CNN chosen to host Las Vegas GOP presidential debate
April 6th, 2011
11:38 AM ET
9 years ago

CNN chosen to host Las Vegas GOP presidential debate

Washington (CNN) – The Western Republican Leadership Conference announced Wednesday that it has selected CNN to host a GOP presidential primary debate in Las Vegas that will be a centerpiece of the WRLC's four-day conference in October.

Voters from 16 states and territories that make up the Republican National Committee Western Region will meet in Las Vegas to talk politics and policy and hear the candidates discuss their visions on Oct. 18 at the Venetian Resort.

"Republicans in Western States will play an important role in determining the next Republican nominee for president," said former Nevada Rep. Jon Porter, chairman of the WRLC. "On behalf of the Western Republican Leadership Conference, I am excited to be working with CNN on this important debate. I look forward to hosting our 2012 Presidential candidates, and showcasing their ideas on Western and national issues."

Nevada is expected to play a key role in helping Republicans choose their next presidential nominee. The RNC has chosen it to be one of the first states to vote in the Republican presidential primary process next year.

"Nevada is the gateway to the West in the 2012 Republican presidential primary," said Sam Feist, CNN's political director and vice president of Washington programming. "This is an opportunity for GOP presidential candidates to speak, in person, to Nevada Caucus-goers as well as voters from the 15 other states and territories represented by the Western Region."

Jack St. Martin, WRLC's executive director, said the debate and conference will help bring attention to the pressing issues not only facing the nation, but also those of importance to voters in western states.

"Western states will play a pivotal role in the 2012 presidential election," he said. "The debate this October will give the party's presidential candidates the chance to speak directly to voters about important issues in these key states and issues facing all Americans."

States and territories in the RNC's Western Region include: Alaska, American Samoa, Arizona, California, Colorado, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

CNN previously announced it would co-host a June 7 Republican primary debate in New Hampshire with the New Hampshire Union Leader and WMUR-TV as well as a Sept. 12 GOP primary debate in Florida with the Tea Party Express and other Tea Party organizations.

Filed under: CNN
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Lynda/Minnesota

    WILL there ever be ANY GOPer primary debates? Seriously? Seems as if these clowns of whine are just too busy reveling in their own glory of supporters fawning over them to actually step up to the podium and begin adult conversations that don't begin with or end with Obama blah, blah, blah. It's been awfully hard to distinguish one GOPer hopeful crybaby from another, their media sound bites being so alike and all.

    April 6, 2011 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  2. Mikey

    Should be a very entertaining freakshow, assuming anyone gets up the courage to run for the GOP nomination, which will produce the candidate who will get their proverbial backside handed to them in the general against OUR President.

    April 6, 2011 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  3. Rudy NYC

    I assume this means that the GOP will hopefully spread thier debates amongst all of the major media outlets. If every major cable news source is not selected, please do not scream foul play people. They can allow any franchise they choose to host and broadcast their debates. I would like for them to host one on NPR, PBS, or any of the publicly funded franchises they are trying to cut out of the budget.

    On that note, when the time comes for Presidential debates, will there even still be a PBS in existence to provide moderators for a debate. Let's hope so. I enjoy their news shows.

    April 6, 2011 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  4. ConservaFascists/FUBAR

    I'm more concerned with who'll be moderating the debate.

    April 6, 2011 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  5. Constitutionalist_Patriot

    And should he choose to run, Ron Paul will win this debate as well as the others just like last time! Nominate wisely GOP, us indies aren't voting for a neocon because of the lesser evil argument. Nominate Paul and you have my vote, otherwise it's strictly third party for me and I don't care if Obama wins. I fail to see a difference between Obama and the mainstream republican candidates anyway.

    April 6, 2011 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  6. Palin Power

    Palin will be the very last to announce her candidacy and she will become our next President. She will do it in the very last minute just before the 1st primary caucus and destroy the GOP competition.

    April 6, 2011 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  7. DIANA

    I wonder who'll show up. If it's these clowns they have parading around now, it should be classified under comedy. I'd pay big bucks to see these idiots debate, better than an Charlie Sheen show.

    April 6, 2011 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  8. ike

    Smart. Current and future government leaders in Vegas. Genius. Remember, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

    April 6, 2011 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  9. Howard

    Oh ... that should provide some objective, non-partisan reporting ... yeah right !!!

    April 6, 2011 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  10. Phil in KC

    CNN – that leftist, elitist propaganda machine – and not FOX News?? How can that be? Are they saying Fox is not 'fair and balanced'? Did Rupert not give them enough money? Are the riders of the apocolypse nigh?

    April 6, 2011 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  11. Jake

    does this mean CNN isn't part of the mainstream media anymore!? you mean they cover both political parties!?
    i always get a good chuckle that most of CNN polls are pretty fairly split on issues. But you go over to Fox news and everything is 95-98% percent AGAINST Obama, and the other 5-8% are not sure!!

    April 6, 2011 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  12. Russ

    Interesting that even the GOP wouldn't tap Fox News for their own debates. Guess you know what they really think about Fox.

    April 6, 2011 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  13. Lolo

    Make sure that none of them visit the nudie bars. LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 6, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  14. No tea, coffee only

    Republican freakshow to go along with sin city??? The adult businesses should get a huge boost when Newt and his "hypocrisy rules" gang head to Vegas baby. Escorts (female and male - Larry Craig) should be looking forward to 10/18

    April 6, 2011 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  15. amwa

    Wow and they didn't choose Fox. I guess they have decided that Fox isn't a News station just an opinion station and they wouldn't have anyone to fill the shoes of moderator.

    April 6, 2011 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  16. kate

    GOP stinks!!!Only the rich can afford to vote for them.

    April 6, 2011 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  17. Mikey

    @ Palin Power – hahahahahahhaha. That's pretty funny stuff.

    April 6, 2011 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  18. egore

    Vegas is a fitting locale - for a freak show!

    April 6, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  19. Ron

    Just goes to show you who the grown-ups in the room are. The Dems wouldn't debate on Fox out of pure pettiness. The GOP could have treated CNN the same (e.g., we won't debate on a clearly Democrat leaning network). But, they didn't. That shows who is willing to reach across the divide. Although, I'm confused as to why they would want to debate on CNN, since no one watches it. Clearly Fox News' audience is much bigger. And, CNN is only watched by a handful of liberals – the very few who like to educate themselves on current events.

    April 6, 2011 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  20. Steve Glusman

    Well before the debates, we need to see CNN TV journalists with the knowledge ( and having done the homework) to question GOP talking points when politicians appear on their shows.

    While their ideaology may be different, their intellectual strength and work ethic should seek to parallel that of Rachel Maddow on MSNBC. Love her or hate her, there is NO DENYING that she and her team are the MOST PREPARED and most effective BS DETECTOR in journalism today.

    All print and TV journalists could learn a thing or two from her. If we get that type of scrutiny from the press, they might just deserve to keep their much vaunted "FREEDOM OF THE PRESS" in the 1st Ammendment.

    April 6, 2011 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  21. Yan

    This is great news they can do their debate prep at the bondage club accross the street!

    April 6, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  22. Republican Robber Baron

    Good luck with that. The Left Coast and even Nevada are solid Blue states. I can see why the GOP wants to try to stem the tide, but they have become a party of the Neo-Confederates dominating the South.

    April 6, 2011 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  23. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    If Fox News ran the debate, they'll probably have Silly Sarah moderate it just for ratings.

    April 6, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  24. Matt

    They would have a debate.... if they had any candidates. Too busy getting Teabagged, and Obama-bashing to even think of what clown they want to send to the circus.

    April 6, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  25. steven harnack

    I see Sheldon Adelson's hand in this decision but another thought comes to mind and that is that whenever Republicans have these confabs they are never very far from hookers, gambling and gangsters.

    April 6, 2011 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
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