If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. That appears to be the Fox Business Network’s approach to the moderator lineup for its second Republican presidential debate of the 2016 cycle.
The Fox Business Network-Wall Street Journal event, scheduled to air Thursday at 9 p.m. EST, will welcome back network anchors Maria Bartiromo and Neil Cavuto, according to a Fox report. Gerard Baker, the Wall Street Journal editor who joined Bartiromo and Cavuto for the prime-time debate of top candidates in November, was not announced in the moderator lineup.
In an undercard debate of lower-polling candidates, scheduled to air Thursday at 6 p.m. EST, Fox Business Network’s Trish Regan and Sandra Smith will return as the moderators. Both the prime-time and undercard debates will be held at the North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center in South Carolina.
This lineup scored rave reviews from campaigns last year, after the moderators of a debate hosted by the CNBC network were accused of asking “gotcha questions” and goading candidates to directly attack each other. That debate, also held last November, prompted the Republican National Committee to suspend its participation in NBC-affiliated presidential forums until officials could be assured their candidates would be treated with more respect, according to multiple news reports.
This time, candidates will be asked questions about economic, domestic and foreign policy issues. Fox announced the candidate lineups Monday.
Bartiromo and Cavuto will probe real estate mogul Donald Trump, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, former neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida, and Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, in the prime-time debate. During the undercard debate, Regan and Smith will question U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.
Fox Business Network also announced that it will again live-stream the GOP debates for free on computers and mobile devices. The live stream can be accessed at FoxBusiness.com.