CNN’s Jake Tapper will moderate the cable-news network’s first Republican U.S. presidential debate in September. Tapper announced it Sunday during his debut as host of CNN’s “State of the Union” program.
The Sept. 16 prime-time debate will take place at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library in Simi Valley, California. Tapper also tweeted about it:
Honored and excited to moderate CNN's first GOP debate at the Reagan Library on Sept 16th...more details here: http://t.co/lT1uPDxK8d
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) June 14, 2015
One of CNN’s biggest competitors, Fox News, announced last week it would host a GOP presidential candidates’ forum before televising its own debate in August.
The broad field of Republican presidential candidates has posed a challenge for networks hosting debates, according to CNN. Fox News’ decision to limit its Aug. 6 debate to the top 10 candidates as determined by national polling averages has sparked backlash, especially from GOP leaders in Iowa and New Hampshire. The two states are the first caucus and primary states, respectively, and they have traditionally played important roles in forecasting the political fortunes of candidates.
In response to Fox News’ decision, the Union Leader newspaper in New Hampshire announced it would host its own forum for presidential candidates outside the top 10 the same night as Fox’s primary debate. The newspaper’s publisher, Joseph W. McQuaid, called Fox News’ move “bad for the presidential-selection process by limiting the field to only the best-known few with the biggest bankrolls.” The newspaper’s move prompted Fox News to add a forum for those candidates before its prime-time debate.
CNN has attempted to avoid this pitfall by dividing its debaters into two groups of candidates. One group will consist of the top 10 candidates based on public polling, and the other will be made up of candidates who meet the minimum threshold of 1 percent support in public polling.