Primary Debates and Forums

"Your Money, Your Vote: The Republican Presidential Debate"

NBC Universal
Wednesday, November 9, 2011 at the O'rena at Oakland University in Rochester,
MI from 8:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. ET.  1, 2

Sponsors:  Michigan Republican Party and CNBC.

Candidates:  Rep. Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, former Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Gov. Jon Huntsman, Rep. Ron Paul, Gov. Rick Perry, former Gov. Mitt Romney, former Sen. Rick Santorum.

Moderator:  Maria Bartiromo, anchor of CNBC's "Closing Bell with Maria Bartiromo" and John Harwood, CNBC's chief Washington correspondent, joined at various points by Jim Cramer, the host of "Mad Money," by Steve Liesman. CNBC senior economic reporter, and by Rick Santelli, CNBC on-air editor, and Sharon Epperson, CNBC personal finance correspondent.

Audience:  About 1,400 people.

Broadcast:  Worldwide by CNBC.

Format:  "...focus almost exclusively on the economy and how to fix the financial problems of our country..."  60 seconds to respond to questions, 30 seconds for follow-ups and rebuttals.  No opening and closing statements.

Overview: There had been a bit of a lull in the debates; the last one was the WRLC/CNN debate in Las Vegas on October 18.  This debate will long be remembered for Gov. Rick Perry's "oops" moment, during which he set out to list the three agencies he would eliminate, but then suffered brain freeze and forgot the third one.  After earlier uneven debate performances, most commentators saw this moment as crippling to Perry's candidacy; video of the episode went viral.  This was the first debate after allegations of sexual harrassment against Herman Cain; to audience boos, moderator Maria Bartiromo asked a question on the matter ("Why should the American people hire a president if they feel there are character issues?")  Cain also drew attention for his "Princess Nancy" remark about Nancy Pelosi. 

As in many of the debates thus far frontrunner former Gov. Mitt Romney had the most candidate talk time and turns talking.  Romney had 21.95% of total talk time, 5:37 more than the next closest candidate, former Speaker Newt Gingrich.  Rick Santorum had the least talking time.1

The moderators did a good job of keeping the focus on economic issues and this may have been one of the better debates of the cycle.

1. Wes Hemings' analysis at "Dawn of the Weak" showed Romney 14:47, Gingrich 9:10, Cain 8:23, Huntsman 7:54, Paul 7:27, Perry 7:25, Bachmann 6:50 and Santorum 5:25 and a total candidate talk time of 1:07:21.

See also:
Oakland University debate page.
Michigan Republican Party debate page.