GOP Debate Checklist: What to Watch For

Thursday, 11 Aug 2011 12:45 PM

By Greg McDonald

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GOP, debate, iowaBefore the pack of 2012 Republican presidential hopefuls turn their attention fully to beating up on President Barak Obama, they will take off the gloves on each other tonight in Iowa.

Here’s the condensed version of an eight-point checklist from Politico on what to look for when the eight participants square off at Iowa State University in Ames:

  • 1. Who will be the first to go after former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, considered to be the front-runner at this early stage in the race for the GOP nomination?
  • 2. How many times will the name of Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who won’t be there, come up?
  • 3. Will former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty spend more time going after Romney or his fellow Minnesotan, Rep. Michele Bachmann?
  • 4. Can Bachmann, who attracted a lot of favorable attention during the first GOP debate in New Hampshire in June, give a repeat performance”
  • 5. Which Romney will show up — the old one who didn’t fare well in the 2008 presidential race, or the new one who seems more sure of himself so far in this campaign?
  • 6. Can former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who has spent the past two years serving as Obama’s ambassador to China, prove that he’s relevant to GOP voters?
  • 7. Can Texas Rep. Ron Paul show that he’s relevant as well in a race where his biggest rival may end up being his own governor?
  • 8. And can former House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia and businessman Herman Cain move up at all from the bottom of the pack?

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