Republican Presidential Hopefuls Gather to Debate

Posted June 13th, 2011 at 5:30 pm (UTC-5)
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The seven Republican politicians who are vying to be their party's candidate in next year's presidential election have gathered in New Hampshire for a debate.

The northeastern state holds the first primary election early in 2012, nine months before November when the Republican nominee will seek to unseat U.S. President Barack Obama — a Democrat.

Mr. Obama's handling of the U.S. economy is expected to come under sharp attack during the debate. Recent reports show a weakening economic recovery that has produced fewer jobs.

But the seven candidates are also likely to attack each other with the focus on former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who is currently considered the front-runner in the race for the Republican nomination.

One of the best known among the seven is former House speaker Newt Gingrich whose race for the White House has been threatened by last week's mass resignation of his campaign staff.

Another well-known Republican politician is former Alaska governor Sarah Palin. But she has yet to declare her candidacy and will not participate in the debate.

The debate is being nationally-televised on the news channel CNN.

Also joining in the debate are former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty and a congresswoman from the state, Michele Bachmann, a favorite of the anti-tax Tea Party movement.

Filling out the field of seven are Georgia businessman Herman Cain, U.S. Representative Ron Paul of Texas and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum