Washington (CNN) – The lineup for the first Republican presidential debate of the 2012 cycle is all but set, a GOP source told CNN Tuesday.
Thursday's debate in Greenville, South Carolina, sponsored by Fox News and the South Carolina Republican Party, will feature five potential candidates, the source said: Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson and businessman Herman Cain.
To qualify for the debate, participants were required to meet a series of criteria, including paying a $25,000 filing fee to the state GOP in order to be placed on next year's primary ballot.
The deadline for that filing fee is 5 p.m. ET on Tuesday.
The finalized lineup lacks several marquee names, including former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who said Monday he will skip the debate, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who originally planned to take part but later decided not to.
The South Carolina Republican Party would not comment on the lineup and said they would announce details of the event on Wednesday.
What a Joke and they think They are ready for prime time...Cowards
Always leave them guessing.
Debate among bottom feeders... I'll be sure to watch.
If Gingrich is a "big name" , then the GOP field is beyond pathetic.
Big names take a pass? Wo apparently are the big names. I though T-Paw was a big name. You can't honestly tell me that the GOP actually considers Palin, Gingrich and Bachmann big name candidates. They're a joke is what they are. BTW, where is Trump?????
Who wants to see a debate that will have no ideas, except cut taxes on the wealthy, cut medicare/medicaid and "unleash" the religious zealots, unregulated banks and corporations to prey on middle class America once again. No thanks I will pass.............Obama 2012 !
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson and businessman Herman Cain? What a yawn fest that will be. Seems like the front runners who like to tell lies or half truths to the press who don't challenge their lies are scared to join a forum where their lies most probably would be challenged. So this is it, The New GOP!?!
"To qualify for the debate, participants were required to meet a series of criteria, including paying a $25,000 filing fee to the state GOP in order to be placed on next year's primary ballot."
That's the key sentence. It appears that you must "meet criteria", pay your fee, and then you can be on the primary ballot. I would assume that entering and paying your fee does not mean you must participate in the debate, but you must still get signed up for it. So they say. Today.
What a bunch of loser. The Republican party Is becoming a Joke, and the Tea Party all ready Is a JOKE. Use to be a Republican ,but never again.
I sure hope the candidate "Someone Else" can make it to the debate – so far, he/she looks like the real winner for the GOP.
iit is gonna be a cheap joke of republican debate. with all those people gonna be on debate, for sure I will not be watching it.
Is this a news article or satire? I thought someone had to have a flying freak of a chance to be elected to be in a major debate... so what's Santorum doing in there?
I'm going to make a prediction: Long shot Herman Cain gets the nomination. For the same reasons they picked Sarah Palin and Michael Steel for their jobs. They think Americans are stupid and will vote based on ethnicity and gender not substance.
is it just me, or does a $25,000 Filing Fee sound outrageous!?!?!!! I'm sure it's like that everywhere, but really, does it need to be that much???
This debate may just be the funniest thing on TV This whole year. That lineup is packed with potential hilarity. Jesus Hussein Christ this is gonna be good.
What? You didn't know that's what the "H" stands for?
Send in the Clowns! LMAO.......And the Circus begins!
A lineup of a bunch of empty suits on display that nobody wants.
Pawk pawk pawk pawk. Let the little ones kill each other (verbally, of course). CHICKENS.
All the free fox media time for any and all Repubs (as is the norm) and no takers? Free press while you stay in lovely downtown dixie and none of the big name school yard bullies is wanting the exposure?
Funny how Obama brings out the worst in them.
Gingrich qualifies as a "marquee name"? Really?
No Trump? No Palin? No Bachman? No Kidding .... No Surprise to me. No guts no glory guys.
It will be more along the lines of Sesame Street!
So since they are all republicans what are they really gonna debate about