Update: Watch the entire debate here.
CNN GOP presidential debate at North Charleston Coliseum in Charleston, SC, Jan 19, 2012. Tonight's CNN debate will be held in Mesa, AZ. (Photo AP/David Goldman)
It has been 27 days since the last GOP presidential debate was held. Tonight’s critical face-off will serve as an important springboard into next week’s elections in Arizona and Michigan.
Here are a few details on tonight’s debate at the wonderful Mesa Arts Center in Mesa, Arizona:
On Wednesday, Feb. 22, Republican presidential hopefuls will face-off for the final debate before a dozen states take to the polls on Super Tuesday. CNN anchor and chief national correspondent John King will moderate the two-hour debate, which will air live from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET from the Mesa Performing Arts Center in Mesa, Arizona.
All four of the leading Republican presidential contenders will participate in Wednesday’s debate: former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. In addition to questions posed to the candidates by King and Arizona Republicans in the audience, the network will solicit questions and comments submitted in real-time from CNN.com, the CNN Politics fan page on Facebook and by using the #CNNDebate hashtag on Twitter.
CNN will air the debate on television; a live feed may be found here. For CNN mobile apps click here.
Don’t forget to use hashtags #CNNdebate and #UnravelTheSweater when tweeting.
AZ Governor Jan Brewer weighs in:
The timing for tonight’s debate couldn’t be any better for Arizona and the Republican governor, Jan Brewer, says that the showdown is very important to her state.
“I think that Arizona will be a pivotal state. There are a lot of undecided voters in Arizona so I think that people will be tuned in and watching, and because of this debate will be making their decision, not only in Arizona but across the country,” Brewer said.
And what do Arizona voters want to hear from the candidates?
“I think that just like everywhere in America, people are concerned about jobs and the economy. Here in Arizona people are also concerned with their border security, they are concerned about new federalism and states’ rights, and are very interested in natural resource issues,” Brewer said.
Details on stage arrangements (see photo below):
“This is the first CNN debate where we’ve used a table,” Feist said. “We decided to make this debate more intimate.”
And the table that candidates will be seated around has some history.
“An interesting piece of trivia is that the last time this particular table was used in a GOP debate was at the Reagan Library debate on January 30, 2008,” Feist said. “Mitt Romney and Ron Paul were both at that debate sitting at this very same table.”
We’re gung-ho for another outstanding debate for Governor Romney!
Stage prep continues today for tonight's GOP debate at the Mesa Arts Center in beautiful Mesa, Arizona. Check out the lineup... Romney will be wearing double armour! GO MITT! (Click on image to enlarge.)
Photo - AP/East Valley Tribune/Tim Hacker
Feb 22, 2012
► Jayde Wyatt