GOP Debate: Candidate Line-up, What To Expect

GOP Debate: Candidate Line-up, What To Expect
Donald Trump Gage Skidmore / Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

The third GOP presidential debate, taking place on Wednesday at the University of Colorado Boulder and scheduled to be aired on CNBC (with an online stream available to people who have an online account), features 10 candidates: Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Carly Fiorina, Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, John Kasich, Rand Paul, and Chris Christie.


According to Vox, a “JV” debate was also part of the event, which features candidates who are not polling – Bobby Jindal, Rick Santorum, Lindsey Graham, and George Pataki. The subject of who lowered the taxes more in their respective states was contested between Jindal and Pataki.

Patanki made a reference to the 10 candidates in the main event, saying how he has “cut taxes more than anyone on this stage or the next stage combined.” Jindal, on the other hand, said, “We have 30,000 fewer state employees since the day I took office … We’ve got a choice. You grow the government economy or the American economy,” as reported by USA Today.

Graham’s answer on foreign policy was probably one of the most memorable events of the evening. With a reference to Russia’s entrance into Ukraine and China constructing islands in the South China Sea, he said, “Make me the commander and chief and this crap stops.” His take on foreign policy impressed Mitt Romney, who tweeted that Graham’s stand made it “clear he belongs on the big stage.”

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Each candidate in the debate will be given a 30-second opening and closing statement; while the debate in its entirety, including commercials, will last for two hours. Trump and Carson, leading the GOP pack, expressing their unhappiness over the longevity of the GOP debate last month (which lasted three hours), demanded that it be kept shorter. Trump has had the most speaking time in all debates, as calculated by NPR.

Trump is behind Carson in Iowa. Moreover, a new CBS/New York Times national poll reveals that Carson has gained the lead on the billionaire mogul – acquiring a 4-point lead. Nevertheless, this hasn’t curbed Trump from expressing what he feels about the retired neurosurgeon. On Sunday, he tweeted that “Ben Carson wants to abolish Medicare — I want to save it and Social Security.” Trump even joked about how Carson missed the news of his poll surge because he was “sleeping”; while also mockingly saying that Carson has “lower energy than Bush.”

Sean Spicer, spokesman for the Republican National Committee, said that each candidate will be given a chance to prove themselves in the debate. “This first debate is no different than the second. It’s an opportunity for the candidates to express themselves and explain why they’re running,” Spicer said. “Our job is to make sure voters see as many candidates as possible as we head into voting in Iowa and New Hampshire.”