Republicans Ready for U.S. Presidential Debate

Posted September 7th, 2011 at 5:05 pm (UTC-5)
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Rick Perry, a front-runner presidential candidate from the U.S. Republican party, is in California to participate in his first nationally-televised debate with his Republican rivals.

The Texas governor arrived Wednesday, despite wildfires scorching his state. Perry left an appearance in South Carolina earlier this week to respond to the fires, and it had been uncertain whether he would return to the campaign trail for the debate.

Perry will face scrutiny during the event in part because he has little experience with the on-the-spot give-and-take style of debates.

Recent polls show Perry and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney competing for the lead in the Republican race. Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann is running third, having lost ground when Perry announced he was joining the contest.

The hour-and-45 minute debate is sponsored by NBC News and the website Politico. It is the first of three debates scheduled over the next three weeks.

One topic likely to be discussed is the candidates' plans for creating jobs. Thursday, President Barack Obama will address a joint session of Congress to detail his own new strategy for job creation, which is expected to call for $300 billion in federal spending and tax cuts to get Americans employed.

The November 6, 2012 U.S. presidential election will be the country's 57th .