Home / Culture and Society / Florida Presidential Debate – Live Chat Event on September 22nd at 9pm EST

Florida Presidential Debate – Live Chat Event on September 22nd at 9pm EST

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Chat Live During the Debate

Welcome to our live online event for the FoxNews Republican Presidential Debate in Tampa Florida. The debate begins at 9pm eastern time on Thursday the 22nd 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.

The debate is being sponsored by the Republican Party of Florida at their Presidency 5 straw poll event in Orlando, but you don’t have to pay $175 to attend (or have Ron Paul pay it for you).  You can watch it on cable on FoxNews and get the blow by blow commentary here.  It’ll be just like being in the audience. There will also be a livestream of the debate to watch on the web.

Prior to the debate you can submit your questions for the candidates on video through YouTube or just vote on the questions you like the best.

The Contenders

Gary Johnson is making big news right before the debate, because after being excluded from the last two debates, he battled his way back in with a 1% oor higher showing in five recent polls, plus he’s still outpolling Rick Santorum and John Huntsman.  In fact, in a current FoxNews online poll Johnson has surged ahead and is now tied for third with Rick Perry and ahead of Michelle Bachmann and Mitt Romney.  Interestingly, Johnson’s inclusion in the debate is over the objections of the Republican Party of Florida which has had a troubled history in dealing with the libertarian-leaning wing of the party which Johnson represents.  If Johnson can bring the kind of dynamism to this debate which he has shown in recent television appearances he could become a major contender again.

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.

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About Dave Nalle

Dave Nalle is Executive Director of the Texas Liberty Foundation, Chairman of the Center for Foreign and Defense Policy, South Central Regional Director for the Republican Liberty Caucus and an advisory board member at the Coalition to Reduce Spending. He was Texas State Director for the Gary Johnson Presidential campaign, an adviser to the Ted Cruz senatorial campaign, Communications Director for the Travis County Republican Party and National Chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus. He has also consulted on many political campaigns, specializing in messaging. Before focusing on political activism, he owned or was a partner in several businesses in the publishing industry and taught college-level history for 20 years.
  • pablo

    Correction on post 18
    The link no longer works and if you click it now, this is the content:
    “No content item selected”

    It seems that Fox News has decided not to report on their own poll, as Ron Paul has won it in a landslide. So Fox does what it does best, it just removed the poll! I love a fair and balanced media. 🙂

  • pablo

    And of course as usual Ron Paul is leading the pack by more than 2/1.

  • pablo

    I of course was referring to the poll url that you have in your article.

  • pablo

    Hey Dave you might wanna put a url that really works in your article. Here is the correct url for the debate.

  • George Berry

    I would sincerely like to hear the candidates discuss the connection between liberal immigration policies and vote getting. Thank you.
    George Berry

  • TRP

    TX is a right-to-work state. Fostering a climate where jobs can grow has led to the best state economy in the nation!

  • TRP

    @GovernorPerry: We’ve taken those regulations off the throat of small businesses in TX #gopdebate

  • TRP

    @GovernorPerry: Lower the tax burden on the small businessmen and women #gopdebate

  • Chris Hunter

    your snide comment about Ron Paul is incorrect. how about you do some fact checking before you try to insinuate or invalidate Ron Paul’s wins. Bachman won Iowa because she paid for 4300 votes and Ron Lost by less than 200. Just because people that care to be informed and vote are supporting Ron Paul doesn’t mean we are all bought and paid for. It just means you are becoming the minority.

  • zingzing

    buncha know-nothings.

  • They forgot zing, zingzing zing, zing.

  • zingzing

    Paul, RonRon Paul
    Romney, MittMitt Romney
    Bachmann, MicheleMichele Bachmann
    Cain, HermanHerman Cain
    Gingrich, NewtNewt Gingrich
    Pawlenty, TimTim Pawlenty
    Huckabee, MikeMike Huckabee
    Perry, RickRick Perry
    Palin, SarahSarah Palin
    Daniels, MitchMitch Daniels
    McCotter, ThadThad McCotter
    Santorum, RickRick Santorum

    sounds like a bunch of cheers. gooOOOO GOP, gogo GOP! gimme a G! gimme a O! gimme a P! seriously, my prostate is grossly enlarged and i’m at serious risk of cancer and a bladder infection…

  • Actually, according to Media Matters, in the last 3 months Gary Johnson has gotten the most coverage on FoxNews

    He must belong to the same golf club as Murdoch.

  • Baronius, I call Paul the highest profile candidate because he by far gets the most web and news coverage.

    Actually, according to Media Matters, in the last 3 months Gary Johnson has gotten the most coverage on FoxNews, followed by Paul.


  • Jason

    I’m going to play the “class warfare” drinking game with my friends tonight! Should be entertaining.

  • Baronius

    I think it’s suspicious that they invited candidates other than Gary Johnson. Considering the way he’s rocketing in the polls (from 0% to 1% is an infinitely large percentage increase), it makes you wonder who’s fixing the game to try to make other candidates look equal to him. Personally, I think the media has something against a Republican who has captured 1% of the public’s imagination. Also, obviously, the Republicans are trying to destroy him because he’s such a strong candidate that…ok, I haven’t thought that one through, but the answer is bound to be obvious. Oh, wait, I got it, the Republicans don’t want his message out there because they know it will win – no, that’s why the press doesn’t want his message out there – darn it, I almost had it.

    I also wonder why Dave insists on calling Ron Paul the highest-profile candidate when he could say that about Gary Johnson. I mean, Paul is nowhere near the highest profile candidate according to any polls, but that hasn’t stopped Dave from repeating it. So why not apply it to Johnson? And the Fox online poll supercedes, well, everything. Why do we even need a convention, or an electoral college, now that online poll results have been revealed?

  • Rey

    Cumulative Results through September 17, 2011
    Finish Potential candidate Percentage

    1 Paul, RonRon Paul 19.74%
    2 Romney, MittMitt Romney 14.27%
    3 Bachmann, MicheleMichele Bachmann 8.08%
    4 Cain, HermanHerman Cain 7.82%
    5 Gingrich, NewtNewt Gingrich 5.72%
    6 Pawlenty, TimTim Pawlenty 5.36%
    7 Huckabee, MikeMike Huckabee 5.02%
    8 Perry, RickRick Perry 4.77%
    9 Palin, SarahSarah Palin 3.97%
    10 Daniels, MitchMitch Daniels 3.71%
    11 McCotter, ThadThad McCotter 3.07%
    12 Santorum, RickRick Santorum 2.86%

  • Actually, Gary Johnson and Ron Paul both have issues with the bogus free trade agreements, but I agree that it would be nice to give Roemer a chance.

    As was the problem with Johnson until he did better in the last couple of polls, Roemer and also Thadeus McCotter did not poll 1% or higher in enough of the polls. 1% in a couple of polls wouldn’t cut it. It had to be 1% or more in 5 national polls.


  • I’m so disappointed Buddy Roemer was not included. I believe he meets that 1% criteria and he has a message that the American public will embrace–the only candidate questioning our preposterous so-called “free” trade agreements.

    How come?