. He is perhaps best known in Texas for his friendliness to large corporations and the inside deals and special favors which have been hallmarks of his administration. This is Perry’s first debate and there is some speculation that he is not well prepared and may suffer based on his history of being a weak debate performer, or may even duck out at the last minute citing the wildfire crisis in Texas as a reason not to attend.
Ron Paul is probably the highest profile candidate. He is a 10 term Congressman from Texas known by his colleagues as “Dr. No” for his consistent opposition to any growth of government spending or programs and any legislation of questionable constitutionality. Paul ran for president in 2008 and his campaign launched the Tea Party movement and pioneered non-traditional fundraising methodology which has been adopted by other insurgent campaigns since then. Paul is a conservative libertarian politically who believes in minimal government and strict adherence to the Constitution and for his outspoken, sometimes irascible style.
Mitt Romney is a perceived frontrunner, but he has been running a very low profile campaign and losing ground to more active candidates. The former governor of Massachusetts has a strong business background and a successful record in office. He ran for president in 2008 and has high name recognition, but is somewhat tainted by his association with President Obama’s public health care plan which was largely based on a plan Romney instituted in Massachusetts which has been plagued by budget overruns. This debate is Romney’s opportunity to confirm that he is a frontrunner or end his campaign quickly with a bang.
Michelle Bachmann is a controversial Congresswoman from Minnesota who is best known for her association with the Tea Party movement and her extreme religious views which include strong opposition to gay rights and a call for a federal ban on pornography. Bachmann has a strongly fiscally conservative record and was a top contender in the polls until a few weeks ago when her numbers dropped into the single digits, possibly because of the entry of Rick Perry into the race and his appeal to the same demographic.
Herman Cain is the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, a syndicated columnist and a former federal reserve board chairman.. Until recently he was a nationally syndicated radio talkshow host, but is on hiatus during his campaign. He is from Atlanta and has degrees in mathematics and computer science. He is a strong fiscal conservative with relatively pragmatic positions on social issues. He is an experienced and dynamic public speaker and brings powerful credentials as a very successful businessman to his campaign.
John Huntsman is the former Governor of Utah and most recently was President Obama’s Ambassador to China. He is seen as a moderate Republican with an appeal to independents, though so far his lack of media exposure and relatively low public profile have held him back from any success in national polls. If he performs well here it may take him from the back bench to being a more major contender.
Rick Santorum served two terms as Senator from Pennsylvania and two terms in Congress representing suburban Pittsburgh. He is Roman Catholic and has a reputation as an extreme religious conservative. He tried to legislate the teaching of intelligent design at the federal level and has made controversial statements on a variety of social issues. He is known for his aggressive and confrontational style and for not shying away from controversial positions.
For more information on the candidates, their statements and their records see Project Vote Smart.