EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT TONIGHT'S GOP DEBATE
The fifth Republican primary debate is tonight. Here's what you need to know about when, where, and who to watch.
- •The time and placeThe nine leading candidates take the main stage at 8:30pm after the undercard debate, airing at 6:00pm. Tonight’s festivities are hosted by CNN. Anchor Wolf Blitzer will moderate, with CNN’s Dana Bash and conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt joining as additional panelists.
- •The lineupPrimetime: Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, Carly Fiorina, John Kasich, and Rand Paul. Undercard: Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Lindsey Graham, and George Pataki.
- •The focusThis is the first GOP debate since the Paris terror attacks and the mass shootings in San Bernardino, California, and Colorado Springs, Colorado, all of which have shifted the tone of the race towards national security.
- •The front-runnerFor more than one month now, the Republican presidential contest has been a virtual forum for a debate about the extent to which national security should be rooted in suspicion of Muslims, with Donald Trump setting the tone. Trump has the opportunity tonight to push his agenda (extraordinary surveillance of American Muslims, his proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the US) forward. But the other candidates also have an opportunity to respond, push back, or otherwise reject these ideas.
- •The othersTed Cruz is surging in the Iowa polls, having emerged as the guy who can best straddle the extremes of the GOP. Ben Carson’s star is falling. Marco Rubio walks the line between Trump’s xenophobia and Bush’s condemnation of it. Follow along tonight at the New Republic’s Minutes for live updates and analysis: http://bit.ly/1O32F1l