The eight top-ranked Republican presidential candidates will face off Tuesday night in the fourth GOP debate of the election season, an event the host—Fox Business Channel—has billed in an advertisement as “the real debate about our economy and our future.”
The channel is going out of its way to contrast this debate with the fumbled showdown hosted by CNBC two weeks ago. That event prompted widespread conservative derision of the channel, and of the media in general.
Real estate mogul Donald Trump is the top candidate in the polling criteria Fox used to decide which candidates would land spots on the debate stage. Trump is followed by retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, former business executive Carly Fiorina, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Ohio Governor John Kasich and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. They will take the stage at the Milwaukee Theater in Wisconsin at 8 p.m. CT, 9 p.m. ET for two hours.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who had been on the main stage during the previous three debates, failed to qualify for a spot. Once seen as a rising star in the Republican party, Christie has seen his campaign struggle to gain traction during this election season.
“It doesn’t matter the stage, give me a podium and I’ll be there to talk about real issues,” he said in a Twitter message posted on Thursday.
He will participate in the “undercard” debate before the main event, during which he’ll be joined by former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. That debate will start at 6 p.m. CT, 7 p.m. ET.
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SOURCE: MICHELE GORMAN