Lineup set for first GOP debate; big names take a pass
May 3rd, 2011
03:59 PM ET
4 years ago

Lineup set for first GOP debate; big names take a pass

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.


Filed under: GOP debate • South Carolina
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. S.positive

    What a Joke and they think They are ready for prime time...Cowards

    May 3, 2011 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  2. California Conservative

    Always leave them guessing.

    May 3, 2011 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  3. seriously???

    Debate among bottom feeders... I'll be sure to watch.

    May 3, 2011 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  4. Bill

    If Gingrich is a "big name" , then the GOP field is beyond pathetic.

    May 3, 2011 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  5. ConservaFASCISTS -aka- Mammon

    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?????

    May 3, 2011 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  6. KevBro

    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 !

    May 3, 2011 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  7. FRANK - LAS VEGAS

    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!?!

    May 3, 2011 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    "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.

    May 3, 2011 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  9. rusty155

    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.

    May 3, 2011 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  10. Jilli

    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.

    May 3, 2011 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  11. Raffly

    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.

    May 3, 2011 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  12. dude

    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?

    May 3, 2011 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  13. Rex Raptor

    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.

    May 3, 2011 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  14. victoria

    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???

    May 3, 2011 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    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?

    May 3, 2011 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  16. Arkansas Undertaker

    Send in the Clowns! LMAO.......And the Circus begins!

    May 3, 2011 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  17. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    A lineup of a bunch of empty suits on display that nobody wants.

    May 3, 2011 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Losers Parade.

    May 3, 2011 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  19. GI Joe

    Pawk pawk pawk pawk. Let the little ones kill each other (verbally, of course). CHICKENS.

    May 3, 2011 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  20. NVa Native

    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.

    May 3, 2011 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  21. GL

    Gingrich qualifies as a "marquee name"? Really?

    May 3, 2011 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  22. sammieb51

    No Trump? No Palin? No Bachman? No Kidding .... No Surprise to me. No guts no glory guys.

    May 3, 2011 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  23. Clwyd

    It will be more along the lines of Sesame Street!

    May 3, 2011 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  24. Bruce

    WOW!!!! Really?

    May 3, 2011 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  25. bored voter

    So since they are all republicans what are they really gonna debate about

    May 3, 2011 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
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