Chat Live During the Debate
Welcome to the Blogcritics live online event for the South Carolina Republican Presidential Debate. The debate begins at 9pm 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.
There are five candidates participating in this debate and they really cover the spectrum of the Republican Party, from the extremely socially and fiscally conservative Rick Santorum to Liberty Republicans like Ron Paul and Gary Johnson. Here’s a little info on each of them.
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.
Gary Johnson is the former two-term governor of New Mexico who earned a nationwide reputation as an opponent of government waste. He vetoed over 700 bills in his two terms in office. Johnson was a very successful businessman before going into politics, taking a small handyman business and turning it into a multi-million dollar corporation with thousands of employees. Johnson is also an avid outdoorsman and has climbed Mount Everest. Since leaving office he has become notable for advocating libertarian political issues, including ending the War on Drugs and the War on Terror. His positions are not terribly far from those of Ron Paul, though he is personally somewhat more socially liberal.
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.
Tim Pawlenty just left office after his second term as Governor of Minnesota. He is popular with the Republican Party establishment and has a successful record as governor, although many of his positions are outside of the norm of the party and unpopular with fiscal conservatives. He has been a supporter of unions and socialized medicine and combines fiscally moderate positions with strongly socially conservative views. He has earned praise for successfully balancing his state budget and for his pro-business policies as governor.
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 another view on the debating candidates see The Washington Post.
Where are the Frontrunners?
Several potential candidates who are viewed by many as frontrunners in the GOP primary did not qualify for the debate or chose not to enter. Some of them have not officially filed exploratory committees or are not polling over 1% in recent polls, or just didn’t want to pay the $25,000 entry fee. They include Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney and Donald Trump who have relatively high poll rankings and others like Mitch Daniels, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann and Newt Gingrich. Huckabee, Romney and Trump have high media profiles but there are serious questions about their electability in the primary or in a general election against President Obama.
Watch While You Chat
The debate will be broadcast live on FoxNews starting at 9pm. If you don’t have cable then you can watch the broadcast through the live stream on the Fox Website. The chat application is below. It will also be accessible through several other sponsoring websites. You can even embed it on your site if you like. You can also download the client App and join the chat on your smartphone. Search for CoverIt Live.