Washington (CNN) - The Republican presidential candidates face off Tuesday night just a few blocks from the place they all hope to call home: the White House.
The candidates share the stage at DAR Constitution Hall, just down the street from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. CNN is teaming up with leading Republican-leaning think tanks Heritage Foundation and American Enterprise Institute to host a debate that focuses heavily on national security and foreign policy issues, but which will also include top economic concerns, including the failure of the congressional super committee to find agreement to cut $1.2 trillion from the country's long-term debt.
The debate is the 11th major showdown between the Republican candidates and the first in 10 days.
It's also the first in which former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is firmly among the front-runners in national surveys, deadlocked with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for the top spot in the nomination race.
According to a CNN/ORC International Poll released on the eve of the debate, 24% of Republican and GOP-leaning independent voters say they are most likely to support Gingrich for their party's nomination, with 20% saying they back Romney, who is making his second bid for the presidency.
Gingrich's four-point margin over Romney is within the survey's sampling error. A CNN poll released one week ago had Romney at 24% and Gingrich at 22%. Gingrich was at 8% in a CNN poll in October.
The one thing I can say about Newt, he knows how to debate and he knows his history pretty will; mind you he sometimes phrases that historical context to his benefit but he knows information. I can't say that about the other talking heads the GOP have in this contest. But Newt has a past that is for the most part to toxic to be President, on top of that his looks just don't cut it right now. I mean in all seriousness the dude is just too old and big. I would think at best who ever get the nod from the GOP may consider him as a running mate (big maybe), I mean it seems to be the trend here lately to do young and old in the White House.
If you overlook his ethical violations, his lying, his adulterous affairs, and his misuse of millions of dollars, Newt is the man.
Has the Heritage Foundation admitted that the individual mandate for healthcare was their idea in the first place. President Obama adopted a GOP idea and, of course, then they decided it was terrible.
This is like the Simpson-Bowles Committee. As soon as the President praised the idea, the GOP dropped it. The only reason it happened at all is that President Obama revived it after Boehner and company tried to kill it.
Same with reductions in spending. The GOP said we needed it. The President pushed for $4T in deficit reduction and Boehner rejected it. That is what led to the formation of the "Super Committee" and our most recent failure.
Good, they will blast Pres. Obama on the failure of the supercommittee. That should go over really well with the base, be a complete turnoff to indepents and moderates who remember that the supercommittee was created to exclude Obama from the process.
After the compromise reached with Boehner was rejected by his caucus, he walked out and Republicans declared Obama a complete failure. The supercommittee was a grand stance to show the American people that Pres. Obama's "lack of leadership" was in the way of compromise, that the Congress is forced to move forward without the President. You can expect to hear that phrase often tonight. Once again, one you will not hear will be "middle class."