GOP debate: What to look for


Tuesday's GOP presidential debate in Washington will focus on national security and foreign policy.


Paul J. Richards

All eyes will be on Newt Gingrich during the next GOP debate tonight on CNN as the eight presidential hopefuls take the stage in Washington to discuss foreign policy and national security, according to the Huffington Post.

Gingrich has surged to tie Mitt Romney in recent Republican polls and the former house speaker appears to be the new front-runner in the race to be the GOP presidential candidate.

But with his new popularity, the debate moderators are expected to push Gingrich to answer questions about his policies that he’s been able to dodge in past debates, according to The New York Times.

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Politico reported:

There’s going to be a different standard for Gingrich’s performance now that he’s more than a marginal candidate. And his typical formula of attacking the moderator and disputing the premise of virtually every question may not be enough to sustain his position in the polls.

Other candidates will also use this debate to improve their own chances for the presidency.

Mitt Romney — whom many pundits predict will win the Republican primary elections — may use tonight to go after Gingrich in an attempt to retake the top spot in the polls, the Washington Post reported.

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Tonight will also give Herman Cain and Rick Perry a chance to jump back into the race after a series of policy gaffes from both of them.

According to the Washington Post:

Somehow, Perry needs a way to lump Gingrich and the other front-runner, Mitt Romney, together as a kind of GOP establishment. He wants to become the outside insurgent. As for Cain, he needs to make himself look likeable again; for a lot of voters, particularly women, he lost his amiability asset during the controversy over the sexual harassment charges.

Jon Huntsman will also try to show off his foreign policy knowledge and experience as a former ambassador to China. According to the Guardian, tonight’s debate is “his best and possibly last hope of winning some attention.”

The debate begins at 8 p.m. EST.

DISCUSSION: What questions related to foreign policy and national security do you want to ask the GOP candidates? Leave your suggestions in the comments section below.