Primary Debates and Forums
Sponsors: South Carolina Republican Party and FOX News.
Candidates: Rep. Ron Paul, Herman Cain, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former Sen. Rick Santorum, and former Gov. Gary Johnson.
Audience: Peace Center is a 2,100-seat concert hall, although the Carolina Ledger blog reported, "Empty blocks of seats can be seen from the main floor to the second balcony."
is needed that will be 30 seconds. We have green,
and red lights to help the candidates keep track of their time, and if
an answer runs long, candidates and everyone else will hear this sound
[annoying bell]." 30-second closing arguments.
had not even announced (1)—South Carolina Republicans and FOX News
not get as
many candidates to participate as they would have liked. At one
point the party announced that Newt Gingrich and Buddy Roemer were
expected to participate, but Gingrich backed out and Roemer didn't meet
the criteria. Matt Rhoades of Mitt Romney's exploratory
committee said Romney would not participate "because it’s still early,
the field is too unsettled and he’s not yet an announced
candidate." A Gingrich spokesman said the former Speaker would
make an announcement about his candidacy in a couple of
participate, Pawlenty was in an interesting, or awkward,
Alexander Burns opined (05/05) that "really the night is
all about Tim Pawlenty." New
magazine's "Daily Intel" (05/04) presented a less positive
take in a piece titled "Tim Pawlenty Takes a Seat at the Loser
Several hopefuls who wanted to be
included did not get in. Buddy Roemer, who paid the $25,000
filing fee but did not meet the polling criteria, ended up posting his
to the questions on YouTube (+).
watching from the
upper, upper balcony. Roy Moore was also in Greenville during the
was a bit of a kerfuffle over coverage (+).
In one sense the biggest winner of the
night was Ron Paul; his
supporters raised $1 million in a "money bomb" during the day.
Matt Latimer penned a scathing account of "Fox News' GOP Debate
Debacle" describing it as a "clash of 'Governor Tim Pawlenty and the
debate was part of a series of events South Carolina
Republicans are holding on May 5-7,
2011. Following this debate on Thursday, the Silver Elephant
Dinner is to be held at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center
on Friday, May 6th and the 2011 SCGOP State Convention takes place the
next day on Saturday, May 7th.
1. NBC's "Saturday Night Live" had some fun with this situation, hosting an "Undeclared Candidates Debate" with actors portraying Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin and Donald Trump, and the real Jimmy McMillan added in for good measure.